33voices interviews Brant Cooper
Brant Cooper: Principles of customer development
This is Moe Abdou. I am totally excited today to have Brant Cooper with me. Not only has Brant written an awesome book called The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development. I think it’s safe to say that this has been your calling here over the last several years which is basically to help equip entrepreneurs with tools specifically in that marketing arena.
That’s right on. Thanks for having me. I’m happy to be here.
It’s awesome to have you with us. I want to start by something that I mentioned to you that I’m a real believer in. I remember Peter Drucker once telling me that business is about marketing and innovation and nothing else.
From your perspective, you have become an influential voice to entrepreneurs around the world; first, give me your take on that. I’m a real believer that if you can’t market, you don’t have a business. What are your thoughts on that?
I think that marketing is obviously key. I’m sort of amused often by new nomenclature that comes out about marketing — you need to do viral marketing now or you need to do guerilla marketing.
The basics of all marketing is word-of-mouth marketing. Even if you’re running an advertisement then you’re the mouth and your audiences are the ears and you’re spreading the word about your product. So that’s the basis with all marketing — word of mouth marketing. How else can you sell a product other than having one person tell another person about your product? It’s the fundamentals of business.
I totally concur with you. Why then is it so difficult for entrepreneurs in particular to crack this marketing code?
I think that depending on the background of the entrepreneur, marketing has come to mean so many different things that the fundamental question, what’s the right marketing for me in my business, in my product, is hard to find within all of the noise.
Just in the last five years; right now, it’s social media marketing. Everything is about social media marketing. You can’t go on the internet, you can’t go on Twitter, it’s even probably on your evening news; these calls to action that says you better go do social media marketing or you’re going to fail.
These types of things come up every several years. Entrepreneurs are sitting there going, that’s a lot of money I’m going to start sending out the door for all of these must have marketing programs. What am I going to get out of it? How do I know it’s right for my business?
I think the problem is there is just a lot of noise out there. Very smart entrepreneurs are nervous about what’s the right tact that they should take for their particular business.