Do you only send marketing emails to “sell stuff?”

Or, when you’re planning your emails, are you thinking about how to add value for your customers, (entertain, inform, engage)?

If you mix it up a bit, they might be more tempted to open and read.

Still stuck on this “marketing as a service” idea.

You can think of marketing as a bother, as a necessary (or unnecessary) evil, or you can conceive it as a service. If I can make a connection with someone and what I have to offer brings them a step closer on the outside to the self they truly are on the inside…well, then, I’ve helped them, they’ve helped me, and we’ve both helped the economy. Where’s the evil in that?

What Is A Product?

My philosophy is that a product is made up of four things:

1) The actual, physical product or service being marketed - this must be stellar and differentiated in ways that matter, or all is lost.

2) Customer service becomes a critical aspect of the product once it lands in the customer’s hands. It’s what makes the product “work.”

3) The brand. Because people aren’t really buying the product; they are buying the set of attributes the product conveys and the benefits it bestows. The brand frames the product and gives it its specialness.

4) The experience. The shopping for, learning about, comparing, selecting, even the unboxing, is all a part of the experience and affirms the buyer’s choice in that critical moment when they want to be swept off their feet. Neglect this element of the product and miss an opportunity to make an emotional connection with your customer.

Some startups think #1 is the product, but you won’t get far with that. Your customers may give you a little time to figure out the other three, but until you put real energy into figuring those things out, you’re in beta mode.


Text, photographs, quotes, links, conversations, audio and visual material preserved for future reference.


A handpicked medley of inspirations, musings, obsessions and things of general interest.