The most important marketing decisions get made by product people. Oftentimes they don’t even know they’re making them.
How a product interacts with users, and how it causes users to interact with peers is the most important marketing decision possible. If virality and sharing are ingrained in the product, you will grow. People will tell their friends. But, if marketing wasn’t considered from the outset, it’s hard to correct for it later.
The food industry provides the perfect example. If the people making the food aren’t thinking about how to make the experience outstanding, how to present the food beautifully and how to create a culture of sharing, they are losing huge possible marketing opportunities.
In the age of instagram, a restaurant needs one dish that’s quirky, looks good in photos and is unique. Photos of said dish go online. Marketing conscious restaurants will make it easier for customers to take photos, providing nice backdrops, branded packaging, painted walls, etc… Visitors to these restaurants will share photos and talk about their experiences. These restaurants will get more customers.
But if a marketing conscious person was never at the decision making table, the restaurant might look and feel just like every other one of a thousand in the city.
There isn’t a dividing line between product and marketing. They need to be intertwined because the best products contain marketing and the best marketing is a great product.