Marketing: the difference between an idea and a successful idea

Erasmus University is ranked as a top tier player by the Financial Times European Masters in Management list.

Marketing is king, according to Vincent Carlos. He is a grad student from San Diego Miramar College and one of LinkedIn's Top Voices. He regularly writes for LinkedIn’s Pulse Channel, with a reach of 400 million readers. His own favourite article is one on the power of marketing, which is considered as the difference between an idea and an idea that becomes a success.


Just an idea is not enough
‘Children are educated, companies are built, jobs are gained or lost, all because of what we know and don't know about spreading ideas,’ American author, entrepreneur, and marketer Seth Godin once said.

Ideas are in such oversupply nowadays that it’s no longer enough to just have a great idea. What’s in short supply, however, is the knowledge of how to tell a story about our ideas in a way that shows people why they are useful and why they should matter. Understanding how to make an idea resonate with a group of people is one of the biggest challenges individuals and businesses face.

The idea of the computer, for example, started out in the mid 1930s, but it took 40 years before the computer ever became a commercial success. Why? Because it wasn’t until companies like IBM, Apple, and Microsoft began to understand where the idea of the computer fit in the world and how it would be useful to people that made the success of the computer possible.

Everyone's a marketer
Marketing is all about spreading ideas, and spreading ideas is the single most important ability any one individual can possess. Some ideas that are terrible spread rapidly and have major impacts, while other ideas that are more important seem to not even get noticed at all. This is why, whether you’re a writer, a politician, or a social activist, marketing matters to you.

As a writer, I’ve noticed that it’s not always the best writers who get their work noticed, but instead it’s those who are best able to build a unique brand. Writers that many people would consider ‘merely good’ have grown popular and had major influence all because of their ability to market to an audience who resonated with their ideas. Even writers who manage to create viral pieces fail to gain a community of followers without good marketing centred around them.

Marketing made Trump
Presidents are elected based on their ability to get others to believe in their agenda and spread their ideas. For this reason, it’s not always the better candidate who necessarily wins the Presidential election. Who does win, more often than not, is the better marketer. Marketing played a big role in Obama’s Democratic nominee win over Hillary Clinton in 2008 and in his Presidential win over Mitt Romney in 2012. Marketing also explains how Donald Trump, a businessman with no political experience, has been able to compete with one of the most experienced politicians in the world.

Even Tibet needs it
In Tibet, there is a student-led movement focused on the Tibetan people’s fight for independence. They’ve set up a blog called ‘Students for a Free Tibet’, which aims to persuade new readers to join their cause by educating them on the history of Tibet.

In this blog, they shine light on the world of human rights violations in this country. In just a short period of time, readers understand why independence is needed among the Tibetan people and what they can do to join the cause. This group is taking a very important idea and spreading it as a result of their knowledge and understanding of online marketing. Without marketing, this group’s cause wouldn’t have spread like it has, and a lot of people who have joined the fight as a result of this group wouldn’t have ever cared.

Parting thoughts
What becomes popular and succeeds or fails and fades away is a direct result of the marketing choices that were made. Social justice, political agendas, and careers are all either pushed forward or pushed back as a result of marketing. If you care at all about the future of your career, your business, or your non-profit, then marketing matters. If you've got an idea to spread, you have to be a marketer.

Being able to successfully market yourself or your business only requires you to answer two questions:
1) What makes you unique?
2) How do you provide value to people?

If you can answer these two questions, then you can get your ideas to spread and your products to sell. All the ideas, technology, and knowledge in the world are worthless unless we can find ways to understand and communicate why they should matter to people.

Marketing at Erasmus University
At Erasmus University we love marketing. So why not consider a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Marketing Management? Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University is ranked as a top tier player by the Financial Times European Masters in Management. It has the widest selection of one-year MSc programmes in the Netherlands and is located in a city with a truly international flavour.


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