Marketing is not a 4-letter word.

 

By Meagan Crawford

Walk into any space industry event in this day and age and you’ll be greeted by a room full of brilliant scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs. You’ll find most of them to be warm and friendly, and excited to tell you about their new business, project, or invention. Unless, of course, you make the mistake of saying the nastiest 4-letter word in the NewSpace industry:

Marketing.

I saw some of you get tingles down your spine just reading that word. It’s a sure way to disperse a group of rocket scientists, as surely as if you had insulted Tsiolkovsky. And it’s no wonder. Marketing is a touchy-feely, people-centric pseudo-science. It’s like sociology (shudder).

And if you’ve ever bought a car, or even a TV for that matter, you’ve likely encountered sketchy marketing tactics and high pressure salesmen. You see ridiculous ads on TV that have nothing to do with the product they’re selling and think to yourself “how could marketing ever be applicable to my business?”

Classic poster from Miami ad agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

And you’re right. Consumer advertising — the product promotions you’re familiar with in your everyday life — is likely not applicable to your business. You sell to other businesses, not consumers. But don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater just yet. Just because some marketing tactics aren’t right for you, doesn’t mean they’re all bad.

Marketing only has two functionsThe NewSpace industry is, for the most part, a business-to-business marketplace. Some downstream companies sell (or will sell) products to average consumers, such as broadband internet or space tourism. But the bulk of this industry isn’t selling to consumers. They’re selling to businesses. And B2B marketing is not like consumer marketing. It’s simply about informing your customers of the features and benefits of your product.

Let’s go through some examples of how marketing can help your business succeed:

Who is going to buy your product? And how are they going to find out that your product is the answer to their problems? Marketing.

When you sit down to talk to investors, the first questions they’ll ask will be about your market. How big is it? How are you going to capture market share? Marketing.

How can you differentiate your products and build a competitive advantage? What’s the most important thing that your competitors likely aren’t doing well? You guessed it… Marketing.

So next time you hear the word “marketing” I challenge you to keep an open mind. Maybe it’s not as nasty of a 4-letter word as you think. Maybe, it’s the key you’ve been looking for to increase sales — and profit.

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