I always like to watch the roll-out of new products because the quality of the marketing can tell me a lot about what they expect from their products.
In some cases, a product is introduced with Excellent marketing but it is competing against another product that is already very well established. I think the original marketing for Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word fell into this category. I thought the marketing was excellent but they were trying to compete against the very well-established WordPerfect, WordStar, and Lotus 1-2-3. One might wonder where those three competing products are now and what happened, and that brings us to....
Good marketing -- This quality of marketing is usually done for products that are well-established in the marketplace. Unfortunately, if a competing product comes along with Excellent marketing, and the company with merely Good marketing doesn't respond, Excellent marketing will win, all other things being equal or nearly equal. This, I believe, is what happened to WordPerfect, WordStar, and Lotus 1-2-3 when Microsoft Word and Excel arrived on the scene.
Sometimes you'll come across Bad marketing and wonder just what the heck the company -- or its advertising agency -- was thinking. Bad marketing, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. For example, many people, including me, are not fans of sexual innuendo commercials, like many of those run by Quiznos. The second commercial here particularly creeps me out.
None marketing is even worse than bad marketing. None marketing is usually done during periods of company stagnation and disinterest, or when the whole economy is in decline. Companies that are resting on their laurels and think that people will be loyal to them and companies that forgot to put some marketing money aside for when the whole economy was bad are highly susceptible to None marketing. During the good times, those companies usually gave all their money to their executive employees are nice bonuses, leaving nothing for the company when the product or market soured.
Although we seem to be coming out of a nice, long recession due to the aggressive ecnoomic policies of President Obama, that doesn't mean that everyone will be reverting to their formerly Excellent and Good marketing because many of those companies are no longer around, having fallen into the Bad marketing or None marketing categories during the recession.
If you're just barely surviving and hoping that the recession ends soon, it might be time to ratchet your marketing up to a higher level.
Excellent, Good, Bad, or None. Which have you been? Which do you want to be?