Does marketing matter anymore?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: August 25, 2012

Companies spend an inordinate amount of time, effort, and money into advertising. Their marketing budgets are ridiculous sometimes, but the end result can be pretty impressive if it's done right. After all, marketers and those in charge of making something look interesting have a lot riding on their shoulders. Marketing is supposed to make people want to buy something, more often than not. If it wasn't, then there'd be no reason for marketing to exist.

But, does marketing matter?

I'm curious about this because I posed a question on Twitter not too long ago, and I received some very interesting responses. The question itself wasn't geared towards marketing, more or less, but the answers lead me here. I asked if it mattered when manufacturers like Nokia, Samsung, or Motorola announced devices, when it's close to an Apple announcement. As we've seen through upcoming announcements, Apple's competition is trying to get out everything they can before it's believed Apple will unveil the new iPhone. It's a race, even if Apple hasn't confirmed anything quite yet.

Personally, I'm not sure it matters. I can see a sound argument for both sides of the equation. Making an announcement before Apple means there's a chance to launch the device before Apple even gets around to unveiling something. (That's slim, usually, but it's at least possible.) In that regard, you can perhaps secure a purchase from someone looking to get a new phone (or upgrade) before there's a chance to get a new iPhone into their hands -- or seen on the Internet.

But, on the other hand, if you announce something *after* Apple, then you have a chance to up-stage the company with hardware, software, and a laundry list of new features. After all, Apple has already showcased iOS 6, so for the most part we know what to expect on the software side of things.

The results I found from Twitter basically said that it doesn't matter when these companies announce or launch something, because people have already made up their minds. Basically, it boils down to you being in the Apple camp or not. You've already made up your mind, so why does an announcement from another company matter?

This is an interesting point of view. Obviously there are fanboys out there, where this is obviously truth. There are Apple fans that will only buy Apple, and there are Android fans that will only buy Android. I know plenty of people who are Windows Phone converts, and they'll never go back. But, I just can't think that this is the case for the mass majority out there.

Marketing works. Announcements work. I truly believe this. If the marketing is done correctly, I believe that anyone willing to watch or listen can be swayed one way or another. It has nothing to do with being gullible, or anything like that. Good marketing makes something look good, to the point of where you want to buy it.

Apple commercials, for instance. (Not those weird Genius ones, though. No, definitely not those.) They sell devices. They do. At my local movie theatre, there's a Samsung Galaxy S III commercial that runs before the trailers. In it, a guy shows off the photo sharing capabilities from Galaxy S III to another Galaxy S III. It's a cool feature to show off, and the commercial does a good job of showing it working in real-time.

I've heard people talking about the feature, and then talking about the phone. That commercial worked. I have no idea if they went out and bought a Galaxy S III, but at least the commercial planted the seed.

I don't necessarily think it matters if a company announces or launches a new device before or after an Apple hardware unveiling. No, not because I think people already have their minds set, or because the iPhone will steamroll everything else. I just don't think it matters.

What matters is a good product and good marketing. If these companies put the effort into creating something fantastic, something that people would actually want, and then show *why* in a marketing blitz that puts the device in front of the eyes of potential buyers, then that will get the job done.

But what do you think, Dear Reader? Do you think marketing matters anymore? Or are people these days so absolutely convinced of what they already want that those commercials and ads don't matter? Let me know what you think.

Products mentioned