I would argue that these two should have a big wedding and become permanently attached to one another, entrepreneurship and marketing that is. They are meant for each other. When I attended the University of Illinois at Chicago my primary goal and focus never changed, I wanted to be an entrepreneur, and that’s exactly what I’ve become (though like most entrepreneurs my success will come with many failures first) but not without an endearing relationship with marketing. I truly discovered marketing during my Junior year at UIC, it was then that I realized these two need each other, entrepreneurship REALLY needs marketing. Without it, a great idea is just that, a great idea and nothing more.
Now I’ve been in graduate school trying to expand my knowledge of marketing through DePaul’s Public Relations and Advertising program. Today we were presented to about a startup company, known as Pocket Literacy Coach, by the CEO Dr. Drew. The point of this presentation was for him to describe his company, what it does, and what it is they are essentially looking for from us. During this presentation and the q&a that followed, it hit me that too many great ideas never come full circle, not because the idea is half baked, but because their marketing strategy hasn’t spent any time in the oven.
Dr. Drew is a brilliant man and has come up with a great service that will bring children and their parent’s interaction and development to a whole new level if implemented properly. Dr. Drew has an incredible service that parents can sign up for at a very low monthly cost. In return for the small fee, parents of young children (ages 2-6) will be sent text messages daily that will provide ideas, activities, and lessons that can help develop the child’s literacy. The program is designed to be an extension of standard education programs and not as a replacement. Without going into too much detail they have essentially developed a way to keep parents properly engaged with their children while developing vital skills that are sometimes overlooked, especially in today’s world.
So Dr. Drew has this great service, the ability to bring great lessons and even reminders to parents, which can help educate not only the child but also the parent. The kids learn the skills they need to grow and develop in the world and the parents learn how to be better parents and even more so how to be better teachers. Seems like something everyone with a young child should want to join and become a part of right? Who wouldn’t want their job of being a parent made a little simpler? I think it’s safe to say in this busy world people will take all the help they can get especially when it comes to doing the most difficult job in the world, raising a child. Sadly after the q&a it became blindingly clear what our purpose as a class was…we have to be his marketing, we have to develop something to get his company truly started because as of now its basically a half baked idea that very few know about.
Pocket Literacy coach is a brilliant idea developed very deeply but even with all the development into how it works and what happens in the background it has no development in terms of how to market it. They know who they wanted their original target market to be, but that soon changed when they realized people in that market couldn’t afford this type of service. With the shift in target markets they seem to have a little more direction but is it enough? To be short no its not. They need a plan and they need to execute it. Entrepreneurship is only as good as the marketing that helps bring the idea to the masses. This idea is brilliant but as it stands they have nothing out there that is really going to make them known. Their Facebook page has around 200 fans and their twitter account has a mere 40 something followers. Two of the most useful marketing tools ever to grace the world of advertising and public relations and they are not even trying to promote themselves in the slightest through these no-brainer outlets. Thankfully we will be working on developing an integrated marketing campaign for this service, these are the ideas that should be well known and adopted quickly.
I’m excited to see where this small startup will be this time next year. I think it has the potential to go far, it just needs the proper strategy.
So with that said what do you think, how important is marketing to entrepreneurship? Is marketing the key to fully baking an entrepreneurial idea? Leave your thoughts in the comments.