Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Was It Good For You?

A magnificent interview by Guy Kawasaki has led to some tip-toeing and some outright complaint because it deals with the sex toy industry. That's plain crazy.

Many of the developments in internet technology were generated by the adult industry and the fact that Sandor Gardos's business is meeting previously unmet customer needs (puns are unavoidable in this subject) means that his words have huge value for all marketers. Not satisfied with just posting a comment (see what I mean about puns), I'm reproducing two questions and answers here. I hope that doesn't transgress blogging protocol but I think they're great answers deserving as wide an audience as possible. The first tells us pretty much all there is to say about an underlying business philosophy and the second shows how resistance to change on the part of mainstream businesses is so insane in these disruptive days.

Question: What can an ecommerce startup learn from your experiences selling sex toys online?

Answer: Find a niche that is currently under-served in the way you want to serve them. Then, continue to mine the data, listen to your customers, and keep creating ever more experiences that are *amazing* for them. Also, stop thinking that you are selling a product—that puts you into commoditization and the only thing you can compete on is price. You are selling a *solution* to a problem that your customer may not even know they had. Finally, forget about all the latest trends and gee-whiz technology; if it doesn’t really help the majority of your customers, it is worthless or worse.

Question: Have you considered a strategic alliance with Energizer or Duracell?

Answer: Funny you should ask. This is where we start to diverge from places like Amazon.com. We sell far more batteries than any manufacturer (not naming names that might start with an E or D) requires for a wholesale arrangement. But, every time they see our site, they tell us we can’t buy direct.


There is much much more where these came from. Go and read it all. You know you want to!

3 Comments:

Anonymous Ann Handley said...

John --

That was a great post, wasn't it? Thanks for flagging it. As you said, the adult industry has long been at the forefront online...so the interview is completely appropriate.

Actually, I just went back and read the comments. I'm surprised (gladly!) that Guy didn't attract more critics than he did. In the current climate, I'd expect he would.

8:42 PM, June 28, 2006  
Anonymous Ann Handley said...

p.s. But of course you *would* like...you deviant you!

: )

8:44 PM, June 28, 2006  
Blogger john dodds said...

Well Ann I lost one bloglines subscriber - coincidence perhaps. I'll never know.

12:32 PM, June 29, 2006  

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