The Entrepreneur’s Marketing Checklist

Closing the loop between entrepreneur and customer

Steve Jobs was one of the greatest conceptual thinkers—and creators—of all time. Lots of entrepreneurs can visualize a product or service and produce it.

IBM made computers. Bill Gates makes software. Steve Jobs closed the loop. He not only oversaw every aspect of the hardware and software, he got inside the head and under the skin of the users, thought what they thought, felt how they felt and literally became a user.

Jobs was what I call a “Method Marketer.”

As a result, Steve Jobs was a consummate marketer as well as an entrepreneur. For example, Jobs told Walt Mossberg that he was intimately involved in the design of the Apple retail stores right on down to approving “tiny details like the translucency of the glass and the color of the wood.”

Marketing Is NOT an Afterthought
The Internet crash of 2000 was caused by legions of entrepreneurs—high-tech wizards—who developed spectacular products and services, but had no idea how to monetize them. “This is a new medium and a new paradigm,” we geezers were told. “The old rules of marketing don’t apply. This is an era of new rules and we make ‘em.”

As a result, the dot-commers burned through billions of investors’ dollars. A number of people grew very, very rich cashing in on the bubble. Many more lost fortunes and many hotshot 20-somethings found themselves forced to move back in with their parents, becoming what’s known as the Boomerang Generation.

The Better Mousetrap Fallacy
I grew up with the old saw that if you build a better mousetrap the world will beat a path to your door.

At direct marketing conferences you’ll hear versions of the mousetrap dictum by presenters. “Tell, don’t sell,” was one of the popular mantras some years ago.

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

Related Content