Icelandic horse in the snow
Image via Wikipedia

Does Iceland  not know how to market or sell its products or services? Entrepreneur, investors and general public’s opinion on Marketing and Sales is “We don’t know how to Market or Sell”. I hear this all the time, had an interesting conversation with Managing Director of a Venture Fund in Iceland and the assessment was the same, their portfolio companies are great at product development but some of those companies don’t do marketing or sales very well. I volunteered to help and that is what prompted me to write this post. I don’t agree with the generalization, I think Icelanders and Icelandic companies do just fine in Marketing and Selling but then every company is different and I don’t like to generalize or stereotype the issue.

Fred wrote a very popular post last year on Marketing which created some serious debate in his community, he followed up with this post and called it a Bug Report. I would encourage all those who are reading this post and want to learn more about marketing in the new world to click on both the links above and read the entire post and the entire discussion. I think that one post and discussion should be a semester of teaching on Marketing for Entrepreneurs in an MBA class.
Here are some pearls from the post:

  1. Marketing is for product or service that suck (don’t really agree, it still needs to be discovered)
  2. Early in a startup, product decisions should be hunch driven. Later on, product decisions should be data driven
  3. Early in a startup you need to acquire your customers for free. Later on, you can spend on customer acquisition.
  4. Don’t be a google bitch
  5. Marketing is the name we use to describe the promises a company makes, the story it tells, the authentic way it delivers on that promise. (in comments by Seth Godin)
Read the post.

I have been advising and mentoring all entrepreneur I meet on how to position, market and sell their product or service and I am no expert on this or good at this to claim that I can help but with good discussion and being a sounding board I think I help and also learn a lot. I believe in the philosophy that if you want a great student change their role to be a teacher.

In addition, I watch and learn from the very best and that is power of this new world of Google, Twitter, Facebook, YouTubeetc, if you have the passion to learn and the commitment to devote the time, you can learn anything. What do you all think? Do Icelandic companies know how to market or sell?