Recently, I caught up with Market Samurai Co-Founder Ben Stickland.
During a casual discussion over Vegemite bagels, he introduced an expression that I couldn’t resist asking him to repeat for my iPhone, so that I could capture and share it with you, dear Anthillians.
He began talking about the importance of “marketing assets”, such as a Facebook fanbase, a Twitter following or, simply, a database of email addresses.
Here’s a little secret that successful business builders know intuitively (even if the words ‘marketing assets’ have never crossed their lips): An active audience of prospects, resellers, licensees and fans trump an awesome product or service.
His words reminded me of the strategy I used to ‘pre-promote’ Anthill Magazine, way back in 2003.
As you’re probably aware, Anthill was launched from the spare bedroom of my parent’s house with little more than a credit card. I didn’t have a big advertising or marketing budget. I had no track record or existing customers.
However, I did have one thing up my sleeve; a database of 1,200 email addresses, which I’d built over the previous 12 months through my own networks.
As a result, I was able to start selling subscriptions from the get-go. In fact, my first email to this database netted 150 paying customers before our first edition was even printed. I had discovered, quite accidentally, the power of a marketing asset.