A Tale of Two Cities.

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Demand generation is the key to marketing.  Say what you will about branding, design, user experience, promotion, engagement, flah, flah, flah..if you can consistently create demand for your product or service, you’ve done your job.

Target created demand for its new Missoni line of low-cost clothing and other things (patio furniture, vases, etc.),getting it right from the get-go.  The products were superb, the promotional mix perfect, the price come hither, but the place – the web – was a disaster.  Like www.pearljam.com during a presale, the Target website went down faster than a Sears radial. Target generated demand but not only didn’t deliver online, they pissed off lots of loyal customers.  They also took a number of first-time Luddite customers and taught them the web is no place for commerce. Black eyes all around. (Nice move letting Amazon hosting services go 3 weeks before sales day.)

In Anaheim, CA yesterday at the Microsoft Build Conference Windows 8 was unveiled during a live and web broadcasted demo. It is a game-changing new operating system. (The product should be called “Tiles” not Windows because it slides and shimmies across the screen but that’s a story for a different post.) It will have mad impact on sales when released but the demo was only 90% there. As is the case with live demos and Microsoft products in “pre-release,” there were a couple of moments of machine freeze.  With 12 back-up machines for quick cut-overs (good boy scouts) there were no real long pauses.  That said, the demo would have better had there been no hiccups at all.

The two cities referred to in the headline are marketing (demand creation) and technology (delivery).  It’s a rarity when marketing hits on all cylinders, but when it does, the tech has to be ready. Tis a far, far greater thing I do… Peace!