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  • Writer's pictureDeJuan Wright

Why Your Startup's Product Marketing Isn't Resonating With Consumers

Updated: Feb 19

Zig Ziglar is a name that would probably go unrecognized by most people. But to entrepreneurs, salespeople, and especially those in the marketing industry—the late, Zig Ziglar, is a legend. After dropping out of college, Ziglar took a job as a salesman. However, he wasn’t just an ordinary salesman—Ziglar became a master at the art of getting people to buy whatever it was that he was selling.

The thing that made Zig such a special salesman—was his ability to sell to anyone. Regardless of a person’s background, age, or personality type, Zig knew exactly which words to use when speaking with them in order to close the sale.

Ziglar was such a great salesman, he was able to go on and become an author and motivational speaker; teaching business professionals how to close sales. For decades, people across America flocked to Ziglar’s speaking engagements with the same enthusiasm and fervor that JAY-Z fans have whenever they attend his concerts.

Unfortunately, like many of JAY–Z’s best bars, one of Zig’s most popular lines regarding sales has gone over the heads of many product marketers. And the message within that line just may very well be why your startup’s product marketing isn’t resonating with consumers.

Why your product marketing isn’t connecting

Of the many memorable lines that Zig Ziglar delivered throughout his storied career as an author and motivational speaker, by far, one of his most popular lines is his secret to having a successful sales career; “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

Sadly, when it comes to product marketing—most managers of startup brands fail to convey to their audience just how their products will help accomplish that last part of Zig's line—helping enough other people get what they want.

Which leads to a disconnect between consumers, brands, and the products they aspire to sell.

What your product marketing needs to resonate with consumers

As advertising icon, the late David Ogilvy, told writers at his advertising agency, “The consumer isn’t a moron; she is your wife. You insult her intelligence if you assume that a mere slogan and a few vapid adjectives will persuade her to buy anything. She wants all the information you can give her.”

Even with the prevalence of the internet and social media—today's consumer is the same as the consumer of Ogilvy's era; a simple slogan and a few attributes isn't enough to entice them to buy your products. They want all the information that you can give them. And that information ideally consists of—showing them just how your products will make their lives better.

In other words, in order for your product marketing tactics to truly be effective—you’ll need to convey an optimal outcome to consumers by way of your products.

How to convey an optimal outcome to consumers

As complex as human beings are, from a psychological standpoint; just about all of the decisions that we make simply come down to one thing—an optimal outcome for us. That optimal outcome could be: Survival, good health, finding love, popularity, receiving admiration, excitement, validation, companionship, security, etc.

The key to being able to convey an optimal outcome to consumers is knowing just what an optimal outcome is to them. That means understanding your audience well enough to know just what their problem truly is so that you can position your product as the only solution.

“Ask questions to identify the problem and lead the prospect to the decision. Find out what they need to solve their problem, and show them how they can solve their problem with your product.” Says Zig Ziglar in the revised version of his book, Secrets Of Closing The Sale.

For example, imagine that you owned a startup that sold women's designer jackets. An optimal outcome for your target customer wouldn’t consist of simply having a jacket that kept her warm. Therefore, emphasizing the functionality of your jackets in your marketing wouldn’t resonate with her.

Instead, you would yield much better results by conveying the optimal outcome for a woman that is interested in purchasing a designer jacket—which ultimately is receiving adulation from her peers.

By using copy and images in your product marketing that articulate just how your hip, trendy, and luxurious jackets will make your target customer the envy of her social circle (which is what she wants), you’ll be able to convey an optimal outcome for her that’ll help persuade her to purchase your jackets over all of the other options that she has.


When you really think about it, marketing is merely a mix of psychology and anthropology. And while both studies focus on human behavior, they both use the actions of those in the past to envisage actions that lie ahead.

Today’s consumer, like consumers of the past, and of those of the future—want to know what’s in it for them if they purchase your product. And if your marketing doesn't convey an optimal outcome for them if they buy your products, they'll look elsewhere.

So, if everything that you want in life revolves around your startup selling products, remember what Mr. Ziglar often said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”


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