Build It and They Will Come

Build It and They Will ComeThe opportunity and fallacy of “build it and they will come”.

Many businesses, startups, entrepreneurs and even VCs & board members assume their idea, product or service is so compelling that they simply need to build it and the throngs will arrive. They assume that a great product doesn’t need marketing.

I would agree that the best marketing possible is a great product, but there are several problems with the “build it and they will come” approach. A tree falling in the forest, without anybody around, doesn’t make the news. And if you’re on the cutting edge of technology or innovation, it’s highly likely your customers – even your early adopters – won’t immediately recognize the value you can provide.

They might need time. Or education. Or repetition before it sinks in.

Your product solves a problem, but it inherently is a solution. If your customers can’t recognize the connection between your solution and their problem, then you also have a problem.

That problem may be temporary. The more you educate, the more you drive awareness of the problem and the fact that there are now in fact solutions for it, the more you do the value translation for your prospects to raise inherent urgency to solve the problem, the better you are and the faster you can sell.

Of course, that’s not product. That’s marketing.

Great products are, themselves, the best marketing you can have. But sometimes those products, as well as the outcomes they represent, need a little push.


Join the global innovation community

Don’t miss an article (3,800+) – Subscribe to our RSS feed and join our Innovation Excellence group!

Matt HeinzMatt Heinz is principal at Heinz Marketing, a sales & marketing consulting firm helping businesses increase customers and revenue. Contact Matt at or visit

Matt Heinz




Four ways you can ensure employees take accountability for their work

By Hubert Day | April 5, 2023

One of the most important driving factors for any successful business is a high-performing team. Having people working for you…

Read More

What is digital upskilling and why is it important?

By Hubert Day | February 15, 2023

            Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash In a world of business that never stands…

Read More

No Comments

  1. Megan on April 22, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Working on marketing a B2B site right now. Creating awareness of the problem definitely hasn’t been easy, despite some early adopters that seem very interested.

  2. Edgard on July 12, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    I am experiencing right now the effects of making a good product but not focusing on marketing: I created an innovative website, in which I work a little every day, improving it constantly. However, due to the low marketing, it has a very small number of users.

    “Build it and they will come” is certainly a very bad way of doing business. Marketing is the most important part of a product. Just look at the products we have nowadays. Most of them are not great because of their own qualities, but because of the big marketing they have.

  3. Mort Vicar on October 2, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Yeah, you might expect the marketing department to say that. I mean, if nothing needed marketing, then where would we be? Maybe in a world where there were fewer useless, unnecessary products or websites floating around? A bit less mass-consumption perhaps? Adverts that actually told us about a product we needed, instead of trying to insinuate themselves into our subconscious? Thanks Matt for your insight into why we need more marketing, but maybe we don’t need any more at all.

Leave a Comment