Posted in:

Once upon a time, there were two musicians, Carl and Mark. Both were outstandingly talented in the art of musicianship (actually, that's a lie. Carl was. Mark needed to do a lot more practising).

Both musicians had an idea for creating an album. Carl would create relaxational music, which would help easily distracted programmers to actually concentrate on what they were supposed to be doing, and get into "the zone".

Mark would take the songs written by his Scottish friend Hamish McHaggis (not his real name), record Hamish singing them, add instrumentation, and turn it into an album.

Carl spread the word immediately. He kickstarted a kickstarter campaign, blogged about it on his blog, and podded about it on his podcast.

Mark didn't tell anyone about his album.

Carl attracted almost 400 backers on kickstarter, raising $10,000 in advance for the production of his album.

No one even knew Mark was producing an album.

With 400 customers eagerly awaiting their album to be delivered, Carl got on with the recording process, and within a few months his album was launched.

Mark took 10 years to finally finish producing his songs. He hated the sound of some of them by the end of it.

Carl made his finished album available for sale online for $20. Mark also made his finished album available for sale online for the bargain price of $5.

Carl continued to promote his album on his blog and podcast, and many customers bought it.

Mark mentioned his album once on facebook and three people clicked "Like". He never mentioned it again.

No one ever bought a copy of Mark's album. Not even his mother. Or Hamish's mother. Probably because neither of them were on facebook. Or knew the album existed.

Now as you've probably guessed, this is a completely fictitious story. There are no real people called Carl or Mark. But this parable teaches us an important lesson. It is not enough to simply create a digital product, and assume people will buy it. If you don't have a plan for marketing your product, you won't sell anything.

Mark's failure to spread the word about his album was the sole reason it failed to sell any copies. It was nothing at all to do with his mediocre musical talents or his ineptitude at mixing. Because if no one visits your store, you won’t make any sales, no matter what the quality or the price of your merchandise is.