There are two aspects to marketing:
1) The Mechanics. Things like knowing how to build a pay-per-click campaign or a web page; knowing how to write copy; knowing how to research a market; knowing a market itself.
2) Alchemy. It’s the creativity, the thing that makes customers’ heads turn in joyful surprise, the ability to conjure up compelling offers, to take undervalued and seemingly unrelated things and combine them together.
People who understood “the mechanics” gave the world MP3 players.
People who understood “Alchemy” gave the world the iPod and the iPhone.
Notice how those products skillfully blend hardware, software, user experience, and even completely new services like iTunes (where you can pay three bucks and instantly watch a movie on your PC) to create something that’s irresistible.
I recorded a video where I talk about two of my most successful promotions and where they actually came from. Both of these had that alchemy element which is why they worked so beautifully.
The video is here on my blog: