The World of Marketing: Quality and Viability


I should state for the record that I believe there to be immutable laws of marketing in the same way that there are immutable laws of storytelling. I know that W. Somerset Maugham said ‘There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are’ — but there happen to be certain underlying principles in fiction with which any story can be analysed and improved. These are outlined in my book How Stories Really Work.

And the same thing applies in marketing.

Essentially, cutting through all the waffle, the basic question confronted by any serious writer when it comes to marketing is the same question that confronts anyone who is producing a reasonable product and wants to sell it, and that question is this:

‘How can one get quality to add up to viability?’

You write a good story — or make a good pizza, or put together a good package of insurance, or build a good house — and you want to be able to make a living from what you do. So how can you turn your quality product into a viable amount of cash over a period of time?

One of the first and most crucial things to realise is that there is something missing from this question. Add that missing something in and you get a formula:

‘Quality plus quantity adds up to viability.’