Old school marketing has the model where you make the big splash. You know what I"m talking about.
Objectives: Awareness and drive traffic to www.whateveriwantpeopletouse.com
Sounds like a good idea. If we were selling chocolate bars.
But unfortunately for the new search engine supposed Google killer Cuil, they weren't.
Truth be told, digital consumers are in Peter's words "technology empowered schizophrenic kids in a self serve candy store. The customers from hell!"
It's not that we don't want you to succeed, because I would say all of us want to find new products that solve old problems in new ways. But...our expectations are high and our loyalties are fickle. So when you tell us you are bigger, more relevant and more comprehensive than any other search engine on the Web, we expect you do be. And when you do it with the big bang PR blitz and get every tech blogger on the planet writing about you, our expectations are that much higher (Atta way to under promise and over deliver).
And if you aren't all those things you've promised? Well, then you just appear as if you suck, and suck worse than you probably even do. And Cuil, i have to say, your search results for Leigh Himel sucked. Unlike Google that has my linkedin page, friendfeed, disqus profile, flikcr account, you had secondary posts from other people's blogs that included at least two posts that had me looking like a dude with glasses (no offense intended to the dude with glasses).
What does this all tell us? Go big or go home is yesterday's marketing strategy. Just because they find out your there AND they come, doesn't mean anything good is going to come from it.
Remember, meaning marketing isn't a sprint, it's a marathon.
Soft launching, getting a groundswell, finding a passionate community that wants to help you build your product and eventually tell two friends, may mean slow and steady but that's ok, cuz we all know how that story ended.
Photo credit: Wikemedia Commons Tortoise & The Hare