One of the toughest things any small company has to do is to market itself. As much as we’d like to believe “If you build it, they will come,” the hard reality is that people don’t come unless you tell them that you built it.
Often you have to be clever with your marketing, even if you’re a big company. A while ago Google showed off Google Maps which shows locations to the user from satellite photographs. Well, Microsoft (through MSN) was working on a similar application and launched later than Google. Google got a lot of the press coverage and most people wrote off MSN’s maps as a copycat application.
What did Microsoft do to get some press for their map application? They wiped Apple off the Earth. Of course people are going to notice the “snub” and they are going to talk about it. Slashdot covered it, and I even saw a story in a local (Silicon Valley) newspaper talking about it. They got a lot of free publicity just by using older photographs in one area. People will want to look at a screenshot of this and it gets people to take a look at the features they have to offer.
This is the type of thing you have to consider when you’re marketing your product. You have to gain attention and get people to take a look at you and your product. I’m sure a lot more people are aware of MSN maps now because this story got a lot of coverage.