Business Strategy for Software Executives
May 1 , 2006
Time for Software Marketing to Grow Up
To improve ROI, software vendors must switch to sales-based – rather than product-based – marketing.
By Tom Hogan, Catapult Direct
Despite being in its thirties, high-tech marketing is still an industry in its adolescence. And like any adolescent, it’s unsure of where it wants to go but knows better than anyone else how to get there.
Part of the problem is the crowd that Marketing runs with. Marketing hangs out almost exclusively with “Product Guys” – not salespeople. Product Guys are like those guys who go on first dates and talk endlessly about themselves. Finally, as the evening wanes and the date is utterly bored, they smile engagingly and say, “But enough about me. Let’s talk about things I like to do…”
For these Product Guys, it’s all about “The Product” and its capabilities. On sales calls, when talking about The Product, they just can’t stop. “But enough about the features, let’s talk specs...”
The campaigns Marketing creates based on interactions with Product Guys and these bad, first date-style conversations are some of the most unoriginal and uninspiring in history. But this problem persists because the people picking up the marketing tabs are, by and large, technologists in love with their own technology. They and their Marketing departments share the belief that their products are so unique and meaningful that they don’t need to be marketed, just explained.
Wrong. If customers were ever inspired or motivated by the tech-speak IT marketers have force-fed them all these years, they aren’t anymore. Jaundiced by years of blue screens and having to kluge together their own “solutions,” buyers have discovered the hard way that the best technology doesn’t always carry the day, that pioneers don’t always make the best providers, and that “second to market” is often a strategic advantage rather than a badge of disgrace.
Why, Sanjay? Why?
After former CEO Sanjay Kumar pled guilty to leading a $2.2 billion accounting fraud at CA, Steve W. Martin looks at the facts in the case and offers reasons why such incidents of revenue fraud are inherent in the software business. Read his analysis in this week’s post to the SandHill.com Blog on Software Intrigue.
Rethinking Your Channel Strategy
As customers rethink the way they buy technology, major vendors such as IBM and Microsoft are rethinking the way they sell it via partner organizations. Allan Adler and Dylan Charles of Crimson Consulting Group say software vendors need to reexamine the deployment of their channel marketing resources in this week’s post to the new SandHill.com Blog, Best Practices: Channel Management.
Publish Your Perspectives!
The SandHill.com Blog wants your opinions. Send your thoughts on the enterprise software industry to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll publish them in our blog.
How Is Your Services Business Performing?
Measuring the performance of a services business is more difficult than it is to monitor manufacturing results – but it isn’t impossible. The McKinsey Quarterly examines what it takes to effectively analyze services productivity and improve performance in this week’s article from the journal.
Poll: Software’s Image Tarnished?
How will the former CA execs’ guilty pleas impact the reputation of the software industry with enterprise buyers?
Last week, SandHill.com readers gave their opinions as to whether China’s presidential visit to Microsoft will impact software piracy in China.
More at SandHill.com:
Oracle unveils its first on-demand CRM release.
CapeClear Software receives $15 million.
RSA Security buys PassMark Security.
Avvenu names Richard French as CEO.
Send us your feedback on this newsletter and the SandHill.com site.
“It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.”
Courtesy of Malcolm Kusher, The Kushner Group
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