Clients don’t care about how you’re “different,” the details of your products and services, or even how much expertise you have. Each of these cornerstones of conventional marketing figure much less prominently into the prospect’s decision to select your firm than you think.
Emotion plays a large, but under-appreciated role in vendor selection. Rather than leading the decision, logic often plays catch-up, rationalizing decisions already made.
Study after study shows client recommendations pack a mightier punch than your own marketing.
Most marketers think FUD—fear, uncertainty, and doubt—is a defensive tactic to scare customers away from a competitive option. It is, but marketers themselves become victims of the same dynamic when rapid change creates an environment where the old ways no longer work but the path forward isn’t clear.
(Pragmatic Marketer feature)
The critical role of the product manager is in the process of changing significantly, and both companies and product managers need to adapt. While product management is among the most critical roles in any company, it’s a role whose importance is underheralded in most organizations. The extent and nature of the changes to the role mean that those who fail to re-invent themselves—or don’t try—are likely to find themselves displaced.
(The Pricing Advisor / Professional Pricing Society)
An examination of how software companies often fail to understand how different customer groups value their products. This leads to firms offering both excessive price discounts and too many licensing vehicles. Companies can develop an integrated approach that targets the right pricing strategy and product offerings to different groups, in this case: “business professionals,” “aspirants,” and “general users.”
While loyalty creates strong emotional bonds, it is rationally based. To understand the drivers of loyalty, it’s helpful to consider how fostering loyalty serves the self-interest of your company and its customers.
With the the need to adapt to – or, better yet, leverage – fluid changes in customers, competitors and the overall market, it’s easy to see why so few companies hit it big. Success depends on making complex decisions.
Companies, especially CMOs, need to embrace customers as a powerful force to align the entire organization. The goal should be to build a better business able to thrive in a more competitive and service-oriented market.
Most corporate leaders have a “day job” focused on meetings and managing people and have a “second job” – when time permits – to think strategically about the business. Being able to reverse these roles is a powerful advantage for actually running the business and attracting and retaining talent. If your company sells a complex product or solution, successfully defining your mission with clarity and simplicity is a force multiplier of almost priceless value. With clarity of mission, even the rank and file in the organization can operate with remarkable autonomy and minimal office politics.
(Sales and Marketing Management)
Open-source has revolutionized how software is developed and sold, delivering more options, better reliability, and lower costs. Wikipedia offers solid evidence that the open-source model extends successfully to other types of efforts, as well, with some companies even seeing benefits in open-source hardware. The mainstreaming of two-way communications such as blogs, wikis, and social media is enabling the next open-source opportunity: management.
If a competitor made a concerted effort to come after your market, how would your customers react? What can you do to build the type of bonds that survive-or even thrive-in tough times? The Lifetime Value Opportunity Equation (LOVE model) provides an actionable framework for using consumer relationships to make your organization more competitive, efficient and innovative.
(Sprout Social Media Summit)
We need a new model if brands are going to better engage with consumers. This model needs to:
Help us understand the consumer – company relationship
Focus on interactions, not just transactions
Follow relationships as they evolve.
While failure for the high-tech entrepreneur is less likely to result in death, the parallels between the Gold Rush and the current Web-based economy are many. In both cases, participants must to adapt to a new way of life, with new rules. Or rather, no pre-existing, fixed rules.
Can your business grow in a down economy? Any business that helps customers do more with less should do very well; something to which the booming SaaS / on-demand software market can attest. But, unless you are in a hot growth market, the same-old, same-old will not produce results. And, if you are in a hot-growth market like enterprise SaaS solutions, doing the right things during a down market will act like a competitive force multiplier.
Despite public statements to the contrary, most of us know full well that more technology company business models are built around the technology than are built around customer relationships. The problem is that all technology either becomes obsolete or a commodity given enough time, meaning that centering your business model around a specific technology often leaves you one wrong move away from putting your very business survival at risk. Less thought about, but perhaps even more important is that technology-centric business models limit your offerings and growth potential, so they are associated with lower valuations over the long term.