Market-Driven? Cosa Significa?

Una Storiella* …

Un giorno un brillante ingegnere ed architetto del software, Paolo, lascio’ il suo lavoro per lavorare a tempo pieno sulla sua idea innovativa. Paolo creo’ un prodotto di cui ha profonda certezza che a molti interessasse.
Paolo aveva ragione.
L’azienda cresce, assume ex colleghi come VP di questo e di quello. L’azienda cresce ancora
Un giorno Luigi, VP of Sales disse: “ma noi siano Technology-Driven. Dovremmo essere Customer-Driven!”
La cosa suono’ bene,  e cosi’ si fece.
Eccetto che… per ogni nuovo cliente bisognava fare un progetto speciale e sviluppare/mettere in roadmap 10 nuove funzionalita’ richieste dallo stesso. La voce del’ultimo cliente dominava sempre il piano del prodotto. In altre parole: Customer-Driven = latest-customer-driven
“Ma no, cosi’ non va! urlarono in molti.
Un membro illuminato della proprieta’, Enrico,  tuono’: “Siamo diventati una Sales-Led company. Basta. Dobbiamo essere Marketing-Driven!”
Venne quindi deciso di assumere un Top Marketing Executive. Fu presa Amelie come VP of marketing. Ed ecco un nuovo scintillante logo, tradeshows con un booth impressionante,  eventi spettacolari con gran folla ed awards, brand impeccabile, grande raccolta di collateral, brochures, logo su ogni t-shirt etc.
Un anno e 3 mesi dopo…zero incremento nelle vendite. “Eh, il brand! Te lo do io il Brand” era la battuta ricorrente. [Niente da dire su Amelie ed il Brand. Le e’ stato chiesto l’impossibile. Lo vedrermo in un altro post, ndr]
Allora il CFO, che fino a quel momento era stato zitto, sussurro’ nell’orecchio del CEO: “non e’ ora che controlliamo un po’ i costi?”
Quindi l’azienda divento’ Cost-Driven
Vennero tagliati viaggi, cene premio, supporto, bonus etc.
E il marketing? Cosa fanno esattamente?” Chiese il CFO al CEO
Nessuno ebbe una buona risposta e quindi tagliarono tutto il team.
Alla fine il presidente e Paolo il fondatore dissero:
Siamo partiti engineering-driven
 Poi Customer-driven
  Poi Sales-Led
   Poi Marketing-Driven
    Poi Cost-Driven
Le abbiamo provate tutte!
… E’ ora di tornare Engineering-driven!
E cosi’ fecero …

Finche’ un giorno qualcuno disse:

Ma perche’ non diventiamo Market-Driven?

Cioe’ perche’ non ascoltiamo il mercato invece che solo noi stessi?

Questo e’ quello che Market-Driven significa:
  1. Definire soluzioni basate su quello che il mercato vuole acquistare perche’ tali soluzioni rispondono ad esigenze urgenti, pervasive e critiche. Sintonizzatevi sul mercato!
  2. Per Buyers (che hanno tali esigenze e potere di budget). Sintonizzatevi sui buyers.
  3. Non e’ essere guidati da cio’ che gia’ abbiamo in casa. Spegnete Radio Prodotto (almeno per un po’). Spegnete “Radio Meetings”
Le aziende di successo sanno che il marketing non e’ solo promozione e pubblicita’. I leaders di settore prima si focalizano su problemi irrisolti del mercato che possono essere risolti tramita la loro tecnologia (non partono dalla tecnologia!)
Questi leaders sono orgarizzati secondo un flusso entrante (inbound marketing) cioe’ capire problemi che il mercato ha e chi sono i buyers, e anche uscente (outboud marketing) che e’ la parte piu’ tradizionalmente vista come “marketing”che include sia su strategie di “go to market” e di comunicazione ma che verte su un modo di comunicare e vendere che risuona col buyer.
3 Errori classicissimi:
  1. Supporre che dipendenti e collaboratori interni conoscano meglio  dei buyers quello che i buyers stessi vogliono.
  2. Basare prodotti e servizi solo su quello che chiedono gli attuali clienti invece di andare fuori dall’ufficio a capire quali sono i problemi irrisolti che altre persone reali sono disposte a pagare per vedere risolti.
  3. Cercare di creare un bisogno nel mercato attraverso il reclutamento di un esercito di spietati venditori e di costose campagne pubblicitarie.

Uscite dall’ufficio e imparate a conoscere i vostri buyers ed i loro problemi e modellate il tutto tramite la chiave di tutto: Le Buyer Personas – ok questo richiede competenza e abilita’ particolari, ma ve lo posso insegnare io 🙂“…Ma non e’ facile staccarsi dal prodotto ed andare fuori ad ascoltare, intervistare, filtrare, sintetizzare, iterare. E poi chi lo fa?”

Market-Driven e’ la scelta piu’ pratica e funzionale per il successo di qualsiasi iniziativa che ha a che fare con un mercato
Modellare business, prodotti e soluzioni tramite Buyer and User Personas rende le cose semplici ed immediate.

Non c’e’ mica scelta! I ruoli che tipicamente hanno tale responsabilita’ sono Product Marketing e Product Management. Almeno nelle aziende ben organizzate.

Ma se non li avete non temete. Qualcuno sta gia’ facendo quello che avrebbero dovuto fare loro. La domanda e’: “Come?” oppure “Con che risultati?”.

*  Storia liberamente tratta da un articolo di Steve Johnson, Pragmaticmarketing.com

The Two Quotes

Quote #1

“The business and marketing functions of a startup should be considered as important as engineering and development, so they deserve an equally rigorous methodology to guide them”

Steve Blank(1)

Quote #2

“So why so many organizations hire expensive and highly qualified engineers for developing software and then invest in a few-hours, general marketing courses for their marketing/business people?”

Donato Mangialardo (2)

(1) Blank has spent over thirty years within the high technology industry. He has founded or worked within eight startup companies, four of which have gone public. Blank is recognized for developing the Customer Development methodology, which launched the Lean Startup movement. Blank teaches and writes about Customer Development and is a consulting associate professor of entrepreneurship at Stanford.He currently lectures at the Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley, Columbia University and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). @sgblank

(2) Donato Mangialardo is an unknown follower of Steve Blank. He helps  organizations to define, validate, build and market products for sustainable commercial success.  He has spent 10 years of his career in Silicon Valley where he learned how to learn. With focus on Product Marketing/Management. He is still learning a lot. He believes that there is nothing like “seeing the light in your customer’s eyes”. And he does see that from time to time. @donatomm

The end of Freemium: start with the customers, not your product

“The return to the roots of marketing — starting with customer needs, choosing the needs you want to serve and getting your fair share of the value created.” by @rags

Rags Srinivasan has written a very interesting article.

Let me quote the first few paragraph:

  • “We are now seeing the end of the freemium model — signing up users for free and trying to upsell,” said Christian Vanek, CEO of the Boulder-based SurveyGizmo, in a recent phone conversation.
  • “6.5 million unique users is not all that it’s cracked up to be. I don’t want hits. I want revenue. I want a real business,” said Matt Wensing, founder and CEO of Stormpulse, in an interview with Mixergy.
  • “Make a product people want to pay for,” said Marco Arment, founder of Instapaper, in a Planet Money interview.

Three easily available examples do not make indisputable evidence against freemium. Just like Dropbox, Evernote and RememberTheMilk do not make a case for freemium. But these three quotes reflect a return to the roots of marketing — starting with customer needs, choosing the needs you want to serve and getting your fair share of the value created.
Full article at http://bit.ly/QpLKiE

 

 

 

User-friendly tools for authors to build rich-media publications?

User-friendly tools for authors to build rich-media publications?

Does anyone know a way for authors (bloggers, content marketers, even magazine editors) to build rich-media digital publications without programming expertise?

Is there any tool that does cool digital publications like what WordPress does for me as a blogging marketing consultant?  I have no knowkedge of CSS, nor HTML5 and Javascript. Online reputation and awareneness are everything in my job. I find ebooks hard to read, especially the media rich ones. And I need infografics, interactive items (such as maps). Everybody does the free ebook stuff today. Ebooks are offline and disconnected from the social web. No social interaction with readers. No facebook likes.

I know I can go with a 3rd party building an app for me but I don’t have that budget.  And I can’t just committ to new app to be developed everytime I want to create my (wannabe super-cool) digital publications.

Besides, I hate to be “prisoner” of formats or app builders, and  I hate the fees I would owe the app stores like Apple & Android.

Am I asking too  much?
Does anobody share the same need?

The product is NOT the PRODUCT !

The product is NOT a great piece of software, or hardware for that matter.
Your product is actually the “Business Model”
“A business model describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers & captures value”.  Alexander Osterwalder
As an example, here are a few things that are worth considering in a Product Business:
  • What market problem do you solve?
  • For whom? What are the customer segments? (Buyer Personas)
  • Unique Value Proposition. What is the primary reason why buyers will buy your solution? Is it unique?
  • Solution (Usually, but mistakenly, referred to as “Product”): what ie the minimal feature set that can support (together with the other points) your value proposition?
  • How the solution will be purchased by buyers?
  • How to measure progress? What key activity do you plan to measure? Es. how subscribers respond to the solution over time, by using time based cohorts.
  • Cost structure
  • Pricing and Revenue model.  How do you make money?
  • Business Sustainability: how hard to emulate is your Unique Value Proposition? It can be a technology platform, a powerful established channel, a level of awarensss in a segment etc.
  • Customer retention and support strategy: once buyers become customers, how do you make them happy and loyal? How can you turn them into net promoters?

Anything  missing? Anyway, this is closer to “the Product”. Depending on business, there are main factors that describe how an organization creates, delivers & captures value.

Today’s BIG thing

It is great to see that most of the principles and the techniques I use to inspire and drive my customers’ businesses were “Just a crazy idea two years ago, but [they are ] now teached at Stanford, Berkeley, Columbia, Caltech, Princeton and for the National Science Foundation at the University of Michigan and Georgia” Tech” http://bit.ly/QS8551

Many, many thanks to the authors of the Next Startup Weekend http://bit.ly/QS7Ff1 for helping new businesses to suceed.  The other good news is that well established businesses can really take advantage of these principles and techniques. They match the problems I see everyday at my customers’. Even if the many things are still perceived as “crazy” in Italy today, things are changing rapidly. I do love my job.

A Market-Driven Manifesto for Product Teams

Indipendentemente dalla metodologia utilizzata per sviluppare prodotti, in particolare hi-tech ma non solo, vi sono dei fattori che non possono essere trascurati per un successo ripetibile del prodotto sul mercato.

Senza entrare nel merito di aree chiave come il management (vedi Management 3.0 di Jurgen Appelo @management30), ecco un manifesto che propongo per l’adesione ai principi di Market-Driven Business – approccio largamente trattato in altri articoli di questo blog.

Perchè scomodare la parola “manifesto”? Perche’ ricorda la nascita di “Agile”, con le dovute proporzioni e differenze. L’intento di questo manifesto e’ creare un esempio di dichiarazione comune di principi, approcci ed intenti ai quali un team intende aderire perche’ ne conosce l’importanza e l’efficacia. Ovviamente deriva dall’ esperienza reale maturata lavorando con teams di prodotto. Qui viene proposto come elemento di discussione, più che di “pubblicazione di un vero manifesto”

A Market-Driven Manifesto for Product Development

Abbiamo valutato e condiviso un approccio e delle metodologie a cui intendiamo aderire in ogni nostra attivita’.
Ascoltare il mercato ed il cliente è una condizione necessaria per il successo di qualsiasi progetto.
Ogni nostra azione è volta alla creazione di valore per il cliente.
Per cui:

  • Non produciamo software senza Requisiti.
  • Non produciamo Requisiti senza Contesto di Business.
  • I Requisiti sono sempre descritti dal punto di vista della “User Persona” e includono sempre il Valore, il Beneficio per il Business:

===

As a (Persona) …I need to ….so that…..(why important, Value)
Acceptance criteria
Priority

===

  • Abbiamo deciso di adottare il metodo dei Requisiti “Diamante” perchè ci permettono di legare il Business con le Specifiche Funzionali:
  • Includono criteri di accettazione, da cui inferire se il requisito è stato soddisfatto.
  • I criteri di accettazione sono sempre nella forma dei Requisiti sopracitata
  • La “User Persona” e le Priorita’ sono derivate dall’interazione costante col cliente, diretta e indiretta.
  • Sappiamo che alcuni requisiti possono cambiare ed è nostro dovere adattarsi.
  • La condivisione di mockups e prototipi  col cliente è il nostro metodo preferito di progettazione e validazione.
  • I dettagli emergono da frequenti interazioni col cliente e dalla profilazione dello User Persona
  • Risolvono un problema end-to-end

===

  • Ascoltiamo sempre il cliente, ma riconosciamo che spesso non sa cosa vuole o che problema ha.
  • È nostro dovere capire il problema che vuole risolvere per poter creare la migliore soluzione ad esso (per cui chiediamo 5 volte “perchè”).
  • Conosciamo la differenza tra “requisiti” e “richieste del cliente” e conosciamo il valore, per un prodotto,  di trovare la soluzione ad un problema pervasivo, invece quello di fare esattamente quello che ci chiede il cliente.

===

  • Ogni meeting inizia con una lista di obiettivi e si conclude con risposte e/o tasks specifici.
  • Anteponiamo sempre meetings in presenza o via voce a discussioni via email.
  • Conduciamo uno standup meeting giornaliero per allinearci e vedere se ci sono elementi bloccanti

Proponenti: (lista)

===

Ora, molti si chiederanno il significato o la definizione di vari termini come “User Persona”, “Diamanti”, tipo di “Requisiti”, etc, e varie domande come “ma chi ce li da ‘sti requisiti? Noi dobbiamo andare avanto col prodotto, non possiamo perdere tempo” oppure “ma chi ci da il contesto di business” etc., etc.

Ma prima di porvi queste domande, provate a vedere se la vostra organizzazione segue questi principi generali. E se avete domande, sono qui per rispondere!

Articoli correlati:

What I hear often in product companies

Here is what I often hear in product companies. Guess which is the most common one?

  1. I want the confidence that my product goes where we want it to go. I don’have it today.
  2. The product does not sell! What’s wrong? How to fix that?
  3. The product sells but not enough in this segment
  4. Going up (or down)market: what the product should be like? How much it will cost me?
  5. Going global: what the product should be like? How much it will cost me?
  6. Need guidance for the next generation of products. We have a new vision to achieve. We need help
  7. How do I make sure that what we are building is right? We have invested a lot!
  8. Is there a way to tell whether my requirements will deliver against the expected product?
  9. Is there a solid, simple way that is able to tell my company “you are following the right direction” (or  at least the one you have decided to set)
  10. How to build roadmaps that serve business goals? (vs. good-looking, time-consuming slideware with unrealistic, wishful milestones ?)
  11. Marketing people produce tons of sales tools, brochures and presentations. But my sales people say “they are useless” and don’t use them. What’s wrong?
  12. I want that my sales people sell what we must sell, not what it is easiest for them to sell, and I need marketing to support that.
  13. There are a lot of ideas, inputs from sales and pressures from individuals about “top, critical priorities”. Or… “we won’t sell without this or that”. I want to make sure we do the right product for the business. I want clarity.
  14. We spend a lot of time debating features with development. Often it sounds like a war between opinions and I am not able to help much. I want to make sure we have someone driving our offering for measurable benefits for my business. I do not want fights!
  15. We spend way too much energy toward several directions without getting the expected results, our competition is killing us. Time for change. but.. change what? Where do I start from?
  16. Every decision we make is an ordeal. Not to mention fights, politics and internal wars.  I want my line managers to be more aligned, efficient, with clear, shared goals in mind (the same ones).  A sort of “autofocus” mechanism that points to my business’ priorities
  17. I need a methodology that allows me to make informed, intelligent decisions that do not take into account personal agendas and internal politics

What are the ones that are more familiar to YOU?

Improving customer experience – RIGHT!

Today I was chatting over Skype with my wife Sabrina. I don’t chat often on IM but – hey –  it was my birthday after all.

All of a sudden a large, almost full-screen menu opens interrupting my chat. It’s skype telling me that it’s going to shat down the chat to perform a software upgrade.

I hit “NOT NOW” or so.

I restart the conversation (which at that point involved discussions over my desired presents, like fishing tackle, gizmos etc).

After a few seconds the monster menu opens again with a scary countdown bar

I hit the “NO” button again

I chat for a few secs

The menu appears again with a countdown

I hit “NO”

The menu appears again with a countdown

I hit “NO”

Skype closes and starts upgrading.

And it says ” we are improving your customer experience, it will take only a few minutes”

RIGHT!

 

Lean, Agile, Nimble and ready to rock. Or to fail? Part1

READY TO ROCK

Our business is creating software products. We know that “Value” means “providing Benefits to the customers”.

By Product we simply intend “any source of value for customers”.

Now, we are at a time where everybody here at tecnotec13897 is extremely excited for the following reasons

  • We got a new, great idea, a vision for a new product that we believe it will be a groundbreaking innovation
  • We are proud of what we plan to release to the world. It will improve many things
  • We have got a solid strategy in place
  • Our team is composed of very smart people who work very well together in a self-directed manner
  • We are thankful for being able to count on an inspiring, principle-centered, strong management team
  • We know that success depends on the ability to learn how to make repeatable what we have done so far
  • We have put great infrastructure in place to open the road for scaling up when it’s time
  • We have a robust yet very feasible and crystal-clear business plan that has been happily signed off by all stakeholders
  • We have a very well working and well-managed Agile methodology in place, since 2003 and we are now using Lean Agile

We have built our product.

We have tweaked it, fixed some issues, added a few features and shipped again

The conclusion we have to draw is always the same

Our intended customers don’t like our product

They simply won’t buy it

– o –

Using Eric Ries’ words,

we have

successfully

faithfully

rigorously

executed a plan to achieve failure

WHY?

Because we did not know what our customers wanted

Or, worse, what they actually needed

We did not know who our customers were supposed to be

How are they rewarded in their job, what’s their environment like. What are their top-of-mind issues.

What problem they have. How critical that is. How urgent is for them to solve it. How pervasive is that problem in the market of customers we intended to sell our product into

How are they rewarded in their job, what’s their environment like. What are their top of mind issues. What problem they have. How critical that is. How urgent is for them to solve it. How pervasive is that problem in the market of customers we intended to sell our product into

We did not know about them. What they love, what they hate, what is a perfect day for them, what they are afraid of.

We did not know how they buy, when they research what, how do they get the information they seek about the problems they want to solve

Instead of focusing to the landing field, we were piloting a plane focusing to ourselves or to other non-landing related targets.

Have you ever been there? Please share your story

This will be the topic of my talk at Better Software 2012

http://www.bettersoftware.it/2012/programma

 

Success?

Your organization builds products.

A product is, simply stated, any source of value for your customers. It can be a service, a phone, a candy, a Cloud Platform for B2B apps.

Value means providing benefits to your customers

Your organization has the following :

A new great idea, a vision for a new Product
A solid strategy in place
Ridicolously smart people
An inspiring, principle-centered, strong management team
A great infrastructure in place
An hard-working, dedicated team
A robust yet very feasible plan
A very welll working and well managed Agile methodology, since 2003

Then you ship the product.

Your customers don’t like it. They don’t buy it.

Outcome:

Your dream organization  has been successfully, faithfully rigorously executing a plan to achieve failure (Eric Reis, The Lean Startup)

This is why I spend every day of my week helping organizations to make sure they know their customers, their buyers, the problems they have and that we can help with our current and future products.

Changing things for the Better

Despite what our leaders say [….] studies show that our organizationsd are much less productive that they once were ang going out of business faster and faster

  • Jurgen Appelo, How to change the World
  • Stephen Denning, author of “The Leader’s guide to Radical Management”

The same authors say that what was working 20 years ago no longer works today, including the way you changing things. I see two areas in today’s business where a big change is needed. Why is needed? For better results and happier workers.

1. The way we build solutions to problems (e.g. Products, Services)

  • As an example, the Agile Manifesto/Movement has made a huge impact in the world of software development in just a few years. Jurgen Appelo is changing the way managers influence their organizations.

2. The way we build and market solutions to problems  (e.g. Telling our Buyers how good our products are)

  • As an example, the “world’s most popular product management and marketing training company”, pragmaticmarketing.com and virtually every single marketing leader say that it is the market, the buyers that drive winning products, not a bunch of smart people in a meeting room, regardless of how smart they are (if you think of Steve Jobs here, that allegedly “did not do market research” remember that he knew his buyers like nobody one else including the buyers themselves)

These two areas need change. As for the first one, I recommend reading the small book mentioned above, “how to change the world”. It’s 1.5 Euros on Lulu.  It is only a starter of course. Nobody things any book can do any change. People do. Inspired and motivated people do. So this book helps you to start the right tway.

As for the second one, no secret recipe here either. It’s hard. It’s complicate. The shift from telling/pushing products  to listening to buyer’s problems, adapting to their purchase habits, and modeling a complex reality with a few but very helpful models and methodologies (along the lines of the market-driven approach, the Buyer Personas profiling) is a hard and complex task.

Of course they are complex. It is the way you deal with complexity that makes a difference!

See http://www.slideshare.net/jurgenappelo/complexity-thinking

If you don’t aknowledge complexity (and the ways to deal with it) and  use shortcuts instead (such as solely listening to what your salespeople or vocal customers say) then the risk of failures increases. It is under your control really. Why shouldn’t you build a repeatable way to do business that brings the results you want? Stop for a moment and think about it.

 

Related articles:

Vision, Strategy and Bad Strategy: 5 tips

Too many organizational leaders say they have a strategy when they do not. Instead, they espouse what I call “bad strategy.” Bad strategy ignores the power of choice and focus, trying instead to accommodate a multitude of conflicting demands and interests. Like a quarterback whose only advice to his teammates is “let’s win,” bad strategy covers up its failure to guide by embracing the language of broad goals, ambition, vision, and values. Each of these elements is, of course, an important part of human life. But, by themselves, they are not substitutes for the hard work of strategy.

Richard Rumel, McKinsey Quarterly, The perils of bad strategy

Common Dilemmas around Vision and Strategy

Carla the CEO says: “I know I need a vision but I can’t seem to understand what a vision actually is.”

“I have read a lot of terms like mission, purpose, values, strategic intent, but no one has never given me a satisfactory, clear explanation of what a vision is and what actionable directions it gives me” adds Josh the VP od Sales

On the other hand, Gina, the marketing communication specialist, knows very well what her company vision is. “It’s on my cubicle wall. But how does it actually guide my work?” she says puzzled.

The very assertive Frank the CEO complains: “I do have a Great Vision, but they don’t get it. I’ve given them a memo with all the details. What’s wrong with them?”

Alvin, the sales engineer who travels all week-long, goes: “What? Vision? Again with that BS? You had another of those fancy marketing books for breakfast this morning, didn’t you?  Leave me alone, please. I’ve got work to do, at least I do!”

Vision and Strategy at work

What is a “vision” then?

It is a destination. A desirable business end-state for an organization. It’s about knowing where you want to go. And, where you don’t want to go.

It’s NOT what you want to “do”.

It’s not the “how

It’s the “where

And,  what’s a Strategy then?

It’s the path to get to that destination. How you will get there.

In other words:

  • Strategy: Sounds great! But… to go where? …“I have a map but I don’t know where to go”
  • Vision: We have one! But… how do we get there?   …”I know my destination, now I need a map!”

“If a company does not have a vision of where it wants to go, then any product strategy is likely to take it somewhere. But will they be happy with somewhere when it gets there?”

Michael McGrath

“I can always plan to operate in full market-driven mode, tuning my offering for an army of buyers that want my product or service, using the latest social media and content marketing strategies. But, how can I do that without a Company Vision and a Strategy that oversees the business and guides me there?”

Donato Mangialardo, Director of Product Strategy

5 Tips – Using Vision and Strategy for guiding everything you do

Tip#1 – You need to have both. They need to be fully aligned to provide guidance and focus. As a Top Manager, you want to make sure they are always, consistently aligned.

Tip#2 – The Vision must be extremely clear. It needs to provide focus. What is in scope, what is NOT. What is success like. Ambiguity brings individual interpretations.

Tip#3 – Strategy means what do we intend to do in order to achieve the goals expressed by the Vision. What should we NOT do.  Again, conciseness  and clarity are  a must. Everybody needs to remember it and apply it.

Tip #4 – Establish a Strategy by looking at your distinctive competences, but also acknowledge the challenges your organization faces, including inconvenient truths. Provide an approach to overcoming them.

Tip #5 – Put together Vision, Strategy and Why your organization believes it can be successful in a coherent, 3-sections statement that fits in a page.  It is a difficult exercise, but it works like a charm if well done.

(I see these more as Rules than Tips actually)

Conclusion: Align your business and your teams to understand what is and how to reach your business destination, the Vision you have set for your organization.  What’s the Strategy. This will provide focus, facilitating decisions and avoiding debates of opinions. As a byproduct, it will increase motivation and engagement in your teams.

Then, if you ask yourself …

  • “Right, but… do we have an actionable vision?”
  • “How do we get there?”
  • “Do we have a clear strategy?”
  • “Will we be able to follow that strategy?
  • “What changes will be required?”
  • “Is my company ready?”
  • “How do I know if I have set the right Vision and the right Strategy for my business?”
  • “How do I actually align them?”
  • “How do I know whether I have factored-in all the variables?”

…Then (note, this is a Self-Promoting paragraph) you want to consider investing in this  effective exercise that will direct your business to repeatable wins and eventually success.This is one of the things I like to do the most in my profession at crystal-ize.com, with a solid, proven methodology drawn from a specific experience in International, US-based and Italian companies of various business models and size.

I am sure you may have questions: please leave your comment. I will surely reply and assist your cause.

Did you know there’s a secret to selling software products ?

How software engineering and software sales talk to each other?

Did you know there’s a secret to selling software[products] ? A secret that is all too often overlooked?

Interestingly that dialogue between sales and software engineering doesn’t work very well if it is attempted directly.  The worlds of software engineering and sales are too far apart to bridge face-to-face.  But there is a catalyst that will support dialogue between software engineering and sales.

That catalyst between engineering and sales is an activity called “product marketing” and the output of that activity is “productization”.  To specialize in product marketing can be considered an occupation in itself.  Little heralded beside its better known full marketing departments of traditional B2C, or the flavour-of-the-day social marketing mavens, product marketing is about the structured and disciplined definition of exactly what an organization will sell.

Read the full article by @JohnHMorris at http://www.standupsales.com/content/product-marketing-creates-value-and-bridges-gap-between-sales-engineering

This applies to any product or service. It is about alignement and connecting with buyers. If you ignore it, you will likely experience one of the most common problems organization run into when attempting to market and sell their product, such as:

  • I do know we have a great product. Why it’s not selling?
  • We are heavily investing in this product but …will it succeed?
  • Is this the right solution for this market?
  • We have a great idea. We want to make sure we do everything right, avoiding any risk of failure, to go to market successfully. How to ensure that?

What’s your story? Share it with us.

 

 

Please share your story about product marketing.

When technology stinks

How to transform something that required one step into a 12-steps procedure that also requires an expensive device, good skills, time and patience.

This afternoon I was doing some market research. I run into a website with the following functionality on their homepage:


The goal of the designer was to get your email address to send you newsletters. Something that is there since, probably, 15 years or more. Something that required one and one only thing: typing an email address.

But look what technology and trends bring to you today.

To achieve the same result you now need to:

  1. Have a smartphone, most likely a very smart one and expensive one like an iphone
  2. Have an application that performs scans
  3. If you don’t have one you have to search for it, buy it, download, install etc
  4. Launch the app
  5. Choose “Scan”
  6. Try to get the image well focused
  7. When the image gets scanned, if everything works right, you will get a popup in your smartphone with an URL, with the question: “go to this URL” Yes or No
  8. Hit “Yes” (Oh, I didn’t BTW, I was tired of it already at this point)
  9. A webpage opens …
  10. Great!! You now can finally type in your email address!
  11. Except that you need to zoom and pan to do it, on a micro keyboard
  12. You now have to prove that you are not a robot by zooming, panning and typing in a micro keyboard some senseless combination of illegible characters.

I gave up even if I was interested in the newsletter, I work with technology since I started working and I am a proud owner of an iphone 4s.

Nothing stinks like technology used to make life more complicated for people.

Il marketing e’ cambiato (2 di n)

Proseguendo il discorso iniziato nel post precedente:

il marketing e’ cambiato (1 di n)

Ecco un interessante articolo scritto da una fonte molto autorevole che seguo costantemente e che raccomando a chiunque si trovi in una posizione di forte dissonanza tra chi vende o spara messaggi a ripetizione e chi ha un problema da risolvere, cerca una soluzione ma trova sempre e solo gente interessata a vendere, invece di cercare di adattarsi al processo di acquisto che un imprenditore, un buyer in generale,  puo’ avere e deve avere.

http://www.revenuejournal.com/blog/why-do-buyers-agonize-because-sellers-lie-and-minimize

Autore: @KristinZhivago