Category Archives: Case Studies

Think Like a Martian

The value of a fresh perspective

All of the recent news around the NASA’s New Horizons mission and Pluto has me thinking of… Martians.

think-like-a-martianLet me explain.

How would you approach a solution marketing problem if you were a Martian, complete with a fresh perspective and unencumbered with what earthlings already knew?

A fresh perspective

The father of Nobel physicist Richard Feynman (1918-1988) employed this mode of thinking with his son, asking, “Supposing we were Martians, and we came down from Mars to this Earth, and we would look at it from the outside.”  In other words, Feynman was encouraged to consider ”a way of looking at something anew, as if you were seeing it for the first time.”

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Filed under Case Studies, Messaging, Software marketing, Solution Marketing, Solution Marketing Community, The Solution Marketing Blog

How Apple Creates a Future that Sells

AplWatch-HomeScreen-PR-PRINT_2Today Apple announced additional details of AppleWatch as well as a new, slimmer (!) MacBook line at a media event in San Francisco.  Apple is an iconic company and their innovation can provide helpful lessons, many of which apply to solution marketers. Which takes me to the AppleWatch: Needing to be tethered to a iPhone via WiFi, and carrying a not-insignificant price for an optional gizmo, it’s not clear how well this new product will perform I the market.  But if anyone can make a go of it, Apple can.  Here’s why. Continue reading

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Solution Marketing @ The Boston Startup School

By Steve Robins

Solution Marketing for Startups

A few weeks back, I had the opportunity to teach a one-day solution marketing class at the Boston Startup School, located in the Harvard Innovation Lab.

Learn to Do

If you have the opportunity to teach, learn, network or otherwise participate with Boston Startup School, jump on it!  Run by startup incubator TechStars, the new program helps “young professionals to learn the skills needed to have an immediate and positive impact on the startup they join.”  Wondering what’s on their minds?  Check out the new blog by the sales and marketing classes, www.GrowthNinja.com, which states that…

 You don’t have to start a company to be an entrepreneur.  Entrepreneurship is a mindset.  It’s a healthy discontent with the status quo that brings together teams dedicated to making the world a better place.  Entrepreneurs include all members of a startup team, from the CEO to the summer intern.

…and I couldn’t agree more. Continue reading

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Where’s the Customer at Sony?

It’s time to think outside the box.  Or the division.  Or the hardware.  Or the…

Sony - SolutionMarketingBlog.comIn order to offer complete solutions, companies need to come together around a shared vision of the customer, their challenges, and ways that the company can help.  Companies like Sony and AOL Time Warner have been hindered by competing divisions often focused on divisional goals at the expense of the company.  By contrast, Apple unified around a common vision of the customer, and a view of a complete solution spanning hardware, software and content.

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Beyond Products: Solution Marketing

By Steve Robins

February 16 Presentation to the BPMA

 

TBPMAhanks to everyone who attended Thursday’s presentation at the Boston Product Management Association, Beyond Products: Solution Marketing.  You helped to make it one of the best discussions I’ve ever led on solution marketing.

You can find the Beyond Products: Solution Marketing presentation slides as well as the Solution Marketing Framework, along with other solution marketing content on Slideshare.

          
I hope you’ll continue the discussion in a variety of ways:

  • Before you do anything else, make sure to join the Solution Marketing Pros group on LinkedIn where you can share your successes and get help with your challenges from other solution marketers.  The group includes folks from leading companies around the world including…

    Acronis, Adobe, ADP, Akamai, Amazon, Ariba, Aspen Technology, Autonomy (HP), Box, Cisco, CSC, Dell, Eloqua, EMC, Endeca, Epicor, FirstBest, Gartner, HCL, Hitachi, Honeywell, H-P, IBM, Informatica, Iron Mountain, KANA Software, Kronos, Level 3 Communications, Lionbridge, McAfee, Microsoft, Misys, Motorola, NetApp, Nortel, Nuance, Oracle, Orange, Pegasystems, Pitney Bowes, Progress Software, Red Hat, Salesforce.com, SAP, Sapient, Seagate Technology, Siemens, SONY, SunGard, Symantec, Tata, TELUS,  TIBCO, Time Warner Cable, Tripwire, Verizon, Vertex, Wipro

  • Follow my Twitter stream for the latest solution marketing news.
  • Check out additional articles on The Solution Marketing Blog – and be sure to comment!
  • Come back for next month’s solution pricing presentation by Jim Geisman
  • Contact me if you have additional questions, s.robins [at] SolutionMKT [dot] com

Special thanks to the great folks at BPMA for organizing this event.

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The Value of Value

By Steve Robins

Value is Key to Solution Marketing

You might think that the most important aspect of marketing a solution would be what goes into it.  What goes into a solution are just a bunch of pieces, products, or components.  But value is about the benefit and cost of those components to the user or buyer.

Value is equal to the difference between perceived benefit and total cost

More specifically, value is equal to the difference between (1) the benefit as perceived by the user and (2) the total cost of the solution.  By perception I mean that the user or buyer must appreciate and want the resulting benefit.  In fact, if they don’t perceive it as a benefit to them, it’s not a benefit but is instead just a useless feature.

Value is interesting in many ways, some of which are counterintuitive and not so obvious.  Following are a few important examples – both obvious and not so obvious. Continue reading

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Filed under Case Studies, Solution Marketing, Solution Marketing Strategy, The Solution Marketing Blog, Value, Value

Anticipation

By Steve Robins

Anticipation builds customer loyalty.

A few weeks back, I had a few “wow” experiences that demonstrated the power of anticipation.  No matter that they were almost mundane: each experience improved my perception of the brand/company, service or location.  And they offer great lessons for solution marketers.

Anticipation - ketchup in a bottleAnticipated receipt

After filling up with gas at the nearby Hess Gas Station, I saw that the  gas pump’s receipt printer was out of paper – which is a nuisance.  But when I walked into the store to pick up a receipt, the cashier already had my receipt ready – before I could utter a single word.  Wow!  I’d say that I was actually more impressed with her anticipating my receipt needs than I would have been had the printer actually had paper.  I’ve been filling up at this station because they had competitive gas prices.  Now I’ll do it because they have great service as well.   Continue reading

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