Category Archives: Solution

More than a Moustrap

“Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.”

Turns out, it takes more than a mousetrap for the world to beat a path to your door.  Check out this post on LinkedIn to read more.

Image by  Evan-Amos, via Wikimedia Commons

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Filed under Solution, Solution Marketing, Solution Marketing Framework, Solutions

A Very Mobile Monday

mobile-monday-solution-marketing-blogAs a solution marketer, you need to stay ahead critical technology trends that may affect your solution and how you market it.  For a while, we’ve been hearing that mobile devices would overtake desktop and laptop devices.  Yes, more people surf the web using mobile devices than desktops or laptops. And the mobile shift is happening in more and more ways.  Let’s take a look at a recent example (as in yesterday!) – Cyber Monday.

Cyber Monday is now about 10 years old.  Says Wikipedia,

In late November 2005, The New York Times reported: ‘The name Cyber Monday grew out of the observation that millions of otherwise productive working Americans, fresh off a Thanksgiving weekend of window shopping, were returning to high-speed Internet connections at work Monday and buying what they liked.

That and the fact that you can’t be both at your desk and in a physical store at the same time.

mobile-growth-solution-marketing-blogCyber Monday 2015 saw an avalanche of sales through mobile devices, especially smartphones.  Mobile now accounts for 28% of Cyber Monday sales, with smartphones accounting for a whopping 61% of that number.  Interestingly, tablets have declined from about 66% in 2012 to just 39% of sales today. What’s more, according to Adobe, some 49% of Cyber Monday online visits took place through mobile devices, up from 29% in 2013.  Maybe that’s why IBM and others added the moniker “Mobile Monday” last year.

smartphone-growth-solution-marketing-blogOf course, the massive switch to mobile is driven as much by increasing smartphone penetration, larger phone screens, secure mobile payments, and an improved mobile shopping experience. Mobile shopping makes more and more sense today.

The shift to mobile won’t happen for all solutions of course.  But looking back, say 10 years, who would have thought that so many of us would be shopping on mobile devices today. What is clear is that more and more, solution users will expect a quality mobile experience, even in B2B environments. They’ll expect it both in the way they experience your solution, and in the way that you educate and engage (aka marketing) with them. Mobile is here and of course, it’s not just a fleeting 1-day experience or a consumer-only experience. Rather, we’re living in the era of mobile 365.

What do you think?  How is mobile changing your solutions and how you market them?

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Filed under Education and Engagement, Solution, Solution Marketing Community, Solutions

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

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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Oscar’s Inconvenient Truths

By Steve Robins

Watching Sunday’s Oscar awards, I was struck by… the importance – “and inconvenience” –  of customer feedback in multiple forms:

  • Inconvenient focus groups – The mock focus group screening (gasp!) the Wizard of Oz.  Very funny but it points to the frustration that artists often feel around Hollywood focus groups that disagree with their artistic vision.  And they’re not alone either.  It may be inconvenient but those customers do hold the purse strings, so they’re kind of unavoidable after all.
  • Inconvenient innovations – Billy Crystal’s jabs at bankrupt Kodak, whose name (at least for now) graces the Oscar theater.  Hooked on film until it was too late, Kodak missed the inconvenient truth that film was less important than capturing and sharing images in the easiest manner possible.  The very company that invented digital photography found that truth inconvenient and now faces a very different and more painful inconvenience – bankruptcy.
  • Inconvenient movie-consumption – The Oscar ceremony focused again and again on the movie theater experience with many references back to the good old days.  Those good old days will indeed live on – but only in people’s memories.  Although more people attend movie theaters than theme parks (duh), theater admissions are declining as people consume movies at home on TV, DVDs and iPads.  Instead of reminiscing about the good old days, the industry would be better served to focus on the bright future of entertainment everywhere – on mobile, tablets, at home etc.

Customer feedback may seem inconvenient.  But not listening to customer feedback delivers the ultimate inconvenience.

 

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Filed under Solution Marketing, The Solution Marketing Blog, User research

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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Icebergs & Solution Launches

By Steve Robins

It’s what lurks below that drives solution launch success

Icebergs:  pretty, grand, glistening in the afternoon sun.  The stuff of movies.  And even disasters like the sinking of the Titanic.

And yes, these icy wonders share more than a few traits with solution launches.

The process of launching a new solution is much like an iceberg.  The most important trait?  Just like an iceberg, you see only 10% of the effort above water.  Up top and above the water, everything looks shiny and crisp.  Pretty even.  But just like an iceberg, a launch’s success is based on the 90% of effort, the foundation below the surface — the planning and preparation that sit well below the surface, invisible to the public and to many of your colleagues.  Oh, and yes, just like an iceberg, a bad launch can, well, sink a ship.  Yikes.

Let me explain.    Continue reading

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