Category Archives: SIVA – Elements of Solution Marketing

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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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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Netflix: It’s About the Customer Strategy, Stupid – Part II

By Steve Robins

Six Solution Marketing Lessons from Netflix

As I mentioned at the end of the last post, Netflix: It’s the Customer, Stupid, Netflix’s recent misadventure is a cautionary tale for solution marketers.  Following are a six key lessons:

#1: As a vendor or service provider, technology upgrades are good.

So, if you rent DVDs and know the market will eventually transition to video on demand, you need to offer video on demand as well – just as Netflx does today.  Streaming is proven and consumers will demand it.  It’s not a matter of if, but when.  However…

#2: Consumers and customers do not share your company’s timetable

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Filed under Case Studies, Pricing, Pricing, Value, Value