“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.
As 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.
Cyber 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.
Of 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?
Solution. The term is everywhere! It just may be the most overused and least understood term in technology, SaaS, software, consulting, or business today. So what exactly is a solution?
Based on my experience working with a variety of companies, here is the Solution Marketing Strategies definition of the term “solution”
A complete and integrated offering that includes everything required to solve a customer problem and provide value to the customer:
Now that we’ve defined the term “solution,” let’s take a look at the key components of a good solution.
You might think of a solution as following a framework. The Solution Marketing Strategies Solution Framework™ or model describes the following components required to solve a problem. Components can come from the vendor and their partners – and even from the customer. Each of these elements applies to all types of solutions – B2B, B2C, B2E (employee) etc.
Now that you know what a solution is, you may be asking why it matters at all. The above definition and framework help you to see what it takes to really solve a problem. For example, providing software alone may not be enough to solve a customer problem – and the definition and framework above can help you to see that more clearly. This definition can also help you to see broader opportunities for your company – new ways to serve the needs of customers, for example, by adding new services to your technology product. And finally, consistent definitions enable alignment with other functions, partners and customers so you can deliver better outcomes and grow revenue.
So what do you think? How would you define the term “solution” and what should it include?
Today 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
Black Friday offers an important lesson for cyber (i.e., enterprise software) solution marketers.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been bombarded with a never-ending stream of Black Friday TV commercials. These included a litany of TV commercials for BMWs and other cars on sale for Black Friday. Maybe it’s all due to a surge in self-gifting, although experts were predicting a drop for 2014.
In a world where everything from clothes to cars was on sale on or around Black Friday, retailers were competing against just about every other retailer for the $381 that the typical shopper spent this past weekend, according to the National Retail Federation. That included direct competitors offering similar goods, indirect competitors who offered different goods that solved the same problem (say, giving a nice gift) and what I’ll call Share of Budget competitors who solved different problems but competed for the same budget.