Category Archives: Solutions

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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Filed under Case Studies, Software marketing, Solution, Solutions, User research

Building Your Solution Marketing Strategy

By Steve Robins

Where Are You in the Solution Marketing Lifecycle?

The obvious part of solution marketing is what gets delivered at the end of the process in the go-to-market phase – materials, web content and more.  But the heavy lifting begins well before.  Following are highlights of the key phases required to build and implement a successful solution marketing strategy. Continue reading

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Filed under ProductCamp, ProductCamp Boston, Solution Marketing, Solution Marketing Strategy, Solutions

Getting Started in Industry and Solutions Marketing in 7 Steps

– By Steve Robins

7 Steps to Success

Lately, I’ve come across the following question a few times:

How do I get started in industry marketing?

Today, I’ll share tips based on nearly six years of starting and then running the industry and solutions marketing function for an enterprise software company.  I’m proud of the work that my team and I accomplished, which was emulated by other companies in our industry.

As you might suspect, industry marketing is a subset of solution marketing, focused on specific verticals such as financial services or government or energy.  Solution marketing principles apply to industry marketing as well.  Following are 7 steps to get started in industry marketing.    Continue reading

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Filed under Industry Marketing, SEVA - Elements of Solution Marketing, SIVA - Elements of Solution Marketing, Solution Marketing, Solutions

The Second Chasm

– By Steve Robins

Prospects Need to Cross a Chasm Too

If you’re in software marketing, you’re aware of Geoffrey Moore’s book, Crossing the Chasm.  The premise of the book, born out at companies like Oracle and Documentum (since acquired by EMC) is that companies must evolve and cross the “chasm” as they move from serving the early adopters to serving the larger and more lucrative early majority.  That’s the “first chasm.”

The Second Chasm

But there’s actually a second, less-known chasm that relates to the first.  The second chasm is crossed not by your company, but by your prospects.  To be successful, your software company needs to help prospects to make that leap too.  Failure to do so may prevent your company from crossing the first chasm.   Continue reading

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Filed under Case Studies, Software marketing, Solutions, The Solution Marketing Blog

Arrogance Is Not a Solution

– By Steve Robins

Arrogance contributed to Apple iPhone antenna woes

Continued from Apple: Honey I Forgot the Customer!

Solutions are driven by user needs.  Even innovative new offerings need to be based on the needs and habits of real users.  Apple’s iPone 4 debacle, aka “Antennagate”, came about in part because they failed to include actual users in their development cycle.


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Filed under Case Studies, Innovation, Solution Marketing, Solutions, The Solution Marketing Blog, User feedback, Value

Apple: Honey I Forgot the Customer!

– By Steve Robins

Did lack of customer field testing cause iPhone 4 antenna woes?

Yesterday, Apple’s Steve Jobs came clean about the Apple iPhone 4’s woes and offered free prophylactic bumper cases to prevent signal degradation when users touch the iPhone 4 antenna in the wrong place.

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ZDNet

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Filed under Solution Marketing, Solutions, The Solution Marketing Blog, User feedback

Road Runner, Boats and Manuals

– By Steve Robins

Solution needed: boat operator manuals

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Beep Beep!

Solution stories abound – even on boats.  My dad has owned a boat for a while.  It’s a great boat from Sea Ray, the leading motor boat company in the U.S.  Generally the boat runs well and the boat’s features, fittings and accouterments are great.

On July 4 (of course), my dad ran into a problem though.  Once the engine was started, it began to emit a mysterious Road Runner beep-beep every 2 or 3 minutes and a mysterious “Check Engine” indicator appeared on the instrument panel.  Dad is an experienced boater and he tried everything he could think of, to no avail.  Eventually, a neighboring slip-holder came over and generously checked out the engine – and all looked OK – except for the Road Runner beep-beep of course.  Eventually, we decided to chance it and took the boat for quick spin.  Apparently, the beep-beep did not indicate imminent disaster and the boat returned safely to share at the end of the trip. Continue reading

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