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How to develop an effective messaging of your technology solution

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Being able to develop a creative and state-of the art technology solution is a necessary but not sufficient condition for succeeding in today's crowded marketplace. …

Being able to develop a creative and state-of the art technology solution is a necessary but not sufficient condition for succeeding in today's crowded marketplace.

You must be able to message your solution positioning and differentiated value proposition to your key target audiences;

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  • 1. How to develop an effective messaging of your Technology solution? Haim Oren-Global Chief Marketing Officer- TBK ConsultBeing able to develop a creative and state-of the art technology solution is a necessary butnot sufficient condition for succeeding in todays crowded marketplace—you must be able tomessage your solution positioning and differentiated value proposition to your key targetaudiences;Technology marketers spend a lot of time developing their technology features andcompetencies but often fail to effectively messaging their solutions to their key targetaudiences.The end result is inability to achieve a buy-in from the venture capital firm, or the analyst, orthe prospective buyer.Thus, software vendors should regard messaging as a core competency that is missioncritical and not nice to have.What are typical messaging mistakes to avoid?Usually software companies invest months in planning, developing and crystallizing theirmarketing pitch, be it to a VC in trying to raise investment funds, to an analyst–attempting toget on "their radar" or to managers at a prospect client organization. They do it via a PowerPoint presentation typically called "the deck"I often see following typical and primary mistakes show up in the deck:  Solutions that claim to solve all problems for all people.Technology marketers are often tempted to portray their solutions as the be-all and end-all ofbusiness IT problems". Their claims are frequently too broad and un- specific which resultsan ineffective messaging.  Long and self flattering arguments that never get to the point. Marketers present long & tedious presentations that are self-boasting forgetting the true adage that; "Less is more" and that a succinct and distilled arguments backed up by professional research reinforces the vendors messaging and positioning.  No clear cut relationship between Technology Capabilities to business value.I often meet Product managers that are totally absorbed with their product technicalachievements and features. But Are the technology bell & whistles translated into tangiblebenefits to the end users pain points?  No effective technology positioningAL Ries and Jack Trout defined positioning is their seminal book " Battle for your mind" aswhat you do to the mind of the prospective customer of your product. Finding adifferentiated position for product in the prospects mind is the key. This is difficult because all
  • 2. prospects are over communicated- they got to much information coming at them about manysimilar solutions…and there is only so much room in their mind.Too many times, marketers are too mesmerized by their own technologies featuresneglecting to focus on what their target audience perceived their business and how tocarve out a differentiated position in their prospective customers minds.Like for example, a company that has developed security software that protects against zeroday threats. The Company positioned itself as a virtualization security solution which isfeature driven positioning while it should have positioned itself as; Protecting against zero daythreats which is based on its value proposition for its primary target markets: consumers andSMBs.To avoid the above mistakes , I have distilled down the essence of an effective messaging bya series of questions that each marketer should ask himself as he develops his/her marketingmessaging presentation.  Who is your target audience?. A compelling message for a data center operations executive will likely not resonate well with a CTO. Define upfront who are the primary decision-makers and stakeholders for your product or service. Do you know exactly which are the buyers and other individual stakeholders, by roles or job titles that you are targeting?if you are planning to reach multiple audiences across IT and line-of-business stakeholders,customize your message; thus develop several different versions of your presentation toaddress the various business roles.  What is the tangible and immediate business problem or "pain points" your technology addresses. You should ask yourself whether the communication clearly describe benefits that the customer realizes as a result of adopting your solution.
  • 3. Moreover, it’s much easier to sell a solution to a specific problem that pains your prospect NOW than to sell an opportunity for them to make things better later. If you position your solution to address the prospects present pain point, you will be much more effective in moving your audience along his decision making process towards adoption. Are the benefits articulated in business terms? Increased revenue, decreased costs, better customer satisfaction, longer retention, reduced churn etc.  Does the communication mentions real customer testimonials including the benefits accrued?Support your key business value propositions with testimonials from existing customers,analysts and industry experts; those will support & legitimize your propositions and moveyour audience further in its decision making process.  How is you technology going to solve the business problem—your value proposition in business terms.That technological innovation at the core of your solution might be really cool, butunless you can translate it into concrete & measurable business benefits, your call toaction will be un-answered.Business value is defined by what the customers stakeholders perceive as being valuable fortheir jobs and their organizations. Presenting case studies and/or Proof-of-concept tests with
  • 4. quantitative metrics like ROI, TCO ( total cost of ownership) are particularly effective to signalyou business value.How is your solution different from your competitors? Usually, vendors like to boast off the benefits of a new class of technology but this may be risky. The key to winning deals is your ability to convey a clear message about how and why your offering stands out from the crowd. How does your solution stack up with competing products? Does the messaging articulate user benefit differences between your company’s product and competing products?  What is your company’s positioning strategy for success.Company Positioning Once you have developed your company’s competitive analysis and presented it in the appropriate table format, one should next use this same information to position your company and its product offering in the market. This is best accomplished by developing a “perceptual map” – a two axis graphic which is based on the two key attributes that differentiate various successful product offerings in the relevant market. As an example, two key attributes for the microprocessor market can include speed and power consumption. These two key attributes are then used to position your company and its product offering with regard to your competitors. This “perceptual mapping” exercise is a key to developing an identified market position with regard to your start-up company and its product offering and the other various competitor product offerings in the market. When determining your company’s product positioning you should ask in what quadrant does your companys product offering fit in.This “perceptual mapping” positioning analysis will provide your customers and investors withclearly identified market position that differentiates your company and its value propositionsfrom the competitors in the market.  How is your deck structured in terms of Communication styleAnd last but not least, make sure that your deck is stated in a straight Forwardcommunications Style,  Avoid acronyms, buzzwords and complex technological terms,  Use simple & understandable visual elements; slide deck, handouts, Web site  Include a short summary (three sentences or fewer) that succinctly articulates the business value of the solution (”elevator pitch”)  Define how the customer can buy the solution : distributors, internet, etc.,A leave- behind thoughtBeing able to develop a creative and state-of the art technology solution is a necessary butnot sufficient condition for succeeding in todays crowded marketplace—you must be able tomessage your solution positioning and differentiated value proposition to your keytarget audiences; that will get you closer to the fulfill your technology business potential.Haim Orenhaim.oren@tbkconsult.comOffice: 972-3-9031623