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[En] ICT marketing


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marketing information technology products and services. A 100 page piece I wrote in 2004.

marketing information technology products and services. A 100 page piece I wrote in 2004.

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  • 3. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 TA BLE O F CON TE NTSExploring The Context Of Ict ___________________________________________________ 7 Foreword_________________________________________________________________ 7 above all a matter of definition _______________________________________________ 7 the amazing complexity of ict marketing ______________________________________ 10basic principles & definitions __________________________________________________ 11 tentative definition of ict marketing __________________________________________ 11 Marketing Ict Products/Services At Or To People? _____________________________ 14 strategic marketing _______________________________________________________ 18ict marketing segmentation ____________________________________________________ 19 ict marketing mapping_____________________________________________________ 19 tentative segmentation of ict marketing _______________________________________ 21 B2C (Business to consumer, aka consumer, ICT products marketing) _______________ 21 b2b (business to business) ict marketing ______________________________________ 21 B2E (business to employee) _________________________________________________ 21 c2C (consumer to consumer)________________________________________________ 22 b2c2b (business to consumer to business) _____________________________________ 22 C2B (consumer to business) ________________________________________________ 23 Enterprise Mobility or the archetypical complex project_________________________ 23 Project marketing Or marketing Projects? ____________________________________ 24 key success factors of ict marketing projects___________________________________ 25 shared vision, internal feuds and their impact on innovation projects ______________ 25 of projects and vapourware_________________________________________________ 26 Key Success Factors of Marketng projects ____________________________________ 26 Innovation Projects Methodology ___________________________________________ 27 Of Successful Marketing Projects and Hype ___________________________________ 30Methodological Toolbox ______________________________________________________ 31 Crossing the Chasm: A vision Of ICT Lyfecycles _______________________________ 32 software products and their recurring revenues. _______________________________ 37 robert metcalfe’s magic quadrant ___________________________________________ 38 markets are conversations __________________________________________________ 40strategic Marketing __________________________________________________________ 41 the future of Marketing according to regis mc kenna ___________________________ 41a real life example: the strategic dilemma of incumbent telcos (2003 – 2005) ____________ 42 ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 3 / 62
  • 4. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 changing the engine while flying _____________________________________________ 42 growth & diversification ___________________________________________________ 43 growth implies value-selling ________________________________________________ 44 a few sample strategic matrices______________________________________________ 48 sample table of contents for a strategic plan ___________________________________ 48a few real life examples _______________________________________________________ 49 (1) B2B smb: viasolutions in a box ___________________________________________ 49 PHASE 1: DESK RESEARCH._____________________________________________ 49 PHASE 2: FACE TO FACE INTERVIEWS ___________________________________ 49 PHASE 3: QUANTITATIVE SURVEY ______________________________________ 52 (2) b2c2b smb’s: unified messaging online survey ______________________________ 57 (3) b2b:, ft’s web conferencing service ______________________ 59 (4) B2b example: alliance management (mnc environment) ______________________ 59 golden rule n° 1: develop a strategic vision ____________________________________ 59 golden rule n° 2: setting up ambitious, smart objectives __________________________ 60 golden rule n° 3: the right level of management focus____________________________ 60 golden rule n° 4: enforce strict governance ____________________________________ 60 golden rule n° 5: no partnership without alliance managers _______________________ 60 golden rule n° 6: enforce respect between parties _______________________________ 60 golden rule n° 7: cross-business is not a taboo__________________________________ 60 golden rule n° 8: involve your lawyers… at the right time ________________________ 60 golden rule n° 9: don’t give up! _____________________________________________ 60 golden rule n° 10: spot the busy bees_________________________________________ 61 golden rule n° 11: communicatE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE ____________ 61 golden rule n° 12: programme management & expertise is a must __________________ 61 golden rule n° 13: 3-way and more alliances aka ecosystems ______________________ 61 golden rule n° 14: keep off intellectual sessions ________________________________ 61 golden rule n° 15: set up joint events _________________________________________ 61 golden rule n° 16: segment and certify________________________________________ 61 ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 4 / 62
  • 5. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 INDEX OF FIGURES (Note: this table does not take framed pictures into account)FIGURE 3: ROBIDA’S VISION OF TV ON DSL,… AS EARLY AS 1876!............................................ 9FIGURE 4: IF THIS IS YOUR OPINION OF MARKETING, DO US THE FAVOUR TO KEEP ON READING THIS PAMPHLET AND WE HOPE YOU MAY HAVE CHANGED YOUR MIND BY THE TIME YOU FINISH IT. ............................................................................................................................. 10FIGURE 5: MOBILITY, OR THE ARCHETYPAL COMPLEX MARKETING PROJECT, ACCORDING TO UNISYS’ MARC FESLER ....................................................................................................... 10FIGURE 6: THE STRESSFUL AND INEFFECTUAL BUDGETING EXERCISE WILL NEVER REPLACE A PROPER MARKETING PLAN................................................................................................... 12FIGURE 7: (SOME OF) THE VARIOUS TYPES OF ICT MARKETING APPROACHES .......................... 15FIGURE 8: ICT MARKETING SEGMENTATION MAPPING .............................................................. 19FIGURE 9: AMAZON FRIENDS AND THE ‘TOP REVIEWERS’ ONLINE PANEL ................................. 22FIGURE 10: THE LOGOS THAT SELL ............................................................................................. 22FIGURE 11 BUYER BEHAVIOUR IN A MOBILITY PROJECT ............................................................ 23FIGURE 12:SAMPLE MILIEU MAP (COVA, SALLE & GHAURI, IBID.)........................................... 24FIGURE 13ORBITAL PROJECT MANAGEMENT BY JACQUES CIVILISE .......................................... 29FIGURE 14: CLASSIC PROJECT MANAGEMENT OF COMPLEX PROJECTS IS A RECIPE FOR DISASTER ............................................................................................................................................. 30FIGURE 15: ADVANCED PROJECT MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES OFTEN – IF NOT ALWAYS – PRODUCE BETTER RESULTS ................................................................................................. 30FIGURE 16: SOURCE : WEBORAMA – APPLE’S MARKET SHARE COULD WELL BE BELOW 4% .... 31FIGURE 17: DIAGRAM#1 – ‘IDEAL’ LIFECYCLE CURVE .............................................................. 32FIGURE 18: DIAGRAM#2 – CYCLE UPON CYCLE (FASHION-DRIVEN MARKETS) ......................... 32FIGURE 19: DIAGRAM#3 –INNOVATIVEMATURE MARKETS ........................................................ 33FIGURE 20: EVOLUTION OF THE EQUIPMENT RATES OF FRENCH HOUSEHOLDS ......................... 34FIGURE 21: MOORE’S SEGMENTATION REVIEWED AND UPDATED BY DONALD NORMAN .......... 34FIGURE 22: SOURCE : THIERRY BRETON, FRANCE TELECOM – IDATE 19-20-21 NOVEMBRE 2003..................................................................................................................................... 36FIGURE 23: SOURCE : NICK ALLEN, GARTNER GROUP .............................................................. 37FIGURE 24: WHY SOFTWARE IS DIFFERENT:THE IMPACT OF MAINTENANCE IN THE COST STRUCTURE .......................................................................................................................... 38FIGURE 25: METCALFES LAW .................................................................................................... 39FIGURE 26: REAL LIFE EXAMPLE OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF REVERSE-ENGINEERING MARKETING IN THE CREATION OF A NEW SERVICE .............................................................. 40FIGURE 28: THE INCUMBENT TELCO DILEMNA ........................................................................... 43FIGURE 29: TELECOM OFFERINGS AT THE END THE INTERNET BUBBLE...................................... 43FIGURE 30: GROWTH IMPLIES VALUE-SELLING.......................................................................... 44FIGURE 31 : THE VALUE MATRIX ............................................................................................... 45FIGURE 32: THE VISIONARYMARKETING STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY................. 45FIGURE 33: SAMPLE STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT QUESTION ........................................................... 46FIGURE 34: SAMPLE VISION STATEMENT AS PART OF THE STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT PROCESS... 47FIGURE 35: THE PEST MATRIX FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS .............................................. 48FIGURE 36: THE CLASSIC SWOT MATRIX ................................................................................... 48FIGURE 37: THE BASIC BUT USEFUL BCG MATRIX. VARIATIONS ON THAT THEME ABOUND ..... 48FIGURE 38: THE ANSOFF MATRIX ENABLES MARKETEERS TO ELABORATE ON THEIR STRATEGIC OPTIONS ............................................................................................................................... 48FIGURE 39: A SAMPLE PRODUCT FAMILY MATRIX ...................................................................... 48FIGURE 40: THE ‘VIASOLUTIONS-IN-A-BOX’ CONCEPT AND STRAWMAN OF A PORTAL (UNTRANSLATED) ................................................................................................................ 50FIGURE 41: THE FACE-TO-FACE INTERVIEW LEARNING CURVE .................................................. 51 ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 5 / 62
  • 6. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005FIGURE 42: CONFIDENCE INTERVALS FOR A GIVEN SAMPLE SIZE AND CORRESPONDING TYPICAL ERROR MARGINS. ................................................................................................................. 53FIGURE 43: FINAL SAMPLING MATRIX COMPARING ASSUMPTIONS AND END-RESULTS.............. 54FIGURE 44: THE QUESTIONNAIRE FOR PHASE 3 OF OUR SURVEY (UNTRANSLATED) .................. 55FIGURE 45 : OUR CAPI SYSTEM, WISCO SURVEY POWER ........................................................... 56FIGURE 46: UNIFIED MESSAGING DIAGRAM IS A MUCH BETTER SERVICE THAN ITS NAME LETS YOU THINK ........................................................................................................................... 58 ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 6 / 62
  • 7. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 INTRO DU CTIO N EXPLORING THE CONTEXT OF ICT FOREWORD This article is about Marketing information and communication technology (ICT) products andservices. Can you think of a more exciting subject? I doubt it. Even after the end of the well-famedInternet bubble, new technologies are still fascinating to us all. The Internet is now part of oureveryday lives1. In most European countries, it is now possible to pay one’s bills or even taxesonline2, not to mention more traditional e-commerce, which has almost become trivial. Multimediamobile phones are ubiquitous; SMS messages make up 25% of most mobile operators’ revenueswhile they almost didn’t even exist 7 years ago. Last but not least, all of this is now aimed at all andsundry and no longer to a small horde of snobbish specialists. However, when French economist Michel Volle asked me to work on this subject for ameeting that took place at the beginning of 2004, I was then forced to deal with a dilemma due tothe amazing complexity of this subject. As I suddenly realised, ICT Marketing was all things to allpeople. I have spent 15 years trying to market technology products and services at various levels(consumer, SMEs, MNCs, direct and indirect sales, France, UK, Europe, worldwide, alliances, etc.)but even that sort of experience does not suffice to cover the entirety of the scope of this subject.Most of the time, I have been involved with B2B products or services, and that was mostly done onpurpose. Yet, I have tried to tackle other subjects on the fringe of consumer markets and in thisdocument, you will be my judge for it. I also want to add that this present work is by no means a proper research paper. On thecontrary, I have intended to commit to paper some of my latest and most striking real-lifeexperiments in order to share mere best (or worst) practices with the online Marketing community.Such methods and examples are meant to serve my readers who wish to get ready for action. Myaim does not go much beyond that humble ambition. ABOVE ALL A MATTER OF DEFINITION First and foremost, one should endeavour to define ICT Marketing. What are suchtechnologies and what is their scope? Where do they begin? When do things cease to be‘technological?’ What are the boundaries of ICT? These questions may seem trivial but they aren’t.A refrigerator is anything but ICT and that’s for sure. But an Internet-enabled fridge, which enablesyou to order more food automatically from the supermarket next door, certainly is ICT; besides,with an in-built service capability. Likewise, all consumer stereo and TV products are not part of ICT, but what about Apple’siPOD, Sony’s net MD or the Vaio PC-W1 which is a true media centre gathering a hi-fi, a TV set 1 Even in conservative France, Le Figaro remarked that in 2003, approximately 22 millionpeople had connected to the Internet. This survey( only took intoaccount individuals above the age of 11.2 In France, where PAYE has not yet been enforced, taxpayers who declare their income online are given an extra-weekto complete the process. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 7 / 62
  • 8. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005and a computer all in one appliance. Similarly with modern motorcars: are they still mere vehicles orhave they become incredibly sophisticated and desirable technological objects? To begin with, should we talk about technology or technique or even technicality? Isn’ttechnology a little grandiloquent a word for what is in fact a suite of technical products or services?Isn’t it a sign that we confer an almost sacred status to whatever is the fruit of our most advancedtechniques? Perec had already pointed out the importance of objects in our lives in his bookentitled Things3 but our society has taken that to the extreme. Thus, behind technology, isn’t therea twinge of modern times ‘mythology’ as the consonance would lead as to believe? Such thoughts are casting a different light on the subject of Marketing of ICT products. Theparamount importance of fashion and trends – mixed up with that post-modern passionate questfor immediate authenticity – is key to the understanding of our environment. Such contradiction interms is best experienced when looking at the websites designed by anti-globalisation movements(e.g. therefore proving how much such movements are intheir turn using globalisation as a tool for promotion. The next important issue is that regarding the scope of ICT Marketing. Should we deal with B2C rather than B2B Marketing as a priority? As far as B2B Marketing is concerned, should it not be segmented between 3 main different types: MNCs4, SMEs5 and SOHO6 users? Marketing products or services to any of these targets certainly means different things altogether. One will have to bear that in mind and I will use some real-life examples to prove my point. Besides, one should establish a clear Figure 2: Is Apple’s iPOD a distinction between the Marketing of products and that of personal stereo or a 40 GB services. Marketing services is very different from marketing hard drive? products, which people can actually see and touch. This phenomenon is in fact even more obvious when it comes toselling online services. Buyer behaviour and buying processes will vary according to circumstances:for instance, marketing an Internet-based Message broadcasting service7 or multimedia mobile phones will be two horses of a different colour. Very few marketing specialists will be able to cover all those topics with authority and I believe it is easy to understand why. According to the context, approaches are radically different, mentalities are extremely diversified and therefore Marketing methods vary greatly. On top of everything else, trying to define marketing itself is far from being a useless attempt. Judging from the example described later in this document, working on Figure 1: Sony PC-W1 : Is such a definition is quite rewarding when it comes to it a PC? Is it a Hi-fi or a TV set? Or is it all these things at the same time?3 Things by Georges Perec, 1965 (1990 for the English text) Read for details4 Multinational Corporations5 Small and Medium Size Enterprises6 Small Office, Home Office7 No wonder such services are so hard to market. Who understands what fax or e-mail broadcasting is really aboutanyway? ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 8 / 62
  • 9. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005understanding what marketing ICT products and services is about. Lastly, whereas ICT is often pointed out as being fraught with novelty, one may rightfullyregard the concept of ‘the new’ in the 21st century as a subject for investigation. Are ‘new’ things sonovel anyway? What does the word ‘invention’ mean today when almost any possible concept hasalready been invented and – maybe – re-invented a few times? What do people (customers,prospective customers, opinion leaders, etc.) understand when they come across so-called ‘new’concepts? Thus, are service providers moving in the right direction when they brand their servicesas ‘new’? For instance, should we consider that pay-per-use downloadable music is new whenMarcel Proust could already do that with his ‘théâtrophone8’ as early as … 1881? So is all this hoo-ha about iTunes et al much ado about nothing? Likewise for TV on DSL when we compare it tothe vision expressed by French nineteenth century humorist Robida9 (1876). To name but a fewexamples of not-so-new innovative concepts. Figure 3: Robida’s vision of TV on DSL,… as early as 1876! In this article, we will also deal with the notion of project, which is key to the marketing of ICTproducts and services. Should we in fact talk about ‘Marketing Projects’ or ‘Project Marketing’rather? In particular, we will address the question as to whether ICT marketing Managers have tomaster certain special skills that others don’t, in order to market ICT products or services?8 Read for a description of the system design9 I.e. that of visual news sent by phone, which he labelled phonoscopic (as in telescopic I suspect) news, Cp (please note that he was a humorist but still, this idea was so visionary) ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 9 / 62
  • 10. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 As a conclusion for this foreword, marketing is extremely complex and such complexity shouldnot be hidden; on the contrary we believe that this complexity deserves to be analysed in a verystraightforward fashion. Moreover, such a level of complexity will force us to resort to very simple tools in order to reduce complexity and master it. What it also teaches us is that generalities about any marketing object should be handled with utmost care. All the potential targets (B2B, B2C, etc.) are different and require relevant approaches, tailored to the needs of each of them. This reminds us too that marketing is not a science; it is a mere means of approaching buyer behaviour, but even that is far from being meaningless. Yet, such Figure 4: If this is your opinion of marketing, do us the favour to behaviours are elusive and so is the keep on reading this pamphlet and we hope you may have knowledge attached to them. changed your mind by the time you finish it. Let us try now to focus on a fewtips and tricks, which I have found useful to improve my grasp of ICT marketing. I will base mydemonstration upon real-life examples and a few simple methodologies, which can be directlyapplied to field-action. THE AMAZING COMPLEXITY OF ICT MARKETING Above all, the most amazing characteristic of ICT marketing is its enormous level ofcomplexity. Whereas consumer marketing is accessible to almost anyone, ICT marketeers revel inusing far-fetched, highly technical acronyms, which may render this discipline a little off-putting toJoe Public. But this is not all. ICT marketing doesn’t just sound complex; it really is so. Mobility, or the archetypal complex Marketing project (Source : Marc Fesler, Unisys France) SEAMLESS INTEGRATION Access Phone, PDA Pocket PC Clamshell Notebook Device Access Device Smartphone (Palm, Symbian) (XDA, Dell, iPaq) Handheld Tablet PC Manageability (Asset Management, Configuration, App. Deployment) Profile Mgmt. Profile Management Personalization Authentification Business & IT Consulting Transport (Bandwidth, Compression, Seamless Network Roaming) Link Synchronization (On-/Offline) Link Layer Delivery Maintenance Layer Session Management Integration Security (Encryption) Carrier-less Carrier (Telco, VNO, XSP, …) Network Wired Network Layer PAN (Bluetooth,..) wLAN (802.11, ..) wWAN (GPRS,..) Phone, PDA Pocket PC Clamshell Notebook Present. Presentation Layer Smartphone (Palm, Symbian) (XDA, Dell, iPaq) Handheld Tablet PC l WFM ia T ... etc, etc e KM (Oracle, ..) ran Finance c er ar Ut sp co m hc Applications Pu Apps CRM, SCM, ERP ilit or m lt Tel t bl ea Mail & (Unified)Messaging ati Co y ic H on Personal Productivity Infrastruct. WindowsInfrastructure Unix/Linux Mainframe Jan 2004 Club des MOA - Le Marketing des NTIC © 2003-2004 Yann A Gourvennec 8 Figure 5: Mobility, or the archetypal complex marketing project, according to Unisys’ Marc Fesler I have borrowed a slide from Unisys10 in order to illustrate the extremely high level ofcomplexity surrounding the making of a mobility solution. Indeed when it comes to ICT marketing10 Marc Fesler, Business development Manager, Telecom business Unisys France, 2003 ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 10 / 62
  • 11. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005– and mainly IT or Telecommunications related ICT marketing – understanding the gist of thosehighly technical subjects is more than just necessary. First of all, ICT marketeers have to be able tounderstand technical subjects in general, that is to say not just the vocabulary but the very conceptsthat these technologies underpin. That level of functional understanding is crucial in order to enableICT marketeers to project themselves into the future and deduce from such technologies what usescan be derived. Such projections will enable our ICT marketeers to find new ideas. Howeverimportant the understanding of the technical background of ICT products may be, one must in noway lose sight of the proper aim of ICT marketing. As it were, marketing is only a means to an end.In fact, the more one delves into technical details, the higher the risk to lose sight of functionalaspects and clients. Hence the requirement for ICT marketeers to be able to tell the differencebetween functional and technical knowledge. There are cases where marketeers succeed whilefailing to understand the basic concepts governing their offerings; but such cases are really rare.ICT marketeers have to be some sort of two-headed beasts in so far as they need to be au faitregarding the technological background of their products/services and regarding marketingmanagement per se. They may be marketeers attracted by technological subjects or engineersattracted by marketing. As a matter of fact, it does not really matter who they are; only their abilityto deliver is the key driver to ICT marketing success. Last but not least, ICT marketeers have to bevery competent in terms of high-level project management. Very often, ICT marketeers are meant to supervise a number of project managers – otherwiseknown as product managers in certain cases – and they will have to lead the team in terms offunctional design and requirements. ICT marketeers will then have to direct the course of ICTmarketing projects by laying the emphasis on potential customers’ drivers and inhibitors; at first,they will have to put themselves in the shoes of their potential users and buyers (prior to thelaunch) and subsequently, they will have to echo their clients’ and users’ feedback in order to drivetheir projects and steer clear of abstraction. This is a tough job, but it is also really exciting because it is really varied and because the sheercomplexity of ICT marketing is utmost stimulating. Such a multiplicity of skills required from ICTmarketeers may actually prove useful for ICT marketeers to solve conflicts between teams, i.e. salespersons, engineers and marketeers themselves. Above all, ICT marketeers are managers not only oftheir own teams but of all the resources involved in their projects, regardless of organisationalcharts. Feeling at ease with horizontal or even orbital management across the organisation and evenwith contractors is a key success factor. BA S I C P R I N C I P L E S & D E F I N I T I O N S TENTATIVE DEFINITION OF ICT MARKETING For this tentative definition, I have chosen Christophe Bénavent’s work (2002) as a startingpoint. Christophe Bénavent is an expert in ICT marketing as well as the website owner of Bénavent has segmented marketing as follows: §1 Marketing as a means to address consumers’ expectations. • This first aim of marketing is summarised by the author as the means to address consumers’ expectations in a profitable manner. §2 Marketing as a way to elicit Corporate strategies. • This second item is “no longer focusing on customer requirements, but on the areas where Corporate action is necessary”. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 11 / 62
  • 12. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 §3 Marketing as a way to foster exchanges. • This is the third purpose of marketing according to Bénavent. It focuses on symbolic exchanges, the theory of the gift and reciprocal benefits11. One may think that trying to define marketing is beyond reach. Indeed, Mc Kenna’s famousmotto is well and truly in our minds while we are attempting to achieve this superhuman task:“Everything is marketing and marketing is everything12” he wrote in the Harvard Business Review.However, Bénavent’s work enables us to isolate three main fields for actions and this is why hisdefinition is a good starting point for us. The first thing I would like to point out though regarding §1 is that marketing is hardlyrestricted to answering customer’s requirements. For one thing marketing is not always aboutconsumers. In certain cases, clients are invisible (or hidden), or at least they are not perceived asclients per se. All clients are not “consumers”, but regarding ICT products & services, one may addthat all consumers are not forcibly clients either. This is namely the case regarding B2B services andmobility services in particular. In this case, users (let us call them “consumers” for argument’s sake)are influenced by other groups of people, some of which are procurement people, some of whichare their managers, others simply making recommendations to the former etc. All those people have different motivations, and they all belong to some very complexecosystem of decision and usage. This description is in fact valid for most advancedcommunications services: users are not the buyers, and vice versa. Failing to bear in mind thisamazing complexity for a moment could render the marketing and selling of such servicesrewarding in terms of positive user feedback but will engender very poor results in all likelihood13. Perhaps case §2 should have been put on top of the agenda. Indeed, purpose §2 is probably themost crucial. Strategy is actually what places marketing above mere salesmanship because it servesthe objective of eliciting a vision and spreading it across the organisation. At the end of the day,when this vision is clear and widely shared, sales can thrive in a far better way. Source : The Marketing Plan, a Pictorial Guide for Managers Figure 6: The stressful and ineffectual budgeting exercise will never replace a proper marketing plan. This is why forecasting and budgeting – however important they may be – cannot supersedeproper marketing Planning satisfactorily. Budgeting is an exercise whereby growth percentages areapplied arbitrarily – mostly based on what happened the year before – whatever the reality of11I will recommend two main references as far as §3 is concerned: “the anthropology of file sharing” by Markus Gieslerand “Tribal Marketing” by Bernard Cova. All two available on Visionary Marketing, Ibid.12 “Everything is Marketing and Marketing is everything” Regis McKenna, HBR 1991( See Figure 11 for a tentative mapping of decision makers/opinion leaders on a particular market. Please note that inthis diagram, there is no mention of the fact that there may be several decision makers, and even that the decision maysometimes be taken by a group of people as opposed to just one buyer. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 12 / 62
  • 13. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005supply and demand may be. Budgeting often produces good enough results when the overalleconomic trend is well oriented. As soon as the economic situation deteriorates and businessbecomes more difficult, the budgeting exercise almost inevitably produces major disasters. This iseasily understandable since such exercises do not help businesses anticipate changes. On thecontrary, they tend to encourage people in believing that trends go on and on unabated. There is noexample in real-life of a market that goes on expanding forever. This is pure fantasy. Case §3 may appear a bit weird to some of my readers. However, that purpose of marketing is afundamental aspect of ICT marketing14. During the Internet bubble, such informal and symbolicexchanges were highly valued and heavily commented upon. But it would be damageable to throwthe baby with the baby bath and overlook such a fundamental aspect of marketing that has alreadyproduced some very interactive results on the fields. Whereas the years of the Internet bubbleproduced great and undeniable collateral damages, one should also be wary of radical anti-internetbubbles stances which may prevent us from benefiting from past best practices. Burning too manybridges will serve no purpose. This surfeit of definitions is one more sign of the complexity surrounding marketingManagement, and that entices us once more to take a holistic view of that subject. Should ICTmarketing be offering-centric, demand-centric or should it focus on desire instead? This is the ICTmarketing conundrum, and what is true of marketing in general is even truer of ICT marketing inparticular. Indeed, most people take it for granted that when a product/service is useful, it shouldsell in large quantities. In these people’s minds, marketing new products or services is indeed plainsailing. All you need to do – according to them – is measure the needs of your potential customers(provided you know who they might be). Subsequently, you would then have to match your optionsagainst the declarations of your interviewers, and hey pronto! Rational customers will inevitably biteinto your well-designed rational baits. I wish life were so simple. Unfortunately, it is far from beingso easy. First of all, with ICT marketing, targets are not always known. In a way, this is quite normalin so far as ICT marketing is actually about ‘new’ concepts, some of which are very technical andsometimes hard to explain, even when they are targeted at specialised audiences. Besides, there is no such thing as a passive ever-ready customer in this context. Anything couldhappen. In actual fact, anything will happen. This is what I found out when I launched an out-bound fax online service for Wanadoo15 in 1999. Originally, the whole team assumed that ourclients would be the typical mass affluent young males that all market surveys at that time describedas being the standard profile for Internet surfing audiences. Reality proved very different and wesoon found out that this service was extensively used by senior clients. Strangely enough, none of the surveys we had indicated anything about older users being moreinclined to buy services online. None of the vast amounts of money poured into advertising wereaimed at these people. Youngsters and students were at the centre of all strategies, despite theirextensive taste for free downloads and the free-for-all business model. This explains why spendinga bit of time on the notion of ‘need’ is necessary. Discussions have been going on that subject forover 2000 years but still, do we always understand what it really means to ‘need’ or ‘require’anything16? Let us get back to the discussion between Socrates and Glaucon, in Plato’s Republic17, in14See Net Gain Net Gain: Expanding Markets Through Virtual Communities, by John Hagel III, Arthur G. Armstrong(1999). Available here from Amazon.15 Wanadoo is the leading French ISP (Internet Service Provider). It is part of the France Telecom Group. In 2001,Wanadoo took over Dixon’s Freeserve ISP. Freeserve was rebranded as Wanadoo in the UK in 2004. following definitions were taken from the online version of the Merriam-Webster online dictionary: Need (noun):2 a : a lack of something requisite, desirable, or useful b : a physiological or psychological requirement for the well-beingof an organism. 3 : a condition requiring supply or relief Desire (noun) 1 : conscious impulse toward something thatpromises enjoyment or satisfaction in its attainment 2 a : Longing, craving b : sexual urge or appetite 3 : a usually formalrequest or petition for some action 4 : something desired. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 13 / 62
  • 14. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005which Socrates exclaims: “I do not think that we have adequately determined the nature andnumber of our desires, and until this is accomplished the enquiry will always be confused.” The divide between desire and requirement is not a clear one. In book II of Plato’s republic,Socrates tries to draw the line between pure necessity and luxury. In his description of the ‘IdealState’, adding sofas and tables off which one could dine is a sign that the country has become a‘luxurious State’. Indeed, you do not need to sit at a table to be able to eat your dinner. You mayvery well sit on the ground or even stand up for that matter, like people do in receptions forinstance. So, what difference is there between tangible requirements and luxury? In other words, arewe not abusing the term ‘need’ when we are talking about marketing new products and services?And subsequently, when does ICT marketing have to address potential clients hidden (or obvious)desires instead of trying to fulfil basic requirements? There is no definitive answer to such questions, at least not a simple answer. But the very factthat we are asking ourselves these questions is actually improving our understanding of the contextof ICT marketing and helps us avoid reaching rash conclusions. Having said that, the visionwhereby ‘rational’ thinking leads to ‘rational’ buyer behaviour is fundamentally distorted and shouldnot be relied on. Satisfying basic needs is in no way the aim of ICT marketeers, and visions wherebya ‘just do it’ – some sort of ‘Nike’ approach to marketing – would prevail are fundamentally wrongand ineffectual. To take but a few examples, would you say that browsing your e-mail from your living-room oreven at your kitchen table using WI-FI is a ‘must have’ (need) or a ‘nice to have’ (comfort)? or is itjust a ‘cool’ thing to do (desire)? Is that new multimedia mobile phone you have (or will inevitably)just purchased a real must-have or that status symbol linked to peer-pressure? Also, will you waitfor your current TV screens to break down in order to buy a new one or will you yield to thatinevitable desire to possess one of these brand new flat LCD TV sets as soon as they have – in youropinion – become affordable? Let’s face it; we have to go beyond the mirror that is hiding ourclients’ real motivations from us. MARKETING ICT PRODUCTS/SERVICES AT OR TO PEOPLE? Offering-centric, demand-centric or desire-centric marketing? Offering-centric marketing markets products at people Demand-centric marketing markets products to people Aaah! X-rated late After due consideration night film shows!? Id rather watch BBC2! ? ! Desire-centric marketing focuses on hidden desires Reverse-engineering marketing is based on analysing rejections Jan 2004 ICT Marketing © 2004 by Yann A Gourvennec 2317 Read for a transcript of Plato’s Republic online. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 14 / 62
  • 15. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 Figure 7: (Some of) the various types of ICT marketing approaches I have tried to elicit some of the various types of ICT marketing management approaches that Ihave come across in the field (see Figure 7 for details). First and foremost, what I would call ‘offering-centric’ marketing is probably the mostcommon type of marketing that can be observed in the ICT playground. However ubiquitous, it isoften despised as being anti-marketing so to speak. In a manner of speaking, I would describe thisapproach as marketing at people as opposed to marketing to people. But it does not mean thatoffering-centric marketing is totally negative, although there may be a few traps that one should tryand avoid. When it comes to domains where pure innovation is key, offering-centric marketing isindeed inevitable. In these domains, preliminary research is mostly unavailable and futuristicpredictions from market analysts tend to become the focus area of market intelligence and Godknows upon what such predictions are based most of the time. Investing in new products and service launches may in some cases prove less costly than goingfor expensive, long-winded market research in cases when market knowledge is low, targetcustomer understanding is feeble and product awareness almost doesn’t exist. Offering-centricmarketing therefore acts as an enabler when the requirements are virtually impossible to measurebeforehand. Very often, the very requirement for that newfangled product or service will berevealed when buyers can actually see or use it; the more conceptual the service, the more you needto confront it with the public in order to understand their reactions. This method is also perfectlysuitable to the generation of top-of-the-mind awareness around a product or a brand which is littleknown, and also when you have little money left to spend on advertising. The downside ofoffering-centric marketing is manifold though. Poor monitoring of that type of marketing couldindeed prove very costly. Offering-centric marketing may actually result in some sort of chainproduction of useless products, with no clients, no sales force and no future in sight. As aconclusion, however interesting offering-centric marketing may be, it really is a few cents short of apenny, and other approaches will be necessary for us to better grasp customer incentives anddesires. The second type of marketing approach I have isolated here is also well-known. I shall name it‘demand-centric’ marketing. The principles guiding demand-centric marketing are straightforward,or so it seems at first sight. The starting point is the target population. One takes a sample out ofthat population, interview that sample, deduce what the market is after and build new (or adaptexisting) products to match the needs and desires of the target population. This method is reallyvaluable in so far as it forces product/service managers to think about their clients first. It preventsthe design of far-fetched unrealistic products and it brings realism into R&D whereas R&D hassometimes that tendency to go haywire with haphazard new product development. This approach isalso about alleviating risk by adapting products or services to demand. Having said that, there aretoo many people asserting that demand-centric marketing should supersede offering-centricmarketing altogether. Such over-simplification would not do here, mainly when it comes to ICTproducts or services. As with offering-centric marketing, there are also a number of danger areasrevealed by this type of approach. First of all, assessing the needs or desires of a given target population which you do not knowis mostly useless and it can also prove very costly. Similarly, carrying out quantitative in-depthmeasurements of customer feedback to stimuli that apply to products barely understood by apopulation is not a good idea18. To prove my point, I just want to quote a real-life example, whichoriginates from my work on the launch of a webconferencing service at France Télécom (brandedas One of the main questions we had was related to the pricing of that new18For all characteristics of market survey methodology, (including Internet-based surveys), please refer to my earlier workpublished on the Internet at http://visionarymarketing.com19 Check the website for details. Viaconferencing is the brand name retained by France Télécom forthe distribution of the Webex service in France. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 15 / 62
  • 16. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005service. As always with communications services, we had to choose the right ‘business model’ forthe new service. Choosing the right business model is always a mind-boggling problem forcommunications services (pay-per-use, by the minute, by the hour, packaged use-as-much-as-you-like prices, combined packaged and usage-based prices etc. the list is almost infinite). In thatparticular case, it became even more complex and we almost came to a deadlock. As a matter offact, way back in 2001, our target population could only grasp the concept that we wanted topromote with utmost difficulty. Notwithstanding our sustained efforts at educating our sampleusers, their understanding of our offering remained limited; not that it mattered that much or evenprevented them from using the system and becoming more familiar with it. On the contrary, werealised that hands-on experience could help them form their own opinion on webconferencing.This is why most of our task during this pilot phase consisted in recruiting new users so that theywould gain hands-on experience and then form opinions and express them. When it came to‘pricing’ structure and pricing level, even hands-on users found it difficult to give us their opinionon the subject. As a consequence, measuring pricing acceptance at that stage meant actually runningthe risk of spending vast amounts on surveys with few hopes of ever being able to make anythingof the results. At the end of the day, when asking users – who may not even be the decision makers– about price levels, one often runs the risk of gathering answers such as “it shouldn’t be tooexpensive, you know”, which are not going to be very helpful at all. As a conclusion, demand-centric marketing cannot supersede offering-centric marketing so easily. The situation is slightlymore complex than that, and it is certainly not a case of offering-centric = bad or demand-centric =good. Both have to be taken into account. The third approach that needs to be described here is what we have decided to name ‘desire-centric’ marketing. Desire-centric marketing is different from demand-centric marketing in so far asit doesn’t assume that consumers (or even enterprise customers) are rational. That type ofmarketing appeals to hidden-desires and one’s clients’ profound motivations. It is a kind ofmarketing that fosters innovation, and it enables marketeers to unveil new opportunities and newmarkets. It relies more heavily on sociology20. In that sense, desire-centric marketing is moresophisticated and more innovative than other forms of marketing. Yet, at the same time, it is also less predictable and more creative. Desire-centric marketing ismore a question of analysing trends and predicting fashion and fads than carefully and thoroughlygathering and measuring customer feedback. That type of marketing is therefore time-boundbecause fads tend to evolve very quickly. They do disappear quickly and are replaced by other fadsas part of a cyclical process. That kind of marketing approach is more qualitative than others. Itmostly focuses on the emergence of new trends, whether they be long-term or short-lived, whetherthey be mainstream or just weak signals. Those interested in delving deeper into such subjectsshould refer to Bernard Cova and Olivier Badot’s research papers21 and the reference books theyquote. In essence, desire-centric marketing is geared towards consumer marketing. Yet, it would bewrong to think that it doesn’t apply to B2B or Project marketing at all. Most people think that B2Bis purely rational and I can assure you it’s far from being true. In fact, it’s just the other way roundmost of the time. As a matter of fact, there are myriad ways of writing RFP’s22 and of justifyingone’s choices once a tender has been submitted. Besides, sales persons know how to work their20Bernard Cova often refers to it as a “societing”. Olivier Badot et Bernard Cova, Le NéoMarketing, 1992 (in French). See for an online exec summary of this book.21A number of Bernard Cova’s texts are available from the visionary Marketing website either in French or in English(use the sites search engine with Cova as the main or keyword).22Request for proposal: a statement of requirement whereby an organization describes its target requirements andimposes potential suppliers to submit their tenders for selection. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 16 / 62
  • 17. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005ways around such processes by approaching CXO’s23 in order to influence future RFP’s, overtaketheir competitors or even just ensure that there won’t be any at all (this is of course not applicableto procurement processes related to local and central government bodies, which are regulated bystricter rules). At the end of the day, B2B marketing is not at all rational. The last type of marketing approach that we will describe here is far less popular than theformer three (by the way, please note that this list is not meant to be comprehensive). Frenchresearchers Michel Demarest and Georges Krycève (CEO of income International, a Paris-basedconsulting outfit specialised in marketing and innovation)24 developed this methodology more thanten years ago25. ‘Reverse-engineering marketing26’, in a way, means designing products or servicesbased on customer feedback. But it goes way beyond the simple and straightforward analysis ofcustomer dissatisfaction. As a matter of fact, ‘Reverse-engineering marketing’ actually paves the wayfor product and service improvement and it is not just about analysing user or customerdissatisfaction. The principle guiding Reverse-engineering marketing is the following: “It must beeasier to improve something that people know about, rather than ask them to specify what they ignore or even fail tounderstand”27. This basic principle is key to ICT marketing success in more than many cases.Reverse-engineering marketing is in fact the best of both worlds: the perfect match betweendemand-centric and offering-centric marketing. Reverse-engineering marketing favours real-lifeproduct/service testing as well as community-work with one’s clients in order to improve one’sproducts until customer satisfaction is fulfilled. This is how concepts and new ideas – howevereccentric – can be developed, in real-time, in real-life. Besides, Reverse-engineering marketing is agreat means of establishing a special relationship with your clients as well as getting them involvedin the product-design process. And God knows that most of them like that, for it puts them in arole that is far more rewarding than that of mere ‘consumers’. Microsoft certainly were one of the first to implement such an approach on a global scale. Theyindeed managed to generate a certain level of intimacy with their clients when they asked them toparticipate in the design of their new product, prior to the official release date28. In that case, betatesters actually volunteer to test the product. Most of them are real enthusiasts who share acommon passion for either the brand or the product. Being part of the design of a new product is asign – in their eyes – that they are also part of the company, that they are more than mere“consumers”. Beta testers are not the result of the random sampling of a given population, they are realenthusiasts. Most shareware designers use that method in order to let their users test their productsfree of charge. After a 30-day-period, users who want to go on using the software will then have topay a small fee to the software editor. Most of time, this process is carried out online. Amongst23CEO’s or CFO’s, CIO’s, etc, i.e high-level decision makers, also known as VITO (The Very Important Top Officer).Selling To VITO (The Very Important Top Officer), by Anthony Parinello, Denis Waitley.24.The income website can be accessed at . Their book ‘le Marketing créatique’ ISBN 2-907418-02-5will certainly be hard to find, even in French but it was ground-breaking material which I warmly recommend.25 Similar concepts were developed later on by Geoffrey Moore in the updated and revised version of ‘Crossing theChasm’ but we will only refer to Demarest & Krycève in this article.26Reverse-engineering per se is when you are redesigning a piece of software that has already been developed instead ofrebuilding the software from scratch; the designer will then redesign a statement of requirement which will includeexisting and new functionality.Desmaret & Krycève’s “créatique” concept was hard to translate (a mixture of creativity and technique). I decided to usethe reverse-engineering metaphor instead.27 ‘le Marketing créatique’ by Desmaret & Krycève, Ibid.28As was the case namely with the pre-release version of Windows 95. Beta testers had to pay for that version ofWindows 95 in order to be able to use MS’s new OS before everyone else. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 17 / 62
  • 18. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005some of the most popular office desktop utilities, Jasc’s Paintshop Pro imaging software is probablyone of the most successful29. Paintshop Pro is very inexpensive and yet, most of its functionality is as good as Adobe’s veryprofessional Photoshop suite. Besides, Photoshop is far less user-friendly than Paintshop Pro. Andyet, very few of Paintshop Pro’s users can remember what version 1 of their favourite piece ofsoftware looked like in 199130, i.e. a very immature imaging utility, hardly better than the Microsoftpaint utility that came standard with Windows 3.0. Reverse-engineering marketing made it possiblefor Paintshop Pro to evolve so dramatically. STRATEGIC MARKETING Strategic marketing is in our eyes one of the pillars of marketing Management. As such, I havealso dedicated a whole chapter to that theme at the end of this article. Strategic marketing is the enabler that makes it possible to share a common vision across theentire organisation. At the heart of Strategic marketing, one can find strategic assessments31 whichmake it possible to elicit the current strategy and spell out all the strategic objectives which willguide future action. Thanks to a strategic assessment, one will be able to target actions according tothe lifecycle of products and services and to establish priorities in terms of the development of newproducts and services. This preliminary phase is crucial for providing the necessary strategic focus.Without it, most strategic endeavours tend to end up with managers turning around like headlesschickens and trying to compensate hindsight with frantic haphazard activity. Lack of focus oftenforces managers to multiply innovations with no apparent reason or logic. A proper strategicassessment will provide vision and guidance to product marketing but a frantic bout of innovationwill never provide a strategic vision for the organisation. On the other hand, proper strategic planning should not be mixed up with that stressful andridiculous exercise named financial planning, which consists in projecting growth year on yearbased upon last year’s results and without the underpinning of a proper strategic market andproduct analysis. Financial planning is unfortunately very commonplace. It won’t give however anyhint as to how markets night react, it mostly overlooks markets and products issues by puttingmore pressure on the sales force; but in times of crisis, it proves mostly ineffectual. Last but notleast, it almost always fails to encourage the anticipation of future issues32.29 Read about the official and legal ‘unlock’ procedure of Paintshop Pro at See for details about the Paintshop Pro saga.31 Our original strategic assessments methodology is available at Cp The marketing Plan, a pictorial guide for managers by Malcolm H.B McDonald and Peter Morris. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 18 / 62
  • 19. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 I C T M A R K E T I N G S E G M E N TA T I O N ICT MARKETING MAPPING ICT Marketing Segmentation Mapping 2 main trends, in opposite directions Consumer markets Consumers Deskjet Amazon Telephonie printers (reco) PCs, PDAs xDSL Office automation Ex: Easyoffice mass-customisation mass- SMBs Semi SMB ERPs Shrink-wrap durables Telephonie software Corporate Accounts software Bespoke Commodity Products/services Products/services ToIP/VoIP for Corporate accounts Services Bespoke B2B Web services, réseau de Grid computing base Alliances ??? Mass Bespoke Jan 2004 ICT Marketing © 2004 by Yann A Gourvennec 20 Figure 8: ICT marketing Segmentation Mapping In the above diagram I have mapped ICT marketing against two axes: one axis is showing thetype of clients (consumer, SME’s, corporate accounts); the other axis caters for the level ofcustomisation which applies to the type of product or service that is being sold. I have excludedSoho clients from this diagram although they do differ from both the consumer and enterprisemarkets (whether they be small or medium). From this diagram, we can isolate two main trends: on the one hand, most consumer marketsare now penetrated by professional products, although such products were not aimed at them at theoutset. In 2003, more than 50% of personal computers sold in France were purchased fromsupermarkets33. Amongst such products, one can find a great number of products of a professionalstandard which could be used by the average white collar, if not superior. Another example is theamazing penetration of three-in-one printers – originally aimed at SME’s – within the consumermarket. On the other hand, a similar trend in the opposite direction can be observed on professional(B2B) markets. Most people would in fact associate the corporate market to bespoke products andservices. However, one is forced to observe that there is a strong movement towards thecommoditisation and generalisation of a number of services that used to be considered as highrange, specific and professional. This is indeed the case in the software arena. The software industryis probably going through a certain number of issues, which are the foretelling signs of future majordisruptions. This industry, once all geared towards bespoke software design, opted for an all-ERPapproach at the turn of the 1990’s. To a large extent, this era of ERP is not completely over, as we33By supermarkets I mean supermarkets and hypermarkets as opposed to specialised computer stores. Please note that inmany European countries, supermarkets are also selling non-food products contrary to what is happening in the UK withthe standard configuration of a Tesco, Sainsbury’s or other supermarket in that country. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 19 / 62
  • 20. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005speak, but an increasing number of ERP experts are now finding themselves on the shelf whereasfinding a job for them was so easy only a few years ago. Indeed IT standardisation – through the copying of best practices – is becoming increasinglypervasive. But the standardisation is no longer going through Business Process Reengineering (akaBPR) as one used to do at the end of the 1990’s. Best practices are indeed more and more to befound within the software itself, by dint of improving it upon the recommendations of previouscustomers and users who have contributed to its improvement. (if anything, it will contain toomuch functionality, and very seldom not enough functionality). Software corrections and upgradesare thus delivered through the new versions of modern software34. Of course this is a trend, whichwill take years to mature and believing that our entire universe will be wiped out overnight wouldnot be reasonable. But one has to admit that a great number of software houses – amongst thelargest – are now in search of new business models. This quest for new business models is at theheart of new IT strategies with the soaring impact of offshoring but also nearshoring35 practices. Numbers are there to underpin my comments about the commoditisation of IT. In France,rumour has it that already 5% of all projects could be offshore projects, but accounting for notmore than 1% of the sector’s overall revenue36. In the United States, according to an IDC report,offshore has now gone beyond the status of fad and is now turning into mainstream. “In 2004, thevalue of IT services provided to U.S. businesses through offshore labor will double to $16 billion.In the subsequent three years it will almost triple yet again to $46 billion, capturing almost one-quarter of the U.S. opportunity37.” To give you an idea of what $8 bn are worth, Capgemini’srevenues in 2001 worldwide were not higher than that. And they are certainly lower now. Suchfrightening prospects are enticing many Americans to believe that it is no longer a good sector fortheir children to work in, hence certain reactions such as “Mama, don’t let your babies grow up tobe IT workers” by Shelly Powers38. However, if observation shows that the consumer and enterprises domains are seriouslyintertwined (mass market and bespoke solutions, consumer and enterprise) as far as products andservices are concerned, one has to admit too that the ways such products and services should bemarketed vary greatly.34 Cp my summary of Nicholas Carr’s IT DOESN’T MATTER available at material of this article are also available at that address.35 Definition of Nearshore outsourcing (source : “Nearshore outsourcing is thepractice of getting work done or services performed by people in neighboring countries rather than in your own country.Many companies in the United States, for example, outsource work to Canada and Mexico. Geographic proximity meansthat travel and communications are easier and less expensive, there are likely to be at least some commonalities betweenthe cultures, and people are more likely to speak the same language”. In other words, nearshore outsourcing is similar tooffshore outsourcing but this kind of outsourcing is operated from neighbouring countries as opposed to remotecountries. In France, most of nearshore developments are carried out in Spain, namely for CAPGEMINI who set up theirnearshore “factory” in MADRID (their offshore operations are in MUMBAÏ, India.36 However, it has not been possible for me to confirm such statistics with hard facts.37 Source, IDC Predictions 2004: New IT Growth Wave, New Game Plan Insight #30499 - Dec 2003 by Frank Gens.Voir également le dossier consacré à ce sujet par The Economist, Special Report Offshoring, Decembre 13th 2003, pp79-8238 More about this engrossing debate online on Phil Wolff’s Klog (Knowledge Weblog) A Klog Apart at Read the article entitled “Where does IT go from here?” (direct access from The beginning of it all was Shelley Powers’s article entitled “The state of GeekPart I: Temp jobs, no health” available now at Powers’s exclamation‘Mama, dont let your babies grow up to be IT workers’ struck the imagination of many a ‘blogger’. It is also tale-tellingwith regards to the growing disenchantment of many US citizens regarding IT after the Internet bubble burst. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 20 / 62
  • 21. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 TENTATIVE SEGMENTATION OF ICT MARKETINGB2C (BUSINESS TO CONSUMER, AKA CONSUMER, ICT PRODUCTS MARKETING) This is certainly the most popular type of ICT marketing and it is inevitably drawing on standard consumer marketing techniques. One of the main differences though is that it won’t apply to perishables but durables or semi-durables instead. Because new technology and hi-tech products are increasingly successful with the general public, ICT Consumer marketing is naturally closer to the marketing of household appliances and mainly that of sound and video systems. As a matter of fact, traditional products such as computers, PDA’s etc. and sound and video products and now being merged into hybrid devices which combine high-end multimedia with IT and vice versa in order to produce increasingly sophisticated systems aimed at broadcasting – or should we say ‘narrowcasting’ instead – multimedia contents, where video plays an ever increasing role, and where wireless technology is ubiquitous. In a little more than three years, the good old stereo has now been replaced by more sophisticated equipment. It may even disappear in no time39.B2B (BUSINESS TO BUSINESS) ICT MARKETING This type of marketing, which is aimed at professionals, is also well known. The necessarydivide between Corporate and SMB B2B marketing however, is far less known, or at least, fieldpractice shows that very few people master the subtle difference between diverse B2B segments i.e.Soho, SMB and corporate accounts. Large corporations often are international; in fact, very few aren’t if we except centralgovernment bodies. Their number is limited and they require face-to-face, personalised contactover a long-term period. Selling to large corporate accounts mobilises large account-teams, whichcan amount to dozens of dedicated professionals in certain cases (sales, business consult engineers,and delivery….). This investment in sales resources is justified in so far as the revenue, which isgenerated by such mega accounts is proportionally huge too (sometimes above €100 m p.a. for oneparticular account). Conversely, SME’s are more varied in shape or form and they are more difficult to describe.First and foremost, SME’s can be segmented in more than many ways: size, number of employees,revenue, international presence, whether it is independent or part of a larger group…); secondly,because SME’s differ greatly from one another. How could you compare an independentorganisation of 15 employees with another larger entity, whose staff goes beyond 500, which isscattered across 3 different sites and, lastly, which belongs to a large multinational group? Thesetwo organisations would not be said to have much in common at the end of the day, I would say. As a result, marketing products or services to SME’s is a job in itself for it requires a lot of sub-segmentation. Selling to SME’s is all things to all people; sometimes on the fringe of consumermarketing, some other times on the fringe of corporate marketing. At the bottom of the SMEmarket segmentation, one can find the so-called SO-HO market. The behaviour patterns of thelatter are very close to those of consumers. The smaller the target customers, the more ICTmarketing techniques and know-how will be necessary to maximize the hit-rate/contact-cost ratio. B2E (BUSINESS TO EMPLOYEE) B2E marketing is a little less known than the previous categories, which we have just described.B2E covers those activities aimed at corporate employees, mostly service-orientated. One of themost striking examples I know of is Dominique Beaulieu’s Accor services concept (née Affiniteam).The concept hinges upon the notion of “Cliemployee” an interesting concept, whereby Beaulieu39 Read the Sound Of The Stereo Fades Into History, by Simon London, Financial Times, Nov 18, 2003 (Music is everywhere - oncomputers, portable players, home theatre systems, mobile phones. Sales in the US of home audio...) ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 21 / 62
  • 22. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005advises corporations to treat their staff as if they were clients, which as a matter of fact they havereally become, by dint of recurring job-frailty and difficulties on the employment market, whichnaturally lessen corporate loyalty and emphasize more self-centered strategies on the part ofindividuals. C2C (CONSUMER TO CONSUMER) Building a community often – or should I say always – requires that users be allowed to talk toone another as freely as possible. Amazon friends is a valuable example of client/user collaborationwith a company as a means to link users to one another. (Marketing 3) Exemple de C2C : AMAZON Friends Harriet Klausner #1 top-reviewer 5990 reviews Jan 2004 Club des MOA - Le Marketing des NTIC © 2003-2004 Yann A Gourvennec 14 Figure 9: Amazon Friends and The ‘top reviewers’ online panel B2C2B (BUSINESS TO CONSUMER TO BUSINESS) At first sight this category seems a lot less obvious than others. However, real-life examplesabound such as INTEL’s stickers on PC’s, which influence manufacturers when they make theirindustrial choices. Indeed, suppliers like INTEL are putting pressure on them thanks to brandpower and top of the mind awareness. Besides INTEL, also subsidises PC manufacturersadvertising campaigns therefore putting even more pressure on them so that they promote INTELchips as opposed to third party components. Figure 10: The logos that sell In some cases, such a powerful marketing approach may even enable a supplier – however lowin the value chain – to narrow down the choice for end-users, through the bias that it manages tointroduce in the manufacturers’ sourcing processes40.40 on how laptop manufacturers were caught by Intel who managed tonarrow down the choice for consumers through particularly effective B2B2C Marketing Management. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 22 / 62
  • 23. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 C2B (CONSUMER TO BUSINESS)Italian researcher Giancarlo Livraghi41 has a very good definition of C2B marketing: “The mostimportant activity in e-commerce isn’t selling. It’s buying. Quite often that doesn’t mean buyingonline but checking, comparing, analysing quality and price before baying in traditional stores orservices. Customer empowerment isn’t a legend or a theory, it’s hard fact and it will grow as morepeople become more aware of the tools they have to pick and choose – and negotiate. This couldbe the single most important development in the new economy. It may be daunting for somecompanies, but an opportunity for all who know how to find the right clues. With or without theInternet, in many businesses the concept of marketing (even of market) will have to changeradically. We are only at the beginning of a development that can have vast and deepconsequences”. NB: Please note that this list of categories is purposely not comprehensive, as they only serveto prove that more than one approach is available. ENTERPRISE MOBILITY OR THE ARCHETYPICAL COMPLEX PROJECT E.g: Users, Buyers and opinion leaders of entreprise mobility services •ADMITTED DRIVERS & INHIBITORS •Improved schedule management •Faster, better … •Information always available •No re-keying of data required « Peer-pressure » •HIDDEN DRIVERS & INHIBITORS (neighbours, family, colleagues) •"status symbol" •Independence from hierarchy •ADMITTED DRIVERS & INHIBITORS •Working tools can be used for personal •New Technology appeal reasons (eg: games, downloads,…) •Remote admin •Security •Less admin costs Users •HIDDEN DRIVERS & INHIBITORS •Reduce users’ leeway •User control more difficult •Project conveys good image Public relations Advertising & MIS Optinion leaders or decision Managers makers Optinion leaders •ADMITTED DRIVERS & INHIBITORS or decision •Better planning makers •Supply chain optimisation •Reduce costs & improve employee productivity •HIDDEN DRIVERS & INHIBITORS Specialised & Industry Industry •Increase availability of employees (they can be Mass media mentors and mentors and contacted anywhere, at any time) •Improve control over staff advisers advisers Jan 2004 ICT Marketing © 2004 by Yann A Gourvennec 22 Figure 11 Buyer behaviour in a mobility project The subject of enterprise mobility is a very tale-telling example of the complexity surroundingB2B marketing. Almost all the ingredients of industrial marketing are there (see diagram above).The users aren’t forcibly the buyers for one thing; secondly, the motivations of each of thecategories described in our diagram (users, opinion leaders, decision makers…) are varied, whenthey are not contradicting each other.41 Giancarlo Livraghi ( ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 23 / 62
  • 24. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 PROJECT MARKETING OR MARKETING PROJECTS? I take it for certain that in modern day organisations, project management is ubiquitous, andnot just in marketing. This is something I had already mentioned in Visionary Marketing42 in 1995,therefore jumping into Olivier Badot & Bernard Cova’s footsteps43. I would also like to refer to another book, which describes Project Marketing44 in depth;Project Marketing in B2B/manufacturing and processing industries is all about the selling process,where the selling process in this case is handled like a project, which requires in-depth analysis ofthe complexity of the client’s ecosystem (both internal and external). This analysis is best depictedthrough “Milieu maps” in which sales teams map the complex decision processes of their clients. Figure 12:Sample Milieu map (Cova, Salle & Ghauri, Ibid.) Selling to industrial clients requires a lot more than mere salesmanship. It will certainly involvemarketing insight, namely when building bespoke solutions (Otherwise named co-marketing).Partnership Marketing is therefore very useful too, because selling goes – in this case – way beyondshifting boxes or even services. It means building actual long-term partnership programs, which canbe described as industrial ecosystems. Even when industrial marketing is not involved, i.e. whenselling products or services are not so much based upon individual relationships, marketing stillresorts to project management techniques. All in all, the way that marketing uses project management techniques is not that different fromwhat is done in IT. The main purpose is to inject marketing insight within the new productcreation process, therefore ensuring that usability, user-friendliness and functionality (and possiblybuyer behaviour) aspects are well taken into account. In this configuration, marketeers are bothproduct managers and user-project leaders and they have to assume both responsibilities.42 Visionary Marketing, Yann Gourvennec, 1995 p 30 Badot & Cova (Le Neomarketing, 1992, untranslated; a summary of this book is available in French at B. Cova, P. Ghauri & R. Salle : Project Marketing, Beyond Competitive Bidding. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 24 / 62
  • 25. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 On the one hand, they are – rather classically – anticipating clients’ wishes and issues to get abetter grasp of their markets, and on the other hand, they are requested to work as projectmanagers so that they specify their requirements while voicing their clients’ or prospects’ wishes. Inthat case, ICT marketeers are two-headed beasts, who have to manage their market developmentproject, and specify or influence the statement of requirements for the new product/service.Depending on how much management power ICT marketeers have, they may also be able to maketechnological choices, which is far from neutral. Developing new ICT products or services is verydifferent from developing other products in so far as technological options actually have a majorimpact on the end-product itself. ICT marketing therefore requires that one be able to match twoapparently contradictory skills; one which is based on bringing realism into innovation (marketingskill per se), and another skill, which is aimed at making the right technological choices, both interms of robustness and competitive edge. Should we therefore conclude that being an ICT buff isenough to become a successful ICT marketeer? I don’t think so. One should make sure that a cleardistinction be made between techno-evangelists and ICT marketeers. ICT marketeers have to sharetheir vision and understanding of markets. For that purpose, initial training and formal universityup-bringing are less important than flexibility, openness of mind and above all, intuition. KEY SUCCESS FACTORS OF ICT MARKETING PROJECTS Key success factors for ICT marketing projects, in essence, are not that different from those ofother projects. Defining objectives, obtaining management support and strict project management(based on thorough planning and control) are true of ICT marketing projects too. Yet, a fewsignificant differences need to be explained. SHARED VISION, INTERNAL FEUDS AND THEIR IMPACT ON INNOVATION PROJECTS Amongst the most prominent inhibitors of ICT marketing projects, I would place conflictingobjectives/interests in number one position. Indeed, however pointless they may seem, one shouldnot overlook conflicting interests and views between engineers, marketing and sales staff. Most ofthe time, such conflicts are based upon misunderstanding and cultural differences as opposed toreal, fundamentally diverging aims. Often, engineers relish performing product/serviceimprovement just for improvement’s sake, and ICT marketeers have to ensure that technologyremains a means to a marketing end and not an end in itself. At the other end of the spectrum, salesexecs find themselves on the front-line trying to sell products or services that audiences do notalways understand, not mentioning the times when such products or services have been badlypackaged and targeted. It is not always easy to tell your sales execs they are part of an on-goingproduct-design process, mainly when they have to suffer from it. Besides, sales people very seldomunderstand what the technological limit of a new product is, which sometimes causes a fewproblems: for instance, when considering bespoke services, when sales people do not understandhow to stretch the functionality of their service, it may prove difficult enough to address therequirements of a potential client. Similarly, failing to understand the limits of stretching such andsuch functionality might also lead to an impasse.Conversely, sales execs are also often tempted to specify new products or services just because theyare under pressure from their clients. Yet, the fact that sales execs are facing customers on a dailybasis, does not mean that they are apt to specify requirements; nor that such requirements are allmust-haves. This is what I would call the sales & marketing paradox, whereby one should be waryof asking sales execs to act as ICT marketers. Confusing the sales and the marketing functionalmost always leads to the chain specification of contradicting functionality, which ends up pilingup and inevitably produces unusable and unsaleable products and services. With ICT marketingprojects, one should try and manage the complexity and difficult balance between innovation andsound project management, and it is not always an easy task. The bad management of such adifficult balance is often the cause for ICT product failure and fiasco. As a consequence goodresource management is key to ICT marketing project success. However, it is not always easy toturn any resource into an ICT whizzkid. It mainly depends on the specific domain on which you areworking. For highly technical and/or very specific domains, working with dedicated specialised ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 25 / 62
  • 26. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005business developers will support your work-force and help uncover customer projects, before anRFP is issued. OF PROJECTS AND VAPOURWARE Internal and external communication is another obligatory step for ICT marketeers. Much aswe might regret it, one has to emphasize that ICT marketeers have to develop internalcommunication skills above everything else. Besides, in large and complex organisations, mostprojects are valued through the amount of investment that they have required as opposed to theactual result that they bring. One may also disapprove of this state of fact but internal visibility is avery strong element for the external success of an ICT project – although not sufficient, of course.It is therefore logical that good external projects should seek internal recognition and internalsponsorship. And it is no wonder that there should be many cases whereby certain projectmanagers are more tempted by hype than hard facts. Hence the well known vapourware effect. KEY SUCCESS FACTORS OF MARKETNG PROJECTS I will not expatiate on how to make successful vapourware; there seems to be way too much ofit already, even in the news, although we may say that journalists tend to be more cautions thesedays than they were before 2001. To a certain extent, we may even consider that vapourware is atthe forefront of the late Internet bubble. There is yet another recent example with the deploymentof public wi-fi hotspots which triggered many a comment but not all of them very relevant45. Mostcertainly, wi-fi is now looked at as a stable technology and wi-fi hotspots will certainly trigger thedevelopment of mobility on a large scale; hotspots may even be able to generate revenues in thelong run if they target market niches made of intensive users on the move. They are also playing akey-role in the development of DSL in remoter areas. Having said that, the vast majority of thecurrent wi-fi hotspot market may not be aimed at the consumer market; and quite a few businessplans would have to be revised, mainly when they are based on questionable analyses. Regarding thestarbucks initiative in the United States, much has already been said on the vapourware it hasgenerated, mainly when it came to present the numbers. Glaziou & Doucet’s vision is the following:“the starbucks numbers, as found in the Washington Post46, mention that 25,000 people use theirhotspots every week. This seems to be a very good number but in fact, it is very small when wecompare it to the regular 22 million weekly starbucks clients overseas. The article mentions howsatisfied some of these clients are though, namely all these soho users who appreciate the ability tocontinue working in a different environment”. The fact is that this number is really weak because infact, it means that the average connection rate is 1.55 per starbucks coffee-shop per day. ADPTelecom’s47 Head of wi-fi operations J.H. d’Ussel gave us explanations as to what the drivers couldbe for a wi-fi hotspot point of sales operator: a) Convey a progressive image (potential revenues being too low to help a hotspot become an end in itself), b) Promote existing services and cross-sell new services, c) Generate wi-fi-centric revenues (too early stages in his mind). By the way, Ussel confirms that the average hotspot connection rate is akin to that of starbuckscoffee-houses. Innovation-based markets are subject to positive or negative accelerators imposed45 Glaziou & Doucet’s article about the analysis of the wi-fi phenomenon (wi-fi demystified (2003), Starbucks, others hope Internet Access will draw customers, Washington Post, April 3rd 2003, quoted by Glaziou &46Doucet (Ibid).47Paris Airport Authorities, equivalent to B.A.A in London Heathrow for instance. ADP is its own telecoms operatorthrough its ADP Telecom subsidiary. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 26 / 62
  • 27. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005by the pressure which is applied to the media. WAP technology is yet another good example ofsuch a principle: 1999-2000 was the period where WAP hype was at its highest and subsequentlywas pointed at as the root of all evils – a little hastily perhaps –surrounding the Internet bubble. In2004, now that we have all had time to get over it and take a bit of hindsight regarding this period,WAP is now considered as a key technology in its own right, thanks to the introduction of newgeneration mobile phones and the broadening of mobile data bandwidth48. This is why we believeone had better think twice before claiming that a new technology is doomed to failure, namelywhen it’s a matter of availability of the right kind of access terminals. ICT marketeers musttherefore be able to decode and analyse the right sources of information in order to be able todetect which are the real best practices. This is one of the most crucial parts of an ICT marketeer’sjob, i.e. to use his or her intuition49 to analyse markets and the potential for new services and/orproducts, and possibly discard these projects which he believes do not match his or her objectives,whether it be about improving image or maximising revenues. In certain cases, ICT marketeer had rather opt for more mature technologies to crop up beforethey start marketing such new services in the field. Indeed, very often, ICT market pioneers fail todeliver in the long run and being a pioneer does not buy you a place as a winner; at least, notalways. This is one of the things that make R&D and marketing so different in essence. In any case,however good at understanding and predicting markets, ICT marketeers have to remain humbleand cautious, because situations change very rapidly in such a chaotic environment.INNOVATION PROJECTS METHODOLOGY When it comes to projects, approach and methodology are the right places to start. Asenterprises are getting more and more familiar with or keen on project management (or at least withbasic tasks scheduling), new requirements emerge, most of them related to managing innovationprojects. On the one hand, innovation projects are by essence complex projects and complexity isbecoming exponentially prevalent with time. Therefore, the issue of on-time delivery of suchprojects becomes increasingly thorny. In the automotive industry, on average, new products aretypically lagging 18 months behind their schedule50, not mentioning internal paranoia when majorinnovative features have to be cancelled because they haven’t been delivered on time or evenbecause not a soul would even venture to predict when they would be available at all. All of thisboils down to managing complexity. On the other hand, ICT is being introduced massively in all types of industrial and commodityproducts in order to match the overwhelming demand for more, better, newer functionality. Thisfactor leads to the endless piling up of layer upon layer of electronics and software etc. so as to turnany project into an amazing bunch of complexity only matched up by MS Windows. Besides,security imperatives are enormous and cannot be trifled with because of manufacturers’responsibilities, and sometimes reputations, are at stake; would you agree to ‘reboot’ your car as youare driving at 70 mph on the M25 with other cars all around you? Apart from risks to humanbeings, the cost of bad project management for car manufacturers could amount to hundreds ofmillions of dollars, not mentioning the intangible degradation of corporate image. Such anincreasing complexity of both industrial and commodity products also has an impact on the pilingup of experts of each separate domain who have to be involved at all stages of innovation projects.Last but not least, the pressure on costs and margins related to B2C products is such that itintroduces yet another significant level of complexity (margins per vehicle are very low and even48Cp La Tribune, Monday, 5 January 2004 and for an example ofthe recent uptake of Wap-based portals in China.49Paul Millier uses the term segmentuition i.e., detecting – through guesswork – which products/services could suit theneeds of which segments (See Nuts and bolts and Magnetron, by Paul Millier and Palmer, A Practical Guide for IndustrialMarketeers, John Wiley a Sons Ltd.).50 Source : ILM, Innovation Live Management is a consulting dedicated to complex projects management ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 27 / 62
  • 28. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005lower as soon as the market slumps and car-dealers have to apply bigger discounts51. Another factorof complexity related to innovation projects is brought by the increasing usage of technology inpersonal and professional communications contexts52. Such effective means of communicationsmake transverse communications easier unless they are badly used. For instance, electronic versionsof project schedules, however effective when handled by professionals, may end up amplifyingcomplexity and confusion when they are badly used [and this has nothing to do with technology perse]. At the end of the day, what are the lessons learnt that could prove useful to user projectsleaders and marketing managers alike who want to be successful with their innovation projectswithout being daunted by such overwhelming complexity? For one, one should bear in mind thatcommunication is about humans talking to each other as opposed to machines or software takingover the whole process- however powerful technology may be. Managing projects is aboutmanaging skills as opposed to merely reporting on schedules, mind over matter, in a manner ofspeaking. However obvious, skills management is often badly performed, and one of the majorreasons for project failure. And skills management often means that skilful project members haveto be acknowledged as such, and duly rewarded. Key project skills may not be found at the top ofhierarchy. In fact, there is no match between hierarchy and project success. Key project resourcesmay not even be aware of how important their role is. They have to be empowered. This is whyinnovation projects do not require project managers but project leaders; and the difference betweenthese two terms is more than just formal. Project leaders do show the way to their teams, provide vision and share it with them. ILMmanagement has developed the drHeam TM methodology (whereby H represents the human factor),which takes all the above variables into account. DrHeam isn’t just a tool, but it is mainly anapproach geared towards complex innovation projects management. With drHeam, projects arehinging upon a so-called drHeam master-plan and the team will be fitted into a web-likeorganisation chart: this is why J Civilise53, owner and founder of ILM, named it orbital organisationbecause the project team can be depicted as planets revolving around each other, as opposed to thestandard pyramidal hierarchical organisation chart. This orbital chart is in fact a sort of galaxy whereall the players in this galaxy have been identified – regardless of how powerful or influential theymay be. Only competence and knowledge matter. Orbital project management is therefore geared towards the end result as opposed to the well-being of a few managers who find solace in gaining more power. One of the strengths of Civilise’sapproach is to encompass the complexity of the entire organisation instead of hiding suchcomplexity behind the fake reassurance of a well ordained organisation chart54. In a drHeamproject, value units (i.e. the lowest identifiable units within a project) are allocated to so-calledvalue-units managers. A value unit manager will be given carte blanche to bypass the hierarchy in51 Up to €4000.00 per vehicle plus negotiable options on the continent. Better prices may even be obtained by importinga car from other EU countries. This may not be applicable in the UK.52 See. my work on how to use e-mail in personal & professional contexts (de l’usage du mail dans les relationsprofessionnelles et interpersonnelles – untranslated Jacques Civilise is the owner and founder of ILM management. Prior to that position he used to be innovation projectleader, a position created by Yves Dubreil at Renault. Dubreil is director, medium and high range automobiles at Renault.He was made famous by the development of Renault’s tiny Twingo car and more recently of Laguna II. (Read Insead’sbusiness case on French Car manufacturers at for more details, and namelychapter 7.1 entitled 7. The French Car Companies’ Innovation Strategies (p 41)54 Cp Joël de Rosnay’s Macroscope (The macroscope: A new world scientific system by Joël de Rosnay, 1979 HarperCollinsPublishers. An online version is available at and my recent work on humannetworks (2004): of Networks and Men. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 28 / 62
  • 29. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005order to get a job done, because his/her project status is considered more critical than anythingelse. V.U Manager Non hierarchical skills-based relationship Contributor Contributor Contributor V.U Manager Contributor V.U Contributor Manager V.U Manager Figure 13orbital project management by Jacques Civilise This project management method is a best practice for handling complexity. Besides, it enablesprojects to ramp up more quickly, more efficiently and improves project success rates: indeed withthis method, proactive problem solving helps tackling issues even before they crop-up, i.e. beforeit’s too late and before they generate a band-wagon effect on the overall project-schedule. Oneoften refers to this way of handling projects as managing projects through Murphy’s Law. Murphy’sLaw can be summarized by the following adage: “if anything can go wrong, it will”55. The downsideof that type of project management is that it may be judged pessimistic or even negative by some.This method does emphasize issues before they become too visible. Most people feel morecomfortable talking about solutions as opposed to problems. If anything, this is much morereassuring from a psychological viewpoint. In fact, preventing problems from happening imposes55Here is a comprehensive list of Murphy’s laws taken from Howard Fallon’s “How to implement information systemsand live to tell about it”: 1. Nothing is as easy as it looks. 2. Everything takes longer than you think. 3. Anything that can go wrong, will. 4. If any or several things can go wrong, the most damaging will be the one that does. 5. If you find all the ways something can go wrong and circumvent them, another way will unexpectedly appear. 6. Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse. 7. If everything is going well, you’re obviously overlooking something. 8. Nature always sides with the hidden. 9. Nothing is foolproof because fools are so ingenious. 10. If you thing nothing can go wrong, you just did.Murphy’s law (whose original name was Sod’s law because it would happen to any poor sod who would need such adisaster the least was named after Capt. Edward Murphy at Edward Air Force Base in 1949. Source . ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 29 / 62
  • 30. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005that kind of prescience regarding potential issues. Let’s face it; if you are afraid of problems, thereare very few chances that you might ever be able to lead a complex project from cradle to grave. Project management principles issued from the world of manufacturing industries also apply toICT innovation projects, despite specific arrangements and adaptation to the size of the project. Band-wagon effect Intensity of labour List of issues New specs Delay List of issues Specs Délay S0R Ramp-up 1st prototyping Bug listing time Figure 14: Classic project management of complex projects is a recipe for disaster Immediate ramp-up ahead Early-stage prototyping of schedule Intensity of labour Getting rid of false solutions (either wrong or generating too many issues) Very often early delivery because early ramp-up Reverse planning based on marketing needs Productive Visionary analysis plus project prioritisation of objectives. time Breakdown of value-units Figure 15: Advanced project management techniques often – if not always – produce better resultsOF SUCCESSFUL MARKETING PROJECTS AND HYPE The ability to distinguish hype projects from real ones is of paramount importance. Glitz overcontent, design over market shave, fad or fashion over business should keep you on your toes.Above all, one should definitely cease to believe that just because a product/service is superior bydesign, success is inevitable, and vice versa. And media coverage does not mean a thing either,despite appearances. Donald A. Norman explains this phenomenon in a very convincing fashion, asshown in this paragraph concerning Apple, taken from an essay on innovation and largeenterprises56: “[…]In fact, Apple Computer, the one company that tried hardest to make productsthat were easy to use, understandable, with sophisticated aesthetics driving both graphical design onthe screen and industrial design of the products, failed. (yes, I know: Apple still exists, with a loyalband of followers who will follow it to its death, alas, But 4% of market share does not constitute56 Donald A Norman : The life cycle of a technology: Why it is so difficult for large companies to innovate (1998) ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 30 / 62
  • 31. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005success.[…]) ». I have been able to confirm these numbers thanks to the statistics taken from mywebsite57 over a large period (from January 1 till December 15, 2003) and covering a great numberof displayed web pages. As a matter of fact, Apple’s market share seems to be even lower than whatDonald Norman estimated in 1998. Operating d exp loitation Systèmes Systems Pagesgdisplayed p a e s vu e s % W in d o w s XP 6 2 2 16 3 1 .4 2% W in d o w s 9 8 6 1 4 48 3 1 .0 4% W in d o w s 2 0 0 0 5 0 2 22 2 5 .3 7% W in d o w s N T 1 3 6 22 6 .8 8% W in d o w s 9 5 4 2 22 2 .1 3% T o ta l W in d o w s 1 9 1 7 30 9 6 .8 4% M a c Po w e r PC 5 2 60 2 .6 6% U n ix X 1 1 5 15 0 .2 6% Au tre s Other 4 55 0 .2 3% T o ta l 1 9 7 96 0 1 00 % Figure 16: Source : Weborama – Apple’s market share could well be below 4% 58 By the way, it is worthy of note that in consumer markets, market shares below 10% areconsidered meaningless59. Research carried out by Mac Generation in November 2003 pointed outthat Apple’s market share had plummeted to a mere 2%, despite the iPOD hype and high growthrate of sales of its MP3 player and by products: “Judging by the success of the Apple exhibitionacross the Channel”, Mac Generation experts wrote in 2003, Apple is back on its feet that side ofthe channel. Indeed the iPOD completely transformed our English neighbours’ perception ofApple. Numbers are there to prove it as sales went up by 36% in the UK. All Apple productsoutperformed last year’s results by more than 10%. With a 2.5% market-share, Apple UK is now inbetter shape than most Apple’s European subsidiaries, namely France, where their market-share isnow stable at around 2%”60. M E T H O D O L O G I C A L T O O L B OX In this part of the text I have listed a number of tools or methods, which I have found useful inmy career. I have not tried to make a list of all available marketing techniques and methodologies.Instead, I have preferred to select a few methods which I have found and can easily be adapted toyour personal examples, without having to refer to the comprehensive source documents.57 Visionary Marketing’s website statistics gathered and certified by weborama ( Please note that these statistics are based from connections from all countries.59 According to French daily Liberation (Nov 27,2003) “Apple do not want to communicate publicly regarding theirmarket share in Japan, but according independent consultants from Multimedia Research Institute, Apple would not makeit to the top ten list of IT providers in Japan”. Apple’s overall market share went from 10% to 3.5-4% in 1998 (SourceCERIG EFPG).60 Mac generation website at Read too with the latest estimate of Apple’s market share at 1.9% inthe US. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 31 / 62
  • 32. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 CROSSING THE CHASM: A VISION OF ICT LYFECYCLES Geoffrey Moore, one of Regis Mc Kenna’s disciples wrote a fundamental book at thebeginning of the 1990’ entitled Crossing the Chasm, which provides great insight into the product orservice lifecycle theory61. To start with, diagram #1 shows the classic view of a product lifecycle: Sales Launch Growth Maturity Decline time Figure 17: Diagram#1 – ‘Ideal’ Lifecycle curve 62 As pointed out by Dubois & Jolibert63, many variations on the theme depicted in diagram #1exist. All these variations, in a manner of speaking, contradict this vision of an ‘ideal’ lifecycle curve,or at least they cast a very different light on the subject. I have taken two examples from Dr Rink &J.E. Swan (1967) as shown in diagrams #2 and #364. Sales First cycle And so on… time Figure 18: Diagram#2 – Cycle upon cycle (fashion-driven markets) 65 Diagram #2 covers markets like the bicycle market, where lead the show66. In such markets,what makes sales progress is not so much the need to be able to go from point A to point B as thedesire to possess a new bike (the old Raleigh ‘chopper’ of the 80’s, or All terrain bikes in the 90’s61Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers, Harper Business Essentials,1991.62 Source : Pierre Louis Dubois & Alain Jolibert, Ibid63 P.L Dubois & A. Jolibert, the fundamentals of marketing. In French – Le Marketing: fondements et pratiques,Economica,1992.64 DR Rink & JE Swan, “Product Life Cycle research” a literature review, Journal of Business, 78, 219-242 in PL Duboiset Alain Jolibert, Ibid, p 319-320.65 PL Dubois & A Jolibert, Ibid.66 This may not apply in certain countries, or may apply differently since not all fashion-trends are universal. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 32 / 62
  • 33. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005etc…). Each generation is incited to buy new generation bicycles, the novelty of which makes suchnew products desirable. In such markets, every fashion trend breathes life into the product lifecycle.Please note that these successive cycles may not be proportional, as shown by the research carriedout by Rink & Swan67. Sales time 68 Figure 19: Diagram#3 –Innovative mature markets As far as personal computers are concerned, I believe their product lifecycle is very close to thepattern shown in diagram #3. The PC’s market is on the verge of saturation on the residentialsegment. What it means is that people tend to replace their machines as late as possible. This slowlybut surely becomes a renewal market (See the slide taken from Thierry Breton’s IDATE 2003presentation per below in Figure 22). This market perpetually tries to reinvent itself because of the technological pressure whichtends to render current hardware obsolete every other year. Due to this pressure, people no longerreplace their PC’s because they have stopped working (as they would with their refrigerator when itneeds replacement, i.e. when it breaks down) but rather because it can’t cope with the new versionsof software which are being constantly and frenetically upgraded until they are completelyoverhauled every two years or so. Alternatively, new functionality has been implemented (such asmultimedia online usage, or DVD-COM burning, new flat screens, etc…), which increases socialpressure on the shoulders of PC users who therefore feel the obligatory need to replace their kit etc.If ever PC penetration were anywhere close to that of refrigerators (i.e. 99%, and 90% from 1975),we would still replace our PC’s faster than we do on refrigerators, for fridges are by essence, veryuseful but very boring, whereas PC’s make dream and remain big kids.67DR Rink & Swan ‘Product lifecycle research’, a literature review, journal of business, 78,219-242 in PL Dubois &A.Jolibert. Ibid.68 PL Dubois & A Jolibert, Ibid. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 33 / 62
  • 34. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 Figure 20: Evolution of the equipment rates of French Households69 Crossing the chasm: New technology adoption rates Norman (1998: The Invisible Computer) Modified from Moore [1995]). Source: Jan 2005 ICT Marketing © 2004 by Yann A Gourvennec 34 Figure 21: Moore’s segmentation reviewed and updated by Donald Norman 70 Geoffrey Moore’s main merit was to prove that classic visions of the product lifecycle did notapply to the field of ICT markets, which are mostly innovation-driven; more precisely, what hemeant was that something extra was needed to help industrial how new technologies were adoptedby new users. This is a fact: 80% of new products will never make it to the rest A the lifecyclebecause the launch is the most crucial and dangerous phase of the ICT lifecycle. Most innovations won’t even manage to leave their R&D cocoon by the way. What Moore hasshown is that this ‘ideal’ lifecycle curve was in fact cut in the middle by thy great divide, this chasmas he chose to name it, and he proved that ICT marketeers’ challenge was to cross this chasm, toovercome this difficulty of turning just good ideas into real products.69 Source Vuibert, History & Geography, June 200370 Donald A Norman, Ibid. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 34 / 62
  • 35. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 Besides, Moore brought in a brand-new segmentation, which referred to users/buyers oftechnology products and not just products themselves. Some of these segment names are now partof our everyday vocabulary (early adopter namely). As shown in Figure 21, which we extractedfrom Norman’s71 of reengineering of Moore’s segmentation, first and foremost come to the‘techno-enthusiasts’, who are ready to buy any type of new technology as long as the prestige itbestows is high and visible. Price for them is not a valid criterion, or indeed, it’s just the other wayaround: The more expensive, the more exclusive, the more desirable72… For instance, way back2000-2001, buying expensive €30,000 plasma TV screens was highly valuable for those who wantedto be the first to try flat TV screens (and show them to their friends). ‘Early adopters’ come next. Early adopters are ahead of markets and they have a good feel forthose technologies, which are meant to become mainstream one day. They tend to be more realisticthan ‘techno-enthusiasts’. They know they have to wait for a technology to catch up, until its pricebecomes reasonable - even though it’s still too high. The third category of users (right after the socalled chasm) is made of ‘early pragmatists’ who will only start buying new technology when theyare certain that it will become mainstream. Pragmatists tend to discard gadgets and they have atendency to buy that technology which brings real solutions to their problems. At least,conservatives and laggards only come into the market when everybody else has, and they are thosewho really make markets mainstream or not. Laggards tend to yield to peer-pressure when it really is inevitable and when not belonging acertain object/product really becomes too much to bear. One should be aware that - according totime and circumstances - each of us could be found in any of the above categories of technologyusers. One may very well be an early adopter of home-cinema and a laggard for computers or viceversa. G. Moore’s largest contribution in my mind was to show that a gulf existed between techno-fans (categories 1 and 2) and pragmatists (categories 3 and 4). He showed that the real difficulty wasto grow markets into mass-markets, i.e. take then from stage 2 to stage 3. This a great challenge andthe question remains as to the recipe –if any- to take one’s products safely across that chasm. Geoffrey Moore describes is war-like method he compares to the assault of the Normandybeaches by the allies on June 6th, 1944 (D-day analogy)73. Thierry Breton made a presentation at anIDATE74 meeting in November 2003. In this presentation where he explained Frame Telecom’snew strategy, he delivered a diagram which can be used to better understand the penetration ofvarious ICT products and devices within French households. This diagram shows the 10% lowerlimit, below which a market can be described as a niche market (as opposed to a mass/mainstreammarket). This diagram gives a good idea as to which products have managed to cross the chasm ornot.71 Donald A.Norman: The lifecycle of a technology. Ibid.72Please note that this is less valid when it comes to services for services bestow less prestige on their buyer (except maybe consulting).73 Geoffrey Moore, Ibid. chapter 3, page 63.74IDATE is one of Europe’s leading consultancies in the field of ICT. IDATE is presided over by Francis Lorentz, Bull’sformer president. The presentation is available at ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 35 / 62
  • 36. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 Equipment rates in French households (source France Telecom) 2003 figures with progression rates Growth of equipment rate in French households - Q12003/Q12001 DVD Readers Digital cameras Equipment: 25% Growth: 430% Equipment: 9,5% Growth: 350% 300% Mini DV’s 250% 200% CD-Rom burners 150% Home Mass consumption Cinema appliances Video Tape Recorders 100% Equipment : 76% 16/9 TV sets Growth : +4% 50% Camcorders PC’s Analog & digital Video recorders Gaming consoles TV sets Pay TV Equipment: 95% 0% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% Equipment rate (Q22003) Source: Médiamétrie&France Télécom Jan 2004 Multimedia is key ICT Marketing © 2004 by Yann A Gourvennec 35 Figure 22: Source : Thierry Breton, France Télécom – IDATE 19-20-21 novembre 2003 75 Product life cycle analysis in residential markets may appear complex to some, but industrialmarkets life cycles beat the former off hands down. The example shown in figure 23 is taken from aGartner report on the storage market. This report is aimed at CTO’s and CIO’s (whose 40% oftheir IT budgets are devoted to storage hardware and software by the way). In such examples ofextreme complexity, marketeers’ role become really difficult as well as highly specific. On the onehand, marketeers have to extract whatever valuable information is available from that technicalchaos, to derive sound marketing intelligible conclusions and to simplify technical details as muchas possible. But there is a fine line between that work and pure abstraction, whereby all marketingwork is disconnected from technical reality and therefore becomes unintelligible.75 This presentation is availabe onlien from the Idate Website at and at ( 3MB). Html mirror available at ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 36 / 62
  • 37. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 Figure 23: Source : Nick Allen, Gartner Group 76 When ICT marketing becomes that complex, only multi-disciplinary teams can handle suchsubjects. Very often, such teams are created through strategic partnerships, which combinedifferent companies, each of them providing experts in their own domain. SOFTWARE PRODUCTS AND THEIR RECURRING REVENUES. Software is definitely different from other ICT products. On the one hand, software keepsevolving all the time, either because it is being patched (‘patches’ being the technical term forsoftware corrections) or upgraded (i.e. improved through the inclusion of new functionality),mostly because of customer feedback and suggestions. Software products are ‘living organisms’ soto speak by dint of the piling of software layer upon software layer77. 70% of software cost isderived from its maintenance, which explains why behaviour of such systems may become socomplex and even incomprehensible to users and experts alike. Another characteristic of software products is that they are sold – in B2B environments mainly– through licence agreements, which span over several years and bring recurring revenues. A top ofthe range software vendor78 will certainly be able to maintain revenues for at least three years –without additional revenues – thanks to such recurring revenues.76 Source :, Ibid.77 BIOS, Operating System(OS), middleware, vertical and horizontal applications, back office and front office layers, thinclient and plug-ins etc. The list is almost endless.78 For instance, a vendor of operating system software for large systems. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 37 / 62
  • 38. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 Why software is different: after-sale maintenance Estimated cost structure of the software life cycle Statement of Analysis Requirements 2% 5% Design 6% Coding 5% Tests 7% integration 8% maintenance 67% Kenneth R. Perry, 2000 - Department of Computer and Information Science at Clark Atlanta University. Jan 2004 ICT Marketing © 2004 by Yann A Gourvennec 29 Figure 24: Why software is different:The impact of maintenance in the cost structure79 ROBERT METCALFE’S MAGIC QUADRANT When it comes to the marketing of networks, Metcalfe’s magic quadrant springs to mind.Metcalfe has described a law for the development of networks, which can almost be held asuniversal. As Jerome Delacroix puts it : ‘[….] the usefulness of a network is proportional to thesquare of the number of nodes that are connected. Let’s take telephones as an example. Startingwith two users, there is a network, but it’s not very useful. Once most residents in a city areconnected, the usefulness of the network grows larger in proportion. Today, virtually all peopleliving in the developed world are connected, so that the telephone network has created a “globalvillage”80 ’.79 Source : Kenneth R. Perry, 2000 - Department of Computer and Information Science at Clark Atlanta University.80 Read on at ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 38 / 62
  • 39. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 Metcalfe’s Magic Quadrant Robert Metcalfe is the inventor of the Ethernet network protocol and the founder of 3COM. His law is based on observation and it helps assess how effective a network can be. Source: (J Delacroix, 2003) Jan 2005 ICT Marketing © 2004 by Yann A Gourvennec 37 Figure 25: Metcalfes law However simplistic, this law is very useful to those who wish to launch new network-relatedservices. Indeed, when the network (or any form of network) is at the centre of a newly launchedservice, looking for short term revenues before network access is made pervasive does not makesense. This is why the marketing of network-centric products/services almost always involves anextensive investment phase dedicated to infrastructure. Infrastructure investments are often verycostly but they make it possible to build the network and its access points unless you wish to use anexisting network – like the Internet; pervasive access to the Internet is what it makes it so successfulfor building new networked applications. To a certain extent, one may even say that, despite itspoor security enforcement, the Internet is so successful because of this very pervasiveness andubiquity. Highly secure, but less accessible services will – most of the time – be more successful thanhighly secure, hardly accessible services. In other words, first comes access, then usage and lastly,security is enforced to preserve usage. The well-spread belief that security and protection are driversto system usage is, in my mind, a bad idea. Looking at what happened in France in the 1980’s withthe roll-out of the Minitel system is tale-telling. At that time, France Telecom was still agovernment-owned PTT and not the modern privatised service-provider we know today. FTdecided back then to equip each and every household with a free Minitel terminal. The extraordinarylife span (20 years) of this service made it an amazing cash-cow for the telecom operator generatinghumongous revenues81. In a way, the development of mobile telephony wasn’t any different.Mobile operators chose to make mobile devices free when subscribers chose to commit for a 12-24month-period with the same operator, thereby generating recurring revenues. This method is stillbeing used by operators when they wish to retain their existing customers. This little diagram ofMetcalfe’s can easily help marketeers avoid huge business development mistakes, for instance thatof believing that new communications services can be successful when terminals capable ofaccessing it are not sufficiently available.81 Christine Cilti ( tells us that the Minitel still had 15 million usersin 2000. Its revenues were FRF 12b even in 2000 (approx. €1.8 bn ). Minitel usage started to plummet in 2003-2004 dueto the increasing penetration of computers in the homes. Here you have it! Metcalfe’s law again. Read Frances Minitel:20 years young by James Arnold for even more up-to-date details (may 14th, 2003) in English on BBC’s website. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 39 / 62
  • 40. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 However obvious the above statement, this mistake is repeated over and over again andreading the news will bring you evidence of that phenomenon on an almost daily basis. Reverse-engineering: Marketing the unknown Desmarest-Krycève: "“It must be easier to improve something that people know about, rather than ask them to specify what they ignore or even fail to understand”" 1 2 Pilot test Pilot Assumptions users/clients Changes Changes Feedback Survey control system 3 Sample application of the "reverse-engineering" approach in ICT Marketing Source: Yann Gourvennec (2001-2002) Jan 2005 ICT Marketing © 2004 by Yann A Gourvennec 38 82 Figure 26: Real life example of the implementation of reverse-engineering marketing in the creation of a new service83 As mentioned earlier (demand or offering-centric marketing chapter. See page 14 ), Desmarest& Krycève’s methodological approach is particularly apt for the development of new ICT productsand services. I have translated their method (aka reengineering marketing) in Figure 26. Thisdifferent approach to marketing is very useful when addressing innovation product developmentissues where target audiences have little or no understanding of the context surrounding the newproduct. As pointed out by Desmarets &Krycève: “it is easier to measure how dissatisfied clientsare than to assess the requirements for an unknown object”. Using this assumption as a basis, theyrecommend a method whereby the innovative product is actually sold, which makes it possible forthe measurement of clients’ dissatisfaction. In this case they tend to oppose the generally acceptedidea whereby one should ask people what they consciously think their needs are, even though theymight not even have a vague idea of what the interviewer is talking about. Asking people point blank what they think about such and such technology they do not knowwill inevitably trigger responses from them, aimed at covering their ignorance (for fear of soundingstupid). We will expand on this method in the “a few examples” chapter. (see page MARKETS ARE CONVERSATIONS One of the most useful of these marketing tips and tricks is the cluetrain manifesto84. Theauthors of this manifesto remind us of a few home truths about doing business in general. Indeed,82 Source : Yann Gourvennec launch of the service (France Telecom’s webconferencing service).83Source : Yann Gourvennec, Launch of, France Télécom’s own Webconferencing service(2002)84 The entirety of the cluetrain manifesto can be found online at . ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 40 / 62
  • 41. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005business is not just about filling in your database with as much data as possible about your client.Similarly, business is not about developing or even awning a nice piece of software, let alone a nicelooking website. What the authors are hammering in this manifesto borders on the obvious. Still,30% of most e-mails sent to professional websites are left unanswered. And this is not getting anybetter over the years85. Once again Amazon has set the standards for online customer service.When a client receives a damaged CD for instance, he or she will be able to resend it to Amazonfree of charge and a new copy of the CD will be sent to him or her immediately. Amazon not onlymanaged to create one of the most amazing web-based businesses in terms of quality of service andease of use, not to mention their nearly exhaustive catalogue; they mostly succeeded in positioningtheir brand around their second-to-none customer service. Their e-mails responses are to the pointand swift, quality-driven and always aimed at keeping their clients satisfied. Besides, they trulymanaged to maintain that quality of service across continents and countries. Since 199586 they havebeen at the forefront of all technologies aimed at increasing and maintaining customer satisfaction.Tools like ‘the Page you made’ or the list of recommended items based on your previous purchasesor even the books and records you own and like enable you not just to buy new stuff but todiscover new artists based on your tastes and feedback. This is probably the best achievement evermade in the field of personalisation. One can venture to say that Amazon’s Jeff Bezos mostcertainly followed the advice of the cluetrain manifesto himself. On the other hand I have witnessed many an online bank87 where it takes two days to respondto client’s requests, despite the fact that the main channel of communications for online banks isbound to be e-mail. With these few examples, it now seems obvious that communication has notmuch to do with technology, but when technology enhances communication, then and only then,great shopping experience is the reward88. STRATEGIC MARKETING THE FUTURE OF MARKETING ACCORDING TO REGIS MC KENNA Regis Mc Kenna has been the Californian ICT marketing guru since the end of the nineteeneighties. And he is certainly one of the most renowned authors in the area. Following into hisfootsteps, Christine Moorman89, a professor of marketing at Durham University, NC USA, remarksthat (in 1999) marketing is becoming more and more pervasive as it stops being the exclusivity ofmarketing departments because “everything is marketing.” Even production is about marketing andmarketing is about production, etc. Likewise, in my previous work entitled Visionary Marketing90 Iinsisted upon the difference between the marketing function and marketing activity, a moreuniversal way of handling marketing, and more holistic.85 Source: . This issue is also valid overseas and elsewhere on the continent.86Yours truly will confess (as early as 2005) 10years of enduring admiration for Amazon, whether it be in the US, the UKand France and his renewed custom for books and CD’s all over these years.87 I will not quote any brand names in this article.88 For more reference, please refer to my contribution at the ‘Signes du Net’ seminar, 2001 French senate at (untranslated).89 Ibid ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 41 / 62
  • 42. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 A REAL LIFE EXAMPLE: THE STRATEGIC DILEMMA OF INCUMBENT TELCOS (2003 – 2005) I have chosen the example of the telecom industry in order to illustrate marketing strategy. As the Internet bubble burst, all European incumbent telcos91 have been forced to change the way they were doing business while maintaining their core business afloat, with increasing pressure on the quality of service and plummeting prices. CHANGING THE ENGINE WHILE FLYING The incumbent telco dilemma hinges upon 4 different factors. First and foremost, the financial pressure that they have to face is Figure 27: Computerworld Cartoon Archive (Source tremendous. Despite the outstanding : turnarounds undertaken by most of these companies, most of them remain veryvulnerable because of the huge debt that they have gathered. Secondly, the pressure on their corerevenues is also tremendous due to the fact that the prices for their core activities are going down ata very fast pace. On the one hand, regulatory demands on the lowering of interconnection pricesare increasingly stronger. On the other hand, end prices are naturally eroding because of thecommoditisation of such services (classic product life cycle issue). Thirdly, clients are puttingpressure on telcos for them to lower their prices (mostly B2B clients) and reduce their telecomspend as well as demanding faster and better ROI’s. Lastly, shareholders are increasingly demandingin terms of innovation and new product investments. This is exactly where the biggest problem lies. Such new products and services imply heavyinvestments in R&D and infrastructure and their results may not be visible immediately (seeMetcalfe’s magic quadrant on page 39). This is why incumbent telcos have to bolster creativity andinnovation, in order to improve operational results, without threatening the financial equilibriumwhich has just been reinstated. Keeping the balance right is very difficult. Cisco’s IBSG92consultants coined the following phrase to describe this situation: Changing the Engine while flying.Indeed, this is just as if we were asking Lindberg to replace his old propeller engine for a new jet inthe middle of the Atlantic Ocean – certainly not easy…91 Common abbreviation for Telecom Companies.92 Internet Business Solutions Group, i.e. Cisco’s group of business consultants and business developers. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 42 / 62
  • 43. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 ‘Changing the Engine while Flying’ Can Telecoms still generate growth? Revenue Pressure Change Financial pressure Clients wish to reduce Telecom Spend + demand ROI Jan 2004 Club des MOA - Le Marketing des NTIC © 2003-2004 Yann A Gourvennec 31 Figure 28: The incumbent Telco dilemna93 Growth has forced Telcos to Widen Offerings Office Wan/voice Web LAN automation More Value-Added Services •Managed LANS/WANS •Outsourcing integrate Pushing towards new service lines sold to existing customer base: •Internet-related products & services •Lan & Desktop Management operate •Systems integration design More Market penetration on core business activities (namely Internationalisation) run core business Jan 2004 Club des MOA - Le Marketing des NTIC © 2003-2004 Yann A Gourvennec 32 Figure 29: Telecom offerings at the end the Internet bubble 94 GROWTH & DIVERSIFICATION This unusual situation for telcos will entice them to try and cover the whole spectrum telecomproducts and services, whether it be new lines of services or new markets and a combination ofthose. Three main strategic options are available to them: Firstly, to increase their penetration ontheir existing markets, namely through the globalisation of their presence (against all odds, FranceTélécom emerges as the champion in that area with 41% of its revenue generated abroad, versusonly 11% at British Telecom95; secondly, to up sell new value-added services or even by selling newservices or products outside their core business activities like Internet services or even fully-fledgedintegration services; thirdly, to move into outsourcing and/or out-tasking services, which enabletelcos to generate recurring revenues (typically over 7 or 5-year periods).93 Source : Yann Gourvennec, France Télécom & Cisco, IBSG off-site meeting, 200394 Source : Yann Gourvennec, France Télécom & Cisco, IBSG off-site meeting, 200395 Source : Yankee Group 2003 (Note: Before the takeover of Infonet in 2005). ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 43 / 62
  • 44. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 The reason why going out of the Internet bubble years became so difficult for telcos was theirchoice to diversify at full speed outside of their core-business, and therefore indulging a recordbuying spree involving the buyout of new technologies, new people and new companies, not tomention worldwide expansion. All was not bad in that strategy but the impact of bad choices wasso huge that it implied the systematic denial and rejection of any kind of strategy vaguely negatingthe ‘core-business’ diktat. GROWTH IMPLIES VALUE-SELLING But adding value also implies selling value. Broadening the range of products and services is allvery well but you can’t ask the same sales force to sell more services without minor adjustments.On the one hand, Telco core business-related services are more mature and require one-to-onerelationships and close contact customer service management. On the other hand innovativegrowth-generating services (such as outsourcing services for instance) imply a change in bothmindsets and sales approaches. On high-end innovative services, an ROI-driven approach isnecessary in order to prove to your clients that purchasing a particular service will imply fringebenefits which offset the cost of the service to such an extent that this cost ends up being marginalin their eyes. Very often, in order to be able to implement value-selling approaches, one needs toevolve the sales force, or even to bring new blood, through the hiring of new people possibly with astrong consulting background. Growth Implies Value-Selling + Telecom Outsourcing •CRM •Outsourcing •Call centres •SMS •Teleconferencing •Consulting (all media) •e-business International data Newproducts/services products/services •E-transformation New products/services •Webconferencing Mobility Value Selling means explaining the Challenge services & purpose and benefits of ICT tools Core Business Core Business The only way Domestic Data forward is consultative selling Voice Network Access - + Time & energy spend on detailing/explaining VALUE Jan 2004 Club des MOA - Le Marketing des NTIC © 2003-2004 Yann A Gourvennec 33 Figure 30: Growth implies Value-Selling Cisco’s experiment with the so-called IBSG Group (IBSG standing for Internet BusinessSolutions Group) is probably unrivalled. IBSG’s business consultants in Europe are committed tosupporting Cisco systems’ sales force. Their mission is to deliver tailor-made argumentations aimedat emphasizing the value that Cisco can bring to their clients. Value can be measured against 2 axes(see Figure 31) but in no way must these business consultants supersede the regular sales force. Onthe contrary, their role is that of a supplementary sales force only. One of the most common mistakes in marketing strategy is due to the misunderstanding of theterm strategy itself. Strategy is, as the Merriam-Webster online dictionary states96 “2 a : a careful planor method : a clever stratagem b : the art of devising or employing plans or stratagems toward agoal”.96 Source: ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 44 / 62
  • 45. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 Let us stress once more that ICT marketing is somewhat different from the marketing of othersectors (refer to the chapter entitled the amazing complexity of ict marketing). ICT marketing strategy hasthe following characteristics: Firstly, it must remain down-to-earth for it is dealing with subjectswhich are little known or even unheard of. As a consequence, ICT marketing has to evolveaccording to circumstances. This is why very stable, rigid once-and-for all strategies do not apply toICT marketing at all. Secondly, ICT marketing is very product-orientated, which is normal since it isinnovation-driven and innovation generates new products. Thirdly, fast-track marketing isparticularly adapted to innovation since moving fast and reducing time-to-market is key to gainingcompetitive advantages in the field of information and communication technology. In the fourthplace, ICT marketing requires specific satisfaction survey methods and techniques, as direct aspossible, as cheap as possible. Because of the nature of ICT marketing (fast paced and ever changing), ICT surveys have to beiterated as much as possible or even kept alive in real-time. Lastly – as we have shown already –ICT marketing is on average mostly offering-centric, and therefore, ICT marketing strategicthinking has to be carried-out both internally and externally. I have described the following businessplanning process (which is fundamentally different from the financial planning process as seenearlier); this business planning process will pave the way for the entire strategic assessment (seeFigure 32). Error! Objects cannot be created from editing field codes. Figure 31 : The Value Matrix Error! Objects cannot be created from editing field codes. Figure 32: The Visionarymarketing Strategic Assessment methodology97 As seen in Figure 32, the preliminary work on basic assumptions is fundamental and crucial ifyou wish to be able to take this process to completion. At the same time, working on the commonvision is key to building the future strategy for your business. Vision will highlight what you thinkyou are, where you think you want to go and it will determine everything you endeavour in order toget there. The strategic assessment questionnaire is aimed at clarifying the vision of today’s realitythat the organisation’s main decision makers have formed. It also helps assess whether this visionis shared and consistent as well as it enables one to freeze the basic assumptions, which willcondition the rest of the strategic assessment process. This questionnaire consists of an approximately 40-question slideshow and is self-administeredby the board members who will have been gathered around the same table. Approximately 15minutes will be necessary to fill in the questionnaire. Subsequently, fifteen minutes will be devotedto the realtime analysis of the results, preferably during the coffee-break. A 30-minute debriefsession will ensue, whereby this analysis and thoughts will be shared with the management team.This strategic assessment questionnaire is called ‘a projective’ questionnaire, i.e. where respondentsproject their inner thoughts and commit them to paper. It is a very convenient trick, which can beused to reveal what managers really think and compare visions and end up with – a more or less –common vision of reality and future goals. At any rate, the projective questionnaire option enablesICT marketeers to gain a clear understanding of valid strategic assumptions and also hints on howsustainable management backup could be obtained. In actual fact, this questionnaire does not servethe usual purpose of neutrality as normal surveys do. Its aim is somewhat different. It is aimed atBoard members primarily, but one could decide to use it on much wider populations.97 Source, Ibid. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 45 / 62
  • 46. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 The questionnaire has to be filled out during sessions within the given deadline. No conferringis allowed. This will help preserve spontaneity. Most of the questions have to be biased: Askingrespondents to take sides for one or several strategic options may mean that they have to choosebetween extremes. This process will enable the reproduction of the context relative to the decision-making process. Respondents will be asked to give their opinion now and in the future and theyhave to fill-in the questionnaire without giving their names. Opinions expressed will have to bepersonal as opposed to the personal understanding of a global vision. Sometimes only one choicewill be possible, even though respondents would find it more convenient to keep their optionsopen. This will force them to make real choices, as is required when making strategic decisions inreal life. Error! Objects cannot be created from editing field codes. Figure 33: Sample strategic assessment question98 At the end of the questionnaire, a small quizz will have to be added, whereby questions will beasked about revenues, market shares or a particular product. Apart from triggering a few smiles, thisquizz will be very useful when it comes to comparing views on facts and figures. If you think thatall Board members should know about these things, give it a try and I am sure you will come acrossa few interesting surprises. The questionnaire has been divided into eight parts: 1. Your organisation 2. Your clients 3. Your services/products 4. Your markets 5. Your distribution channels 6. Your competitors 7. Your ROI 8. Quizz Of course, you may have to add or subtract one or many parts from this sample questionnaireoutline. It all depends on the context of your work and adaptation is mandatory. Among thedeliverables of this strategic assessment phase, I would like to lay a stress on deliverable #1:Corporate Objectives. This is where the vision, objectives and corporate values will be describedfor the benefit of the entire organisation.98 The entirety of this questionnaire is available online at ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 46 / 62
  • 47. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 1. Corporate Objectives Mission statement E.g. Provide best of breed advanced communications services to European MNCs Our Values E.g. We value employee empowerment We believe in modern technologies when they are robust We encourage professionalism and will reward best practices We encourage creativity and motivate our teams Our Objectives E.g. Maintain our position in Europe Develop our European revenue by x% Foster R&D by raising their budgets by 1.5% p.a. Jan 2005 ICT Marketing © 2004 by Yann A Gourvennec 27 Figure 34: Sample vision statement as part of the strategic assessment process Eventually, the strategic analysis that is carried out through the strategic assessment process willhelp you feed the standard strategic matrices that most of you know already. The strategicassessment questionnaire will be very helpful to you in this respect. In the following pages I havereproduced a number of these matrices although this list is by no means comprehensive. Accordingto circumstances and depending on how much time is left after the questionnaire administrationprocess, a discussion on pricing and margin may be introduced at the end of the strategicassessment workshop. In that particular case, preliminary desk-research is a must-have. When itcomes to electronic commerce, branding issues are crucial and have to be added to the outline. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 47 / 62
  • 48. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 A FEW SAMPLE STRATEGIC MATRICES Error! Objects cannot be created from editing field codes. Figure 35: The PEST matrix for environmental analysis Error! Objects cannot be created from editing field codes. Figure 36: The classic SWOT matrix Error! Objects cannot be created from editing field codes. Figure 37: The basic but useful BCG matrix. Variations on that theme abound 99 Error! Objects cannot be created from editing field codes. Figure 38: The Ansoff matrix enables marketeers to elaborate on their strategic options Error! Objects cannot be created from editing field codes. Figure 39: A sample product family matrix SAMPLE TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR A STRATEGIC PLAN I have extracted the following outline from a real-life marketing plan related to the launch of anew online service on the Wanadoo portal. Introduction 1. Executive summary 2. Strategic assessment 2.1. Objectives 2.2. Assumptions 2.3. (Wanadoo) branding assets 3. Legal aspects 4. Service description 4.1. Functional description 4.1.1. Service access 4.1.2. Main features 4.1.3. Abandoned features 5. Functional system architecture 6. Online navigation & interface 7. How the new service fits in the existing range 8. Security 9. Payment systems 10. Image (assumptions) 11. Branding 12. Pricing 12.1. Business model 12.2. Costs 12.3. Prices 13. Publicity & advertising 13.1. Internet naming options 13.2. Search engine indexing policy99 Refer namely to Mc Kinsey’s version ( which theydeveloped for General Electric ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 48 / 62
  • 49. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 13.3. Advertising plan 14. Profile of target market(s) 14.1. Market analysis 14.2. The offering 14.3. The demand 15. Marketing and sales 15.1. User testing and survey 15.2. Assumptions 15.3. Online survey mechanism 15.4. Statistics 16. Sales issues 17. Administration issues 17.1. Billing 17.2. Back-office description 17.3. Support 17.4. Technological choices 17.5. Legacy systems & platforms 17.6. Integration within the portal 18. Forecasts 18.1. Assumptions 18.2. Potential revenues 18.3. Costs 18.4. Break-even analysis 19. Financing 20. Project schedule and other project details. A FEW REAL LIFE EXAMPLES (1) B2B SMB: VIASOLUTIONS IN A BOX This first concrete example is taken from my work as Director, e-business at France Telecomteleconferencing services in the course of summer 2000. This work proved really useful withregards to the understanding of how to market ICT services to SMB’s (the idea was to test whetherSMB’s would be interested in subscribing to an online communications portal).PHASE 1: DESK RESEARCH. The preliminary desk-research phase enabled us to target the SMB market and segment thetarget market using the number of employees and the industry sector. Eurostat numbers were usedand other sources too (Netvalue, IDC, UFB Locabail etc.). Whenever dealing with SMB’s, subsegmentation is inevitable because the SMB sector is not homogeneous enough. The breakdown ofthe entire population into bits is therefore inevitable. Any attempt at selling to the sub market as awhole will often fail because there the assumed sub market does not exist but is a collection ofvarious segments divided both by vertical and horizontal characteristics.PHASE 2: FACE TO FACE INTERVIEWS Methodology This phase was crucial. It enabled us to verify and validate both our objectives andassumptions. Our study was focused around four main areas of interest: 1) What kind of information are SMB’s or soho users interested in? Are their requirements guided by the characteristics of the sector for which they work? ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 49 / 62
  • 50. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 2) What services do such companies require (according to size and sector)? 3) Is there really a market for a portal aimed at helping SMB’s and soho workers cope with their daily business activities? 4) Should it be a one-size-fit-all sort of offer or should it be tailored to suit the needs of each industry sector? These objectives were common to phases 2 and 3. We were able to test them against a panel ofindustry experts of the SMB and soho markets including a few managers and owners of such smallenterprises. In order to make things easier for us and our interviewees, we decided to create amakeshift online services portal through the integration of standard features taken from otherportals on the one hand (My Yahoo!100, and the like) and other features taken from our own panelof services. Figure 40: The ‘Viasolutions-in-a-box’ concept and strawman of a portal (untranslated) This is how we created from scratch the ‘viasolutions-in-a-box’ concept (see Figure 40) whichwas aimed at making interviewees react on a real life example that they could see and even click on.On the other hand, we organised a dozen face to face interviews with professionals and expertswhose field of expertise was varied. The learning curve drawn from various field experiences in thatarea shows that optimum results can be obtained between 10 and 15 interviews. Of course, we hadplanned to extend the number of interviewees in case we did not gather enough reliableinformation in the first round of talks, but we did not have to do it at the end of the day.100 ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 50 / 62
  • 51. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 20 Higher limit average 15 Lower limit 10 0 Figure 41: The face-to-face interview learning curve Contrary to what people think, it is not necessary to interview a great number of persons inorder to produce worthy results. To make the most of qualitative surveys, one has to bear in mindthat such surveys are not about measuring proportions, but they are about detecting trends andvalidating assumptions. Producing meaningless conclusions out of non representative samples andtaking the wrong decisions based on numbers which have no foundations is akin to taking a wildshot in the dark. Using these qualitative results and answers as they are may on the contrary provevery fruitful if only you can take a bit of hindsight regarding such results. Of course, sociologists101are able to conduct very sophisticated qualitative surveys but in this particular case, a simplifiedversion of the qualitative survey methodology was sufficient for this type of study. All we had to dowas to take a diverse sample of the population we were targeting: Industry experts and syndicates,Internet gurus, SMB and soho entrepreneurs and even a baker whose portal was the focal point formany players in his industry. As long as such diversity is preserved, and as long as the interviewersbring enough knowledge and insight in your problem, around 12 interviews should be sufficient foryou to have a decent grasp of the situation. Should some of the interviewees appear too narrow-minded and/or should they have no clearpersonal understanding or opinion of the situation, or should they proved too reserved (or, on theopposite, too much of a show-off) to bring valuable insight and guidance for your study, then youshould endeavour to broaden the number of interviewees. Likewise, if you think that you haveinterviewed too much of one type or category of interviewees, you might be tempted to correctyour balance of opinions by bringing other types in your interview process. I have tested it over andover again in the field and I can assure you that this average of 12 is almost always verified. Outcome of the qualitative survey Beside all relevant market details, the main outcome of this survey was the feed-back we hadon the notion of ‘portal’. Our interviewers in fact, did not like the term at all. They found itconfusing and thought that very few members of our target populations would ever be able tounderstand it at all. Besides, our experts believed that a portal for SMB’s was of very little interest ,and they advised us to negotiate reciprocal links with existing vertical websites. Above all, what thesurvey was showing was that the interest for our communications services themselves was higherthan that of the portal that hosted them. Regarding our Internet-based services, the survey helpedus draw the following conclusions: • Messaging services over the Internet (fax or e-mail): high interest for separate, unbundled services. Focus on interest for broadcast services less obvious, except for SMS messages,101Cp: Françoise Frisch ‘qualitative surveys’ . Editions d’organisation, 1999 (untranslated Les etudes qualitatives). Also referto Use Of Sociological Surveys For Assessing Environmental Information Needs (overview and recommendations) byMariya Potabenko, Grid-Arendal guest-researcher at . ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 51 / 62
  • 52. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 • Teleconferencing services were thought ideal for syndicates and institutional communication but less adapted to small and medium sized firms, • As to unified messaging, the concept seemed very interesting but required a lot of explanations. Besides, interviewees found the name confusing and misleading. Top of the mind awareness for that kind of services seemed to be very low, All those results helped us form valid assumptions, which we had to take to the field in orderto verify them. INTERVIEW GUIDE FOR SMB EXPERTS INTERNET USAGE TRENDS • Do you think that the majority of (Country) SMB’s are connected to the Internet? • If so, what are they using the Internet for and what kind of access? (phone line, broadband, etc…) • How do you think (Country) compares to other European countries? SMB PORTALS • To your knowledge, is there a portal that most SMB’s are using? • Could such a portal be of interest? • What would be the drivers inhibitors for visiting/not visiting that portal? AWARENESS FOR ONLINE (ASP ) SERVICES • Fax broadcasting service; e-mailing service; SMS service; teleconferencing services (audio and video): fax, e-mails and voice mail sent to a ‘unified’ e-mail box, • Are any of these of interest for SMB’s? ! Show VIASOLUTIONS IN A BOX on line strawman and check reactions and changes of opinion. ACCESS PROVIDERS • Should such services be offered by an Internet access provider (e.g Wanadoo, …..)? • Do you think that small enterprises would be willing to pay for such services? Who would be asking, paying for it? • Do you think that free access would be a valid option to boost the market? • Which end-user device should we target (PC, PDA, WAP, ….)? • What do you think would be the best way to publicise such a portal and/or its ancillary services?PHASE 3: QUANTITATIVE SURVEY Methodology The quantitative phase of this study proved both challenging and very rewarding at the sametime. Sampling issues and complex interviewing modes made matters very difficult for us, but wemanaged to overcome these difficulties. This survey proved very rewarding because of its outcomebut also because some of the mistakes we made along this process also served our purpose byteaching us what to (and not to) do in the future. Our first major issue was sampling. To beginwith, our file wasn’t good enough at describing local SME’s in details. Conversely, building thequota matrix proved a very lengthy but relatively easy process . Let us state here the main objectivesof our survey; at the end of phase 2, we had a chance to refine them and now there are only threeof them left: ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 52 / 62
  • 53. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 A. Get a better grasp of (and try to quantify) a market which is not well known to us: that of SMB’s and soho users with regards to Internet usage, B. Determine what types of Internet communications services we could provide and evaluate the interest of each sub-segment for all those services, C. Determine quantitatively how to maximise the impact of such services on the various segments (which ISP, what publicity, etc…). The preliminary segmentation retained for that part of the survey was the following: • SMB’s: Firms with 10-500 employees (branches of large organisations excluded, namely branches of major financial institutions). • SOHO: up to 10 employees. The sampling phase however, proved really difficult. We did not have a complete file at handcontaining all the requested criteria (size, sector and geography). As a result we decided to work theother way round, i.e. sending more questionnaires than necessary to a random sample by geographyand to roll back the results all the way to the right sample granularity. All the questionnaires inexcess – even valid – were therefore taken out of the relevant geographies. Geographies weredetermined using the phone prefix which enabled us to define five different geographies. Surveyswere sent by fax, and also partly by pail, but fax proved so superior we decided to give up mailalong the process. Our first-cut assumption was a 1-5% hit-rate. We were very satisfied with therate of return of our fax surveys, which came back to us very swiftly (50% return rate in a 24-hourtimeframe). All in all, 740 responses were analyzed over a total of 1000 valid filled-outquestionnaires. Our upper limit had been set at 750 in order to preserve the ability to carry outcross tab analysis on our data with sector and geography criteria. This 750 limit was our guaranteethat we could gather 100 responses by geography; as a result, 1% in each of these geographies wasequal to one full response. Our estimate for error margins on this representative sample of theFrench population of SMB’s and SOHO’s in 2000 was an honourable 3% (reminder: minimumerror margin is 2.5% for a sample of 1500 taken out of a similarly huge population, i.e. severalmillions in this example if we include SOHO’s). Figure 42: Confidence intervals for a given sample size and corresponding typical error margins 102.102 Refer to for an online version of that table ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 53 / 62
  • 54. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 Let me remind my readers here that calculating error margins is a statistical and theoreticalexercise, which does not imply that the error margin percentage provided here is true. Indeed,surveys are also and mostly reliant on the way their questions are written, asked and also bothquestions and answers are interpreted. However useful, this error margin calculation is only a hintafter all. Figure 43: Final sampling matrix comparing assumptions and end-results. Statistics pertaining to phase 3 of this survey: • Valid questionnaires expected: 750 • Valid questionnaires analysed : 750 • Total number of questionnaires received: 1200 • Expected response rate : 1.5% • End response rate: 1.84% The in-sourcing of this survey enabled us to save a considerable amount of money off ourmarketing costs. The questionnaire was designed using WORD with a particular constraint due tofax-mailing characteristics, i.e. that the questionnaire had better fit on a single page in order to avoidrespondents to fill in one page out of two and provide us with partial results. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 54 / 62
  • 55. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 Figure 44: The questionnaire for phase 3 of our survey (untranslated) ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 55 / 62
  • 56. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 Figure 45 : Our CAPI system, wisco survey power 103 Quantitative survey results The results which we derived from the analysis of this survey were very interesting. At the same time, the limitations of the survey showed us how difficult it was to interpret some of these results; perceptions of potential ICT products/services can be really nebulous at times and this factor definitely has to be taken into account. 48 different sub sectors (belonging to 14 different verticals) were analysed. This questionnaire is a good example of how I like to build surveys. However very brief the questionnaire itself may seem, cross tab analyses enable to draw stable and rich conclusions, based on a representative sample of the entire population. You may not believe me, but what one experiences in the field is often very different. The tendency that many consultancies develop is that of mass-production, therefore burying confusing and redundant questions underneath a staggering number of pages. I suspect that the idea beneath it is that the longer the questionnaire, the more serious the work. Well! I think this is just the other way round. When the aim of a study is not well defined, when consultants feel they have to cover all the potential subjects, just in case something might happen, clients should be on their toes. Here are some of the results that we have gathered from the analysis of our survey:PROFILE104 • 50% of SMB’s belonged to the services, health and safety and building sectors, • The structure of all sectors is almost similar if one excepts restaurants, cafés and bars where one can practically find no sohos.INTERNET USAGE (as of 2000) • 70% were using the Internet in the workplace, • Paris-region dominant namely for workplace usage,103For a more recent version of this software, please look at A demo version can be downloadedfrom Our most significant profile data will not be disclosed in this document. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 56 / 62
  • 57. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 • Most connected sectors were: 1) real estate 2) lawyers and solicitors 3) entertainment and sports, • Less connected segments were: 1) farmers 2) shop keepers, • 60% of interviewees used the Internet at least once a day (ISP data no longer valid and won’t be reproduced here), • Only 30% of SMB’s actually had a website at that time, • Those websites were mostly static, • Companies below 10 employees clearly lagging behind others in terms of Internet usage.ELECTRONIC COMMERCE (2000 data) • 20% of interviewees were buying things online (probably double by now), • Paris-region – although most connected – seemed to be less advanced regarding electronic commerce usage, • Heart of target population seemed to be SME’s with 2-5 employees, • Most mature sectors in order of preference: 1) Legal 2) insurance 3) Entertainment & sports 4) Transportation.INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT OUR COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES • The most disappointing fact about this study was due to a striking ‘halo effect’ surrounding the perception of communication services in general. Besides, this halo-effect could not be detected during the pre-test, therefore we had to make our mistakes in the field before knowing them. This halo-effect enticed respondents to declare themselves as users of various services in proportions which could not be kept in our analysis, • Despite our efforts aimed at getting rid of all the jargon surrounding our services, the understanding of what such services were proposing remained in fact feeble for most cases, • Short-term interest was unveiled for fax to mail services. We were able to test and confirm this interest when we launched our fax to mail service with Wanadoo.A FEW HINTS FOR NEW SHORT TERM SERVICES • Web to fax: already 24% of interviewees had used such services and 9% were planning to use them in the near future, • E-mail broadcast: 10% interest for short term availability (certainly much higher nowadays), • Fax to mail: huge halo-effect enticed 21% of respondents to state that they had already used such a service. Still, high interest for short term availability (which proved real when tested in the field).SECTOR/SIZE FACTOR • Interest and expectations varied according to sector size and type. This was yet more evidence that segmentation was not an option. (2) B2C2B SMB’S: UNIFIED MESSAGING ONLINE SURVEY This is an example we have already alluded to quite a few times, namely in our article related toonline survey techniques and tools (aka CAWI105). I will not, therefore, describe this experiment inminute details; on the contrary, I will only focus on the lessons learnt, especially with regards to theabove-mentioned halo-effect..105 Online web interviewing principles and tools available at ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 57 / 62
  • 58. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 Viasolutions in a box (Unified Messaging) SMS A weird concept for 1999 users and maybe even today Jan 2005 ICT Marketing © 2004 by Yann A Gourvennec 27 Figure 46: Unified Messaging Diagram is a much better service than its name lets you think Unified messaging was (and still is to a large extent) mostly incomprehensible to most users.The service had been available for quite a while when – in 2000 – we decided to give it another try.We thought at the time that giving away the demo product would serve our purpose. We thoughthat all we had to do was to find a few enthusiasts, give away the service for free and test theirreactions. Not so, not so… The result of that relaunch proved an absolute disaster. Giving aproduct for free is a good idea if people know what they are getting in the experiment. If theydon’t, finding volunteers and besides, getting these volunteers to actually try the service can be veryhard, no matter how you try, be it online, offline, with or without a contract. We had to face themusic: the whole thing was a fiasco. When we had pilot users, only 1 in 10 actually used the serviceand was able to give us his/her opinion. Denis Failly106 provided similar numbers on one ofFrance’s leading free Webmail service Lycos107: not more than 20% of their 2 million mail-boxeswere really active boxes (out of 10 million). Yet, the difference is that everybody knows what an e-mail box is and how to use it. Conversely, unified messaging remains the web’s best kept secret,even today. This is why I decided to change my strategy once more and opted for a more direct method(which I have described earlier as ‘reverse-engineering marketing’). In fact we started to sell theproduct/service online immediately and we installed a free-form open-ended questionnaire online.This is how we were able to redesign our product in real-time while cutting our design costsdrastically. This online survey enabled us to adapt our product in real-time. Besides, an additionalsurvey was sent to current or past users in order to maximise feed-back collection and analysis. As a conclusion for this chapter, I believe that there is no marketing miracle-cure. I don’tbelieve in preset marketing methodologies for designing product trials. Testing one’s product in thefield sounds a very straightforward task to most, but it isn’t. Besides, predicting behaviour frompre-tests just doesn’t seem to work in the ICT arena (is it just about ICT?). I think that the bestmethodology remains flexibility and adaptation: one should keep an open mind. Secondly, another106 Denis Failly contributed quite a few articles online at was taken over by Lycos a few years ago. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 58 / 62
  • 59. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005lesson learnt is that free trials are not always a good idea. On the one hand, pilot users are notalways the ones making the final decision on the purchasing of a particular service108. Besides, a freetrial is not always fruitful or at least more fruitful than a real-life product trial and – obviously – itcosts money. Real-life product trials whereby clients have to pay for the product or service aremore effective and they also enable you to test your ideas on how to market, at what price, and howpeople (users, decision makers, opinion leaders,…) make their decisions about purchasing or notyour service. (3) B2B: VIACONFERENCING.COM, FT’S WEB CONFERENCING SERVICE When we decided to launch a new web conferencing service for France Telecom, we had onemore opportunity to build upon the lessons learnt that we described in points (2) and (1). Wewanted to launch this service on a big scale and therefore, we needed to document the launchrather well. A very detailed and thorough pre-test had to be organised and I decided to embark allmy team on this important project. We tried everything in order to better understand therequirements of our potential customers: pre-tests and trials, surveys (qualitative, quantitative,online and offline etc…) but at the end of the day, despite the amount of money that was sunk intosuch studies and how much time we spent carrying them out, our understanding remained far fromperfect. I am not saying this to make a point that market surveys are useless. On the contrary, I really believe in the power of market surveys. The point I am making here isthat this study would have been more effective if we had postponed it by 6-8 months, i.e. after theproduct launch, strangely enough. At the end of the day, we did something like this when weimplemented an online questionnaire which popped up after each webconference. Eventually, suchsurveys generate a lot of frustration but do not enable marketeers to reduce the risk of launching anew product. I almost forgot to tell you … this engagement was carried out with the help ofconsultants and cost the same amount as the initial upfront payment to our main supplier. Veryfrustrating. (4) B2B EXAMPLE: ALLIANCE MANAGEMENT (MNC ENVIRONMENT) One of my most recent experiences has led me to create, develop and promote alliance at a very high level in an MNC environment. This is still Marketing because it’s about dealing with concepts and it’s about preparing field action (very often it ends up being business development per se). I have been able to list a number of rules which, in my mind, I would qualify as the golden rules of partnership management. GOLDEN RULE N° 1: DEVELOP A STRATEGIC VISION Profitable alliance programmes should only behappening at a highly strategic level. Setting up ambitious revenue objectives and allocating relevantresources are key to the success of such programmes. Avoid spending all your time with low-levelsales engagements at all cost. Besides, don’t believe that deals can be replicated blindly without thenecessary Marketing vision (unless your business lines are relatively simple and your kind ofbusiness is less bespoke). When dealing with bespoke services for MNC’s you should know thatbespoke services can seldom be replicated.108 See figure XX on the decision process around mobility services (UNISYS). ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 59 / 62
  • 60. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005GOLDEN RULE N° 2: SETTING UP AMBITIOUS, SMART OBJECTIVES Avoid MOU109-driven partnerships at all cost. Use benchmark-driven approaches each time it’spossible by testing what your partners have done elsewhere, with other companies, where no directcompetition with them is involved. Look at best practices and build upon them.GOLDEN RULE N° 3: THE RIGHT LEVEL OF MANAGEMENT FOCUS Involving high-level exec sponsors too early in a partnership project is not going to take youanywhere. Besides, it might even cost you a lot of time and effort to put things right and … outlivethe pressure. Exec sponsors are mostly useful when they are asked to make simple decisions basedon well documented projects.GOLDEN RULE N° 4: ENFORCE STRICT GOVERNANCE A multi-layered governance model is a critical success factor for alliance projects. This is howyou will ensure that you can muster your troops with sufficient backup from Management for yourprojects as you go along. Failing to ensure that management backup is available is suicidal and amajor cause of failure for all types of cross-functional project managementGOLDEN RULE N° 5: NO PARTNERSHIP WITHOUT ALLIANCE MANAGERS If you ensure that 2 people – on either side – are in charge of nurturing the future allianceprogramme, then you are on the right track. If no one is available at the other side, do insist thatsomeone be appointed.GOLDEN RULE N° 6: ENFORCE RESPECT BETWEEN PARTIES Building alliance programmes implies that one be able to enforce the respect between bothparties. Mutual respect is key. No alliances can develop if managers on both sides of the fencedespise each other. You will have to teach your people this behaviour (win-win approach) but alsoyour partner’s people.GOLDEN RULE N° 7: CROSS-BUSINESS IS NOT A TABOO Try as you might, you will never manage to make your partner forget that you are also a client –and vice versa. I think that when negotiations become hard, they tend to show great opportunitiestoo. I don’t believe in business between ‘nice people’ signing nice little MOU’s leading nowhere.GOLDEN RULE N° 8: INVOLVE YOUR LAWYERS… AT THE RIGHT TIME Most alliance agreements if not all are entirely based on confidence and the promise that eitherparty will deliver something which matches the other party’s expectations. If you involve too manylawyers (or involve them too early), this is just like something sending a strong signal to yourpartner that something, some time, is bound to go wrong. I don’t believe this is a great way to begina relationship. Anyway, such agreements are non- binding110 and therefore, putting things in writingdoes not always mean that the expected result will be met.GOLDEN RULE N° 9: DON’T GIVE UP! Of course, this piece of advice would be valid for any type of activity and/or project. Yet,building partnerships is somewhat very hard – something that my counterparts and I are used toreferring to as ‘heavy-lifting’.109 Memorandum of Understanding, i.e. some sort of non-binding agreement.110 Except in France, where French law does not recognise non-binding agreements. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 60 / 62
  • 61. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005GOLDEN RULE N° 10: SPOT THE BUSY BEES Forget about those old-time management books that would lead you to think that organisationcharts are everything. Spot the busy bees, i.e. those people who actually get things done, eventhough they might not be at the highest level of their hierarchy.GOLDEN RULE N° 11: COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE Internally and externally, do communicate on your partnership projects. Share information,ensuring that you are granted the ownership of your partnership programmes and that thisownership is acknowledged by all.GOLDEN RULE N° 12: PROGRAMME MANAGEMENT & EXPERTISE IS A MUST Each alliance is a project. Often you will find that an alliance project is in fact a programme (i.e.cross-organisational or even cross-geographical) and that this programme is like an umbrellaencompassing many smaller programmes or projects. Forget about spectacular one-offs.Partnership programmes cannot be just deal-driven, this is a contradiction in terms. But goodpartnership programmes do generate good and numerous deals of course.GOLDEN RULE N° 13: 3-WAY AND MORE ALLIANCES AKA ECOSYSTEMS Although more difficult to set up, ecosystems do bring better and farther-reachingopportunities. But they can also make matters a lot more complex and swamp a sub-project or twoalong the way if they are introduced too early.GOLDEN RULE N° 14: KEEP OFF INTELLECTUAL SESSIONS Avoid high level slideware sessions as much as possible unless real value can be derived fromthem. Revenue must be the ultimate driver for your action.GOLDEN RULE N° 15: SET UP JOINT EVENTS Joint events with you and your partners’ customers can help spread the word about yourprogrammes. They may also speed up the detection of new prospective clients.GOLDEN RULE N° 16: SEGMENT AND CERTIFY Distinguish between vertical and horizontal partners. Besides, VARS and partners should notbe treated the same way. Certifying your best partners is a nice way of promoting your allianceprogrammes. Note: this list of 16 golden rules is not comprehensive and needs to be adapted to each particular case. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 61 / 62