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Introduction to Solution Marketing at ProductCamp Connecticut

Steve Robins
Steve Robins
Steve RobinsVP of Marketing | CMO | Software | SaaS | Digital Marketing | Solution Marketing | Product Marketing at Solution Marketing Strategies

Introduction to Solution Marketing - Delivered by Steve Robins at ProductCamp Connecticut on October 17, 2015

Introduction to Solution Marketing at ProductCamp Connecticut

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© 2011
www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com
Introduction to
Solution Marketing
Steve Robins
October, 2015
www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p2© 2009-2015
What is “it”?
What’s Happening What’s Needed
• Customers want it • Solutions make life easier
• Help customers• But most customers
can’t do it on their own
• Technology is increasingly complex and
customers lack in-house resources, time,
expertise
• Apple, IBM and Chuck e
Cheese sell it
• Each offers complete solutions to
customers…
Apple iPad ecosystem, IBM industry
solutions, Chuck e Cheese birthday
package • Provide discipline, rigor,
consistency – best
practices• Most tech companies
claim to have it
• Seems like everyone sells solutions today
• But none of them know
what it is
• But there’s not a common definition
• Sales thinks they’re
selling it…
• Many sales teams use the Solution Selling
methodology
• Help Marketing to work
with Sales
• Provide a solution
methodology for
Marketing
• …but they’re doing it
without Marketing.
• But Solution Selling does not provide
strategic guidance for Marketing
• It can be confusing • There’s little discipline around solutions
• Solution Marketing Blog,
Group, Consulting
“It” = Solutions
www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p3© 2009-2015
What’s Happening What’s Needed
• Customers want it • Solutions make life easier
• Help customers• But most customers
can’t do it on their own
• Technology is increasingly complex and
customers lack in-house resources, time,
expertise
• Apple, IBM and Chuck e
Cheese sell it
• Each offers complete solutions to
customers…
Apple iPad ecosystem, IBM industry
solutions, Chuck e Cheese birthday
package • Provide discipline, rigor,
consistency – best
practices• Most tech companies
claim to have it
• Seems like everyone sells solutions today
• But none of them know
what it is
• But there’s not a common definition
• Sales thinks they’re
selling it…
• Many sales teams use the Solution Selling
methodology
• Help Marketing to work
with Sales
• Provide a solution
methodology for
Marketing
• …but they’re doing it
without Marketing.
• But Solution Selling does not provide
strategic guidance for Marketing
• It can be confusing • There’s little discipline around solutions
• Solution Marketing Blog,
Group, Consulting
What is “it”? Solutions is It.
www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p4© 2009-2015
• Provide a solution
methodology for Marketing
• Discipline, rigor,
consistency – best
practices
• Help Marketing to work with
Sales
• How:
• Solution Marketing
Blog
• Presentations
• LinkedIn Group
Steve Robins
 15+ years in solution marketing
– Principal, Solution Marketing Strategies strategic marketing
consultancy
– Expertise in solution, industry and product marketing
– Experience: FirstBest Systems, Solution Marketing Strategies, EMC
Documentum, KANA,
The Yankee Group
– SearchCRM – martech column
 Founder, The Solution Marketing Blog,
Top-rated solution marketing blog
 Inbound Marketing Certified Professional
s.Robins [at] solutionmkt [dot] com
SolutionMarketingStrategies.com
LinkedIn.com/in/SteveRobins1
@SteveRobins
SolutionMarketingBlog.com
techtarget.com/contributor/Steve-Robins
Solution Marketing Pros LinkedIn group
www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p5© 2009-2015
Solutions Everywhere
Device
+
Software
+
Content
+
Cloud
Device
+
Software
+
Content
+
Cloud
Kid food
+
Adult food
+
Entertainment
+
Activities
+
Party gifts
www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p6© 2009-2015
Solutions Everywhere

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Introduction to Solution Marketing at ProductCamp Connecticut

  • 2. www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p2© 2009-2015 What is “it”? What’s Happening What’s Needed • Customers want it • Solutions make life easier • Help customers• But most customers can’t do it on their own • Technology is increasingly complex and customers lack in-house resources, time, expertise • Apple, IBM and Chuck e Cheese sell it • Each offers complete solutions to customers… Apple iPad ecosystem, IBM industry solutions, Chuck e Cheese birthday package • Provide discipline, rigor, consistency – best practices• Most tech companies claim to have it • Seems like everyone sells solutions today • But none of them know what it is • But there’s not a common definition • Sales thinks they’re selling it… • Many sales teams use the Solution Selling methodology • Help Marketing to work with Sales • Provide a solution methodology for Marketing • …but they’re doing it without Marketing. • But Solution Selling does not provide strategic guidance for Marketing • It can be confusing • There’s little discipline around solutions • Solution Marketing Blog, Group, Consulting “It” = Solutions
  • 3. www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p3© 2009-2015 What’s Happening What’s Needed • Customers want it • Solutions make life easier • Help customers• But most customers can’t do it on their own • Technology is increasingly complex and customers lack in-house resources, time, expertise • Apple, IBM and Chuck e Cheese sell it • Each offers complete solutions to customers… Apple iPad ecosystem, IBM industry solutions, Chuck e Cheese birthday package • Provide discipline, rigor, consistency – best practices• Most tech companies claim to have it • Seems like everyone sells solutions today • But none of them know what it is • But there’s not a common definition • Sales thinks they’re selling it… • Many sales teams use the Solution Selling methodology • Help Marketing to work with Sales • Provide a solution methodology for Marketing • …but they’re doing it without Marketing. • But Solution Selling does not provide strategic guidance for Marketing • It can be confusing • There’s little discipline around solutions • Solution Marketing Blog, Group, Consulting What is “it”? Solutions is It.
  • 4. www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p4© 2009-2015 • Provide a solution methodology for Marketing • Discipline, rigor, consistency – best practices • Help Marketing to work with Sales • How: • Solution Marketing Blog • Presentations • LinkedIn Group Steve Robins  15+ years in solution marketing – Principal, Solution Marketing Strategies strategic marketing consultancy – Expertise in solution, industry and product marketing – Experience: FirstBest Systems, Solution Marketing Strategies, EMC Documentum, KANA, The Yankee Group – SearchCRM – martech column  Founder, The Solution Marketing Blog, Top-rated solution marketing blog  Inbound Marketing Certified Professional s.Robins [at] solutionmkt [dot] com SolutionMarketingStrategies.com LinkedIn.com/in/SteveRobins1 @SteveRobins SolutionMarketingBlog.com techtarget.com/contributor/Steve-Robins Solution Marketing Pros LinkedIn group
  • 5. www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p5© 2009-2015 Solutions Everywhere Device + Software + Content + Cloud Device + Software + Content + Cloud Kid food + Adult food + Entertainment + Activities + Party gifts
  • 7. www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p7© 2009-2015 Agenda  Introduction  Beyond products  Solution marketing – Solution – Education & engagement – Value – Access  Building your solution marketing strategy – Discovery – Strategies for solutions, education & engagement, value, access – Case studies  Next steps, Q&A
  • 8. © 2009-2015 Solution Marketing Strategies Beyond Products The Solution Imperative
  • 9. www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p9© 2009-2015 Typical Company Wants… Company Tech- nology Customer
  • 10. www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p10© 2009-2015 What is a Solution Anyways? so·lu·tion noun sə-ˈlü-shən General definition: a: an action or process of solving a problem b: an answer to a problem so·lu·tion noun sə-ˈlü-shən Business definition: A complete and integrated offering that includes everything required to solve a customer problem
  • 11. www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p11© 2009-2015 Services Typical Customer Wants… Customer --- Pain Points Tech- nology User Process Content/ Data Complete Solution Everything to solve the customer’s problem
  • 12. www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p12© 2009-2015 Complete Solution User • User interfaces • Training • Support • Best practices • Domain expertise Process • Process optimization • Reengineering • Workflow • Integrated experiences • ROI studies • Security Content/ Data • Content  Documents  Images  Video  Music  Books • Data • External data sources • Data security, data policies Technology • Hardware/ infrastructure • Software platforms • Applications • Complementary technologies • Integrations • Custom coding Services • Strategy • Project management • Risk management • Custom coding • Integration services • Communications services, hosting • Support
  • 13. www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p13© 2009-2015 Why Solutions?  Increasing complexity of technology  Limited in-house IT to support systems  Avoid in-house/SI build or integration  Business users drive tech decisions but don’t understand the technology  Mature markets
  • 14. www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p14© 2009-2015 Why It Matters Early Adopters Visionaries Innovators Technology Enthusiasts Early Majority/ Pragmatists Late Majority Conservatives Laggards Skeptics Time Customers want technology and performance Customers want solutions and convenience Relative%ofCustomers End of Life Early Life Bowling Alley Sources: E.M. Rogers, G. Moore The Solution Opportunity Main Street The Tornado The Chasm
  • 15. © 2009-2015 Solution Marketing Strategies Solution Marketing Customer-Centric Marketing for Today
  • 16. www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p16© 2009-2015 What is Solution Marketing? so·lu·tion mar·ket·ing noun sə-ˈlü-shənˈmär-kə-tiŋ The process of defining, educating, and providing access to complete and integrated solutions that deliver value by helping customers to solve their problems.
  • 17. www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p17© 2009-2015 Solution Marketing Adds Value To Marketing, Sales and Product Management Frictionless Sales Social Media Field Enablement Marketing Support Product Management
  • 18. www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p18© 2009-2015 The 4 P’s – All About the Company Place Product Pro- motion Price Company “Build it and they will come” Outbound, interruption marketing Cost-plus; margin is king Best channels for us to sell the product
  • 19. www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p19© 2009-2015 Strategy, Metrics Place Product Pro- motion Price Company Solution Marketing – All About the Customer Customer --- Pain Points Solution Access Education Engagement Value End-to-End Marketing for Today Customer-Focused Marketing “How can I solve my problem?” “How can I learn more about it?” “How will it help me and what is my total sacrifice to get this solution?” “Where can I find it?”
  • 20. © 2009-2015 Solution Marketing Strategies Building Your Solution Marketing Strategy Discovery Strategies for: Solutions Education & Engagement Value Access
  • 21. www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p21© 2009-2015 360o Discovery What markets and solutions should we target? What will each solution do and include? How will we educate and engage with potential users and buyers? How will we incorporate and communicate value? How would the user/buyer like to buy and use the solution? Internal • Revenue • Current offerings • Core competencies • Solution maturity • Sales-readiness External • Under-solved challenges • Top market, solution opportunities • Segment size • Market drivers • Competition Solution Requirements • Use cases • Revenue • Business challenges • Industry/function trends • Key components • Buy vs build • Testing Persona • Titles • Business challenges • Career goals • Thought process How to connect • “Hang-outs” – communication channels, pubs, trade shows, social media • Industry jargon • Influence levers (ex case studies?) Value • Before/after process • Before/after challenge/gain • Customer’s value drivers - dollar impact • ROI • Purchasing habits, budget Access • Best channels • Optimal role of VARs, SIs, direct sales, buying on contract • Preferred delivery models… Software? SaaS? Business Process Outsourcing? User Personas Customer Value Solution Access Portfolio Strategy Solution Development
  • 22. www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p22© 2009-2015 Solution Needs Hierarchy Components & integrations Business value Solution description – what it does Target audience and business problem Intelligence: templates, rules etc Mature Less Mature 2 3 5 1 4
  • 23. www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p23© 2009-2015 Solution Strategy • General strategy: • Target markets/functions, solutions • Solution maturity • Partner • Buy vs build • Completeness: Platform > Framework > Templates > Application • Portfolio management • Revenue goals • Cross-functional team • Metrics for success • Cross-functional alignment, organizational support • Development/engineering/product management • Channel/SI partners • Marketing • Sales • Support • Services
  • 24. © 2009-2015 Solution Marketing Strategies BIZ CHALLENGE SOLUTION PowerAdvocate Offers Complete Solutions Business challenge: Optimize procurement in the energy sector (power plants) Company challenge: Differentiate the company from larger players like Ariba
  • 25. © 2009-2015 Solution Marketing Strategies BIZ CHALLENGE SOLUTION PowerAdvocate Offers Complete Solutions  Products: SaaS solutions for procurement spend, cost, market, sourcing  Services: Industry experts provide services to lower costs  Data: Market-specific procurement data and analysis Differentiator: industry-specific data Solution Assessment User  Process  Content/Data  Technology  Services 
  • 26. www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p26© 2009-2015 Education & Engagement: Message Targeted Consistent/ True $ Value- Driven JargonRelevant Insured Agent Carrier Loss ratio
  • 27. www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p27© 2009-2015 Education & Engagement: Strategy Market Education Market Engagement Field Enablement/ Sales Challenge & How to Frictionless Sales Demand Gen Buy Now!
  • 28. www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p28© 2009-2015 Value = Benefit - Cost Benefits (Improvement)  Profit, expense, revenue drivers  New business  Time savings  Productivity improvement  Headcount reduction  Soft benefits Total Cost of Ownership  External… – Software – Hardware – Services  Internal… – Training – Change management – Desktop upgrades – IT management Value to the user or buyer $Dollars Perceived Benefit Value © 2011 www.SolutionMarketingBlog.com Total Cost
  • 29. www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p29© 2009-2015 Value = Benefit - TCO Value-Based Pricing BusinessBenefit($) CBA Poor Value Unneeded features Fair Value Price matches benefit High Value Lost software revenue Assume that vendor charges fair price for features provided D Customer Benefit Fair Value Price matches benefit Lost revenue Unneeded features Customer Benefit Customer Benefit Customer Benefit Price Solution use-case drives benefit and value
  • 30. © 2009-2015 Solution Marketing Strategies BIZ CHALLENGE SOLUTION RESULT Microsoft SharePoint Delivers Value with 50% of the features Share information with other people in the enterprise
  • 31. © 2009-2015 Solution Marketing Strategies BIZ CHALLENGE RESULTSOLUTION Microsoft SharePoint Delivers Value with 50% of the features We don’t claim we do everything. If we do 50 percent of the functions that these other companies do, but they’re the ones customers really want, that’s fine. The magic is that end users actually like to use the software. ” “ Chris Capossela Senior Vice President Information Worker Product Management Group , Microsoft NY Times 8/2/2009
  • 32. © 2009-2015 Solution Marketing Strategies BIZ CHALLENGE SOLUTION RESULT Microsoft SharePoint Delivers Value with 50% of the features Significant growth at expense of mainstream ECM vendors Lesson: Customers gain value by buying only the features they need E
  • 33. www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p33© 2009-2015 Access  Be flexible  Provide seamless experience  Enable frictionless sales  Complete/close the sale quickly  Ensure success thru “the last mile”
  • 34. © 2009-2015 Solution Marketing Strategies Next Steps
  • 35. www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p35© 2009-2015 Getting Started 1. Begin internal discovery 2. Know the customer 3. Define the business problem 4. Move from feature/benefit  business value 5. Think about solution completeness 6. Bonus: how are market/tech forces changing solution requirements?
  • 36. www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p36© 2009-2015 Strategy, Metrics Place Product Pro- motion Price Company Solution Marketing Strategies Solution Marketing Frameworks™ Customer --- Pain Points Solution Access Education Engagement Value Solution Marketing Services Customer --- Pain Points Tech- nology User Process Content/ Data Complete Solution
  • 37. www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com p37© 2009-2015 Thank You Steve Robins Principal / Consultant Solution Marketing Strategies www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com s.Robins [at] solutionmkt [dot] com SolutionMarketingStrategies.com LinkedIn.com/in/SteveRobins1 @SteveRobins SolutionMarketingBlog.com techtarget.com/contributor/Steve-Robins Solution Marketing Pros LinkedIn group