Introduction To Solution Marketing (Fall 2009)

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Stop selling products. Start selling solutions to your customers' problems. This presentation will show you how.

Steve Robins has been helping software companies to transform into successful solution providers for over ten years. Learn more at http://www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com.Read the Solution Marketing Blog:
http://www.SolutionMarketingBlog.com

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  • Steve Robins Solution Marketing Strategies Copyright 2009
  • Hyundai - http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123120314231055825.html#printMode
  • You would think that if you had a great product everyone would buy it, right? After all, your product probably has all of the features that customers have asked for, it’s innovative, it’s new, it’s fast, it’s better than the competition, etc etc. Sometimes that works but all too often it doesn’t. The reason is that often, people and companies aren’t looking to just buy a product . Rather, they’re looking for solutions to their problems.
  • When you offer a solution , you’re taking a broader view of what the customer needs. It’s no longer just about your product . In fact, solutions go beyond your products to include other products, services, training, support, the customer experience – in short, everything that the customer needs to successfully solve their problem.
  • You’re probably familiar with the 4 P’s of marketing. Well, when you work with solutions, you need to take a different approach to marketing – based on the SIVA model developed by a professors Chekitan Dev and Don Schultz several years back. When you market a product, you typically focus on Product features and benefits Promotion that’s based on one-way push communications Pricing that’s often based on a cost-plus model Place or distribution that’s all about getting your product out to the distribution channels you think will be best But when marketing solutions, you’ll start at a different place. That’s the customer’s problem – what are they trying to solve? Your answer to this is the Solution You’ll help customers become informed and educated in a 2-way dialog You’ll help customers to see the value - cost vs. benefit And you’ll need to enable customers to access your solution in the way that they need, - say as software or software-as-a-service.
  • So here’s a definition… Solution marketing is The process of defining, educating, and providing access to complete and integrated solutions that deliver customer value by helping customers to solve their problems.
  • You’re probably familiar with the 4 P’s of marketing – product, promotion, price and place. Well, when you work with solutions, you need to take a different approach to marketing. I call it SEVA and it’s based on work done by professors Chekitan Dev and Don Schultz several years back. The four key steps of solution marketing are solution, education, value and access. The first step is understanding the customer problem and defining the solution that solves the problem. Next step: educating the market about the problem and your solution, and engaging with prospective customers. The next element involves looking at the value provided by the solution. Value equals the customer benefit less the total cost of the solution. And finally, access – the ability for customers to purchase and use the solution successfully in the way that works best for them.
  • Reference Frictionless sales - http://www.beyondvc.com/2008/08/selling-to-larg.html
  • To get started… All too often we marketers think that our product or technology is THE answer to the customer’s problem. But it’s not. In fact, the customer needs much more than just a single product to solve their business problem.
  • Customers also need to take into account… The people involved – how will they use this? The business processes involved Information …and the services and integration involved to plan, build and connect the system together. Taken together, this is a solution – as opposed to just a product. Today, more and more top software companies are marketing not just products, but broader solutions as well.
  • Customers also need to take into account… The people involved – how will they use this? The business processes involved Information …and the services and integration involved to plan, build and connect the system together. Taken together, this is a solution – as opposed to just a product. Today, more and more top software companies are marketing not just products, but broader solutions as well.
  • Introduction To Solution Marketing (Fall 2009)

    1. 1. Introduction to Solution Marketing Steve Robins Principal Solution Marketing Strategies December, 2009 © Solution Marketing Strategies, 2009
    2. 2. Steve Robins 10+ years in solution marketing – Expertise in product, solution and industry marketing – Experience: EMC Documentum, KANA, The Yankee Group and more Principal, Solution Marketing Strategies Strategic marketing consultancy: solution marketing, market research, messaging, campaigns and more Founder, The Solution Marketing Blog Inbound Marketing Certified Professional Contact us: s.Robins [at] SolutionMKT.com SteveRobins1 www.LinkedIn.com/in/ presented at www.Twitter.com/SteveRobins www.SolutionMarketingBlog.com www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com www.barcamp.org/ProductCampBoston © 2009 p2
    3. 3. What Do These Have In Common? © 2009 p3
    4. 4. Hyundai Removing the Biggest Obstacle to Car-Buying © 2009 p4
    5. 5. ChuckECheese’s Party Complete © 2009 p5
    6. 6. IBM Thinks Like a Customer © 2009 p6
    7. 7. Amazon Kindle The Complete Experience © 2009 p7
    8. 8. Solutions Everywhere! © 2009 p8
    9. 9. Solutions Everywhere! © 2009 p9
    10. 10. Is This You? Product Pocket Sprocket Pocket Sprocket • Addresses only part of This new product will This new product will customer need revolutionize your business! revolutionize yourlife! life! business! • Feature-function Best features! Best features! • Prone to Newest capabilities! Newest capabilities! commoditization Technically advanced! Technically advanced! Fastest processing! Fastestprocessor speed! processor speed! processing! Pocket Sprocket © 2009 p10
    11. 11. Customers Want Solutions Solution Complete PocketComplete Pocket Sprocket Sprocket • Addresses the entire Sprocket Solution Sprocket Solution This new product will This new product will customer need revolutionizeyourprofits revolutionizeyourprofits Increase your business! Increase your business! • Includes the ecosystem Streamlines processes. Best features! Best features! Streamlines processes. • Provides unique value Improves customer service. Newest capabilities!service. Newest capabilities! Improves customer Lowers costs. Technically advanced! Technically advanced! Lowers costs. Partner Ensures processing! Fastest processing! Fastest compliance. Ensures compliance. Services Products Sprocket Sprocket Training Protector Optimization Integration Pocket Sprocket Sprocket Strategy Product Support © 2009 p11
    12. 12. Comparing Product Marketing vs. Solution Marketing Product Marketing Solution Marketing • Product: features-benefits • Solution: Customer needs • Promotion: push • Education & Engagement: communications Dialog • Pricing: cost-plus • Value: Cost vs. benefit • Place: distribution • Access: Customer choice * Derived from Dev & Schultz in Marketing Management, 2005 Sprocket Sprocket Protector Optimization Pocket Pocket Sprocket Sprocket Sprocket Strategy © 2009 p12
    13. 13. What is a Solution Anyways? © 2009 p13
    14. 14. Definition so·lu·tion mar·ket·ing. Noun. The process of defining, educating, and providing access to complete and integrated solutions that deliver customer value by helping customers to solve their problems. © 2009 p14
    15. 15. Technology Adoption Curve The Chasm Main Street Relative % of Customers The Solution Opportunity The Tornado End of Life Early Life Bowling Alley Innovators Early Adopters Early Majority/ Late Majority Laggards Time Technology Visionaries Pragmatists Conservatives Skeptics Enthusiasts Customers want technology Customers want solutions and convenience and performance Sources: E.M. Rogers, G. Moore © 2009 p15
    16. 16. Geoffrey Moore’s Technology Adoption Lifecycle Early Market – Technology enthusiasts look to be first to get on board. The Chasm – Early market’s interest wanes but mainstream thinks technology is immature. Bowling Alley – Niche-based adoption in advance of the general marketplace, driven by compelling customer needs and willingness of vendors to craft niche-specific whole products. The Tornado – Mass-market adoption as general marketplace switches over to the infrastructure paradigm. Main street – Aftermarket development, when base infrastructure has been deployed and goal is to flesh out potential. End of Life – New paradigms supplant the leaders. Adapted from “Inside the Tornado”, G. Moore © 2009 p16
    17. 17. Solution Marketing Requires a New Model Promotion Product P Price P The 4 P’s P Place P Derived from SIVA model, Chekitan & Dev © 2009 p17
    18. 18. Solution Marketing Requires a New Model The 4 P’s - updated “Where can I learn more Education about it?” “How can I solve Solution Value “What is my my problem?” SEVA total sacrifice Solution Marketing to get this solution?” Access “Where can I find it?” Solution Marketing answers 4 customer questions Derived from SIVA model, Dev & Schultz © 2009 p18
    19. 19. Solution Marketing Adds Value To Marketing, Sales and Product Management Field Enablement Social Media Frictionless Sales Education Solution Value SEVA Solution Marketing Access Marketing Product Support Management Solution Marketing © 2009 p19
    20. 20. Solution Not A Solution to the Customer’s Problem Product © 2009 p20
    21. 21. Solution Complete Solution to the Customer’s Problem Solution © 2009 p21
    22. 22. Solution Complete Solution to the Customer’s Problem People Technology • Applications • User interfaces • Complementary • Training technologies • Support • Hardware and • Best practices infrastructure • Domain expertise • Custom coding • Integration services Process • ROI studies Reengineering • Process optimization – Information efficiency, • Data effectiveness • Content, documents, images Services • External data sources • Strategy • Data security • Project management • Data policies • Risk management • Custom coding • Integration services © 2009 p22
    23. 23. Solution Marketing Solution Solution - Research Customer: “How can I solve my problem?” Solution Research – Solving the Problem – Industry/functional issues and regulations – Business challenges – Operational challenges with current process – Legacy systems – Training requirements – Other business and system requirements © 2009 p23
    24. 24. Solution Marketing Solution Solution – Develop the Solution Customer: “How can I solve my problem?” Action - Develop the Solution! – Product – enhancements required? – Partner technologies – Services – strategy, process reengineering, integration, training, support – Beta – partners, prospects and customers © 2009 p24
    25. 25. Solution Marketing Education Education – Research Customer: “Where can I learn more about it?” Research – Functional/industry terminology and buzzwords – Target job titles and companies – Optimal communication channels.. live events, podcasts, web, most popular publications, etc. (e.g., government employees often lack web access) © 2009 p25
    26. 26. Solution Marketing Education Education – Message Customer: “Where can I learn more about it?” Message – It’s About Relevance – Use language the prospect understands… Industry/function terms Common business issues and challenges Remember – this is all about how your solution solves their business problems – Benefits: business-oriented rather than technical… Higher profits, lower expense, higher revenue, better customer service, ensures compliance © 2009 p26
    27. 27. Solution Marketing Education Education - Tuning the Message Technical Message GeekSpeak High Credible “Shortens mortgage cycle time” “SOA architecture enables integration with legacy systems” Business IT Mgr. Business Message Low High “Helps your Janitor CFO company” “Increases profitability” Vague Low Does it exist? © 2009 p27
    28. 28. Solution Marketing Education Education – the “Solution Paradox” Customer: “Where can I learn more about it?” Beware “the Solution Paradox” Dang Customer e r The customer wants out-of-box Expectations offerings… Message ….but no one company can provide Solution everything out of the box Even a fully integrated and “complete” solution cannot possibly solve all of a customer’s problems due to: Ask: Ask: – Unique environments • • Does the solution meet customer requirements? Does the solution meet customer requirements? – Specific industry requirements • • Is the message backed up by the solution? Is the message backed up by the solution? © 2009 p28
    29. 29. Solution Marketing Education Education – Create a Dialog Customer: “Where can I learn more about it?” Action – Create a Two-Way Dialog with the Market – “Give customers the right information on the right subject at the right time on their terms” * – Enable prospects to find your solutions – Enable market education – Use Web 2.0 tools – Blogs, Podcasts, Twitter, Facebook, etc. – Provide recent customer references, who are most likely to advocate * Go beyond one-sided “push” promotion * In the Mix (Marketing Management) (Dev & Schultz, 2005) © 2009 p29
    30. 30. Solution Marketing Education Education - Sales Customer: “Where can I learn more about it?” SALES – Sales training: Solution selling methodology, consultative selling Business problems, industry/functional issues Business solutions Company and solution messaging Partner engagement models – system integrators, tech partners etc. – Sales tools: Collateral, references ROI models and value tools Pricing © 2009 p30
    31. 31. Solution Marketing Value Value Customer: “What is my total sacrifice to get this solution?” Value = Benefit - Cost Research – Identify and place value on significant customer purchase drivers * – Common ROI models/”before-afters” – Purchasing habits – Budget trends Action! – Articulate value in terms of price, ROI, TCO – Develop ROI assessments with consulting/system integrator partners – Reference customers – value achieved * In the Mix (Marketing Management) (Dev & Schultz, 2005) © 2009 p31
    32. 32. Value Value = Benefit - TCO Value-Based Pricing Assume that vendor charges fair price for features provided Business Benefit ($) Lost revenue Customer Benefit Unneeded features Benefit Customer Benefit Benefit Price Customer Customer Benefit Benefit A B C D High Value Fair Value Poor Value Fair Value Lost software Price matches Unneeded Price matches revenue benefit features benefit Solution use-case drives benefit and value © 2009 p32
    33. 33. Solution Marketing Access Access Customer: “Where can I find it?” Research – Common purchasing channels? – Do they prefer to buy through VAR’s? Through SI’s? Direct? On contract? – Preferred delivery models… Software? SaaS? Business Process Outsourcing? Action! – Enable the customer to purchase the solution through the channels that they want – New channels – beyond the traditional – Marketer provides fastest, least-expensive access – Successfully complete the sale – Ensure customer success through “the last mile” © 2009 p33
    34. 34. Ensure Alignment Throughout the Extended Enterprise Suppliers/ Back Front Customers Partners Office Office Tech, SI Manufacturing Marketing Partners Engineering Sales Service Goal: Customers get what they were promised How Do You Achieve This? – Consistent messages across entire company and ecosystem – Sales – longer sales cycles; solution training; specialized sales teams – Support from engineering/product management, services, tech support, consulting teams – Executive support © 2009 p34
    35. 35. Conclusion Solutions meet customer needs Solution Marketing - SEVA – Solution – Education & Engagement – Value – Access Benefits – 3-7% return (increase) on sales (McKinsey, 2003) – Higher margins - price based on value rather than cost-plus – More differentiated offering – Increased customer satisfaction © 2009 p35
    36. 36. Bibliography Dev, Chekitan S., and Don E. Schultz. 2005. “In the Mix” Marketing Management 14, no. 1: 16-22. Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed February 25, 2009). © 2009 p36
    37. 37. Thank You Steve Robins s.Robins [at] SolutionMKT.com LinkedIn.com/in/SteveRobins1 Principal Solution Marketing Strategies Twitter.com/SteveRobins SolutionMarketingBlog.com SolutionMarketingStrategies.com www.SolutionMarketingStrategies.com © 2009 p37

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