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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 the Solution Marketing Blog:

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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] SteveRobins1 presented at © 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] Principal Solution Marketing Strategies © 2009 p37