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Solution Marketing Course - Boston Startup School

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Introduction to Solution Marketing

           Steve Robins
           June 21, 2012
Introductions




     <2>
A Few Questions…

• What is a solution?
• What is solution marketing?
• Why do you think solution marketing matters?




                          <3>
CBOND
 competition
  company
   products
   yourself
   services
    limits
Beyond       Solution
Products:   Marketing
What is “it”?
                                               What’s Happening                           What’s Needed
• Customers want it              • Solutions make life easier
• But most customers can’t       • Technology is increasingly complex and            • Help customers
  do it on their own               customers lack in-house resources, time,
                                   expertise
• Apple, IBM and Chuck e         • Each offers complete solutions to customers…
  Cheese sell it                   Apple iPad ecosystem, IBM industry solutions,
                                   Chuck e Cheese birthday package
                                                                                     • Provide discipline, rigor,
• Most tech companies claim
  to have it                                 “It” = Solutions
                                 • Seems like everyone sells solutions today           consistency – best
                                                                                       practices

• But none of them know          • But there’s not a common definition
  what it is
• Sales thinks they’re selling   • Many sales teams use the Solution Selling         • Help Marketing to work
  it…                              methodology                                         with Sales
                                                                                     • Provide a solution
• …but they’re doing it          • But Solution Selling does not provide strategic     methodology for
  without Marketing.               guidance for Marketing                              Marketing
• It can be confusing                                                                • Solution Marketing Blog,
                                 • There’s little discipline around solutions
                                                                                       Group, Consulting



                                                       <6>

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Solution Marketing Course - Boston Startup School

  • 1. Introduction to Solution Marketing Steve Robins June 21, 2012
  • 3. A Few Questions… • What is a solution? • What is solution marketing? • Why do you think solution marketing matters? <3>
  • 4. CBOND competition company products yourself services limits
  • 5. Beyond Solution Products: Marketing
  • 6. What is “it”? What’s Happening What’s Needed • Customers want it • Solutions make life easier • But most customers can’t • Technology is increasingly complex and • Help customers do it on their own customers lack in-house resources, time, expertise • Apple, IBM and Chuck e • Each offers complete solutions to customers… Cheese sell it Apple iPad ecosystem, IBM industry solutions, Chuck e Cheese birthday package • Provide discipline, rigor, • Most tech companies claim to have it “It” = Solutions • Seems like everyone sells solutions today consistency – best practices • But none of them know • But there’s not a common definition what it is • Sales thinks they’re selling • Many sales teams use the Solution Selling • Help Marketing to work it… methodology with Sales • Provide a solution • …but they’re doing it • But Solution Selling does not provide strategic methodology for without Marketing. guidance for Marketing Marketing • It can be confusing • Solution Marketing Blog, • There’s little discipline around solutions Group, Consulting <6>
  • 7. What is “it”? Solutions is It. What’s Happening What’s Needed • Customers want it • Solutions make life easier • But most customers can’t • Technology is increasingly complex and • Help customers do it on their own customers lack in-house resources, time, expertise • Apple, IBM and Chuck e • Each offers complete solutions to customers… Cheese sell it Apple iPad ecosystem, IBM industry solutions, Chuck e Cheese birthday package • Provide discipline, rigor, • Most tech companies claim • Seems like everyone sells solutions today consistency – best to have it practices • But none of them know • But there’s not a common definition what it is • Sales thinks they’re selling • Many sales teams use the Solution Selling • Help Marketing to work it… methodology with Sales • Provide a solution • …but they’re doing it • But Solution Selling does not provide strategic methodology for without Marketing. guidance for Marketing Marketing • It can be confusing • Solution Marketing Blog, • There’s little discipline around solutions Group, Consulting <7>
  • 8. Steve Robins • Senior Director of Marketing, FirstBest Systems • Founder, The Solution Marketing Blog, Top-rated solution marketing blog • 10+ years in solution marketing •  Expertise in solution, industry and product marketing Provide a solution methodology for Marketing  Experience: FirstBest Systems, Solution Marketing Strategies, EMC Documentum, KANA, • Discipline, rigor, The Yankee Group consistency – best practices • Inbound Marketing Certified Professional • Help Marketing to work with Sales • How: • Solution Marketing LinkedIn.com/in/SteveRobins1 Blog @SteveRobins • LinkedIn Group SolutionMarketingBlog.com <8>
  • 9. What if… I wish… !
  • 11. Agenda • Introductions • Beyond products  Exercise #1: is it a solution? • Solution marketing  Solution  Education & engagement  Value  Access • Building your solution marketing strategy  Customer visibility  Discovery  Strategies for solutions, education & engagement, value, access  Exercise #2: solution marketing fail • Conclusion, Q&A • Hands-On  Exercise #3: sell me your solution  Exercise #4: field – test your solution<11>
  • 12. Beyond Products The Solution Imperative
  • 13. Typical Company Wants… Customer Tech- nology Company <13>
  • 14. 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 <14>
  • 15. Typical Customer Wants… Services User Tech- nology Process Customer --- Pain Points Content/ Data Complete Solution Everything to solve the customer’s problem <15>
  • 16. Complete Solution User • User interfaces • Best practices • Training • Domain expertise • Support Process • Process optimization • Integrated experiences • Reengineering • ROI studies • Workflow • Security Content/ • Content • Data Data  Documents • External data sources  Images • Data security, data policies  Video  Music  Books Technology • Hardware/ infrastructure • Complementary technologies • Software platforms • Integrations • Applications • Custom coding Services • Strategy • Integration services • Project management • Communications services, hosting • Risk management • Support • Custom coding <16>
  • 17. 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 <17>
  • 18. Why It Matters 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 <18>
  • 20. Solution Scorecard Dimension Rating Comments Completeness • People/users, fit to needs • Process • Content/Information • Technology: Hardware and software • Services & support Strategy • Differentiated offering – unique in market • Partners: includes tech, apps, and content • Partner-friendly business model (win-win) Total <20>
  • 21. HP TouchPad Apple iPad Microsoft Surface Kindle Fire •
  • 22.
  • 23. Solution Marketing Customer-Centric Marketing for Today
  • 24. 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. <24>
  • 25. Solution Marketing Adds Value To Marketing, Sales and Product Management Field Enablement Social Media Frictionless Sales Marketing Product Support Management <25>
  • 26. The 4 P’s – All About the Company “Build it and they will come” Product Best channels for us to sell Place Pro- the product motion Company Outbound, interruption marketing Price Cost-plus; margin is king <26>
  • 27. Solution Marketing – All About the Customer “How can I solve Strategy, Metrics my problem?” Solution Product “How can I “Where can Education Access Place Pro- learn more I find it?” Engagement Customer motion about it?” --- Company Pain Points Price Value “How will it help me and what is my total sacrifice to get this solution?” End-to-End Marketing for Today Customer-Focused Marketing <27>
  • 28. 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 <28>
  • 29. PowerAdvocate Offers Complete Solutions BIZ CHALLENGE SOLUTION • Business challenge: Optimize procurement in the energy sector (power plants) Company challenge: Differentiate the company from larger players like Ariba <29>
  • 30. PowerAdvocate Offers Complete Solutions BIZ CHALLENGE SOLUTION • Products: SaaS solutions for procurement spend, cost, market, sourcing Solution Assessment • Services: Industry experts User  provide services to lower Process  costs Content/Data  Technology  • Data: Market-specific Services  procurement data and analysis Differentiator: industry-specific data <30>
  • 31. Education & Engagement: Message $ Insured Agent Carrier Loss ratio Consistent/ Value- Targeted True Driven Relevant Jargon <31>
  • 32. Education & Engagement: Strategy Challenge Buy & How to Now! Market Market Demand Frictionless Field Education Engagement Gen Sales Enablement/ Sales <32>
  • 33. Value = Benefit - Cost Value Benefits (Improvement) • Profit, expense, revenue drivers • New business • Time savings • Productivity improvement • Headcount reduction $Dollars • Soft benefits Total Cost of Ownership • External… – Software – Hardware – Services • Internal… © 2011 www.SolutionMarketingBlog.com – Training – Change management – Desktop upgrades <34> – IT management
  • 34. Value-Based Pricing Value = Benefit - TCO Assume that vendor charges fair price for features provided Business Benefit ($) Lost revenue Customer Benefit Unneeded features Customer 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 <35>
  • 35. Microsoft SharePoint Delivers Value with 50% of the features BIZ CHALLENGE SOLUTION RESULT Share information with other people in the enterprise <36>
  • 36. Microsoft SharePoint Delivers Value with 50% of the features BIZ CHALLENGE SOLUTION RESULT “ 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 <37>
  • 37. Microsoft SharePoint Delivers Value with 50% of the features BIZ CHALLENGE SOLUTION RESULT Significant growth at expense of mainstream ECM vendors Lesson: Customers gain value by buying only the features they need E <38>
  • 38. Access • Be flexible • Provide seamless experience • Enable frictionless sales • Complete/close the sale quickly • Ensure success thru “the last mile” <39>
  • 39. Building Your Solution Marketing Strategy Discovery Strategies for: Solutions Education & Engagement Value Access
  • 40. Listening Customer Visibility Totality Customer Perspective 360 Degree 360 Discovery Solution Marketing Price <41>
  • 41. o 360 Discovery Portfolio User & Buyer Customer Solution Solution Strategy Personas Value Access Development What markets and How will we educate and How will we incorporate How would the user/buyer What will each solution solutions should we engage with potential and communicate value? like to buy and use the do and include? target? users and buyers? solution? Internal Persona Value Access Solution • Revenue • Titles • Before/after process • Best channels Requirements • Current offerings • Business challenges • Before/after • Optimal role of • Revenue • Core competencies • Career goals challenge/gain VARs, SIs, direct opportunity • Solution maturity • Thought process • Customer’s value sales, buying on • Use cases drivers - contract • Business challenges • Sales-readiness dollar impact • Preferred delivery • Industry/function How to connect models… Software? External • ROI trends • “Hang-outs” – SaaS (Software as a • Under-solved communication • Purchasing habits, • Key components budget Service)? Business challenges channels, pubs, Process • Buy vs build • Top market, solution trade shows, social Outsourcing? • Testing opportunities media • Requirements for • Segment size • Industry jargon customer success • Market drivers • Influence levers (ex • Competition case studies?) <42>
  • 42. Solution Needs Hierarchy Intelligence: Mature templates, 5 rules etc Components & 4 integrations Business 3 value Solution description – 2 what it does Target audience and 1 business problem Less Mature <43>
  • 43. Key Participants in the Buying Decision Strategist IT Innovation Manager/ Business owner Developer Identifies problem/need Business analyst User “How will this improve Specs and evaluates Manages projects efficiency and “What’s the best system “How will this help to do effectiveness” we should use?” my job better? Functional VP Approves budget Delegates details Consultant “Will this improve my Advises company and bottom line?” recommends new strategies “How does compare to other options?” <44>
  • 44. Personas General Persona #1: The VP/Director of Marketing Typical title  VP/Director of Marketing About me Department  Marketing Background/  Matured through the ranks of marketing experience  Leader Personality  Aggressive  Lead large team What I’m thinking Day-to-day job  Manage budget  Build and execute marketing strategy  Create and maintain a strong brand that generates interest Top business goals  Generate leads Challenges  Doing it all within a limited budget  Clear ROI Solution needs  Easy to use  Competitively priced <45>
  • 46. Solution Marketing Failure BIZ CHALLENGE SOLUTION RESULT $1,094 39 $994 34 Subscribers (Millions) Revenue ($ Millions) $894 $238 29 $263 $176 $794 $155 24 $107 $115 $694 $113 $75 $69 19 $594 14 $494 Mar '10 Jun '10 Sep '10 Dec '10 Mar '11 Jun '11 Sep '11 Dec '11 Mar '12 Subscriber trend Revenue trend Unique subcribers Revenue Stock price Sources: NetFlix, Google
  • 47. • • • • • •
  • 49. 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 <50>
  • 50. 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? <51>
  • 51. Q&A Services Strategy, Metrics User Solution Product Tech- Education Access Place Pro- nology Process Engagement Customer Customer motion --- --- Company Pain Pain Points Points Content/ Data Price Value Complete Solution Solution Marketing <52>
  • 52. Thank You LinkedIn.com/in/SteveRobins1 St ev e r o b i ns Twitter.com/SteveRobins SENIOR DIRECTOR OF MARKETING SolutionMarketingBlog.com FirstBest Systems www.firstbest.com www.SolutionMarketingBlog.com <53>
  • 53. Take the Next Step Solution Marketing Pros www.SolutionMarketingBlog.com LinkedIn Group THE linkedin.com/groups? Solution Marketing gid=1826720 Blog <54>
  • 54. Beyond Solution Products: Marketing