Anatomy of a Solutions Marketer


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ITSMA and Solutions Insights have conducted a first-of- its- kind survey to discover what makes a solutions marketer.

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Anatomy of a Solutions Marketer

  1. 1. ITSMA/SI Online Survey Anatomy of aSolutions Marketer Julie Schwartz Steve Hurley Senior Vice President Managing DirectorResearch and Thought Leadership ITSMA and Solutions Insights would like to thank the following organizations for their support: Abbreviated Summary | February 2012 Note: This Abbreviated summary highlights some of the significant findings from Anatomy of a Solutions Marketer Survey. A more in-depth analysis can be found in the full report.
  2. 2. Key findings highlighted inthe report include:• Solutions marketing is more challenging than either product or services marketing.• Solutions marketers are a very experienced group of individuals knowledgeable and nearly all have either product and/or services marketing experience. good listener• Successful solutions marketers are not born. Interpersonal skills and the ability to foster relationships effective across the organization are just as important as marketing skills. communicator• Despite the importance of solutions to the future of the organization, the role of solutions marketer is not well understood. empathetic
  3. 3. What makes What are the top three challenges you face in your role as a solutions marketer?solutions % of Respondents (N=127)marketing so Enabling the sales force to sell solutions 32challenging? Working across organizational silos Identifying market opportunities and targeting the appropriate audience 23 27• Internal struggles Communicating the solutions 23 value proposition  Shifting the culture from Differentiating from competitors and products/services to solutions 22 creating brand awareness Coping with budget restrictions and a  Enabling the sales force to sell 22 challenging economic climate solutions Changing the culture to move from 20  Working across organizational silos products and services to solutions Pricing and packaging solutions 9• Need for business oriented value propositions Measuring the ROI of solutions 8 Ensuring solutions repeatability 8 through mass customization Defining solutions internally 6 and with customers Creating thought leadership content 6 to support solutions approach Other 41 Note: Up to three responses allowed. Source: ITSMA/SI Online Survey: Anatomy of a Solutions Marketer, February 2012
  4. 4. Although not unique to solutions,communicating the solutions valueproposition adds a layer of complexity Solutions marketing is defined as developing and delivering business value Solutions value propositions require a deeper understanding of the customers’ industry and individual business issues
  5. 5. Solutions marketers’ responsibilities aredivided. Few are dedicated to solutionsmarketing. They are also responsible formarketing products and/or services.Marketing Responsibilities% of Respondents Primarily(N=119) Solutions 18% Solutions, Solutions products, and and 40% 7% products services 35% Solutions and servicesSource: ITSMA/SI Online Survey: Anatomy of a Solutions Marketer, February 2012
  6. 6. Successful solutions marketers arenot born. It takes experience,knowledge, andability to fosterrelationshipsacross theorganization.
  7. 7. Solutions marketers are a veryexperienced group of professionals,averaging 16 years in marketingApproximately how longhave you been workingin marketing?% of Respondents (N=132) # of Years as a Marketer Minimum Maximum Mean 1 30 16Source: ITSMA/SI Online Survey: Anatomy of a Solutions Marketer, February 2012
  8. 8. Nearly all solutions marketers wereeither product or services marketers(or both!) prior to their stints in solutionsWere you a product and/or Neither product nor servicesservices marketer before a marketer before solutions marketingsolutions marketer?% of Respondents (N=119) Product marketer before solutions marketing 6% 11% Product and services Services marketer before marketer 61% solutions “From VP Marketing to before 23% marketing CMO, then President and solutions General Manager then CSO. marketing The solutions focus was a natural outcome of trying to find ways to bring more value to clients.” “Moved from traditional product marketing into services marketing and “Started in a pure product management realized the importance of role. I moved to software applications from integrating the two...into automation systems where the software solutions marketing.” applications often need to fit particularSource: ITSMA/SI Online Survey: needs. So, product management evolvedAnatomy of a Solutions Marketer, into solutions management naturally.”February 2012
  9. 9. Despite the importance of solutionsto the future of the organization,the role of solutions marketeris not well understood
  10. 10. Solutions marketing is relativelynew to most companiesIn which year did your company firstintroduce the role of solutions marketer?% of Respondents (N=111) Mean = 2004 15.3 11.7 9.9 7.2 7.2 7.2 6.3 5.4 5.4 5.4 2.7 2.7 2.7 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.80.9 0.9 0.9 0.9 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 8 9 9 9 9 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 5 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2Source: ITSMA/SI Online Survey: Anatomy of a Solutions Marketer, February 2012
  11. 11. Today, solutions marketing is viewed asvery important to the business…How important is your Extremelysolutions business to the Important 40future of your company?% of Respondents (N=121) Mean Very 45 Rating important = 4.2 Important 14 Somewhat important 2 Not at all important 0Note: Mean rating based on a 5-point scale where 1=not at all important and 5=extremely important.Source: ITSMA/SI Online Survey: Anatomy of a Solutions Marketer, February 2012
  12. 12. …but unfortunately, the role of solutionsmarketing is not well understoodoutside of the marketing functionDo you believe that people No, only my peers inoutside of marketing in solutionsyour company understand marketingwhat the role of a 23%solutions marketer is?% of Respondents 42% Yes(N=124) 35% No, only my peers in marketingSource: ITSMA/SI Online Survey: Anatomy of a Solutions Marketer, February 2012
  13. 13. It is time for solutions marketers to puttheir skills and experience to work:• Foster communication across organizational silos• Be catalysts for change• Ensure that the entire company understands the importance of solutions
  14. 14. Methodology and RespondentDemographicsBetween January and February 2012, ITSMA and Asia | 5% South America | 1% GeographicSolutions Insights conducted an online web-based Location Europesurvey completed by 133 representatives from 92 14% % of Respondents Northcompanies. 80% America (N=133)The results were analyzed by: • Percentage of revenue from solutions (Less than 40%; 40–79%; 80% or more) • Type of company (sell primarily services vs. sell both products and services) Services Primarily • Size of company (annual revenue: Less than $1B; Offerings services* 20% % of Both $1–4.9B; $5–49B; more than $49B) Respondents products • Title (“solutions marketing” included in the (N=133) 80% and respondent’s title vs. do marketing in a solutions *5% or less services revenue from organizational unit) products • Primary business (technology company vs. non-technology company) Both B2B and B2C (business-to- consumer)ITSMA A combination of products and/or services Type ofdefines Business 14% with intellectual capital, focused on a % of 100% B2Bsolutions Respondents (business- particular customer problem and driving 86% to-as: (N=133) measurable business value. business)Source: ITSMA/SI Online Survey: Anatomy of a Solutions Marketer, February 2012
  15. 15. Study respondents held a diverse group of titles and Respondents’ Roles % of Respondents (N=133)represented organizations in a variety of technologyand non-technology companies varying in annual 2 12 Otherrevenue, from less than $1 billion to over $45 billion. 16 C-levelWhich one of the following BEST describes yourcompany’s primary business? 18 Vice president/senior% of Respondents (N=133) vice president Individual contributorComputer systems and solutions 16 26 Manager/supervisor Software solutions 16 IT professional services/ 15 27 Director consulting Telecommunications and 11 network systems and solutions Management consulting 8 Other technology hardware 8 systems and solutions Size of Company: Annual Revenue Industrial and commercial % of Respondents (N=111) 5 machinery Healthcare solutions 5 28.8 29.7 Chemicals and allied products 4 23.4 Other product manufacturing 4 Architecture/engineering/ 2 5.4 8.1 construction 4.5 Consumer packaged goods 1 Less than $100– $500– $1–4.9B $5–49B More than I can’t select just one industry; $100M 499M 999M $49B 5 we are equally in severalSource: ITSMA/SI Online Survey: Anatomy of a Solutions Marketer, February 2012
  16. 16. Table of Contents for SlideExecutive Summary 3Methodology and Respondent Demographics 32Detailed Results 47Appendix: What are the top three challenges 90you face in your role as a solutions marketer?For More Information Julie Schwartz Senior Vice President Research and Thought Leadership ITSMA +1-407-788-8220 Steve Hurley Managing Director Solutions Insights +1-781-686-1607