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Research
REPAMA Competitive
Intelligence
     A guide to interpreting Lustratus
     REPAMA competitive studies




Author:    Danny Goodall
           Version 1.1
                            Page 2 
           September 2009
Table of Contents
What Questions Does REPAMA Answer? ......................................... 2 
   Sales .......................................................................................... 2 
   Marketing ................................................................................... 2 
   General Management and Equity Investors ................................. 3 
A Guide to Lustratus REPAMATM ...................................................... 4 
   The REPAMA Reverse Engineered Marketing Elements .............. 4 
   The REPAMATM Methodology ..................................................... 5 
   The Marketing Element DistributionTM (MED) ............................... 5 
   Multiple Vendor Comparisons and the Market Mean ................... 6 
   REPAMA Ranking and Scoring System ...................................... 7 
   The Scoring System ................................................................... 8 
   Why is there no scale on the charts? .......................................... 9 
   Other Lustratus REPAMA Deliverables ........................................ 9 
Organisation and Market Approach ................................................ 10 
   What will this tell us? ................................................................. 10 
   Company Profile ....................................................................... 11 
   Offer Category .......................................................................... 13 
   Primary Audience...................................................................... 15 
   Job Titles .................................................................................. 17 
   Sales Engagement Level ........................................................... 18 
   Market Stage ............................................................................ 19 
   Vertical Market Segmentation ................................................... 21 
   Channel Approach .................................................................... 22 
   Implied Sales Methodology ....................................................... 25 
   Geographic Operations ............................................................. 26 
Product........................................................................................... 27 
   What will this tell us? ................................................................. 27 
   Primary Feature/Benefit ............................................................ 28 
   Interpreted Primary Feature/Benefit .......................................... 29 
   Value Proposition Approach...................................................... 29 
   Primary Value Proposition ......................................................... 30 
   Interpreted Value Proposition .................................................... 31 
   Use Cases ................................................................................ 32 
Positioning ...................................................................................... 33 
   What will this tell us? ................................................................. 33 
   Depositioning focus .................................................................. 34 
   Differentiation strategy .............................................................. 35 
   Perceived threat........................................................................ 36 
   Reverse Engineered Positioning Statement ............................... 37 
   The Positioning Spectrum Analysis (PSA) .................................. 39 
   PSA – For...(Ideal Customer) ..................................................... 39 
   PSA – Who...(Pain, Need or Desire) .......................................... 42 
   PSA - Our...(Product Name)...................................................... 43 
   PSA – Is A...(Product Category) ................................................ 43 
   PSA – That Provides... .............................................................. 45 
   PSA – Unlike...(Primary Competitor or Alternative)..................... 46 
   PSA – Our Product...(Primary Differentiation/USP) .................... 47 
Appendix I - Glossary...................................................................... 49 
Appendix II – Audience Strata ......................................................... 50 
Appendix III – IMF GDP Rankings ................................................... 51 




                                                                                           Page 3 
Table of Figures
Figure 1 - REPAMA for sales teams .................................................. 2 
Figure 2 - REPAMA for marketing teams........................................... 2 
Figure 3 - REPAMA for general management teams ......................... 3 
Figure 4 - The REPAMA Reverse Engineered Marketing Elements .... 4 
Figure 5 - Example Single Vendor Use Case Example MED Chart .... 5 
Figure 6 - Multiple Vendor Use Case Example MED Chart ................ 6 
Figure 7 - Example Primary Audience MED ....................................... 7 
Figure 8 - Example Direct Geographic Operations MED .................... 8 
Figure 9 - Company Profile Categories............................................ 11 
Figure 10 - Example Company Profile MED .................................... 12 
Figure 11 - Example Offer Category MED ....................................... 13 
Figure 12 - Primary Audience Classification .................................... 15 
Figure 13 - Example Primary Audience MED ................................... 15 
Figure 14 - Example Job Titles MED ............................................... 17 
Figure 15 - Example Sales Engagement Level MED ........................ 18 
Figure 16 - Example Market Stage MED ......................................... 19 
Figure 17 - Example Vertical Market Segmentation MED ................ 21 
Figure 18 - Example Channel Approach MED ................................. 23 
Figure 19 - Example Implied Sales Methodology MED .................... 25 
Figure 20 - Example Geographic Operations MED .......................... 26 
Figure 21 - Example Primary Feature/Benefit MED.......................... 28 
Figure 22 - Example Value Proposition Approach MED ................... 30 
Figure 23 - Example Primary Value Proposition MED ...................... 31 
Figure 24 - Example Use Cases MED ............................................. 32 
Figure 24 – Example Depositioning focus MED ............................... 34 
Figure 24 – Example differentiation strategy MED ........................... 35 
Figure 28 – Example perceived threat MED .................................... 36 
Figure 25 - Typical Positioning Statement Structure ........................ 37 
Figure 26 - Ideal Customer Classification ........................................ 40 
Figure 27 - Example PSA For... (Ideal Customer) MED .................... 41 
Figure 28 - Example PSA Who...(Pain, Need, Desire) MED ............. 42 
Figure 29 - Example PSA Is A... (Product Category) MED ............... 43 
Figure 30 - Example PSA That Provides... (Reason to Buy) MED .... 45 
Figure 31 - Example PSA Unlike ... (Primary Competitor) MED ........ 46 
Figure 32 - Example PSA Our Product... (USP) MED ...................... 47 

  Tables
Table 1 - Lustratus REPAMA Products and Services ........................ 9 
Table 2 - Channel Approach Categories ......................................... 22 
Table 3 – Differentiation strategies .................................................. 35 
Table 3 - Example Positioning Matrix .............................................. 38 
Table 4 - End User Organisation Audience Strata ........................... 50 
Table 5 - IMF GDP Rankings........................................................... 51 




                                                                                 Page 4 
Disclaimer
Whilst reasonable care and skill has been taken by Lustratus Research Limited (the company) in the preparation
of this report no liability is accepted by the company (except in the case of death or personal injury caused by
the company's negligence) by reason of any representation or any implied warranty condition or other term or
any statutory or common law duty or otherwise howsoever arising for any direct or indirect general special or
consequential damages or loss costs expenses or other claims (whether caused by the negligence of the
company or otherwise) which come out of the provision of this report or its use.

All trademarks are acknowledged as the property of their respective owners.




                                                                                                          Page 1 
What Questions Does REPAMA Answer?
The range of Lustratus REPAMA reports and consultancy services helps sales teams to win more business,
helps strategic marketing teams to build more competitive market propositions and helps marketing execution
teams to generate better sales leads. REPAMA supplies detailed competitive information that examines:

         How your competitors actually address their prospects
         What messages competitors rely on in sales situations
         What types of companies and individuals your competition targets
         What value your competitors believe they provide to their customers
         How your competitors try to deposition and undermine their own competitors
         What features and benefits competitors stress in sales situations
         How your competitors are positioned in the marketplace

The REPAMA research is used by the sales, marketing and general management functions to understand the
market landscape, tune or re-engineer propositions and to benchmark marketing performance against peers.


Sales                                                       What are my competition          How can I sell against a 
                                                                                                                                 What value do my 
                                                                                                                              competitors believe they 
                                                               saying about us?               specific competitor?
                                                                                                                             provide to their customers?
In competitive situations, sales teams need to
understand how their competitors are likely to behave.
Gaining insight into the current messages and sales        What business issues do my 
                                                             competitors feel are            Do we compete with XYZ 
                                                                                                                             Does XYZ target companies, 
                                                                                                                             job titles or individuals that 
                                                              important to their                  competitor?
tactics that competitors are likely to use can provide a          prospects?
                                                                                                                                      we are not?


powerful advantage.
                                                                                                                              Will we waste time talking 
                                                            Does XYZ target the same                                            about our features to a 
REPAMA helps sales teams understand the strategies          companies, job titles and 
                                                                                           Does XYZ use a specific sales 
                                                                                                 methodology?  
                                                                                                                              techie if XYZ is talking to C 
                                                               individuals as us?                                           level contacts about business 
and tactics that their competitors use in sales                                                                                          value?


situations which allows better competitive strategies to
                                                             In a sales situation which 
be built. It helps to answer the following questions:       features and benefits does      What partnerships do my          What geographic coverage 
                                                                XYZ believe are their       competitors rely upon?           does my competition have?
                                                                     strongest?




                                       Figure 1 - REPAMA for sales teams



Marketing                                                   What companies and 
                                                           vertical markets are my 
                                                                                             At what level do my 
                                                                                             competitors look to 
                                                                                                                            What is the ideal target 
                                                                                                                              customer for my 
                                                            competitors targeting 
                                                                                           start the sales process?             competitors
Whether setting product strategy, empowering sales           for lead generation?

teams or generating leads, gaining an understanding
                                                                                                What do my                       What do my 
into competitive behaviour is key for the marketing        What is the main pain           competitors feel is the           competitors believe is 
                                                           that my competitors                main reason for a             the major alternative or 
organisation. Comparing your own marketing                   claim to address?              prospect to buy from             primary competitor to 
                                                                                                   them?                            them?
strategy to those of your competitors and to the
                                                                                                                                 How does my 
“average” strategy for your market segment allows for                                      Which product features 
                                                                                                                               competition sell?  
                                                             Which USPs do my                do my competitors 
                                                                                                                                 Technical sale, 
early identification of potential weakness as well as        competitors claim?             believe are the most 
                                                                                                                             reference sale, value‐
                                                                                                 important?
                                                                                                                            add sales, solution sale?
new opportunities.
                                                                                             What depositioning 
REPAMA helps marketing teams to understand how                                              strategies can we use 
                                                                                                 against our 
their competitors are positioning their offerings and                                           competitors?

provides answers to the following questions:

                                     Figure 2 - REPAMA for marketing teams




                                                                                                                                                      Page 2 
General Management and Equity
Investors                                                    How far is my marketing 
                                                            strategy from the norm for 
                                                                                           What strategies are the 
                                                                                          most successful vendors in 
                                                                                                                            Why is our marketing 
                                                                                                                          strategy not as successful 
                                                                   the segment?            the segment following?            as our competitors?
When comparing marketing and sales performance
against competitors it is important to understand the
                                                                  How does the 
differences in approach of the respective organisations.     performance of my own         How does my marketing            How is our marketing 
                                                             marketing organisation         strategy compare with          differentiated from the 
To do this it is key to map your own performance for a       perform compared to its           market leaders?                  competition?
                                                                     peers?
variety of indicators against those of key competitors.
REPAMA tracks the key marketing strategies of vendors
                                                                                                                           Do we have the correct 
                                                              Does the competition         Is our competition's sales 
in a specific market segment and plots these graphically       focus on different         strategy radically different 
                                                                                                                               partnership and 
                                                                                                                            geographic coverage 
                                                               prospects that us?                    ours?
against each other. By interpreting these indicators, the                                                                  strategies to compete?

following questions can be answered for general
management and equity investors:

                               Figure 3 - REPAMA for general management teams




                                                                                                                                       Page 3 
A Guide to Lustratus REPAMATM
Lustratus recommends that the user of the REPAMA study familiarise themselves first with the concept of
REPAMA competitive intelligence at a high level by reading through this guide. Subsequently the relevant
sections of the guide can be referred to for reference when interpreting the results from a specific Lustratus
REPAMA study. This section of the guide describes the REPAMA methodology, the Marketing Element
Distribution (MED) diagrams, the scoring system and the high-level uses that the research can be put to. Three
further sections provide detailed descriptions of each of the MED studies within the following categories:

           Organisation and Market Approach
           Product
           Positioning

A detailed description of the individual studies within each section is provided together with a list of the potential
strategies that may present themselves. The result of each MED is very specific to the segment, the vendors
included and their respective status in the segment. As a result it is not possible to provide definitive generic
strategies that will always be relevant for a specific study. Instead each study should be interpreted in context
and strategies and tactics should be created accordingly using the potential strategies as a guide.

The REPAMA Reverse Engineered Marketing Elements
Lustratus developed the REPAMA methodology to allow us to prioritise, categorise and rate the following
elements of a vendor’s marketing strategy and tactics:

 Organisation and market approach
    • Company profile ‐ How does the vendor want to be perceived?
    • Offer category ‐ How does the vendor describe its offer?
    • Primary audience ‐ Who does the vendor target?
    • Job titles targeted ‐ Which job titles are targeted?
    • Sales engagement level ‐ At what level does the vendor look to start the sales process?
    • Market stage – What market stage is suggested by the vendors marketing tactics?
    • Vertical market segmentation ‐ Which industries does the vendor focus on?
    • Channel approach – What channel strategies does the vendor rely upon?
    • Implied sales methodology – Does the vendor appear to rely on a specific sales methodology?
    • Tone of voice – What “attitude” does the vendor take when addressing the market?
    • Geographic focus – Which countries does the vendor focus on?

 Product
    • Primary and interpreted feature/benefit ‐ Which features and benefits does the vendor ascribe to its product?
    • Value proposition approach ‐ How important is value‐based selling to the vendor?
    • Primary and interpreted value proposition ‐ Which value propositions does the vendor focus on?
    • Use cases ‐ What uses can the technology be put to?

 Positioning
    • Reverse‐engineered positioning statement covering the
      • ideal customer
      • Their main pain, need or desire addressed
      • The product name and category
      • The main reason to buy
      • The primary competitior or alternative
      • The unique selling proposition
    • Depositioning strategy – How does each vendor deposition the competition or alternative?
    • Differneitation strategy ‐ What approach does the vendor take to differentiation?
    • Perceived threat ‐ What is the key, implied threat that the vendor fears?
    • Positioning Spectrum Analysis – Comparing each element of the positioning statement with each of the other vendors in the study

 Marketing Efficacy and Proof
    • Use of independent testimony – Does the vendor supply independent proof of its claims?
    • News / Blog coverage – What level of coverage has the vendor been able to achieve? 
    • Press releases  ‐ frequency / consistency
    • Successful partnerships – Is evidence provided of successful partnerships?
    • Independent speakers – Has the vendor been able to field customers to speak at events on their behalf?
    • Program mix and frequency  ‐ What marketing tactics does the vendor use and how frequent are they?
    • Message consistency over time (Boilerplate Delta) – Has the vendor’s messaging been consistent over time?
    • Google Ranking – How well is the vendor using search engines to reach their prospects and/or damage their competitors?




                                   Figure 4 - The REPAMA Reverse Engineered Marketing Elements


                                                                                                                                        Page 4 
The REPAMATM Methodology
Gaining a comprehensive understanding of a competitor’s marketing strategy is an essential but complex job
for marketing communications, product marketing, product management and sales individuals. Understanding
what techniques a competitor is likely to use when they are generating leads, depositioning your own
organisations to analysts and press or selling against you in a sales situation are essential in building a
successful sales and marketing organisation.

Whilst this is valid in any competitive situation, it is especially true when competitors are either late entrants to a
market or are present in an early market where less intelligence is available to build a full competitive picture.
REPAMA from Lustratus Research is a set of research and consultancy offerings that provide marketing
intelligence on high-tech vendors’ marketing strategy. We are able to document a vendor’s implied strategy by
reverse engineering key marketing elements from the way they engage their prospects, customers,
shareholders, the press and market analysts through their outbound marketing communications.

The Marketing Element DistributionTM (MED)
For each of these elements we identify and categorise the valid strategies and tactics for the vendor or vendors
in the study. We then track, rate and rank the distribution of the vendors’ strategies across them. For example,
if we look at the use cases that a vendor believes their technology can be put to, we will look for evidence for
each of the uses and compile a list. We then rank the use cases in the list and score the relative importance of
the use case to the vendor. We do this by distributing a use case “score” across all of the valid use cases.
This results in a prioritised picture based on the relative importance of each use case to the vendor.

To facilitate interpretation of this complex analysis, Lustratus represents this information graphically in the form
of a Marketing Element Distribution (MED) diagram. This is a radar chart where each of the marketing elements
from the study is shown on the spine of the radar and the relative rating given in the analysis above is plotted to
show a vendor’s relative commitment or lack of commitment to each of these elements. An example MED
chart is shown below.
                                                    Use case 1




                     Use case 6                                                   Use case 2




                     Use case 5                                                   Use case 3




                                                    Use case 4

                                                        Vendor 1




                         Figure 5 - Example Single Vendor Use Case Example MED Chart


                                                                                                                 Page 5 
Interpreting the chart is relatively straightforward and the example above shows that Vendor 1 believes that use
cases 5 and 4 are the highest priorities to stress in their marketing communication with their prospects and
customers. A lesser commitment is made to use cases 1, 2 and 3 with use case 6 being of little apparent
importance to Vendor 1.

Multiple Vendor Comparisons and the Market Mean
Lustratus refers to a REPAMA study that focuses on a single vendor as a Vendor Analysis Study (VAS). Whilst
understanding the detail of a single vendor’s marketing strategy is important when building specific strategies to
combat their threat, it is equally important to gain insight into the competitive landscape across multiple
vendors’ strategies. Lustratus uses the same methodology and MED diagram shown above to plot multiple
vendors’ strategies against each other. This makes relative vendor to vendor comparison much easier.
Lustratus refers to this multiple vendor comparison as a Segment Analysis Study (SAS).

Whilst rating the various vendors’ positions Lustratus also computes the market mean. This, as its name
suggests, is a simple average of all of the other vendors’ scores in the MED. The value and importance of the
market mean differs from chart to chart and requires interpreting for each MED. In some MEDs where large
differences exist between the different vendors’ positions, the market mean may not truly represent the “middle”
ground that the vendors take. Instead it may simply be an averaging of significantly different positions.

A significant difference from the market mean represents a significant differentiation in strategy from the other
vendors in the segment. This of course may be a positive or a negative situation depending on the perception
of that difference. In other MEDs, understanding exactly where the common ground lies can help enormously in
building effective competitive strategies.

An example of a multiple vendor MED diagram including the market mean is shown below.

                                                    Use case 1




                     Use case 6                                                   Use case 2




                     Use case 5                                                   Use case 3




                                                    Use case 4

                          Vendor 1           Vendor 2            Vendor 3          Market Mean




                           Figure 6 - Multiple Vendor Use Case Example MED Chart



                                                                                                            Page 6 
Figure 6 above shows the different priorities that vendors 1, 2 and 3 place on the use cases they attribute to
their product. The market mean, shown above as the dotted line, shows the mean for the use cases across the
particular segment (vendors 1, 2 and 3). In this example most vendors in the segment cite use cases 1 and 2.
It is also worth noting that only Vendor 2 cites use cases 5 and 6. The significance of this fact depends on the
status and perception of Vendor 2 within the segment.

REPAMA Ranking and Scoring System
REPAMA measures perception. The results are subjective and should be interpreted as such. Our analysts use
a methodology backed by decades of technology marketing experience to reverse-engineer implied strategic
marketing elements from the language vendors use to reach their prospects and customers. These elements
are scored against other possible competing strategies to give a relative picture. This relative picture is referred
to as a Marketing Element Distribution (MED) diagram.

An example MED is shown below for Primary Audience.
                                                     Business




                      Other                                                             IT Business




                                                    IT Technical

                          Vendor 1           Vendor 2              Vendor 3          Market Mean


                                     Figure 7 - Example Primary Audience MED

In the example above which shows a group of vendors’ likely relative reliance on a specific target audience, we
can see that Vendor 1 leans towards IT Technical as the primary audience (see Table 5 below for a description
of the primary target audience categories). At the same time the analyst notes that Vendor 1 also addresses
the IT Business audience and in a very minor way the Business audience. Now whilst suggesting multiple
primary audiences might be at odds with the term “primary”, it is important to note that the analyst is suggesting
that during the research, Vendor 1 was found to use language or strategies that addressed the IT Business and
Business audiences, but that this was considerably outweighed by the vendor’s commitment to the IT Technical
audience.

Vendor 2 has a similar profile but splits its strategy between the Business and, in a lesser way the IT Business
and IT Technical audiences. We can see that the analysis of Vendor 3’s primary audience was inconclusive. It
appears that Vendor 3 uses strategies and language aimed at multiple audiences. As we will see in the
Interpreting the Results sections below, whilst Vendor 3’s result looks inconclusive, it provides very valuable



                                                                                                              Page 7 
intelligence. A vendor that is using language that attempts to equally address multiple, different audiences;
each of which has very different needs, pains and desires, will likely fail to satisfy each audience constituent and
will therefore confuse their prospects.

The Scoring System
The REPAMA ranking and scoring system features two different approaches.

         Relative focus
         Absolute score

Relative Focus
The Primary Audience MED above shows the relative focus scoring system. This allows the analyst to “score” a
vendor’s position out of a maximum of 11 across all of the axes that represent the various marketing elements.
Such charts highlight the value of focus as the 11 points are distributed relatively across the marketing elements
according to the weightings the analyst arrives at during the research.

By spreading the maximum score across each of the categories strong single areas of focus are rewarded with
a higher score and obviously multiple areas of focus (if that’s not an oxymoron), score less prominently on a
single axis.

Absolute Score
The absolute score system as shown below in Figure 8 - Example Direct Geographic Operations MED, allows
the analyst to rate each of the market elements out of a maximum of 11. This differs from the relative focus
system which distributes a maximum score of 11 across all of the axes. In the diagram below geographic
coverage of a particular territory will score 11 if the vendor’s commitment to a territory is total i.e. a presence in
each major country within the territory. In the example below Vendor 3 is shown to have a near total
commitment to each of the major geographic regions.
                                                        Africa




                  Middle‐East                                                              Americas




                                  Europe                                    Asia Pacific




                         Vendor 1            Vendor 2            Vendor 3              Market Mean

                                Figure 8 - Example Direct Geographic Operations MED




                                                                                                                 Page 8 
Why is there no scale on the charts?
As mentioned above the REPAMA MED charts are designed to compare multiple vendors’ relative commitment
to various strategic marketing elements. It is not intended as a tool for precisely quantifying the differences
between the various vendors’ strategies. Instead its use is to show the relative differences between vendors’
positions and does not aim to precisely quantify these differences.

Other Lustratus REPAMA Deliverables
Lustratus’ REPAMA deliverables take the form of single vendor reports, multiple vendor reports, assessment of
a vendor’s marketing effectiveness and consultancy to create or tune competitive marketing positioning and
messaging. The table below shows the full range of REPAMA offerings.

Lustratus REPAMA Deliverable                 Description
REPAMA Vendor Analysis Study                 In the REPAMA Vendor Analysis Study (VAS) we reverse engineer
                                             a specific vendor’s marketing strategy from the way they engage
                                             the market through their outbound marketing communication.
                                             This material is presented graphically through Lustratus’ Marketing
                                             Element Distribution charts as well as textually via observations
                                             that Lustratus’ analysts make for each of the studies. Users of the
                                             REPAMA VAS will typically focus on a specific competitor or they
                                             may chose to carry out an introspective version that studies their
                                             own perceived approach to the market. This allows a comparison
                                             to be made with the intended strategy and steps taken to affect
                                             any changes required.

REPAMA Segment Analysis Study                The REPAMA Segment Analysis Study (SAS) combines the same
                                             process used in the Vendor Analysis Study above but here we
                                             compare the strategies of multiple vendors present in a particular
                                             segment. Importantly we are able to infer a “mean” or average
                                             value for each of the marketing elements in the study. Again this
                                             research is presented graphically through Lustratus’ Market
                                             Element Distribution chart and the results of each study are
                                             interpreted by a Lustratus’ Marketing Analyst.

REPAMA Interpretation Consultancy            Lustratus provides consultancy services to help vendors interpret
                                             the details of a REPAMA VAS or REPAMA SAS, to map these
                                             onto the vendor’s specific needs and to build and tune strategies
                                             as required.

REPAMA Positioning Consultancy               For vendors building positioning, re-positioning or competitive
                                             depositioning strategies, Lustratus has developed a positioning
                                             workshop. Based on years of experience, the workshop walks
                                             vendors through a process to develop sustainable, compelling and
                                             differentiated market propositions.

REPAMA Marketing Efficacy                    The Lustratus Marketing Efficacy Assessment provides a
Assessment                                   comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of a vendor’s
                                             marketing tactics. Vendors commission a Marketing Efficacy
                                             Assessment on key competitors or introspectively to reveal
                                             strengths and weakness in their own marketing strategy.

                             Table 1 - Lustratus REPAMA Products and Services

For more information on any of these products or services please contact us at info@lustatusrepama.com or via
http://www.lustratusrepama.com.




                                                                                                          Page 9 
Organisation and Market Approach
This section describes the elements of the REPAMA study that relate to the organisation and the way in which it
approaches the market. The individual elements examined are listed below.




                                           •Company profile ‐ How does the vendor want to be perceived?
                                           •Offer category ‐ How does the vendor describe its offer?
                                           •Primary audience ‐ Who does the vendor target?
                                           •Job titles targeted ‐ Which job titles are targeted?
                                           •Sales engagement level ‐ At what level does the vendor look to start the 
      Organisation                          sales process?
                                           •Market stage – What market stage is suggested by the vendors marketing 

      and market                            tactics?
                                           •Vertical market segmentation ‐ Which industries does the vendor focus 
                                            on?
       approach                            •Channel approach – What channel strategies does the vendor rely upon?
                                           •Implied sales methodology – Does the vendor appear to rely on a specific 
                                            sales methodology?
                                           •Tone of voice – What “attitude” does the vendor take when addressing 
                                            the market?
                                           •Geographic focus – Which countries does the vendor focus on?




What will this tell us?
These studies reveal the strategic sales and marketing elements used by the vendors in the study when
executing go-to-market strategies. This information will be useful to sales, product marketing and product
management individuals looking to understand how their competitors have structured and planned their attack
on the market.

The studies in this section provide information on market engagement strategies as well as the tactics that sales
teams use to engage the market. As a result, many of these studies present details that will allow general or
sales management to benchmark their own sales operations against key competitors as well as the market
mean.

When looking to repel competitive threat, sales and operations management can use these studies to build a
detailed go-to-market execution picture of the competitive landscape which in turn allows strategies to be
defined to combat threat, cement market leadership or identify market opportunity.




                                                                                                              Page 10 
Company Profile
What is this?
This study examines what type of leadership position or positions a specific vendor organisation claims to own.
This will typically stem from an internal corporate belief or philosophy that will be widely understood within the
vendor’s organisation. This may or may not be a conscious strategy that the company has embarked upon but
it will be an internally held belief.

When crafting marketing copy the vendor will typically lean toward language that paints the organisation in a
positive light for one of a number of different leadership positions. These leadership positions together with the
claimed qualities and characteristics are shown below:

  The knowledge leader               The market share leader               The service leader                     The prestige leader
  • Expertise                        • Biggest                             • Most responsive                      • Most exclusive    
  • High prices                      • Volume                              • Most committed to customer           • Small group of customers    
                                                                             satisfaction                           Expensive products/services




  The quality leader                 The global leader                     The bargain leader                     The innovation leader
  • The best                         • Best placed to serve world          • Lowest price                         • Most creative    
  • Not necessarily exclusive (so      markets                             • Saving money                         • Can be limited to techies and 
    different from prestige)         • World‐wide presence                                                          early adopters!
  • No compromise on quality         • World‐wide support / 
                                       localisation


                      The technology leader              The value leader                       The flexibility leader
                      • The first                        • Best value for money                 • Most adaptable    
                                                         • Quality with some compromises        • Made to order    
                                                                                                • "What do you need and we will 
                                                                                                  create it for you?"




                                              Figure 9 - Company Profile Categories

Interpreting the Result and Potential Competitive Strategies
This is an important element of the REPAMA study primarily because it talks to how an organisation wants to be
perceived and, if the vendor is doing its job well, all of its staff will understand this whether they be marketing,
sales or customer focused. This is a central corporate message and will be underpinned by everything the
organisation says and does. Understanding how a competitor communicates its own perceived leadership
position can be a key enabler for depositioning strategies.

A strong single leadership position in a single category is the ideal objective for a vendor. Implied claims for
leadership across multiple categories can show an organisation that is confused about its value. By not
focussing on a single leadership position, but instead hedging bets by claiming multiple areas of leadership, the
vendor leaves itself open to be challenged on multiple weaker fronts. An unfocussed approach will also likely
confuse its prospects and fail to gain a single strong brand value for the organisation.

Effective competitive or depositioning strategies can be created by understanding how an organisation would
like to be perceived in the market. Whilst some of these categories are highly subjective, many can be
challenged successfully. Before a competitive stance can be taken, the user of the REPAMA study should first
ensure that its own leadership position is well understood, clearly communicated and defensible. Picking a fight
with a competitor by looking to focus on a perceived weakness whilst risking a similar attack from the
competitor would be unwise.




                                                                                                                                             Page 11 
Many smaller early market organisations will gravitate towards innovation or technology leadership by claiming
unique creativity or first-to-market positions. A strategy that can be used effectively against organisations that
take these corporate profiles is one of outlining the risk involved in dealing with a vendor of that size/stage of
development. Companies are either, highly creative and innovative, OR they are large, global and stable.
Pointing to the risk associated with innovative and technologically-led organisations could be a valid corporate
depositioning angle.

Another depositioning strategy is to look for contradictions in their profile and to then exploit this. Such an
example would be Global Leadership. If the REPAMA study suggests that a vendor is claiming a global
leadership profile but it can be shown that this vendor is not truly global, or if the user of the REPAMA study can
demonstrate a more global footprint, this can be used to dismiss the claims of the competitor.

Other examples include claimed quality or service leadership. If an organisation is claiming leadership in either
of these qualities then a competitive kill strategy that looks to arm sales and marketing teams with examples of
the competitor’s poor customer service or product quality might be a successful option. Obviously any
negative competitive depositioning strategy has to be executed with care not to cross any legal or corporate
good practice boundaries.
                                                       Knowledge leader

                          Flexibility leader                                      Market share leader




                   Value leader                                                               Service leader




           Technology leader                                                                     Prestige leader




                  Innovation leader                                                       Quality leader


                                      Bargain leader                      Global leader


                          Vendor 1              Vendor 2              Vendor 3                Market Mean


                                      Figure 10 - Example Company Profile MED

Figure 10 above shows that Vendor 3 alone claims a market and global leadership position. As the other
vendors in the study do not claim these positions it is likely to be a valid and easily defensible position. This can
be dangerous to Vendors 1 and 2 as many prospects and customers will be comforted by dealing with the
perceived market leading vendor.

A valid defensive strategy that Vendors 1 or 2 could implement would be to conduct or commission their own
research to ascertain the “real” market leader. Equally, Vendors 1 or 2 could redefine or re-segment the market
on their terms to claim market leadership in a smaller market segment where their expertise would allow them
legitimate title to the term market leader.




                                                                                                                   Page 12 
Offer Category
What is this?
This REPAMA element tracks the way in which each of the vendors refers to the category of their market offer.
Lustratus will almost certainly have grouped two or more vendors in a REPAMA Segment Analysis Study
because of a perceived similarity between their products or services. Whilst market analysts might place certain
vendor’s product offerings in specific categories, not all vendors use the same terminology.

An example might be that of the Enterprise Service Bus (a specific piece of infrastructure software that allows
data and processes to be knitted together to make it easier for organisations to integrate their systems). If
Lustratus looked at this space it might be that all vendors in the study referred to their offer category as
“Enterprise Service Bus”. However, for differentiation purposes, it is likely that some of the vendors examined
would refer to their offering differently from their competition. It’s likely that each vendor would attempt to
differentiate, in subtle, or not so subtle ways when compared to the competition.

As shown in the Figure 11 below, many vendors will use language in their outbound communication that will
define a primary category that they refer to when talking about their own product in generic terms. The Offer
Category MED shows both the primary as well as any additional categories that the vendor refers to.

                                                   Category 1




                 Category 4                                                           Category 2




                                                   Category 3

                         Vendor 1            Vendor 2           Vendor 3           Market Mean

                                    Figure 11 - Example Offer Category MED

Interpreting the Result and Potential Competitive Strategies
By examining the MED it is possible to see whether a single vendor is attempting to categorise their offering in
both their own segment as well as the primary segment of additional vendors. This may suggest that they have
ceded the advantage to their competitor by acknowledging that they need to be present in both categories.

A high degree of correlation between the vendors in the MED would typically infer a mature market where new
innovation and change is very gradual and where differentiation is more subtle than at the broad offer category
level. An example of this might be the category “Database”. That said, even within the database category it is




                                                                                                          Page 13 
likely that vendors would attempt to differentiate themselves by appending or pre-pending adjectives of some
sort to create implied value and difference.

Defensive or offensive strategies that immediately present themselves here include highlighting differences that
could be perceived as deficient or simply pointing to the lack of a word, typically an adjective, and developing a
competitive depositioning strategy based upon that. For example, if the REPAMA user refers to their offering as
“Reliable Process X” and Competitor A refers to their category as “Enterprise Process X”, it would be possible
for the REPAMA user to point toward Competitor A and question whether their product is reliable. Now
obviously Competitor A had every intention of using the term Enterprise to infer that it was up to the rigours of
use across an Enterprise and as such reliability would be a given. Simply pointing to the lack of the Reliable
term may cause Competitor A to have to demonstrate its reliability when in competitive situations.




                                                                                                           Page 14 
Primary Audience
What is this?
This REPAMA strategy element shows what type of audience a competitor targets within end user
organisations. Lustratus infers which level of audience they are primarily targeting from the language and
programs present in the vendor’s outbound marketing activities.

Lustratus categorises the primary end user target audience as one or more of the following three categories:

         IT Technical - Represents the overtly technical disciplines within the
                                                                                            Business
         IT organisation that have no management, strategic or commercial
         responsibilities
         IT Business - Represents the higher management levels of the IT                  IT Business
         organisation that have strategic and/or financial responsibilities
         Business - Represents the line of business functions outside of the              IT Technical
         IT organisation
                                   Figure 12 - Primary Audience Classification

A full description of the roles, concerns and area of focus for each of the 3 audience constituents can be found
in Table 5 - End User Organisation Audience Strata below.
                                                     Business




                      Other                                                           IT Business




                                                   IT Technical

                         Vendor 1            Vendor 2             Vendor 3         Market Mean


                                    Figure 13 - Example Primary Audience MED

Interpreting the Result and Potential Competitive Strategies
Understanding which category a vendor targets can reveal many significant marketing as well as sales
strategies and tactics. For example an inferred primary audience of the Business tier would suggest that the
vendor believes the market and their product offering is mature enough to demonstrate deliverable value to the
business. It could also infer that they may use a solution selling based methodology and that they have a
whole-product approach that combines professional services, partnerships, etc. into a complete solution to the
needs of the business.


                                                                                                             Page 15 
Both the types of vendor marketing deliverables as well as the language they use differ enormously when
addressing the different categories. The closer to the Business strata, the more benefits-focused the marketing
efforts will be. Likewise the closer to the IT Technical layer, the more focus is applied to product functionality,
capability, capacity, etc.

If a vendor is shown to be aiming their marketing communications solely at the IT Technical stratum, it suggests
that they are taking an evangelical approach to the market. This is based on the fact that the IT Technical
audience does not have the ability to “buy” anything. Rather this layer serves as an influencer and perhaps
gatekeeper during sales efforts. The implication here is that once marketing contact has been made with the IT
Technical community, a sales process will need to be engaged within the prospect organisation to network
above the IT Technical contact to a point where budget, pain and problem resolution is owned.

Addressing the IT Business category involves communicating technical capabilities but at the same time
translating that into language of the business-focused IT community. It also requires the vendor to show that it
understands the pains of the IT Business stratum and that it can address these. Pains and concerns at this
level are likely to revolve around the balance of strategy against tactical, resulting in messaging focused on cost,
time to value, etc. Providing proof of capability via references is more important at this level than it is at the IT
Technical level.

The Business audience category will be sensitive to messages that solve the business problems they are facing.
This category has little to no interest in technology so language that majors on the technology will only serve to
confuse and potentially alienate this audience constituent.

Vendors that appear to communicate at multiple levels may run the risk of confusing their prospects. Many
vendors successfully simultaneously address the IT Business and IT Technical communities by providing
educational/evangelical material to IT Technical and more benefits-focused material to IT Business. That said
this does show a reduction in focus and a lack of clarity and understanding of the key entry point into their
target organisation. In Lustratus’ experience, a reduction in focus typically results in a lack of success.

A vendor that focuses completely on IT Technical may be betraying the fact that their market is not yet “real”.
As the IT Technical community doesn’t “buy”, the vendor may very well be attempting to get a foothold
anywhere it can within its target organisations. Wasting too much time with this audience constituent can be a
failing in many early market technology innovators.

If a REPAMA user is experiencing lost sales to a competitor, understanding what audience stratum that
competitor is focused on can help in mitigating lost sales. If that competitor is shown to focus on the Business
level it might suggest that they are gaining earlier access to the power within an organisation. Earning the right
to be able to address the Business audience is a long process that involves demonstrating and documenting
proof of value to other reference customers. Whilst access to the Business audience is seen as the ultimate
aim in technology sales, it takes time, focus and a continued demonstration of delivering and documenting
business value.

Addressing the Business audience without a complete solution to their pain will result in failure. Many vendors
of early technology see “selling to the business” as the panacea to many of the problems of early market
technology sales. In fact, prematurely addressing the Business strata is a quick way to burn a lot of cash and
waste a lot of time. As such, a vendor that makes a token commitment to selling to the Business is likely to fail.
Such a token commitment can be betrayed by communicating in business benefits at the same time as
addressing the IT Technical audience. An example of this might be attending a technical tradeshow where IT
Technical people are present at the same time as talking about the product’s ability to reduce the risk of
corporate governance failures.




                                                                                                              Page 16 
Job Titles
What is this?
Where possible the REPAMA analysis will attempt to identify specific job titles that are targeted by the vendors
in the study. These specific roles and job titles often figure in the vendor’s outbound marketing activity such as
invitations to seminars, webinars, press releases or even web site copy. Whilst it is not always possible to
collate specific job titles and roles, it is often possible to infer the likely roles within end user organisations that
are targeted.

                                                       Developer




                          CEO                                                             Development Manager




                                      CIO                                      Software Architect




                           Vendor 1             Vendor 2            Vendor 3            Market Mean


                                         Figure 14 - Example Job Titles MED

Interpreting the Result and Potential Competitive Strategies
Assuming that the user of the REPAMA study is looking to emulate a competitor’s strategy then an obvious
implication would be to understand who is targeted and then to develop messaging and material that effectively
conveys the organisation’s value to that audience.

Defensive lead generation techniques can be improved by understanding which job titles are targeted by
competitors and creating similar programs. Obviously this has to be qualified first by understanding whether the
vendor can manage sales leads generated with a specific job title. For example, many vendors have great
expertise in dealing with highly technical job titles and roles but have little capability when dealing with
individuals in line of business management positions. Generating leads within a specific audience has to be
backed up by the vendor’s ability to nurture and mature the lead through the sales cycle.

The REPAMA user will also find value in understanding competitive job title focus across the segment as this
shows whether the same individuals are being targeted by competitors. The implication here is that if the
competitor also focuses on the same geographies and vertical markets, it is more likely that the REPAMA user’s
prospects will be familiar with, or even already talking to the competitor.




                                                                                                                 Page 17 
Sales Engagement Level
What is this?
This part of the study attempts to identify where the vendors that are present in the study look to start their
sales process. Each vendor’s outbound marketing activities will feature calls to action aimed at creating leads
or contacts. For example a vendor may target a specific tradeshow or industry event exclusively for CIOs. This
suggests that the vendor is aiming to start the sales process at the IT Business level. Another vendor may run
their own webinar for software developers again suggesting that they see value in starting the sales process at
the IT Technical level.

This study differs from the primary audience in that it looks for where a vendor has used a call to action or
similar device, to attempt to get an individual engaged as a suspect and into the first part of the sales pipeline.
Whilst a vendor might communicate to audiences at different levels, this study examines when a vendor first
attempts to interact with potential prospects.
                                                      Business




                     IT Technical                                                   IT Business




                          Vendor 1            Vendor 2            Vendor 3           Market Mean


                                Figure 15 - Example Sales Engagement Level MED


Interpreting the Result and Potential Competitive Strategies
A potential competitive strategy here would be to track the marketing events and activities of successful
competitors and look to mirror them. As mentioned above, the vendor must first ask themselves whether they
are able to deal with leads generated within a specific audience stratum.

An interesting piece of competitive intelligence can be inferred from observing vendors that are struggling to get
traction with a specific audience suddenly looking to change audiences in the hope that they are able to gain
greater traction with the new audience. The REPAMA study can be used to identify companies who are
potentially executing this strategy by looking for a disconnect between the Primary Audience and the Sales
Engagement Level. It should be borne in mind that this could obviously be the actions of a vendor whose
prospecting is simply maturing to now include additional audience stratum.



                                                                                                              Page 18 
Market Stage
What is this?
This study attempts to determine at what stage of development a specific vendor believes their market is
currently at. This is inferred by the language and marketing programs present in their outbound marketing mix.
The market stages that are monitored include:

        Evangelism – no “real” market. Small sales are made but the vendor is looking to create the market
        Early, proven – the market is at an early stage but there is proof of customers deriving benefit from the
        vendor’s technology
        Mature – the market has existed for some time, customers, competition and alternatives exist
        Mature with breakthrough – as mature but with a significant recent technical or commercial
        breakthrough


Interpreting the Result and Potential Competitive Strategies
This is useful study in that it adds balance to any claims that a vendor may make for their success in a market.
For example if a vendor is claiming success, growth and market leadership but it appears that they are using
evangelical language in outbound marketing material and documented customer references are not in evidence,
then it suggests that the market isn’t as real as it might otherwise appear to be. Vendors tend to use
evangelical language to push a market to formation and once the market is real, sales are being made and
references plentiful, the language tends to change to be more confident.

                                                   Evangelism




  Mature with breakthrough                                                            Early proven




                                                     Mature

                         Vendor 1           Vendor 2            Vendor 3           Market Mean


                                    Figure 16 - Example Market Stage MED

Another use is understanding the subtle difference between “Evangelical” and “Mature with breakthrough”
approaches to the market. Whilst the result is similar because a new capability has been introduced, the way
the messages are spun and delivered can make a big difference. Innovations are often brought about by
technical advancement and not in reaction to customer need. Evangelical language such as “radically new


                                                                                                           Page 19 
approach”, “technological breakthrough”, “completely changes the way you do x” may make some potential
customers nervous that they are in some way at the forefront of technological innovation and therefore risk.
Instead an approach that stresses the minor changes to the traditional methods that are now possible due to
some technical or commercial innovation may play better with prospects who are risk averse.

Likewise if a user of the REPAMA study is in a mature market segment and is experiencing stiff competition
from a certain competitor who is using language that suggests they have introduced a significant technological
or commercial breakthrough to the market, then competitive strategies can be drawn up to combat that
approach.

As individuals we exhibit a pre-disposition to either evangelical language that cites technical advancement or
pragmatic language that delivers value. The same is broadly true of industries or vertical markets. Certain
industries are seen as early adopters of innovative technology whilst other industries are seen as laggards.
Using evangelical language about an innovative technology whilst selling into a pragmatic sector such as
farming, may be seen as a disconnect.




                                                                                                           Page 20 
Vertical Market Segmentation
What is this?
This study outlines the relative commitment that each vendor has to the different vertical markets in which it
sells. Vertical markets or industries may or may not require specific knowledge or domain expertise but where
such knowledge is demonstrated the vendor scores higher than another where no such expertise appears to be
present.

                                                     Vertical segment 1


                      Vertical segment 9                                           Vertical segment 2




          Vertical segment 8                                                                   Vertical segment 3




                Vertical segment 7                                                        Vertical segment 4




                                Vertical segment 6                        Vertical segment 5


                            Vendor 1            Vendor 2             Vendor 3              Market Mean


                               Figure 17 - Example Vertical Market Segmentation MED

Interpreting the Result and Potential Competitive Strategies
As a new entrant to the market, it may be useful to understand where the other competitors are focused.
Depending on the specific strategy, this may indicate highly competitive areas to avoid or it may indicate where
the greatest opportunity lies.

Similarly, if an established vendor is looking to enter a new specific vertical market they may consult the
REPAMA study to understand which other vendors are present and use their competitor’s experience and
tactics as a guide to forming their own strategy.

This MED can be combined with external market sizing data to project where unaddressed market
opportunities may lie. For example if the MED were to show a vertical segment that is currently not addressed
by any of the market protagonists and external market sizing data showed that the market segment was likely
to spend significantly, this may indicate an area of the market where unchallenged opportunity exists.




                                                                                                                    Page 21 
Channel Approach
What is this?
The alternative approaches that vendors take to selling indirectly are captured in this study. Channel in this
study refers to a route to taking products to market that is not directly part of the vendor’s organisation. Some
of the channel elements examined may not actually be commercially active for the vendor but they appear to
claim that they are.

The categories used include:

Channel                            Description
No specific channel strategy       The vendor demonstrates no clear or specific 3rd party channel strategy.
communicated
System integrators                 System integrators are used to reach the market because of the relationship
                                   they have with end user customers. The vendor’s technology may be used
                                   as some form of integrated solution that the SI takes responsibility for
                                   delivering. This channel element may also be used by the vendor to deliver
                                   professional services to their end user customer.

Reseller/Distributor               The vendor uses distributors or resellers to reach the market. Often these
                                   will be present in “overseas” territories and will effectively be the face of the
                                   vendor in these geographic territories. As vendors mature these channel
                                   partners are often subsumed into the vendor’s direct sales force or the
                                   vendor launches their own organisations into the territory.

Internal channel                   A number of large organisations will use internal channel to reach the market.
                                   Sometimes these internal channel organisations will focus on a geography,
                                   vertical market or perhaps a horizontal capability such as a professional
                                   services division.

OEM                                OEM relationships are the result of embedding a vendor’s technology into
                                   another vendor’s product. Due to the complexity of OEM contracts and
                                   relationships, such channels will typically be developed manually. As such, in
                                   most cases the need for vendors to target OEMs through outbound
                                   marketing activities is minimal.

Technology partner                 Technology partnerships are typically formed with other vendors that have
                                   technology that is complimentary to a vendor’s portfolio. Quite often
                                   amongst early market companies, such agreements may simply be co-
                                   operative marketing relationships and may not be a genuine route to market
                                   for the vendor.

Other channel                      As it suggests this category captures any additional channel approaches not
                                   listed above.

                                  Table 2 - Channel Approach Categories

Interpreting the Result and Potential Competitive Strategies
Depending on the type of product and organisation, real growth may only come when others are doing your
selling for you. As a result, channel strategies become an important growth strategy for organisations of all
sizes. A failing in many early market organisations is that of not building channels to market at the right time.
Having a market opportunity but not the channel to achieve the growth potential will limit the effectiveness of the
organisation. However, the opposite is also true. Attempting to create a channel in advance of having a truly
repeatable sales model will result in a frustrated channel partner and wasted time, energy and money.




                                                                                                               Page 22 
No specific channel strategy 
                                                  communicated




                       Other channel                                           System integrators




             Technology partner                                                      Reseller/Distributor




                                         OEM                          Internal channel




                          Vendor 1            Vendor 2            Vendor 3           Market Mean


                                  Figure 18 - Example Channel Approach MED

The marketing benefit associated with announcing relationships with 3rd parties can be two-way. Both sides of
the announcement will enjoy benefit. Whether this marketing benefit yields a commercial return may or may not
be important to both parties especially in early market situations where vendors are desperate to paint a picture
of credibility. It might be that both sides simply recognise the value of announcing the relationship for marketing
purposes.

Understanding the commercial strategies of competitors and specifically how they believe they will achieve
growth via channel strategies can be a key piece of competitive intelligence. Mimicking the channel strategies
of competitors is one option. Building channel relationships with your competitors’ channel partners or even
those channel partners’ competitors is also a valid competitive strategy. Large or long-established
organisations may well have existing deep and far-reaching channel relationships. Competing with such
organisations can be challenging because such deep rooted relationships will not be overturned over night.

A vendor that claims significant SI relationships may suggest that the vendor does not have its own professional
services organisations. In essence all services and solution integration related work is pushed through a
channel. Understanding this can be useful intelligence when selling to end users who may not want to work
with an SI or who may mandate their own SI.

The OEM strategies of your competitors are important to understand. If a competitor’s strategy is to be
embedded in other technologies that have an easier route to market, then they do not necessarily have to
understand the pains and needs of the ultimate end user of the technology. Instead, their prospect is in fact the
OEM, and it is the specific pains of the OEM that are important to address. OEM strategies are also important
in an early market because by embedding technology in another solution, a vendor can obviate the need to
address all of the functional requirements of the market. Also by selecting a credible and respected partner, the
early market OEM can minimise the risk that their size and lack of experience might otherwise betray. Early
market software vendors gradually add functionality to their offering over time which means that, at any point in
time, it may not be suitable for every customer. By partnering with an organisation that can provide the
additional functionality, early market organisations can reach a broader target audience earlier in their evolution.


                                                                                                             Page 23 
The downside is obviously that the end user is not a direct customer. The customer instead is typically the
OEM.

In Figure 18 - Example Channel Approach MED above we can see that Vendor 2 appears to be targeting OEMs
and system integrators. This may suggest that they have little desire, or perhaps ability, to reach direct end
user prospects. Comparing this to Vendor 3 in the same diagram we can see that they appear to be executing
a strategy of working through system integrators and resellers/distributors. To build a reseller/distributor
channel suggests that there must be a real market for Vendor 3’s products and services.




                                                                                                         Page 24 
Implied Sales Methodology
What is this?
This study attempts to infer whether a vendor uses a specific sales methodology. If such a methodology is in
place and well executed, the language that the vendor uses to reach its customers and prospects will typically
betray this.

Interpreting the Result and Potential Competitive Strategies
If a vendor describes the product in purely technical terms, then it is likely that they will take a technical
approach to selling. Here features and capabilities will be important during the process. It is also likely that the
sales will be part of an existing project within the end user’s organisation. If however the language talks little
about the product capability and instead focuses on the customer pains and how the technology addresses
them, then as long as supporting evidence is there, it suggests that a solution selling-type methodology may be
in place.

Value added selling focuses on the value that can be provided by the vendor and vendor’s products. This is
different from a technical sale in that it interprets the value that can be derived from the prospect using the
technology. Reference selling relies heavily on documenting previous successes and typically involves
quantifying what those benefits were and listing the previous organisations the vendor has already helped. The
implication is that the prospect will be able to see how similar companies have benefited from dealing with the
vendor. Reference selling can also be used as a supporting strategy with each of the other methodologies.

                                                     No evidence




                                                                                     Technical sale 
                            Other
                                                                                   (feature/benefit)




                                                                                   Value added (stress the 
     Refence sale (cite customers)
                                                                                           value)




                                             Solution sale (business pain)


                          Vendor 1            Vendor 2             Vendor 3          Market Mean

                              Figure 19 - Example Implied Sales Methodology MED

If one vendor is shown to focus on a solution selling methodology whilst another vendor majors on more
technical/value-based selling, these vendors may not feel that they compete. Whilst they might not talk to the
same part of an organisation, they may still be competing for business within the same prospect organisations.
Understanding where vendors fit in this MED can help to interpret unexpected lost sales. This is a key study in
understanding how some competitors appear to be able to delay and scupper the deals of other vendors
because they have access to power that others don’t.



                                                                                                              Page 25 
Geographic Operations
What is this?
This study shows the relative commitment to the different geographic territories of the various vendors in the
study. This is an Absolute Score MED which means that scoring is based upon a maximum score for each of
the territories. i.e. it is possible for a vendor to score the maximum on each of the axis in the study rather than
having a maximum score distributed across the axes in the study.

The scoring works by mapping the claimed supported country territories of a specific vendor, either directly or
via resellers, against the IMF’s GDP rankings (See Appendix III – IMF GDP Rankings). The total GDP for the
supported countries is then mapped against the maximum GDP for each of the five categories below.

Interpreting the Result and Potential Competitive Strategies
This is fairly a straightforward study to interpret showing as it does the places where each vendor claims to
conduct business. This can obviously reveal potential weakness in a REPAMA user’s own strategy if a
competitor is strong in a particular territory. It can also reveal opportunities where a competitor is not currently
present or is unable to exploit a specific geographic territory.




                                                         Africa




                  Middle‐East                                                               Americas




                                  Europe                                     Asia Pacific




                          Vendor 1            Vendor 2            Vendor 3             Market Mean

                                 Figure 20 - Example Geographic Operations MED




                                                                                                              Page 26 
Product
This section describes the elements of the REPAMA study that relate to the product and how it is promoted in
terms of value, features and benefits. The individual elements examined are listed below.




                                           •Primary feature/benefit ‐ Which features and benefits does 
                                            the vendor ascribe to its product?
                                           •Interpreted feature/benefit ‐ for comparing multiple 
                                            vendors using a rationalised list of features and benefits
                                           •Value proposition approach ‐ How important is value‐based 
       Product                              selling to the vendor?
                                           •Primary value proposition ‐ Which value propositions does 
                                            the  vendor focus on?
                                           •Interpreted value proposition ‐ for comparing multiple 
                                            vendors using a rationalised list of value propositions
                                           •Use cases ‐ What uses can the technology be put to?




What will this tell us?
This section looks at the marketing strategies specifically focused on the product. These studies show how
each vendor describes their products and looks at the features, benefits and value that they ascribe to them.
This information is useful for sales and product marketing teams to understand the relative differences between
their own position and those of their key competitors.

This section examines features and benefits as well as the value propositions some vendors use to engage the
market. These will be of interest to marketing communications professionals who need to track competitive
movements in these areas. In addition these studies will help sales professionals who need to understand the
major thrust of their competitors’ sales approach. By understanding the key features and benefits a competitor
is likely to use when in front of a prospect, users of the REPAMA study will be better placed to build strategies
to compete.

Understanding the approach that a vendor takes to selling on value and the value propositions that are
important to them is equally important. Gaining insight into the value that a competitor believes they provide to
their customers will allow REPAMA users to build similar or countering strategies.




                                                                                                           Page 27 
Primary Feature/Benefit
What is this?
This study looks at the specific capabilities or elements of functionality that a vendor highlights in their outbound
marketing activities. Importantly this study uses the raw claimed features and benefits from each vendor’s
outbound marketing communication with little consolidation. Only where two vendors claim to have the same
or similar features would the MED diagram score two vendors as being present on a particular axis.

The related Interpreted Primary Feature/Benefit study below looks to consolidate multiple features/benefits so
that vendors can be more easily compared across their claimed product strengths.

Interpreting the Result and Potential Competitive Strategies
The results of this study feed straight into the competitive product marketing process. Understanding where
each vendor in the segment is placing their bets and understanding their perspective on the relative importance
of the key features and benefits allows a vendor to compare and review their own priorities.

                                                      Feature/benefit 1

                        Feature/benefit 11                                       Feature/benefit 2




             Feature/benefit 10                                                               Feature/benefit 3




           Feature/benefit 9                                                                    Feature/benefit 4




                  Feature/benefit 8                                                     Feature/benefit 5


                                  Feature/benefit 7                       Feature/benefit 6


                          Vendor 1             Vendor 2               Vendor 3                Market Mean


                                  Figure 21 - Example Primary Feature/Benefit MED

In highly competitive situations in mature markets or in markets that are newly formed around some new
capability, it is likely that there will be a high degree of correlation between the vendors in the study.

The market mean can be important here in that it may reveal consensus amongst different vendors as to what
the key features and benefits are for a particular market segment. The chart does need a degree of
interpretation especially if a specific vendor is seen as dominating the segment. Understanding the priorities of
a “market leading” vendor and then implementing similar marketing claims might be a valid strategy. Equally a
REPAMA user may look to create clear differentiation between their claims and those of their key competitors.




                                                                                                                    Page 28 
Interpreted Primary Feature/Benefit
What is this?
This is paired with the previous Primary Feature/Benefit study with one key difference. Here Lustratus attempts
to interpret the different feature/benefit combinations and consolidates them into a reduced list. For example, if
the Primary Feature/Benefit study showed categories of “Bandwidth”, “Throughput” and “Capacity” these might
all be consolidated into a single category called “Performance”. This makes it far easier to compare each
vendor’s key areas of focus.

Value Proposition Approach
What is this?
Here Lustratus attempts to infer how important value proposition based marketing and selling is to the vendor.
Lustratus draws a significant distinction between vendors who major on product features and those that
interpret the value that can be derived when an organisation implements solutions using those features.

Certain vendors market and sell based on the relative strengths and weaknesses of their own and other
vendors’ features and benefits. All marketing material and likely the sales team’s strategy will be based around
winning the feature battle. The implication of such a strategy is that the vendor will likely be targeting IT
Technical contacts who care about feature sets. Another potential implication is that vendors who focus on
technical features will likely be selling into existing or planned projects. It is unlikely that addressing the IT
Technical audience constituent alone about specific features will result in new projects being created based
solely on this feature now being available. This vendor behaviour is characteristic of, but not solely limited to,
early market vendors.

The other type of vendor will understand the worth of selling based on the value they believe they can provide
their prospects. These vendors will take their features and interpret what these features, if put to use within a
prospect, would mean to that organisation. The target audience for vendors that sell on value within their
prospects would be different from the IT Technical community and would likely be the IT Business or even the
Business strata. This is because these two audience constituents are more interested in the results of the
product rather than how the project will be carried out.

It must be stressed that the two approaches are fundamentally different across most departments within a
vendor’s organisation, from product marketing, marketing communication, lead generation to the sales team
itself. Selling on value is philosophically different from selling on features and it requires a very different
organisational approach and structure.

Whilst these are the two main categories of vendors that the study looks to identify, a third category exists. This
is where a vendor, that actually sells on features to the IT Technical stratum will actually go to the effort of
interpreting the value of their features and communicate this to the market. The difference lies in the fact that
such vendors will use the derived value to show some form of affinity for the business problems and needs that
a prospect may face. But significantly the sales effort will still major on features and will still focus on developing
interest at the IT Technical level.

This approach is evident in vendors who communicate to the IT Technical audience constituent as well as the
higher level audience strata who are more concerned about value. Lustratus categorises such vendors as
making a cursory commitment to value-based sales and marketing purely to demonstrate some form of affinity
with their prospect’s higher level pains. Lustratus suggests that these vendors may use value statements but it
is unlikely that it is central to their sales approach.




                                                                                                               Page 29 
Interpreting the Result and Potential Competitive Strategies
The value of this study depends on the perspective of the vendor using the study. If the REPAMA user applies
value-based selling techniques then it can be valuable to understand how to unseat potential feature-focused
competitors by aiming higher in the organisation and selling based on value.

                                             No specific value proposition 
                                                       approach




      Integral to the sales process                                                 Cursory use to show affinity




                           Vendor 1           Vendor 2             Vendor 3           Market Mean


                               Figure 22 - Example Value Proposition Approach MED

If the REPAMA user is one that favours technical sales (features) then it may be valuable to understand which
competitors they compete with who will be selling against them at a higher level in the organisation using value-
based selling statements. It can also be used to understand which vendors sell based on value and then to
perhaps mimic their tactics to facilitate a move to value-based selling. Obviously, moving to a value-based
selling methodology is not simply a matter of changing marketing tactics. As mentioned above value-based
selling runs through the entire organisation and has significant impact in both the sales and marketing
organisations in particular.

Primary Value Proposition
What is this?
This study looks at the specific value that each vendor attributes to their product/solution in their outbound
marketing activities. This is different from the feature/benefit studies in that the vendor must translate a feature
or capability into the value that the prospect would enjoy in business terms.

Importantly, this study uses the claimed value propositions from each vendor’s outbound marketing
communication with little or no consolidation. Only where two vendors claim to deliver the same value would
the MED score two vendors as being present on a particular axis.

The related




                                                                                                               Page 30 
Interpreted Value Proposition study below examines the vendors’ claims in detail and looks to consolidate
multiple value propositions so that vendors can be compared more easily across their claimed value.

Interpreting the Result and Potential Competitive Strategies
Again, this study allows product marketing and sales teams to review their priorities against other vendors. If a
REPAMA user feels that a specific competitor has had recent sales success over them then this study may
provide insight into how that competitor describes the value they provide. This may allow for these strategies to
be mimicked.

                                                     Value proposition 1


                     Value proposition 9                                            Value proposition 2




         Value proposition 8                                                                     Value proposition 3




               Value proposition 7                                                         Value proposition 4




                               Value proposition 6                         Value proposition 5


                            Vendor 1            Vendor 2              Vendor 3              Market Mean


                                Figure 23 - Example Primary Value Proposition MED

It is important to remember that the likely commitment to value-based selling as seen in the Value Proposition
Approach study has an impact on the interpretation of this result. If the result of the Value Proposition
Approach study suggests that a vendor is simply using value to show affinity with the prospect, then the result
of this Primary Value Proposition study should be interpreted as such. If however a vendor is seen to use a
value-based approach as central to the sales process, then the results of both this study and the Interpreted
Value Proposition below for that vendor are particularly relevant.

Interpreted Value Proposition
What is this
This is paired with the previous Primary Value Proposition study with one key difference. Here Lustratus
attempts to interpret the different value statements made by the vendors in the study and then consolidates
them into a reduced list. For example, if the Primary Value Proposition study showed categories of “Accuracy”,
“Quality” and “Reliability”. These might all be consolidated into a single category called “Reduced Risk”. This
makes it far easier to compare each vendor’s key areas of value focus.




                                                                                                                       Page 31 
The Lustratus Repama Guide (1.10 Slideshare)
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The Lustratus Repama Guide (1.10 Slideshare)
The Lustratus Repama Guide (1.10 Slideshare)
The Lustratus Repama Guide (1.10 Slideshare)
The Lustratus Repama Guide (1.10 Slideshare)
The Lustratus Repama Guide (1.10 Slideshare)
The Lustratus Repama Guide (1.10 Slideshare)
The Lustratus Repama Guide (1.10 Slideshare)
The Lustratus Repama Guide (1.10 Slideshare)
The Lustratus Repama Guide (1.10 Slideshare)
The Lustratus Repama Guide (1.10 Slideshare)
The Lustratus Repama Guide (1.10 Slideshare)
The Lustratus Repama Guide (1.10 Slideshare)
The Lustratus Repama Guide (1.10 Slideshare)
The Lustratus Repama Guide (1.10 Slideshare)
The Lustratus Repama Guide (1.10 Slideshare)
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The Lustratus Repama Guide (1.10 Slideshare)

  • 1. Research REPAMA Competitive Intelligence A guide to interpreting Lustratus REPAMA competitive studies Author: Danny Goodall Version 1.1 Page 2  September 2009
  • 2. Table of Contents What Questions Does REPAMA Answer? ......................................... 2  Sales .......................................................................................... 2  Marketing ................................................................................... 2  General Management and Equity Investors ................................. 3  A Guide to Lustratus REPAMATM ...................................................... 4  The REPAMA Reverse Engineered Marketing Elements .............. 4  The REPAMATM Methodology ..................................................... 5  The Marketing Element DistributionTM (MED) ............................... 5  Multiple Vendor Comparisons and the Market Mean ................... 6  REPAMA Ranking and Scoring System ...................................... 7  The Scoring System ................................................................... 8  Why is there no scale on the charts? .......................................... 9  Other Lustratus REPAMA Deliverables ........................................ 9  Organisation and Market Approach ................................................ 10  What will this tell us? ................................................................. 10  Company Profile ....................................................................... 11  Offer Category .......................................................................... 13  Primary Audience...................................................................... 15  Job Titles .................................................................................. 17  Sales Engagement Level ........................................................... 18  Market Stage ............................................................................ 19  Vertical Market Segmentation ................................................... 21  Channel Approach .................................................................... 22  Implied Sales Methodology ....................................................... 25  Geographic Operations ............................................................. 26  Product........................................................................................... 27  What will this tell us? ................................................................. 27  Primary Feature/Benefit ............................................................ 28  Interpreted Primary Feature/Benefit .......................................... 29  Value Proposition Approach...................................................... 29  Primary Value Proposition ......................................................... 30  Interpreted Value Proposition .................................................... 31  Use Cases ................................................................................ 32  Positioning ...................................................................................... 33  What will this tell us? ................................................................. 33  Depositioning focus .................................................................. 34  Differentiation strategy .............................................................. 35  Perceived threat........................................................................ 36  Reverse Engineered Positioning Statement ............................... 37  The Positioning Spectrum Analysis (PSA) .................................. 39  PSA – For...(Ideal Customer) ..................................................... 39  PSA – Who...(Pain, Need or Desire) .......................................... 42  PSA - Our...(Product Name)...................................................... 43  PSA – Is A...(Product Category) ................................................ 43  PSA – That Provides... .............................................................. 45  PSA – Unlike...(Primary Competitor or Alternative)..................... 46  PSA – Our Product...(Primary Differentiation/USP) .................... 47  Appendix I - Glossary...................................................................... 49  Appendix II – Audience Strata ......................................................... 50  Appendix III – IMF GDP Rankings ................................................... 51  Page 3 
  • 3. Table of Figures Figure 1 - REPAMA for sales teams .................................................. 2  Figure 2 - REPAMA for marketing teams........................................... 2  Figure 3 - REPAMA for general management teams ......................... 3  Figure 4 - The REPAMA Reverse Engineered Marketing Elements .... 4  Figure 5 - Example Single Vendor Use Case Example MED Chart .... 5  Figure 6 - Multiple Vendor Use Case Example MED Chart ................ 6  Figure 7 - Example Primary Audience MED ....................................... 7  Figure 8 - Example Direct Geographic Operations MED .................... 8  Figure 9 - Company Profile Categories............................................ 11  Figure 10 - Example Company Profile MED .................................... 12  Figure 11 - Example Offer Category MED ....................................... 13  Figure 12 - Primary Audience Classification .................................... 15  Figure 13 - Example Primary Audience MED ................................... 15  Figure 14 - Example Job Titles MED ............................................... 17  Figure 15 - Example Sales Engagement Level MED ........................ 18  Figure 16 - Example Market Stage MED ......................................... 19  Figure 17 - Example Vertical Market Segmentation MED ................ 21  Figure 18 - Example Channel Approach MED ................................. 23  Figure 19 - Example Implied Sales Methodology MED .................... 25  Figure 20 - Example Geographic Operations MED .......................... 26  Figure 21 - Example Primary Feature/Benefit MED.......................... 28  Figure 22 - Example Value Proposition Approach MED ................... 30  Figure 23 - Example Primary Value Proposition MED ...................... 31  Figure 24 - Example Use Cases MED ............................................. 32  Figure 24 – Example Depositioning focus MED ............................... 34  Figure 24 – Example differentiation strategy MED ........................... 35  Figure 28 – Example perceived threat MED .................................... 36  Figure 25 - Typical Positioning Statement Structure ........................ 37  Figure 26 - Ideal Customer Classification ........................................ 40  Figure 27 - Example PSA For... (Ideal Customer) MED .................... 41  Figure 28 - Example PSA Who...(Pain, Need, Desire) MED ............. 42  Figure 29 - Example PSA Is A... (Product Category) MED ............... 43  Figure 30 - Example PSA That Provides... (Reason to Buy) MED .... 45  Figure 31 - Example PSA Unlike ... (Primary Competitor) MED ........ 46  Figure 32 - Example PSA Our Product... (USP) MED ...................... 47  Tables Table 1 - Lustratus REPAMA Products and Services ........................ 9  Table 2 - Channel Approach Categories ......................................... 22  Table 3 – Differentiation strategies .................................................. 35  Table 3 - Example Positioning Matrix .............................................. 38  Table 4 - End User Organisation Audience Strata ........................... 50  Table 5 - IMF GDP Rankings........................................................... 51  Page 4 
  • 4. Disclaimer Whilst reasonable care and skill has been taken by Lustratus Research Limited (the company) in the preparation of this report no liability is accepted by the company (except in the case of death or personal injury caused by the company's negligence) by reason of any representation or any implied warranty condition or other term or any statutory or common law duty or otherwise howsoever arising for any direct or indirect general special or consequential damages or loss costs expenses or other claims (whether caused by the negligence of the company or otherwise) which come out of the provision of this report or its use. All trademarks are acknowledged as the property of their respective owners. Page 1 
  • 5. What Questions Does REPAMA Answer? The range of Lustratus REPAMA reports and consultancy services helps sales teams to win more business, helps strategic marketing teams to build more competitive market propositions and helps marketing execution teams to generate better sales leads. REPAMA supplies detailed competitive information that examines: How your competitors actually address their prospects What messages competitors rely on in sales situations What types of companies and individuals your competition targets What value your competitors believe they provide to their customers How your competitors try to deposition and undermine their own competitors What features and benefits competitors stress in sales situations How your competitors are positioned in the marketplace The REPAMA research is used by the sales, marketing and general management functions to understand the market landscape, tune or re-engineer propositions and to benchmark marketing performance against peers. Sales What are my competition  How can I sell against a  What value do my  competitors believe they  saying about us? specific competitor? provide to their customers? In competitive situations, sales teams need to understand how their competitors are likely to behave. Gaining insight into the current messages and sales What business issues do my  competitors feel are  Do we compete with XYZ  Does XYZ target companies,  job titles or individuals that  important to their  competitor? tactics that competitors are likely to use can provide a prospects? we are not? powerful advantage. Will we waste time talking  Does XYZ target the same  about our features to a  REPAMA helps sales teams understand the strategies companies, job titles and  Does XYZ use a specific sales  methodology?   techie if XYZ is talking to C  individuals as us? level contacts about business  and tactics that their competitors use in sales value? situations which allows better competitive strategies to In a sales situation which  be built. It helps to answer the following questions: features and benefits does  What partnerships do my  What geographic coverage  XYZ believe are their  competitors rely upon?   does my competition have? strongest? Figure 1 - REPAMA for sales teams Marketing What companies and  vertical markets are my  At what level do my  competitors look to  What is the ideal target  customer for my  competitors targeting  start the sales process? competitors Whether setting product strategy, empowering sales for lead generation? teams or generating leads, gaining an understanding What do my  What do my  into competitive behaviour is key for the marketing What is the main pain  competitors feel is the  competitors believe is  that my competitors  main reason for a  the major alternative or  organisation. Comparing your own marketing claim to address? prospect to buy from  primary competitor to  them? them? strategy to those of your competitors and to the How does my  “average” strategy for your market segment allows for Which product features  competition sell?   Which USPs do my  do my competitors  Technical sale,  early identification of potential weakness as well as competitors claim? believe are the most  reference sale, value‐ important? add sales, solution sale? new opportunities. What depositioning  REPAMA helps marketing teams to understand how strategies can we use  against our  their competitors are positioning their offerings and competitors? provides answers to the following questions: Figure 2 - REPAMA for marketing teams Page 2 
  • 6. General Management and Equity Investors How far is my marketing  strategy from the norm for  What strategies are the  most successful vendors in  Why is our marketing  strategy not as successful  the segment? the segment following? as our competitors? When comparing marketing and sales performance against competitors it is important to understand the How does the  differences in approach of the respective organisations. performance of my own  How does my marketing  How is our marketing  marketing organisation  strategy compare with  differentiated from the  To do this it is key to map your own performance for a perform compared to its  market leaders? competition? peers? variety of indicators against those of key competitors. REPAMA tracks the key marketing strategies of vendors Do we have the correct  Does the competition  Is our competition's sales  in a specific market segment and plots these graphically focus on different  strategy radically different  partnership and  geographic coverage  prospects that us? ours? against each other. By interpreting these indicators, the strategies to compete? following questions can be answered for general management and equity investors: Figure 3 - REPAMA for general management teams Page 3 
  • 7. A Guide to Lustratus REPAMATM Lustratus recommends that the user of the REPAMA study familiarise themselves first with the concept of REPAMA competitive intelligence at a high level by reading through this guide. Subsequently the relevant sections of the guide can be referred to for reference when interpreting the results from a specific Lustratus REPAMA study. This section of the guide describes the REPAMA methodology, the Marketing Element Distribution (MED) diagrams, the scoring system and the high-level uses that the research can be put to. Three further sections provide detailed descriptions of each of the MED studies within the following categories: Organisation and Market Approach Product Positioning A detailed description of the individual studies within each section is provided together with a list of the potential strategies that may present themselves. The result of each MED is very specific to the segment, the vendors included and their respective status in the segment. As a result it is not possible to provide definitive generic strategies that will always be relevant for a specific study. Instead each study should be interpreted in context and strategies and tactics should be created accordingly using the potential strategies as a guide. The REPAMA Reverse Engineered Marketing Elements Lustratus developed the REPAMA methodology to allow us to prioritise, categorise and rate the following elements of a vendor’s marketing strategy and tactics: Organisation and market approach • Company profile ‐ How does the vendor want to be perceived? • Offer category ‐ How does the vendor describe its offer? • Primary audience ‐ Who does the vendor target? • Job titles targeted ‐ Which job titles are targeted? • Sales engagement level ‐ At what level does the vendor look to start the sales process? • Market stage – What market stage is suggested by the vendors marketing tactics? • Vertical market segmentation ‐ Which industries does the vendor focus on? • Channel approach – What channel strategies does the vendor rely upon? • Implied sales methodology – Does the vendor appear to rely on a specific sales methodology? • Tone of voice – What “attitude” does the vendor take when addressing the market? • Geographic focus – Which countries does the vendor focus on? Product • Primary and interpreted feature/benefit ‐ Which features and benefits does the vendor ascribe to its product? • Value proposition approach ‐ How important is value‐based selling to the vendor? • Primary and interpreted value proposition ‐ Which value propositions does the vendor focus on? • Use cases ‐ What uses can the technology be put to? Positioning • Reverse‐engineered positioning statement covering the • ideal customer • Their main pain, need or desire addressed • The product name and category • The main reason to buy • The primary competitior or alternative • The unique selling proposition • Depositioning strategy – How does each vendor deposition the competition or alternative? • Differneitation strategy ‐ What approach does the vendor take to differentiation? • Perceived threat ‐ What is the key, implied threat that the vendor fears? • Positioning Spectrum Analysis – Comparing each element of the positioning statement with each of the other vendors in the study Marketing Efficacy and Proof • Use of independent testimony – Does the vendor supply independent proof of its claims? • News / Blog coverage – What level of coverage has the vendor been able to achieve?  • Press releases  ‐ frequency / consistency • Successful partnerships – Is evidence provided of successful partnerships? • Independent speakers – Has the vendor been able to field customers to speak at events on their behalf? • Program mix and frequency  ‐ What marketing tactics does the vendor use and how frequent are they? • Message consistency over time (Boilerplate Delta) – Has the vendor’s messaging been consistent over time? • Google Ranking – How well is the vendor using search engines to reach their prospects and/or damage their competitors? Figure 4 - The REPAMA Reverse Engineered Marketing Elements Page 4 
  • 8. The REPAMATM Methodology Gaining a comprehensive understanding of a competitor’s marketing strategy is an essential but complex job for marketing communications, product marketing, product management and sales individuals. Understanding what techniques a competitor is likely to use when they are generating leads, depositioning your own organisations to analysts and press or selling against you in a sales situation are essential in building a successful sales and marketing organisation. Whilst this is valid in any competitive situation, it is especially true when competitors are either late entrants to a market or are present in an early market where less intelligence is available to build a full competitive picture. REPAMA from Lustratus Research is a set of research and consultancy offerings that provide marketing intelligence on high-tech vendors’ marketing strategy. We are able to document a vendor’s implied strategy by reverse engineering key marketing elements from the way they engage their prospects, customers, shareholders, the press and market analysts through their outbound marketing communications. The Marketing Element DistributionTM (MED) For each of these elements we identify and categorise the valid strategies and tactics for the vendor or vendors in the study. We then track, rate and rank the distribution of the vendors’ strategies across them. For example, if we look at the use cases that a vendor believes their technology can be put to, we will look for evidence for each of the uses and compile a list. We then rank the use cases in the list and score the relative importance of the use case to the vendor. We do this by distributing a use case “score” across all of the valid use cases. This results in a prioritised picture based on the relative importance of each use case to the vendor. To facilitate interpretation of this complex analysis, Lustratus represents this information graphically in the form of a Marketing Element Distribution (MED) diagram. This is a radar chart where each of the marketing elements from the study is shown on the spine of the radar and the relative rating given in the analysis above is plotted to show a vendor’s relative commitment or lack of commitment to each of these elements. An example MED chart is shown below. Use case 1 Use case 6 Use case 2 Use case 5 Use case 3 Use case 4 Vendor 1 Figure 5 - Example Single Vendor Use Case Example MED Chart Page 5 
  • 9. Interpreting the chart is relatively straightforward and the example above shows that Vendor 1 believes that use cases 5 and 4 are the highest priorities to stress in their marketing communication with their prospects and customers. A lesser commitment is made to use cases 1, 2 and 3 with use case 6 being of little apparent importance to Vendor 1. Multiple Vendor Comparisons and the Market Mean Lustratus refers to a REPAMA study that focuses on a single vendor as a Vendor Analysis Study (VAS). Whilst understanding the detail of a single vendor’s marketing strategy is important when building specific strategies to combat their threat, it is equally important to gain insight into the competitive landscape across multiple vendors’ strategies. Lustratus uses the same methodology and MED diagram shown above to plot multiple vendors’ strategies against each other. This makes relative vendor to vendor comparison much easier. Lustratus refers to this multiple vendor comparison as a Segment Analysis Study (SAS). Whilst rating the various vendors’ positions Lustratus also computes the market mean. This, as its name suggests, is a simple average of all of the other vendors’ scores in the MED. The value and importance of the market mean differs from chart to chart and requires interpreting for each MED. In some MEDs where large differences exist between the different vendors’ positions, the market mean may not truly represent the “middle” ground that the vendors take. Instead it may simply be an averaging of significantly different positions. A significant difference from the market mean represents a significant differentiation in strategy from the other vendors in the segment. This of course may be a positive or a negative situation depending on the perception of that difference. In other MEDs, understanding exactly where the common ground lies can help enormously in building effective competitive strategies. An example of a multiple vendor MED diagram including the market mean is shown below. Use case 1 Use case 6 Use case 2 Use case 5 Use case 3 Use case 4 Vendor 1 Vendor 2 Vendor 3 Market Mean Figure 6 - Multiple Vendor Use Case Example MED Chart Page 6 
  • 10. Figure 6 above shows the different priorities that vendors 1, 2 and 3 place on the use cases they attribute to their product. The market mean, shown above as the dotted line, shows the mean for the use cases across the particular segment (vendors 1, 2 and 3). In this example most vendors in the segment cite use cases 1 and 2. It is also worth noting that only Vendor 2 cites use cases 5 and 6. The significance of this fact depends on the status and perception of Vendor 2 within the segment. REPAMA Ranking and Scoring System REPAMA measures perception. The results are subjective and should be interpreted as such. Our analysts use a methodology backed by decades of technology marketing experience to reverse-engineer implied strategic marketing elements from the language vendors use to reach their prospects and customers. These elements are scored against other possible competing strategies to give a relative picture. This relative picture is referred to as a Marketing Element Distribution (MED) diagram. An example MED is shown below for Primary Audience. Business Other IT Business IT Technical Vendor 1 Vendor 2 Vendor 3 Market Mean Figure 7 - Example Primary Audience MED In the example above which shows a group of vendors’ likely relative reliance on a specific target audience, we can see that Vendor 1 leans towards IT Technical as the primary audience (see Table 5 below for a description of the primary target audience categories). At the same time the analyst notes that Vendor 1 also addresses the IT Business audience and in a very minor way the Business audience. Now whilst suggesting multiple primary audiences might be at odds with the term “primary”, it is important to note that the analyst is suggesting that during the research, Vendor 1 was found to use language or strategies that addressed the IT Business and Business audiences, but that this was considerably outweighed by the vendor’s commitment to the IT Technical audience. Vendor 2 has a similar profile but splits its strategy between the Business and, in a lesser way the IT Business and IT Technical audiences. We can see that the analysis of Vendor 3’s primary audience was inconclusive. It appears that Vendor 3 uses strategies and language aimed at multiple audiences. As we will see in the Interpreting the Results sections below, whilst Vendor 3’s result looks inconclusive, it provides very valuable Page 7 
  • 11. intelligence. A vendor that is using language that attempts to equally address multiple, different audiences; each of which has very different needs, pains and desires, will likely fail to satisfy each audience constituent and will therefore confuse their prospects. The Scoring System The REPAMA ranking and scoring system features two different approaches. Relative focus Absolute score Relative Focus The Primary Audience MED above shows the relative focus scoring system. This allows the analyst to “score” a vendor’s position out of a maximum of 11 across all of the axes that represent the various marketing elements. Such charts highlight the value of focus as the 11 points are distributed relatively across the marketing elements according to the weightings the analyst arrives at during the research. By spreading the maximum score across each of the categories strong single areas of focus are rewarded with a higher score and obviously multiple areas of focus (if that’s not an oxymoron), score less prominently on a single axis. Absolute Score The absolute score system as shown below in Figure 8 - Example Direct Geographic Operations MED, allows the analyst to rate each of the market elements out of a maximum of 11. This differs from the relative focus system which distributes a maximum score of 11 across all of the axes. In the diagram below geographic coverage of a particular territory will score 11 if the vendor’s commitment to a territory is total i.e. a presence in each major country within the territory. In the example below Vendor 3 is shown to have a near total commitment to each of the major geographic regions. Africa Middle‐East Americas Europe Asia Pacific Vendor 1 Vendor 2 Vendor 3 Market Mean Figure 8 - Example Direct Geographic Operations MED Page 8 
  • 12. Why is there no scale on the charts? As mentioned above the REPAMA MED charts are designed to compare multiple vendors’ relative commitment to various strategic marketing elements. It is not intended as a tool for precisely quantifying the differences between the various vendors’ strategies. Instead its use is to show the relative differences between vendors’ positions and does not aim to precisely quantify these differences. Other Lustratus REPAMA Deliverables Lustratus’ REPAMA deliverables take the form of single vendor reports, multiple vendor reports, assessment of a vendor’s marketing effectiveness and consultancy to create or tune competitive marketing positioning and messaging. The table below shows the full range of REPAMA offerings. Lustratus REPAMA Deliverable Description REPAMA Vendor Analysis Study In the REPAMA Vendor Analysis Study (VAS) we reverse engineer a specific vendor’s marketing strategy from the way they engage the market through their outbound marketing communication. This material is presented graphically through Lustratus’ Marketing Element Distribution charts as well as textually via observations that Lustratus’ analysts make for each of the studies. Users of the REPAMA VAS will typically focus on a specific competitor or they may chose to carry out an introspective version that studies their own perceived approach to the market. This allows a comparison to be made with the intended strategy and steps taken to affect any changes required. REPAMA Segment Analysis Study The REPAMA Segment Analysis Study (SAS) combines the same process used in the Vendor Analysis Study above but here we compare the strategies of multiple vendors present in a particular segment. Importantly we are able to infer a “mean” or average value for each of the marketing elements in the study. Again this research is presented graphically through Lustratus’ Market Element Distribution chart and the results of each study are interpreted by a Lustratus’ Marketing Analyst. REPAMA Interpretation Consultancy Lustratus provides consultancy services to help vendors interpret the details of a REPAMA VAS or REPAMA SAS, to map these onto the vendor’s specific needs and to build and tune strategies as required. REPAMA Positioning Consultancy For vendors building positioning, re-positioning or competitive depositioning strategies, Lustratus has developed a positioning workshop. Based on years of experience, the workshop walks vendors through a process to develop sustainable, compelling and differentiated market propositions. REPAMA Marketing Efficacy The Lustratus Marketing Efficacy Assessment provides a Assessment comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of a vendor’s marketing tactics. Vendors commission a Marketing Efficacy Assessment on key competitors or introspectively to reveal strengths and weakness in their own marketing strategy. Table 1 - Lustratus REPAMA Products and Services For more information on any of these products or services please contact us at info@lustatusrepama.com or via http://www.lustratusrepama.com. Page 9 
  • 13. Organisation and Market Approach This section describes the elements of the REPAMA study that relate to the organisation and the way in which it approaches the market. The individual elements examined are listed below. •Company profile ‐ How does the vendor want to be perceived? •Offer category ‐ How does the vendor describe its offer? •Primary audience ‐ Who does the vendor target? •Job titles targeted ‐ Which job titles are targeted? •Sales engagement level ‐ At what level does the vendor look to start the  Organisation  sales process? •Market stage – What market stage is suggested by the vendors marketing  and market tactics? •Vertical market segmentation ‐ Which industries does the vendor focus  on? approach •Channel approach – What channel strategies does the vendor rely upon? •Implied sales methodology – Does the vendor appear to rely on a specific  sales methodology? •Tone of voice – What “attitude” does the vendor take when addressing  the market? •Geographic focus – Which countries does the vendor focus on? What will this tell us? These studies reveal the strategic sales and marketing elements used by the vendors in the study when executing go-to-market strategies. This information will be useful to sales, product marketing and product management individuals looking to understand how their competitors have structured and planned their attack on the market. The studies in this section provide information on market engagement strategies as well as the tactics that sales teams use to engage the market. As a result, many of these studies present details that will allow general or sales management to benchmark their own sales operations against key competitors as well as the market mean. When looking to repel competitive threat, sales and operations management can use these studies to build a detailed go-to-market execution picture of the competitive landscape which in turn allows strategies to be defined to combat threat, cement market leadership or identify market opportunity. Page 10 
  • 14. Company Profile What is this? This study examines what type of leadership position or positions a specific vendor organisation claims to own. This will typically stem from an internal corporate belief or philosophy that will be widely understood within the vendor’s organisation. This may or may not be a conscious strategy that the company has embarked upon but it will be an internally held belief. When crafting marketing copy the vendor will typically lean toward language that paints the organisation in a positive light for one of a number of different leadership positions. These leadership positions together with the claimed qualities and characteristics are shown below: The knowledge leader The market share leader The service leader The prestige leader • Expertise • Biggest • Most responsive     • Most exclusive     • High prices • Volume • Most committed to customer  • Small group of customers     satisfaction Expensive products/services The quality leader The global leader The bargain leader The innovation leader • The best     • Best placed to serve world  • Lowest price     • Most creative     • Not necessarily exclusive (so  markets     • Saving money • Can be limited to techies and  different from prestige) • World‐wide presence     early adopters! • No compromise on quality • World‐wide support /  localisation The technology leader The value leader The flexibility leader • The first • Best value for money     • Most adaptable     • Quality with some compromises • Made to order     • "What do you need and we will  create it for you?" Figure 9 - Company Profile Categories Interpreting the Result and Potential Competitive Strategies This is an important element of the REPAMA study primarily because it talks to how an organisation wants to be perceived and, if the vendor is doing its job well, all of its staff will understand this whether they be marketing, sales or customer focused. This is a central corporate message and will be underpinned by everything the organisation says and does. Understanding how a competitor communicates its own perceived leadership position can be a key enabler for depositioning strategies. A strong single leadership position in a single category is the ideal objective for a vendor. Implied claims for leadership across multiple categories can show an organisation that is confused about its value. By not focussing on a single leadership position, but instead hedging bets by claiming multiple areas of leadership, the vendor leaves itself open to be challenged on multiple weaker fronts. An unfocussed approach will also likely confuse its prospects and fail to gain a single strong brand value for the organisation. Effective competitive or depositioning strategies can be created by understanding how an organisation would like to be perceived in the market. Whilst some of these categories are highly subjective, many can be challenged successfully. Before a competitive stance can be taken, the user of the REPAMA study should first ensure that its own leadership position is well understood, clearly communicated and defensible. Picking a fight with a competitor by looking to focus on a perceived weakness whilst risking a similar attack from the competitor would be unwise. Page 11 
  • 15. Many smaller early market organisations will gravitate towards innovation or technology leadership by claiming unique creativity or first-to-market positions. A strategy that can be used effectively against organisations that take these corporate profiles is one of outlining the risk involved in dealing with a vendor of that size/stage of development. Companies are either, highly creative and innovative, OR they are large, global and stable. Pointing to the risk associated with innovative and technologically-led organisations could be a valid corporate depositioning angle. Another depositioning strategy is to look for contradictions in their profile and to then exploit this. Such an example would be Global Leadership. If the REPAMA study suggests that a vendor is claiming a global leadership profile but it can be shown that this vendor is not truly global, or if the user of the REPAMA study can demonstrate a more global footprint, this can be used to dismiss the claims of the competitor. Other examples include claimed quality or service leadership. If an organisation is claiming leadership in either of these qualities then a competitive kill strategy that looks to arm sales and marketing teams with examples of the competitor’s poor customer service or product quality might be a successful option. Obviously any negative competitive depositioning strategy has to be executed with care not to cross any legal or corporate good practice boundaries. Knowledge leader Flexibility leader Market share leader Value leader Service leader Technology leader Prestige leader Innovation leader Quality leader Bargain leader Global leader Vendor 1 Vendor 2 Vendor 3 Market Mean Figure 10 - Example Company Profile MED Figure 10 above shows that Vendor 3 alone claims a market and global leadership position. As the other vendors in the study do not claim these positions it is likely to be a valid and easily defensible position. This can be dangerous to Vendors 1 and 2 as many prospects and customers will be comforted by dealing with the perceived market leading vendor. A valid defensive strategy that Vendors 1 or 2 could implement would be to conduct or commission their own research to ascertain the “real” market leader. Equally, Vendors 1 or 2 could redefine or re-segment the market on their terms to claim market leadership in a smaller market segment where their expertise would allow them legitimate title to the term market leader. Page 12 
  • 16. Offer Category What is this? This REPAMA element tracks the way in which each of the vendors refers to the category of their market offer. Lustratus will almost certainly have grouped two or more vendors in a REPAMA Segment Analysis Study because of a perceived similarity between their products or services. Whilst market analysts might place certain vendor’s product offerings in specific categories, not all vendors use the same terminology. An example might be that of the Enterprise Service Bus (a specific piece of infrastructure software that allows data and processes to be knitted together to make it easier for organisations to integrate their systems). If Lustratus looked at this space it might be that all vendors in the study referred to their offer category as “Enterprise Service Bus”. However, for differentiation purposes, it is likely that some of the vendors examined would refer to their offering differently from their competition. It’s likely that each vendor would attempt to differentiate, in subtle, or not so subtle ways when compared to the competition. As shown in the Figure 11 below, many vendors will use language in their outbound communication that will define a primary category that they refer to when talking about their own product in generic terms. The Offer Category MED shows both the primary as well as any additional categories that the vendor refers to. Category 1 Category 4 Category 2 Category 3 Vendor 1 Vendor 2 Vendor 3 Market Mean Figure 11 - Example Offer Category MED Interpreting the Result and Potential Competitive Strategies By examining the MED it is possible to see whether a single vendor is attempting to categorise their offering in both their own segment as well as the primary segment of additional vendors. This may suggest that they have ceded the advantage to their competitor by acknowledging that they need to be present in both categories. A high degree of correlation between the vendors in the MED would typically infer a mature market where new innovation and change is very gradual and where differentiation is more subtle than at the broad offer category level. An example of this might be the category “Database”. That said, even within the database category it is Page 13 
  • 17. likely that vendors would attempt to differentiate themselves by appending or pre-pending adjectives of some sort to create implied value and difference. Defensive or offensive strategies that immediately present themselves here include highlighting differences that could be perceived as deficient or simply pointing to the lack of a word, typically an adjective, and developing a competitive depositioning strategy based upon that. For example, if the REPAMA user refers to their offering as “Reliable Process X” and Competitor A refers to their category as “Enterprise Process X”, it would be possible for the REPAMA user to point toward Competitor A and question whether their product is reliable. Now obviously Competitor A had every intention of using the term Enterprise to infer that it was up to the rigours of use across an Enterprise and as such reliability would be a given. Simply pointing to the lack of the Reliable term may cause Competitor A to have to demonstrate its reliability when in competitive situations. Page 14 
  • 18. Primary Audience What is this? This REPAMA strategy element shows what type of audience a competitor targets within end user organisations. Lustratus infers which level of audience they are primarily targeting from the language and programs present in the vendor’s outbound marketing activities. Lustratus categorises the primary end user target audience as one or more of the following three categories: IT Technical - Represents the overtly technical disciplines within the Business IT organisation that have no management, strategic or commercial responsibilities IT Business - Represents the higher management levels of the IT IT Business organisation that have strategic and/or financial responsibilities Business - Represents the line of business functions outside of the IT Technical IT organisation Figure 12 - Primary Audience Classification A full description of the roles, concerns and area of focus for each of the 3 audience constituents can be found in Table 5 - End User Organisation Audience Strata below. Business Other IT Business IT Technical Vendor 1 Vendor 2 Vendor 3 Market Mean Figure 13 - Example Primary Audience MED Interpreting the Result and Potential Competitive Strategies Understanding which category a vendor targets can reveal many significant marketing as well as sales strategies and tactics. For example an inferred primary audience of the Business tier would suggest that the vendor believes the market and their product offering is mature enough to demonstrate deliverable value to the business. It could also infer that they may use a solution selling based methodology and that they have a whole-product approach that combines professional services, partnerships, etc. into a complete solution to the needs of the business. Page 15 
  • 19. Both the types of vendor marketing deliverables as well as the language they use differ enormously when addressing the different categories. The closer to the Business strata, the more benefits-focused the marketing efforts will be. Likewise the closer to the IT Technical layer, the more focus is applied to product functionality, capability, capacity, etc. If a vendor is shown to be aiming their marketing communications solely at the IT Technical stratum, it suggests that they are taking an evangelical approach to the market. This is based on the fact that the IT Technical audience does not have the ability to “buy” anything. Rather this layer serves as an influencer and perhaps gatekeeper during sales efforts. The implication here is that once marketing contact has been made with the IT Technical community, a sales process will need to be engaged within the prospect organisation to network above the IT Technical contact to a point where budget, pain and problem resolution is owned. Addressing the IT Business category involves communicating technical capabilities but at the same time translating that into language of the business-focused IT community. It also requires the vendor to show that it understands the pains of the IT Business stratum and that it can address these. Pains and concerns at this level are likely to revolve around the balance of strategy against tactical, resulting in messaging focused on cost, time to value, etc. Providing proof of capability via references is more important at this level than it is at the IT Technical level. The Business audience category will be sensitive to messages that solve the business problems they are facing. This category has little to no interest in technology so language that majors on the technology will only serve to confuse and potentially alienate this audience constituent. Vendors that appear to communicate at multiple levels may run the risk of confusing their prospects. Many vendors successfully simultaneously address the IT Business and IT Technical communities by providing educational/evangelical material to IT Technical and more benefits-focused material to IT Business. That said this does show a reduction in focus and a lack of clarity and understanding of the key entry point into their target organisation. In Lustratus’ experience, a reduction in focus typically results in a lack of success. A vendor that focuses completely on IT Technical may be betraying the fact that their market is not yet “real”. As the IT Technical community doesn’t “buy”, the vendor may very well be attempting to get a foothold anywhere it can within its target organisations. Wasting too much time with this audience constituent can be a failing in many early market technology innovators. If a REPAMA user is experiencing lost sales to a competitor, understanding what audience stratum that competitor is focused on can help in mitigating lost sales. If that competitor is shown to focus on the Business level it might suggest that they are gaining earlier access to the power within an organisation. Earning the right to be able to address the Business audience is a long process that involves demonstrating and documenting proof of value to other reference customers. Whilst access to the Business audience is seen as the ultimate aim in technology sales, it takes time, focus and a continued demonstration of delivering and documenting business value. Addressing the Business audience without a complete solution to their pain will result in failure. Many vendors of early technology see “selling to the business” as the panacea to many of the problems of early market technology sales. In fact, prematurely addressing the Business strata is a quick way to burn a lot of cash and waste a lot of time. As such, a vendor that makes a token commitment to selling to the Business is likely to fail. Such a token commitment can be betrayed by communicating in business benefits at the same time as addressing the IT Technical audience. An example of this might be attending a technical tradeshow where IT Technical people are present at the same time as talking about the product’s ability to reduce the risk of corporate governance failures. Page 16 
  • 20. Job Titles What is this? Where possible the REPAMA analysis will attempt to identify specific job titles that are targeted by the vendors in the study. These specific roles and job titles often figure in the vendor’s outbound marketing activity such as invitations to seminars, webinars, press releases or even web site copy. Whilst it is not always possible to collate specific job titles and roles, it is often possible to infer the likely roles within end user organisations that are targeted. Developer CEO Development Manager CIO Software Architect Vendor 1 Vendor 2 Vendor 3 Market Mean Figure 14 - Example Job Titles MED Interpreting the Result and Potential Competitive Strategies Assuming that the user of the REPAMA study is looking to emulate a competitor’s strategy then an obvious implication would be to understand who is targeted and then to develop messaging and material that effectively conveys the organisation’s value to that audience. Defensive lead generation techniques can be improved by understanding which job titles are targeted by competitors and creating similar programs. Obviously this has to be qualified first by understanding whether the vendor can manage sales leads generated with a specific job title. For example, many vendors have great expertise in dealing with highly technical job titles and roles but have little capability when dealing with individuals in line of business management positions. Generating leads within a specific audience has to be backed up by the vendor’s ability to nurture and mature the lead through the sales cycle. The REPAMA user will also find value in understanding competitive job title focus across the segment as this shows whether the same individuals are being targeted by competitors. The implication here is that if the competitor also focuses on the same geographies and vertical markets, it is more likely that the REPAMA user’s prospects will be familiar with, or even already talking to the competitor. Page 17 
  • 21. Sales Engagement Level What is this? This part of the study attempts to identify where the vendors that are present in the study look to start their sales process. Each vendor’s outbound marketing activities will feature calls to action aimed at creating leads or contacts. For example a vendor may target a specific tradeshow or industry event exclusively for CIOs. This suggests that the vendor is aiming to start the sales process at the IT Business level. Another vendor may run their own webinar for software developers again suggesting that they see value in starting the sales process at the IT Technical level. This study differs from the primary audience in that it looks for where a vendor has used a call to action or similar device, to attempt to get an individual engaged as a suspect and into the first part of the sales pipeline. Whilst a vendor might communicate to audiences at different levels, this study examines when a vendor first attempts to interact with potential prospects. Business IT Technical IT Business Vendor 1 Vendor 2 Vendor 3 Market Mean Figure 15 - Example Sales Engagement Level MED Interpreting the Result and Potential Competitive Strategies A potential competitive strategy here would be to track the marketing events and activities of successful competitors and look to mirror them. As mentioned above, the vendor must first ask themselves whether they are able to deal with leads generated within a specific audience stratum. An interesting piece of competitive intelligence can be inferred from observing vendors that are struggling to get traction with a specific audience suddenly looking to change audiences in the hope that they are able to gain greater traction with the new audience. The REPAMA study can be used to identify companies who are potentially executing this strategy by looking for a disconnect between the Primary Audience and the Sales Engagement Level. It should be borne in mind that this could obviously be the actions of a vendor whose prospecting is simply maturing to now include additional audience stratum. Page 18 
  • 22. Market Stage What is this? This study attempts to determine at what stage of development a specific vendor believes their market is currently at. This is inferred by the language and marketing programs present in their outbound marketing mix. The market stages that are monitored include: Evangelism – no “real” market. Small sales are made but the vendor is looking to create the market Early, proven – the market is at an early stage but there is proof of customers deriving benefit from the vendor’s technology Mature – the market has existed for some time, customers, competition and alternatives exist Mature with breakthrough – as mature but with a significant recent technical or commercial breakthrough Interpreting the Result and Potential Competitive Strategies This is useful study in that it adds balance to any claims that a vendor may make for their success in a market. For example if a vendor is claiming success, growth and market leadership but it appears that they are using evangelical language in outbound marketing material and documented customer references are not in evidence, then it suggests that the market isn’t as real as it might otherwise appear to be. Vendors tend to use evangelical language to push a market to formation and once the market is real, sales are being made and references plentiful, the language tends to change to be more confident. Evangelism Mature with breakthrough Early proven Mature Vendor 1 Vendor 2 Vendor 3 Market Mean Figure 16 - Example Market Stage MED Another use is understanding the subtle difference between “Evangelical” and “Mature with breakthrough” approaches to the market. Whilst the result is similar because a new capability has been introduced, the way the messages are spun and delivered can make a big difference. Innovations are often brought about by technical advancement and not in reaction to customer need. Evangelical language such as “radically new Page 19 
  • 23. approach”, “technological breakthrough”, “completely changes the way you do x” may make some potential customers nervous that they are in some way at the forefront of technological innovation and therefore risk. Instead an approach that stresses the minor changes to the traditional methods that are now possible due to some technical or commercial innovation may play better with prospects who are risk averse. Likewise if a user of the REPAMA study is in a mature market segment and is experiencing stiff competition from a certain competitor who is using language that suggests they have introduced a significant technological or commercial breakthrough to the market, then competitive strategies can be drawn up to combat that approach. As individuals we exhibit a pre-disposition to either evangelical language that cites technical advancement or pragmatic language that delivers value. The same is broadly true of industries or vertical markets. Certain industries are seen as early adopters of innovative technology whilst other industries are seen as laggards. Using evangelical language about an innovative technology whilst selling into a pragmatic sector such as farming, may be seen as a disconnect. Page 20 
  • 24. Vertical Market Segmentation What is this? This study outlines the relative commitment that each vendor has to the different vertical markets in which it sells. Vertical markets or industries may or may not require specific knowledge or domain expertise but where such knowledge is demonstrated the vendor scores higher than another where no such expertise appears to be present. Vertical segment 1 Vertical segment 9 Vertical segment 2 Vertical segment 8 Vertical segment 3 Vertical segment 7 Vertical segment 4 Vertical segment 6 Vertical segment 5 Vendor 1 Vendor 2 Vendor 3 Market Mean Figure 17 - Example Vertical Market Segmentation MED Interpreting the Result and Potential Competitive Strategies As a new entrant to the market, it may be useful to understand where the other competitors are focused. Depending on the specific strategy, this may indicate highly competitive areas to avoid or it may indicate where the greatest opportunity lies. Similarly, if an established vendor is looking to enter a new specific vertical market they may consult the REPAMA study to understand which other vendors are present and use their competitor’s experience and tactics as a guide to forming their own strategy. This MED can be combined with external market sizing data to project where unaddressed market opportunities may lie. For example if the MED were to show a vertical segment that is currently not addressed by any of the market protagonists and external market sizing data showed that the market segment was likely to spend significantly, this may indicate an area of the market where unchallenged opportunity exists. Page 21 
  • 25. Channel Approach What is this? The alternative approaches that vendors take to selling indirectly are captured in this study. Channel in this study refers to a route to taking products to market that is not directly part of the vendor’s organisation. Some of the channel elements examined may not actually be commercially active for the vendor but they appear to claim that they are. The categories used include: Channel Description No specific channel strategy The vendor demonstrates no clear or specific 3rd party channel strategy. communicated System integrators System integrators are used to reach the market because of the relationship they have with end user customers. The vendor’s technology may be used as some form of integrated solution that the SI takes responsibility for delivering. This channel element may also be used by the vendor to deliver professional services to their end user customer. Reseller/Distributor The vendor uses distributors or resellers to reach the market. Often these will be present in “overseas” territories and will effectively be the face of the vendor in these geographic territories. As vendors mature these channel partners are often subsumed into the vendor’s direct sales force or the vendor launches their own organisations into the territory. Internal channel A number of large organisations will use internal channel to reach the market. Sometimes these internal channel organisations will focus on a geography, vertical market or perhaps a horizontal capability such as a professional services division. OEM OEM relationships are the result of embedding a vendor’s technology into another vendor’s product. Due to the complexity of OEM contracts and relationships, such channels will typically be developed manually. As such, in most cases the need for vendors to target OEMs through outbound marketing activities is minimal. Technology partner Technology partnerships are typically formed with other vendors that have technology that is complimentary to a vendor’s portfolio. Quite often amongst early market companies, such agreements may simply be co- operative marketing relationships and may not be a genuine route to market for the vendor. Other channel As it suggests this category captures any additional channel approaches not listed above. Table 2 - Channel Approach Categories Interpreting the Result and Potential Competitive Strategies Depending on the type of product and organisation, real growth may only come when others are doing your selling for you. As a result, channel strategies become an important growth strategy for organisations of all sizes. A failing in many early market organisations is that of not building channels to market at the right time. Having a market opportunity but not the channel to achieve the growth potential will limit the effectiveness of the organisation. However, the opposite is also true. Attempting to create a channel in advance of having a truly repeatable sales model will result in a frustrated channel partner and wasted time, energy and money. Page 22 
  • 26. No specific channel strategy  communicated Other channel System integrators Technology partner Reseller/Distributor OEM Internal channel Vendor 1 Vendor 2 Vendor 3 Market Mean Figure 18 - Example Channel Approach MED The marketing benefit associated with announcing relationships with 3rd parties can be two-way. Both sides of the announcement will enjoy benefit. Whether this marketing benefit yields a commercial return may or may not be important to both parties especially in early market situations where vendors are desperate to paint a picture of credibility. It might be that both sides simply recognise the value of announcing the relationship for marketing purposes. Understanding the commercial strategies of competitors and specifically how they believe they will achieve growth via channel strategies can be a key piece of competitive intelligence. Mimicking the channel strategies of competitors is one option. Building channel relationships with your competitors’ channel partners or even those channel partners’ competitors is also a valid competitive strategy. Large or long-established organisations may well have existing deep and far-reaching channel relationships. Competing with such organisations can be challenging because such deep rooted relationships will not be overturned over night. A vendor that claims significant SI relationships may suggest that the vendor does not have its own professional services organisations. In essence all services and solution integration related work is pushed through a channel. Understanding this can be useful intelligence when selling to end users who may not want to work with an SI or who may mandate their own SI. The OEM strategies of your competitors are important to understand. If a competitor’s strategy is to be embedded in other technologies that have an easier route to market, then they do not necessarily have to understand the pains and needs of the ultimate end user of the technology. Instead, their prospect is in fact the OEM, and it is the specific pains of the OEM that are important to address. OEM strategies are also important in an early market because by embedding technology in another solution, a vendor can obviate the need to address all of the functional requirements of the market. Also by selecting a credible and respected partner, the early market OEM can minimise the risk that their size and lack of experience might otherwise betray. Early market software vendors gradually add functionality to their offering over time which means that, at any point in time, it may not be suitable for every customer. By partnering with an organisation that can provide the additional functionality, early market organisations can reach a broader target audience earlier in their evolution. Page 23 
  • 27. The downside is obviously that the end user is not a direct customer. The customer instead is typically the OEM. In Figure 18 - Example Channel Approach MED above we can see that Vendor 2 appears to be targeting OEMs and system integrators. This may suggest that they have little desire, or perhaps ability, to reach direct end user prospects. Comparing this to Vendor 3 in the same diagram we can see that they appear to be executing a strategy of working through system integrators and resellers/distributors. To build a reseller/distributor channel suggests that there must be a real market for Vendor 3’s products and services. Page 24 
  • 28. Implied Sales Methodology What is this? This study attempts to infer whether a vendor uses a specific sales methodology. If such a methodology is in place and well executed, the language that the vendor uses to reach its customers and prospects will typically betray this. Interpreting the Result and Potential Competitive Strategies If a vendor describes the product in purely technical terms, then it is likely that they will take a technical approach to selling. Here features and capabilities will be important during the process. It is also likely that the sales will be part of an existing project within the end user’s organisation. If however the language talks little about the product capability and instead focuses on the customer pains and how the technology addresses them, then as long as supporting evidence is there, it suggests that a solution selling-type methodology may be in place. Value added selling focuses on the value that can be provided by the vendor and vendor’s products. This is different from a technical sale in that it interprets the value that can be derived from the prospect using the technology. Reference selling relies heavily on documenting previous successes and typically involves quantifying what those benefits were and listing the previous organisations the vendor has already helped. The implication is that the prospect will be able to see how similar companies have benefited from dealing with the vendor. Reference selling can also be used as a supporting strategy with each of the other methodologies. No evidence Technical sale  Other (feature/benefit) Value added (stress the  Refence sale (cite customers) value) Solution sale (business pain) Vendor 1 Vendor 2 Vendor 3 Market Mean Figure 19 - Example Implied Sales Methodology MED If one vendor is shown to focus on a solution selling methodology whilst another vendor majors on more technical/value-based selling, these vendors may not feel that they compete. Whilst they might not talk to the same part of an organisation, they may still be competing for business within the same prospect organisations. Understanding where vendors fit in this MED can help to interpret unexpected lost sales. This is a key study in understanding how some competitors appear to be able to delay and scupper the deals of other vendors because they have access to power that others don’t. Page 25 
  • 29. Geographic Operations What is this? This study shows the relative commitment to the different geographic territories of the various vendors in the study. This is an Absolute Score MED which means that scoring is based upon a maximum score for each of the territories. i.e. it is possible for a vendor to score the maximum on each of the axis in the study rather than having a maximum score distributed across the axes in the study. The scoring works by mapping the claimed supported country territories of a specific vendor, either directly or via resellers, against the IMF’s GDP rankings (See Appendix III – IMF GDP Rankings). The total GDP for the supported countries is then mapped against the maximum GDP for each of the five categories below. Interpreting the Result and Potential Competitive Strategies This is fairly a straightforward study to interpret showing as it does the places where each vendor claims to conduct business. This can obviously reveal potential weakness in a REPAMA user’s own strategy if a competitor is strong in a particular territory. It can also reveal opportunities where a competitor is not currently present or is unable to exploit a specific geographic territory. Africa Middle‐East Americas Europe Asia Pacific Vendor 1 Vendor 2 Vendor 3 Market Mean Figure 20 - Example Geographic Operations MED Page 26 
  • 30. Product This section describes the elements of the REPAMA study that relate to the product and how it is promoted in terms of value, features and benefits. The individual elements examined are listed below. •Primary feature/benefit ‐ Which features and benefits does  the vendor ascribe to its product? •Interpreted feature/benefit ‐ for comparing multiple  vendors using a rationalised list of features and benefits •Value proposition approach ‐ How important is value‐based  Product selling to the vendor? •Primary value proposition ‐ Which value propositions does  the  vendor focus on? •Interpreted value proposition ‐ for comparing multiple  vendors using a rationalised list of value propositions •Use cases ‐ What uses can the technology be put to? What will this tell us? This section looks at the marketing strategies specifically focused on the product. These studies show how each vendor describes their products and looks at the features, benefits and value that they ascribe to them. This information is useful for sales and product marketing teams to understand the relative differences between their own position and those of their key competitors. This section examines features and benefits as well as the value propositions some vendors use to engage the market. These will be of interest to marketing communications professionals who need to track competitive movements in these areas. In addition these studies will help sales professionals who need to understand the major thrust of their competitors’ sales approach. By understanding the key features and benefits a competitor is likely to use when in front of a prospect, users of the REPAMA study will be better placed to build strategies to compete. Understanding the approach that a vendor takes to selling on value and the value propositions that are important to them is equally important. Gaining insight into the value that a competitor believes they provide to their customers will allow REPAMA users to build similar or countering strategies. Page 27 
  • 31. Primary Feature/Benefit What is this? This study looks at the specific capabilities or elements of functionality that a vendor highlights in their outbound marketing activities. Importantly this study uses the raw claimed features and benefits from each vendor’s outbound marketing communication with little consolidation. Only where two vendors claim to have the same or similar features would the MED diagram score two vendors as being present on a particular axis. The related Interpreted Primary Feature/Benefit study below looks to consolidate multiple features/benefits so that vendors can be more easily compared across their claimed product strengths. Interpreting the Result and Potential Competitive Strategies The results of this study feed straight into the competitive product marketing process. Understanding where each vendor in the segment is placing their bets and understanding their perspective on the relative importance of the key features and benefits allows a vendor to compare and review their own priorities. Feature/benefit 1 Feature/benefit 11 Feature/benefit 2 Feature/benefit 10 Feature/benefit 3 Feature/benefit 9 Feature/benefit 4 Feature/benefit 8 Feature/benefit 5 Feature/benefit 7 Feature/benefit 6 Vendor 1 Vendor 2 Vendor 3 Market Mean Figure 21 - Example Primary Feature/Benefit MED In highly competitive situations in mature markets or in markets that are newly formed around some new capability, it is likely that there will be a high degree of correlation between the vendors in the study. The market mean can be important here in that it may reveal consensus amongst different vendors as to what the key features and benefits are for a particular market segment. The chart does need a degree of interpretation especially if a specific vendor is seen as dominating the segment. Understanding the priorities of a “market leading” vendor and then implementing similar marketing claims might be a valid strategy. Equally a REPAMA user may look to create clear differentiation between their claims and those of their key competitors. Page 28 
  • 32. Interpreted Primary Feature/Benefit What is this? This is paired with the previous Primary Feature/Benefit study with one key difference. Here Lustratus attempts to interpret the different feature/benefit combinations and consolidates them into a reduced list. For example, if the Primary Feature/Benefit study showed categories of “Bandwidth”, “Throughput” and “Capacity” these might all be consolidated into a single category called “Performance”. This makes it far easier to compare each vendor’s key areas of focus. Value Proposition Approach What is this? Here Lustratus attempts to infer how important value proposition based marketing and selling is to the vendor. Lustratus draws a significant distinction between vendors who major on product features and those that interpret the value that can be derived when an organisation implements solutions using those features. Certain vendors market and sell based on the relative strengths and weaknesses of their own and other vendors’ features and benefits. All marketing material and likely the sales team’s strategy will be based around winning the feature battle. The implication of such a strategy is that the vendor will likely be targeting IT Technical contacts who care about feature sets. Another potential implication is that vendors who focus on technical features will likely be selling into existing or planned projects. It is unlikely that addressing the IT Technical audience constituent alone about specific features will result in new projects being created based solely on this feature now being available. This vendor behaviour is characteristic of, but not solely limited to, early market vendors. The other type of vendor will understand the worth of selling based on the value they believe they can provide their prospects. These vendors will take their features and interpret what these features, if put to use within a prospect, would mean to that organisation. The target audience for vendors that sell on value within their prospects would be different from the IT Technical community and would likely be the IT Business or even the Business strata. This is because these two audience constituents are more interested in the results of the product rather than how the project will be carried out. It must be stressed that the two approaches are fundamentally different across most departments within a vendor’s organisation, from product marketing, marketing communication, lead generation to the sales team itself. Selling on value is philosophically different from selling on features and it requires a very different organisational approach and structure. Whilst these are the two main categories of vendors that the study looks to identify, a third category exists. This is where a vendor, that actually sells on features to the IT Technical stratum will actually go to the effort of interpreting the value of their features and communicate this to the market. The difference lies in the fact that such vendors will use the derived value to show some form of affinity for the business problems and needs that a prospect may face. But significantly the sales effort will still major on features and will still focus on developing interest at the IT Technical level. This approach is evident in vendors who communicate to the IT Technical audience constituent as well as the higher level audience strata who are more concerned about value. Lustratus categorises such vendors as making a cursory commitment to value-based sales and marketing purely to demonstrate some form of affinity with their prospect’s higher level pains. Lustratus suggests that these vendors may use value statements but it is unlikely that it is central to their sales approach. Page 29 
  • 33. Interpreting the Result and Potential Competitive Strategies The value of this study depends on the perspective of the vendor using the study. If the REPAMA user applies value-based selling techniques then it can be valuable to understand how to unseat potential feature-focused competitors by aiming higher in the organisation and selling based on value. No specific value proposition  approach Integral to the sales process Cursory use to show affinity Vendor 1 Vendor 2 Vendor 3 Market Mean Figure 22 - Example Value Proposition Approach MED If the REPAMA user is one that favours technical sales (features) then it may be valuable to understand which competitors they compete with who will be selling against them at a higher level in the organisation using value- based selling statements. It can also be used to understand which vendors sell based on value and then to perhaps mimic their tactics to facilitate a move to value-based selling. Obviously, moving to a value-based selling methodology is not simply a matter of changing marketing tactics. As mentioned above value-based selling runs through the entire organisation and has significant impact in both the sales and marketing organisations in particular. Primary Value Proposition What is this? This study looks at the specific value that each vendor attributes to their product/solution in their outbound marketing activities. This is different from the feature/benefit studies in that the vendor must translate a feature or capability into the value that the prospect would enjoy in business terms. Importantly, this study uses the claimed value propositions from each vendor’s outbound marketing communication with little or no consolidation. Only where two vendors claim to deliver the same value would the MED score two vendors as being present on a particular axis. The related Page 30 
  • 34. Interpreted Value Proposition study below examines the vendors’ claims in detail and looks to consolidate multiple value propositions so that vendors can be compared more easily across their claimed value. Interpreting the Result and Potential Competitive Strategies Again, this study allows product marketing and sales teams to review their priorities against other vendors. If a REPAMA user feels that a specific competitor has had recent sales success over them then this study may provide insight into how that competitor describes the value they provide. This may allow for these strategies to be mimicked. Value proposition 1 Value proposition 9 Value proposition 2 Value proposition 8 Value proposition 3 Value proposition 7 Value proposition 4 Value proposition 6 Value proposition 5 Vendor 1 Vendor 2 Vendor 3 Market Mean Figure 23 - Example Primary Value Proposition MED It is important to remember that the likely commitment to value-based selling as seen in the Value Proposition Approach study has an impact on the interpretation of this result. If the result of the Value Proposition Approach study suggests that a vendor is simply using value to show affinity with the prospect, then the result of this Primary Value Proposition study should be interpreted as such. If however a vendor is seen to use a value-based approach as central to the sales process, then the results of both this study and the Interpreted Value Proposition below for that vendor are particularly relevant. Interpreted Value Proposition What is this This is paired with the previous Primary Value Proposition study with one key difference. Here Lustratus attempts to interpret the different value statements made by the vendors in the study and then consolidates them into a reduced list. For example, if the Primary Value Proposition study showed categories of “Accuracy”, “Quality” and “Reliability”. These might all be consolidated into a single category called “Reduced Risk”. This makes it far easier to compare each vendor’s key areas of value focus. Page 31