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[En] ICT marketing


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marketing information technology products and services. A 100 page piece I wrote in 2004.

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[En] ICT marketing

  3. 3. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 TA BLE O F CON TE NTSExploring The Context Of Ict ___________________________________________________ 7 Foreword_________________________________________________________________ 7 above all a matter of definition _______________________________________________ 7 the amazing complexity of ict marketing ______________________________________ 10basic principles & definitions __________________________________________________ 11 tentative definition of ict marketing __________________________________________ 11 Marketing Ict Products/Services At Or To People? _____________________________ 14 strategic marketing _______________________________________________________ 18ict marketing segmentation ____________________________________________________ 19 ict marketing mapping_____________________________________________________ 19 tentative segmentation of ict marketing _______________________________________ 21 B2C (Business to consumer, aka consumer, ICT products marketing) _______________ 21 b2b (business to business) ict marketing ______________________________________ 21 B2E (business to employee) _________________________________________________ 21 c2C (consumer to consumer)________________________________________________ 22 b2c2b (business to consumer to business) _____________________________________ 22 C2B (consumer to business) ________________________________________________ 23 Enterprise Mobility or the archetypical complex project_________________________ 23 Project marketing Or marketing Projects? ____________________________________ 24 key success factors of ict marketing projects___________________________________ 25 shared vision, internal feuds and their impact on innovation projects ______________ 25 of projects and vapourware_________________________________________________ 26 Key Success Factors of Marketng projects ____________________________________ 26 Innovation Projects Methodology ___________________________________________ 27 Of Successful Marketing Projects and Hype ___________________________________ 30Methodological Toolbox ______________________________________________________ 31 Crossing the Chasm: A vision Of ICT Lyfecycles _______________________________ 32 software products and their recurring revenues. _______________________________ 37 robert metcalfe’s magic quadrant ___________________________________________ 38 markets are conversations __________________________________________________ 40strategic Marketing __________________________________________________________ 41 the future of Marketing according to regis mc kenna ___________________________ 41a real life example: the strategic dilemma of incumbent telcos (2003 – 2005) ____________ 42 ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 3 / 62
  4. 4. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 changing the engine while flying _____________________________________________ 42 growth & diversification ___________________________________________________ 43 growth implies value-selling ________________________________________________ 44 a few sample strategic matrices______________________________________________ 48 sample table of contents for a strategic plan ___________________________________ 48a few real life examples _______________________________________________________ 49 (1) B2B smb: viasolutions in a box ___________________________________________ 49 PHASE 1: DESK RESEARCH._____________________________________________ 49 PHASE 2: FACE TO FACE INTERVIEWS ___________________________________ 49 PHASE 3: QUANTITATIVE SURVEY ______________________________________ 52 (2) b2c2b smb’s: unified messaging online survey ______________________________ 57 (3) b2b:, ft’s web conferencing service ______________________ 59 (4) B2b example: alliance management (mnc environment) ______________________ 59 golden rule n° 1: develop a strategic vision ____________________________________ 59 golden rule n° 2: setting up ambitious, smart objectives __________________________ 60 golden rule n° 3: the right level of management focus____________________________ 60 golden rule n° 4: enforce strict governance ____________________________________ 60 golden rule n° 5: no partnership without alliance managers _______________________ 60 golden rule n° 6: enforce respect between parties _______________________________ 60 golden rule n° 7: cross-business is not a taboo__________________________________ 60 golden rule n° 8: involve your lawyers… at the right time ________________________ 60 golden rule n° 9: don’t give up! _____________________________________________ 60 golden rule n° 10: spot the busy bees_________________________________________ 61 golden rule n° 11: communicatE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE ____________ 61 golden rule n° 12: programme management & expertise is a must __________________ 61 golden rule n° 13: 3-way and more alliances aka ecosystems ______________________ 61 golden rule n° 14: keep off intellectual sessions ________________________________ 61 golden rule n° 15: set up joint events _________________________________________ 61 golden rule n° 16: segment and certify________________________________________ 61 ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 4 / 62
  5. 5. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 INDEX OF FIGURES (Note: this table does not take framed pictures into account)FIGURE 3: ROBIDA’S VISION OF TV ON DSL,… AS EARLY AS 1876!............................................ 9FIGURE 4: IF THIS IS YOUR OPINION OF MARKETING, DO US THE FAVOUR TO KEEP ON READING THIS PAMPHLET AND WE HOPE YOU MAY HAVE CHANGED YOUR MIND BY THE TIME YOU FINISH IT. ............................................................................................................................. 10FIGURE 5: MOBILITY, OR THE ARCHETYPAL COMPLEX MARKETING PROJECT, ACCORDING TO UNISYS’ MARC FESLER ....................................................................................................... 10FIGURE 6: THE STRESSFUL AND INEFFECTUAL BUDGETING EXERCISE WILL NEVER REPLACE A PROPER MARKETING PLAN................................................................................................... 12FIGURE 7: (SOME OF) THE VARIOUS TYPES OF ICT MARKETING APPROACHES .......................... 15FIGURE 8: ICT MARKETING SEGMENTATION MAPPING .............................................................. 19FIGURE 9: AMAZON FRIENDS AND THE ‘TOP REVIEWERS’ ONLINE PANEL ................................. 22FIGURE 10: THE LOGOS THAT SELL ............................................................................................. 22FIGURE 11 BUYER BEHAVIOUR IN A MOBILITY PROJECT ............................................................ 23FIGURE 12:SAMPLE MILIEU MAP (COVA, SALLE & GHAURI, IBID.)........................................... 24FIGURE 13ORBITAL PROJECT MANAGEMENT BY JACQUES CIVILISE .......................................... 29FIGURE 14: CLASSIC PROJECT MANAGEMENT OF COMPLEX PROJECTS IS A RECIPE FOR DISASTER ............................................................................................................................................. 30FIGURE 15: ADVANCED PROJECT MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES OFTEN – IF NOT ALWAYS – PRODUCE BETTER RESULTS ................................................................................................. 30FIGURE 16: SOURCE : WEBORAMA – APPLE’S MARKET SHARE COULD WELL BE BELOW 4% .... 31FIGURE 17: DIAGRAM#1 – ‘IDEAL’ LIFECYCLE CURVE .............................................................. 32FIGURE 18: DIAGRAM#2 – CYCLE UPON CYCLE (FASHION-DRIVEN MARKETS) ......................... 32FIGURE 19: DIAGRAM#3 –INNOVATIVEMATURE MARKETS ........................................................ 33FIGURE 20: EVOLUTION OF THE EQUIPMENT RATES OF FRENCH HOUSEHOLDS ......................... 34FIGURE 21: MOORE’S SEGMENTATION REVIEWED AND UPDATED BY DONALD NORMAN .......... 34FIGURE 22: SOURCE : THIERRY BRETON, FRANCE TELECOM – IDATE 19-20-21 NOVEMBRE 2003..................................................................................................................................... 36FIGURE 23: SOURCE : NICK ALLEN, GARTNER GROUP .............................................................. 37FIGURE 24: WHY SOFTWARE IS DIFFERENT:THE IMPACT OF MAINTENANCE IN THE COST STRUCTURE .......................................................................................................................... 38FIGURE 25: METCALFES LAW .................................................................................................... 39FIGURE 26: REAL LIFE EXAMPLE OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF REVERSE-ENGINEERING MARKETING IN THE CREATION OF A NEW SERVICE .............................................................. 40FIGURE 28: THE INCUMBENT TELCO DILEMNA ........................................................................... 43FIGURE 29: TELECOM OFFERINGS AT THE END THE INTERNET BUBBLE...................................... 43FIGURE 30: GROWTH IMPLIES VALUE-SELLING.......................................................................... 44FIGURE 31 : THE VALUE MATRIX ............................................................................................... 45FIGURE 32: THE VISIONARYMARKETING STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY................. 45FIGURE 33: SAMPLE STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT QUESTION ........................................................... 46FIGURE 34: SAMPLE VISION STATEMENT AS PART OF THE STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT PROCESS... 47FIGURE 35: THE PEST MATRIX FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS .............................................. 48FIGURE 36: THE CLASSIC SWOT MATRIX ................................................................................... 48FIGURE 37: THE BASIC BUT USEFUL BCG MATRIX. VARIATIONS ON THAT THEME ABOUND ..... 48FIGURE 38: THE ANSOFF MATRIX ENABLES MARKETEERS TO ELABORATE ON THEIR STRATEGIC OPTIONS ............................................................................................................................... 48FIGURE 39: A SAMPLE PRODUCT FAMILY MATRIX ...................................................................... 48FIGURE 40: THE ‘VIASOLUTIONS-IN-A-BOX’ CONCEPT AND STRAWMAN OF A PORTAL (UNTRANSLATED) ................................................................................................................ 50FIGURE 41: THE FACE-TO-FACE INTERVIEW LEARNING CURVE .................................................. 51 ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 5 / 62
  6. 6. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005FIGURE 42: CONFIDENCE INTERVALS FOR A GIVEN SAMPLE SIZE AND CORRESPONDING TYPICAL ERROR MARGINS. ................................................................................................................. 53FIGURE 43: FINAL SAMPLING MATRIX COMPARING ASSUMPTIONS AND END-RESULTS.............. 54FIGURE 44: THE QUESTIONNAIRE FOR PHASE 3 OF OUR SURVEY (UNTRANSLATED) .................. 55FIGURE 45 : OUR CAPI SYSTEM, WISCO SURVEY POWER ........................................................... 56FIGURE 46: UNIFIED MESSAGING DIAGRAM IS A MUCH BETTER SERVICE THAN ITS NAME LETS YOU THINK ........................................................................................................................... 58 ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 6 / 62
  7. 7. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 INTRO DU CTIO N EXPLORING THE CONTEXT OF ICT FOREWORD This article is about Marketing information and communication technology (ICT) products andservices. Can you think of a more exciting subject? I doubt it. Even after the end of the well-famedInternet bubble, new technologies are still fascinating to us all. The Internet is now part of oureveryday lives1. In most European countries, it is now possible to pay one’s bills or even taxesonline2, not to mention more traditional e-commerce, which has almost become trivial. Multimediamobile phones are ubiquitous; SMS messages make up 25% of most mobile operators’ revenueswhile they almost didn’t even exist 7 years ago. Last but not least, all of this is now aimed at all andsundry and no longer to a small horde of snobbish specialists. However, when French economist Michel Volle asked me to work on this subject for ameeting that took place at the beginning of 2004, I was then forced to deal with a dilemma due tothe amazing complexity of this subject. As I suddenly realised, ICT Marketing was all things to allpeople. I have spent 15 years trying to market technology products and services at various levels(consumer, SMEs, MNCs, direct and indirect sales, France, UK, Europe, worldwide, alliances, etc.)but even that sort of experience does not suffice to cover the entirety of the scope of this subject.Most of the time, I have been involved with B2B products or services, and that was mostly done onpurpose. Yet, I have tried to tackle other subjects on the fringe of consumer markets and in thisdocument, you will be my judge for it. I also want to add that this present work is by no means a proper research paper. On thecontrary, I have intended to commit to paper some of my latest and most striking real-lifeexperiments in order to share mere best (or worst) practices with the online Marketing community.Such methods and examples are meant to serve my readers who wish to get ready for action. Myaim does not go much beyond that humble ambition. ABOVE ALL A MATTER OF DEFINITION First and foremost, one should endeavour to define ICT Marketing. What are suchtechnologies and what is their scope? Where do they begin? When do things cease to be‘technological?’ What are the boundaries of ICT? These questions may seem trivial but they aren’t.A refrigerator is anything but ICT and that’s for sure. But an Internet-enabled fridge, which enablesyou to order more food automatically from the supermarket next door, certainly is ICT; besides,with an in-built service capability. Likewise, all consumer stereo and TV products are not part of ICT, but what about Apple’siPOD, Sony’s net MD or the Vaio PC-W1 which is a true media centre gathering a hi-fi, a TV set 1 Even in conservative France, Le Figaro remarked that in 2003, approximately 22 millionpeople had connected to the Internet. This survey( only took intoaccount individuals above the age of 11.2 In France, where PAYE has not yet been enforced, taxpayers who declare their income online are given an extra-weekto complete the process. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 7 / 62
  8. 8. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005and a computer all in one appliance. Similarly with modern motorcars: are they still mere vehicles orhave they become incredibly sophisticated and desirable technological objects? To begin with, should we talk about technology or technique or even technicality? Isn’ttechnology a little grandiloquent a word for what is in fact a suite of technical products or services?Isn’t it a sign that we confer an almost sacred status to whatever is the fruit of our most advancedtechniques? Perec had already pointed out the importance of objects in our lives in his bookentitled Things3 but our society has taken that to the extreme. Thus, behind technology, isn’t therea twinge of modern times ‘mythology’ as the consonance would lead as to believe? Such thoughts are casting a different light on the subject of Marketing of ICT products. Theparamount importance of fashion and trends – mixed up with that post-modern passionate questfor immediate authenticity – is key to the understanding of our environment. Such contradiction interms is best experienced when looking at the websites designed by anti-globalisation movements(e.g. therefore proving how much such movements are intheir turn using globalisation as a tool for promotion. The next important issue is that regarding the scope of ICT Marketing. Should we deal with B2C rather than B2B Marketing as a priority? As far as B2B Marketing is concerned, should it not be segmented between 3 main different types: MNCs4, SMEs5 and SOHO6 users? Marketing products or services to any of these targets certainly means different things altogether. One will have to bear that in mind and I will use some real-life examples to prove my point. Besides, one should establish a clear Figure 2: Is Apple’s iPOD a distinction between the Marketing of products and that of personal stereo or a 40 GB services. Marketing services is very different from marketing hard drive? products, which people can actually see and touch. This phenomenon is in fact even more obvious when it comes toselling online services. Buyer behaviour and buying processes will vary according to circumstances:for instance, marketing an Internet-based Message broadcasting service7 or multimedia mobile phones will be two horses of a different colour. Very few marketing specialists will be able to cover all those topics with authority and I believe it is easy to understand why. According to the context, approaches are radically different, mentalities are extremely diversified and therefore Marketing methods vary greatly. On top of everything else, trying to define marketing itself is far from being a useless attempt. Judging from the example described later in this document, working on Figure 1: Sony PC-W1 : Is such a definition is quite rewarding when it comes to it a PC? Is it a Hi-fi or a TV set? Or is it all these things at the same time?3 Things by Georges Perec, 1965 (1990 for the English text) Read for details4 Multinational Corporations5 Small and Medium Size Enterprises6 Small Office, Home Office7 No wonder such services are so hard to market. Who understands what fax or e-mail broadcasting is really aboutanyway? ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 8 / 62
  9. 9. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005understanding what marketing ICT products and services is about. Lastly, whereas ICT is often pointed out as being fraught with novelty, one may rightfullyregard the concept of ‘the new’ in the 21st century as a subject for investigation. Are ‘new’ things sonovel anyway? What does the word ‘invention’ mean today when almost any possible concept hasalready been invented and – maybe – re-invented a few times? What do people (customers,prospective customers, opinion leaders, etc.) understand when they come across so-called ‘new’concepts? Thus, are service providers moving in the right direction when they brand their servicesas ‘new’? For instance, should we consider that pay-per-use downloadable music is new whenMarcel Proust could already do that with his ‘théâtrophone8’ as early as … 1881? So is all this hoo-ha about iTunes et al much ado about nothing? Likewise for TV on DSL when we compare it tothe vision expressed by French nineteenth century humorist Robida9 (1876). To name but a fewexamples of not-so-new innovative concepts. Figure 3: Robida’s vision of TV on DSL,… as early as 1876! In this article, we will also deal with the notion of project, which is key to the marketing of ICTproducts and services. Should we in fact talk about ‘Marketing Projects’ or ‘Project Marketing’rather? In particular, we will address the question as to whether ICT marketing Managers have tomaster certain special skills that others don’t, in order to market ICT products or services?8 Read for a description of the system design9 I.e. that of visual news sent by phone, which he labelled phonoscopic (as in telescopic I suspect) news, Cp (please note that he was a humorist but still, this idea was so visionary) ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 9 / 62
  10. 10. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 As a conclusion for this foreword, marketing is extremely complex and such complexity shouldnot be hidden; on the contrary we believe that this complexity deserves to be analysed in a verystraightforward fashion. Moreover, such a level of complexity will force us to resort to very simple tools in order to reduce complexity and master it. What it also teaches us is that generalities about any marketing object should be handled with utmost care. All the potential targets (B2B, B2C, etc.) are different and require relevant approaches, tailored to the needs of each of them. This reminds us too that marketing is not a science; it is a mere means of approaching buyer behaviour, but even that is far from being meaningless. Yet, such Figure 4: If this is your opinion of marketing, do us the favour to behaviours are elusive and so is the keep on reading this pamphlet and we hope you may have knowledge attached to them. changed your mind by the time you finish it. Let us try now to focus on a fewtips and tricks, which I have found useful to improve my grasp of ICT marketing. I will base mydemonstration upon real-life examples and a few simple methodologies, which can be directlyapplied to field-action. THE AMAZING COMPLEXITY OF ICT MARKETING Above all, the most amazing characteristic of ICT marketing is its enormous level ofcomplexity. Whereas consumer marketing is accessible to almost anyone, ICT marketeers revel inusing far-fetched, highly technical acronyms, which may render this discipline a little off-putting toJoe Public. But this is not all. ICT marketing doesn’t just sound complex; it really is so. Mobility, or the archetypal complex Marketing project (Source : Marc Fesler, Unisys France) SEAMLESS INTEGRATION Access Phone, PDA Pocket PC Clamshell Notebook Device Access Device Smartphone (Palm, Symbian) (XDA, Dell, iPaq) Handheld Tablet PC Manageability (Asset Management, Configuration, App. Deployment) Profile Mgmt. Profile Management Personalization Authentification Business & IT Consulting Transport (Bandwidth, Compression, Seamless Network Roaming) Link Synchronization (On-/Offline) Link Layer Delivery Maintenance Layer Session Management Integration Security (Encryption) Carrier-less Carrier (Telco, VNO, XSP, …) Network Wired Network Layer PAN (Bluetooth,..) wLAN (802.11, ..) wWAN (GPRS,..) Phone, PDA Pocket PC Clamshell Notebook Present. Presentation Layer Smartphone (Palm, Symbian) (XDA, Dell, iPaq) Handheld Tablet PC l WFM ia T ... etc, etc e KM (Oracle, ..) ran Finance c er ar Ut sp co m hc Applications Pu Apps CRM, SCM, ERP ilit or m lt Tel t bl ea Mail & (Unified)Messaging ati Co y ic H on Personal Productivity Infrastruct. WindowsInfrastructure Unix/Linux Mainframe Jan 2004 Club des MOA - Le Marketing des NTIC © 2003-2004 Yann A Gourvennec 8 Figure 5: Mobility, or the archetypal complex marketing project, according to Unisys’ Marc Fesler I have borrowed a slide from Unisys10 in order to illustrate the extremely high level ofcomplexity surrounding the making of a mobility solution. Indeed when it comes to ICT marketing10 Marc Fesler, Business development Manager, Telecom business Unisys France, 2003 ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 10 / 62
  11. 11. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005– and mainly IT or Telecommunications related ICT marketing – understanding the gist of thosehighly technical subjects is more than just necessary. First of all, ICT marketeers have to be able tounderstand technical subjects in general, that is to say not just the vocabulary but the very conceptsthat these technologies underpin. That level of functional understanding is crucial in order to enableICT marketeers to project themselves into the future and deduce from such technologies what usescan be derived. Such projections will enable our ICT marketeers to find new ideas. Howeverimportant the understanding of the technical background of ICT products may be, one must in noway lose sight of the proper aim of ICT marketing. As it were, marketing is only a means to an end.In fact, the more one delves into technical details, the higher the risk to lose sight of functionalaspects and clients. Hence the requirement for ICT marketeers to be able to tell the differencebetween functional and technical knowledge. There are cases where marketeers succeed whilefailing to understand the basic concepts governing their offerings; but such cases are really rare.ICT marketeers have to be some sort of two-headed beasts in so far as they need to be au faitregarding the technological background of their products/services and regarding marketingmanagement per se. They may be marketeers attracted by technological subjects or engineersattracted by marketing. As a matter of fact, it does not really matter who they are; only their abilityto deliver is the key driver to ICT marketing success. Last but not least, ICT marketeers have to bevery competent in terms of high-level project management. Very often, ICT marketeers are meant to supervise a number of project managers – otherwiseknown as product managers in certain cases – and they will have to lead the team in terms offunctional design and requirements. ICT marketeers will then have to direct the course of ICTmarketing projects by laying the emphasis on potential customers’ drivers and inhibitors; at first,they will have to put themselves in the shoes of their potential users and buyers (prior to thelaunch) and subsequently, they will have to echo their clients’ and users’ feedback in order to drivetheir projects and steer clear of abstraction. This is a tough job, but it is also really exciting because it is really varied and because the sheercomplexity of ICT marketing is utmost stimulating. Such a multiplicity of skills required from ICTmarketeers may actually prove useful for ICT marketeers to solve conflicts between teams, i.e. salespersons, engineers and marketeers themselves. Above all, ICT marketeers are managers not only oftheir own teams but of all the resources involved in their projects, regardless of organisationalcharts. Feeling at ease with horizontal or even orbital management across the organisation and evenwith contractors is a key success factor. BA S I C P R I N C I P L E S & D E F I N I T I O N S TENTATIVE DEFINITION OF ICT MARKETING For this tentative definition, I have chosen Christophe Bénavent’s work (2002) as a startingpoint. Christophe Bénavent is an expert in ICT marketing as well as the website owner of Bénavent has segmented marketing as follows: §1 Marketing as a means to address consumers’ expectations. • This first aim of marketing is summarised by the author as the means to address consumers’ expectations in a profitable manner. §2 Marketing as a way to elicit Corporate strategies. • This second item is “no longer focusing on customer requirements, but on the areas where Corporate action is necessary”. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 11 / 62
  12. 12. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 §3 Marketing as a way to foster exchanges. • This is the third purpose of marketing according to Bénavent. It focuses on symbolic exchanges, the theory of the gift and reciprocal benefits11. One may think that trying to define marketing is beyond reach. Indeed, Mc Kenna’s famousmotto is well and truly in our minds while we are attempting to achieve this superhuman task:“Everything is marketing and marketing is everything12” he wrote in the Harvard Business Review.However, Bénavent’s work enables us to isolate three main fields for actions and this is why hisdefinition is a good starting point for us. The first thing I would like to point out though regarding §1 is that marketing is hardlyrestricted to answering customer’s requirements. For one thing marketing is not always aboutconsumers. In certain cases, clients are invisible (or hidden), or at least they are not perceived asclients per se. All clients are not “consumers”, but regarding ICT products & services, one may addthat all consumers are not forcibly clients either. This is namely the case regarding B2B services andmobility services in particular. In this case, users (let us call them “consumers” for argument’s sake)are influenced by other groups of people, some of which are procurement people, some of whichare their managers, others simply making recommendations to the former etc. All those people have different motivations, and they all belong to some very complexecosystem of decision and usage. This description is in fact valid for most advancedcommunications services: users are not the buyers, and vice versa. Failing to bear in mind thisamazing complexity for a moment could render the marketing and selling of such servicesrewarding in terms of positive user feedback but will engender very poor results in all likelihood13. Perhaps case §2 should have been put on top of the agenda. Indeed, purpose §2 is probably themost crucial. Strategy is actually what places marketing above mere salesmanship because it servesthe objective of eliciting a vision and spreading it across the organisation. At the end of the day,when this vision is clear and widely shared, sales can thrive in a far better way. Source : The Marketing Plan, a Pictorial Guide for Managers Figure 6: The stressful and ineffectual budgeting exercise will never replace a proper marketing plan. This is why forecasting and budgeting – however important they may be – cannot supersedeproper marketing Planning satisfactorily. Budgeting is an exercise whereby growth percentages areapplied arbitrarily – mostly based on what happened the year before – whatever the reality of11I will recommend two main references as far as §3 is concerned: “the anthropology of file sharing” by Markus Gieslerand “Tribal Marketing” by Bernard Cova. All two available on Visionary Marketing, Ibid.12 “Everything is Marketing and Marketing is everything” Regis McKenna, HBR 1991( See Figure 11 for a tentative mapping of decision makers/opinion leaders on a particular market. Please note that inthis diagram, there is no mention of the fact that there may be several decision makers, and even that the decision maysometimes be taken by a group of people as opposed to just one buyer. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 12 / 62
  13. 13. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005supply and demand may be. Budgeting often produces good enough results when the overalleconomic trend is well oriented. As soon as the economic situation deteriorates and businessbecomes more difficult, the budgeting exercise almost inevitably produces major disasters. This iseasily understandable since such exercises do not help businesses anticipate changes. On thecontrary, they tend to encourage people in believing that trends go on and on unabated. There is noexample in real-life of a market that goes on expanding forever. This is pure fantasy. Case §3 may appear a bit weird to some of my readers. However, that purpose of marketing is afundamental aspect of ICT marketing14. During the Internet bubble, such informal and symbolicexchanges were highly valued and heavily commented upon. But it would be damageable to throwthe baby with the baby bath and overlook such a fundamental aspect of marketing that has alreadyproduced some very interactive results on the fields. Whereas the years of the Internet bubbleproduced great and undeniable collateral damages, one should also be wary of radical anti-internetbubbles stances which may prevent us from benefiting from past best practices. Burning too manybridges will serve no purpose. This surfeit of definitions is one more sign of the complexity surrounding marketingManagement, and that entices us once more to take a holistic view of that subject. Should ICTmarketing be offering-centric, demand-centric or should it focus on desire instead? This is the ICTmarketing conundrum, and what is true of marketing in general is even truer of ICT marketing inparticular. Indeed, most people take it for granted that when a product/service is useful, it shouldsell in large quantities. In these people’s minds, marketing new products or services is indeed plainsailing. All you need to do – according to them – is measure the needs of your potential customers(provided you know who they might be). Subsequently, you would then have to match your optionsagainst the declarations of your interviewers, and hey pronto! Rational customers will inevitably biteinto your well-designed rational baits. I wish life were so simple. Unfortunately, it is far from beingso easy. First of all, with ICT marketing, targets are not always known. In a way, this is quite normalin so far as ICT marketing is actually about ‘new’ concepts, some of which are very technical andsometimes hard to explain, even when they are targeted at specialised audiences. Besides, there is no such thing as a passive ever-ready customer in this context. Anything couldhappen. In actual fact, anything will happen. This is what I found out when I launched an out-bound fax online service for Wanadoo15 in 1999. Originally, the whole team assumed that ourclients would be the typical mass affluent young males that all market surveys at that time describedas being the standard profile for Internet surfing audiences. Reality proved very different and wesoon found out that this service was extensively used by senior clients. Strangely enough, none of the surveys we had indicated anything about older users being moreinclined to buy services online. None of the vast amounts of money poured into advertising wereaimed at these people. Youngsters and students were at the centre of all strategies, despite theirextensive taste for free downloads and the free-for-all business model. This explains why spendinga bit of time on the notion of ‘need’ is necessary. Discussions have been going on that subject forover 2000 years but still, do we always understand what it really means to ‘need’ or ‘require’anything16? Let us get back to the discussion between Socrates and Glaucon, in Plato’s Republic17, in14See Net Gain Net Gain: Expanding Markets Through Virtual Communities, by John Hagel III, Arthur G. Armstrong(1999). Available here from Amazon.15 Wanadoo is the leading French ISP (Internet Service Provider). It is part of the France Telecom Group. In 2001,Wanadoo took over Dixon’s Freeserve ISP. Freeserve was rebranded as Wanadoo in the UK in 2004. following definitions were taken from the online version of the Merriam-Webster online dictionary: Need (noun):2 a : a lack of something requisite, desirable, or useful b : a physiological or psychological requirement for the well-beingof an organism. 3 : a condition requiring supply or relief Desire (noun) 1 : conscious impulse toward something thatpromises enjoyment or satisfaction in its attainment 2 a : Longing, craving b : sexual urge or appetite 3 : a usually formalrequest or petition for some action 4 : something desired. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 13 / 62
  14. 14. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005which Socrates exclaims: “I do not think that we have adequately determined the nature andnumber of our desires, and until this is accomplished the enquiry will always be confused.” The divide between desire and requirement is not a clear one. In book II of Plato’s republic,Socrates tries to draw the line between pure necessity and luxury. In his description of the ‘IdealState’, adding sofas and tables off which one could dine is a sign that the country has become a‘luxurious State’. Indeed, you do not need to sit at a table to be able to eat your dinner. You mayvery well sit on the ground or even stand up for that matter, like people do in receptions forinstance. So, what difference is there between tangible requirements and luxury? In other words, arewe not abusing the term ‘need’ when we are talking about marketing new products and services?And subsequently, when does ICT marketing have to address potential clients hidden (or obvious)desires instead of trying to fulfil basic requirements? There is no definitive answer to such questions, at least not a simple answer. But the very factthat we are asking ourselves these questions is actually improving our understanding of the contextof ICT marketing and helps us avoid reaching rash conclusions. Having said that, the visionwhereby ‘rational’ thinking leads to ‘rational’ buyer behaviour is fundamentally distorted and shouldnot be relied on. Satisfying basic needs is in no way the aim of ICT marketeers, and visions wherebya ‘just do it’ – some sort of ‘Nike’ approach to marketing – would prevail are fundamentally wrongand ineffectual. To take but a few examples, would you say that browsing your e-mail from your living-room oreven at your kitchen table using WI-FI is a ‘must have’ (need) or a ‘nice to have’ (comfort)? or is itjust a ‘cool’ thing to do (desire)? Is that new multimedia mobile phone you have (or will inevitably)just purchased a real must-have or that status symbol linked to peer-pressure? Also, will you waitfor your current TV screens to break down in order to buy a new one or will you yield to thatinevitable desire to possess one of these brand new flat LCD TV sets as soon as they have – in youropinion – become affordable? Let’s face it; we have to go beyond the mirror that is hiding ourclients’ real motivations from us. MARKETING ICT PRODUCTS/SERVICES AT OR TO PEOPLE? Offering-centric, demand-centric or desire-centric marketing? Offering-centric marketing markets products at people Demand-centric marketing markets products to people Aaah! X-rated late After due consideration night film shows!? Id rather watch BBC2! ? ! Desire-centric marketing focuses on hidden desires Reverse-engineering marketing is based on analysing rejections Jan 2004 ICT Marketing © 2004 by Yann A Gourvennec 2317 Read for a transcript of Plato’s Republic online. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 14 / 62
  15. 15. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 Figure 7: (Some of) the various types of ICT marketing approaches I have tried to elicit some of the various types of ICT marketing management approaches that Ihave come across in the field (see Figure 7 for details). First and foremost, what I would call ‘offering-centric’ marketing is probably the mostcommon type of marketing that can be observed in the ICT playground. However ubiquitous, it isoften despised as being anti-marketing so to speak. In a manner of speaking, I would describe thisapproach as marketing at people as opposed to marketing to people. But it does not mean thatoffering-centric marketing is totally negative, although there may be a few traps that one should tryand avoid. When it comes to domains where pure innovation is key, offering-centric marketing isindeed inevitable. In these domains, preliminary research is mostly unavailable and futuristicpredictions from market analysts tend to become the focus area of market intelligence and Godknows upon what such predictions are based most of the time. Investing in new products and service launches may in some cases prove less costly than goingfor expensive, long-winded market research in cases when market knowledge is low, targetcustomer understanding is feeble and product awareness almost doesn’t exist. Offering-centricmarketing therefore acts as an enabler when the requirements are virtually impossible to measurebeforehand. Very often, the very requirement for that newfangled product or service will berevealed when buyers can actually see or use it; the more conceptual the service, the more you needto confront it with the public in order to understand their reactions. This method is also perfectlysuitable to the generation of top-of-the-mind awareness around a product or a brand which is littleknown, and also when you have little money left to spend on advertising. The downside ofoffering-centric marketing is manifold though. Poor monitoring of that type of marketing couldindeed prove very costly. Offering-centric marketing may actually result in some sort of chainproduction of useless products, with no clients, no sales force and no future in sight. As aconclusion, however interesting offering-centric marketing may be, it really is a few cents short of apenny, and other approaches will be necessary for us to better grasp customer incentives anddesires. The second type of marketing approach I have isolated here is also well-known. I shall name it‘demand-centric’ marketing. The principles guiding demand-centric marketing are straightforward,or so it seems at first sight. The starting point is the target population. One takes a sample out ofthat population, interview that sample, deduce what the market is after and build new (or adaptexisting) products to match the needs and desires of the target population. This method is reallyvaluable in so far as it forces product/service managers to think about their clients first. It preventsthe design of far-fetched unrealistic products and it brings realism into R&D whereas R&D hassometimes that tendency to go haywire with haphazard new product development. This approach isalso about alleviating risk by adapting products or services to demand. Having said that, there aretoo many people asserting that demand-centric marketing should supersede offering-centricmarketing altogether. Such over-simplification would not do here, mainly when it comes to ICTproducts or services. As with offering-centric marketing, there are also a number of danger areasrevealed by this type of approach. First of all, assessing the needs or desires of a given target population which you do not knowis mostly useless and it can also prove very costly. Similarly, carrying out quantitative in-depthmeasurements of customer feedback to stimuli that apply to products barely understood by apopulation is not a good idea18. To prove my point, I just want to quote a real-life example, whichoriginates from my work on the launch of a webconferencing service at France Télécom (brandedas One of the main questions we had was related to the pricing of that new18For all characteristics of market survey methodology, (including Internet-based surveys), please refer to my earlier workpublished on the Internet at http://visionarymarketing.com19 Check the website for details. Viaconferencing is the brand name retained by France Télécom forthe distribution of the Webex service in France. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 15 / 62
  16. 16. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005service. As always with communications services, we had to choose the right ‘business model’ forthe new service. Choosing the right business model is always a mind-boggling problem forcommunications services (pay-per-use, by the minute, by the hour, packaged use-as-much-as-you-like prices, combined packaged and usage-based prices etc. the list is almost infinite). In thatparticular case, it became even more complex and we almost came to a deadlock. As a matter offact, way back in 2001, our target population could only grasp the concept that we wanted topromote with utmost difficulty. Notwithstanding our sustained efforts at educating our sampleusers, their understanding of our offering remained limited; not that it mattered that much or evenprevented them from using the system and becoming more familiar with it. On the contrary, werealised that hands-on experience could help them form their own opinion on webconferencing.This is why most of our task during this pilot phase consisted in recruiting new users so that theywould gain hands-on experience and then form opinions and express them. When it came to‘pricing’ structure and pricing level, even hands-on users found it difficult to give us their opinionon the subject. As a consequence, measuring pricing acceptance at that stage meant actually runningthe risk of spending vast amounts on surveys with few hopes of ever being able to make anythingof the results. At the end of the day, when asking users – who may not even be the decision makers– about price levels, one often runs the risk of gathering answers such as “it shouldn’t be tooexpensive, you know”, which are not going to be very helpful at all. As a conclusion, demand-centric marketing cannot supersede offering-centric marketing so easily. The situation is slightlymore complex than that, and it is certainly not a case of offering-centric = bad or demand-centric =good. Both have to be taken into account. The third approach that needs to be described here is what we have decided to name ‘desire-centric’ marketing. Desire-centric marketing is different from demand-centric marketing in so far asit doesn’t assume that consumers (or even enterprise customers) are rational. That type ofmarketing appeals to hidden-desires and one’s clients’ profound motivations. It is a kind ofmarketing that fosters innovation, and it enables marketeers to unveil new opportunities and newmarkets. It relies more heavily on sociology20. In that sense, desire-centric marketing is moresophisticated and more innovative than other forms of marketing. Yet, at the same time, it is also less predictable and more creative. Desire-centric marketing ismore a question of analysing trends and predicting fashion and fads than carefully and thoroughlygathering and measuring customer feedback. That type of marketing is therefore time-boundbecause fads tend to evolve very quickly. They do disappear quickly and are replaced by other fadsas part of a cyclical process. That kind of marketing approach is more qualitative than others. Itmostly focuses on the emergence of new trends, whether they be long-term or short-lived, whetherthey be mainstream or just weak signals. Those interested in delving deeper into such subjectsshould refer to Bernard Cova and Olivier Badot’s research papers21 and the reference books theyquote. In essence, desire-centric marketing is geared towards consumer marketing. Yet, it would bewrong to think that it doesn’t apply to B2B or Project marketing at all. Most people think that B2Bis purely rational and I can assure you it’s far from being true. In fact, it’s just the other way roundmost of the time. As a matter of fact, there are myriad ways of writing RFP’s22 and of justifyingone’s choices once a tender has been submitted. Besides, sales persons know how to work their20Bernard Cova often refers to it as a “societing”. Olivier Badot et Bernard Cova, Le NéoMarketing, 1992 (in French). See for an online exec summary of this book.21A number of Bernard Cova’s texts are available from the visionary Marketing website either in French or in English(use the sites search engine with Cova as the main or keyword).22Request for proposal: a statement of requirement whereby an organization describes its target requirements andimposes potential suppliers to submit their tenders for selection. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 16 / 62
  17. 17. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005ways around such processes by approaching CXO’s23 in order to influence future RFP’s, overtaketheir competitors or even just ensure that there won’t be any at all (this is of course not applicableto procurement processes related to local and central government bodies, which are regulated bystricter rules). At the end of the day, B2B marketing is not at all rational. The last type of marketing approach that we will describe here is far less popular than theformer three (by the way, please note that this list is not meant to be comprehensive). Frenchresearchers Michel Demarest and Georges Krycève (CEO of income International, a Paris-basedconsulting outfit specialised in marketing and innovation)24 developed this methodology more thanten years ago25. ‘Reverse-engineering marketing26’, in a way, means designing products or servicesbased on customer feedback. But it goes way beyond the simple and straightforward analysis ofcustomer dissatisfaction. As a matter of fact, ‘Reverse-engineering marketing’ actually paves the wayfor product and service improvement and it is not just about analysing user or customerdissatisfaction. The principle guiding Reverse-engineering marketing is the following: “It must beeasier to improve something that people know about, rather than ask them to specify what they ignore or even fail tounderstand”27. This basic principle is key to ICT marketing success in more than many cases.Reverse-engineering marketing is in fact the best of both worlds: the perfect match betweendemand-centric and offering-centric marketing. Reverse-engineering marketing favours real-lifeproduct/service testing as well as community-work with one’s clients in order to improve one’sproducts until customer satisfaction is fulfilled. This is how concepts and new ideas – howevereccentric – can be developed, in real-time, in real-life. Besides, Reverse-engineering marketing is agreat means of establishing a special relationship with your clients as well as getting them involvedin the product-design process. And God knows that most of them like that, for it puts them in arole that is far more rewarding than that of mere ‘consumers’. Microsoft certainly were one of the first to implement such an approach on a global scale. Theyindeed managed to generate a certain level of intimacy with their clients when they asked them toparticipate in the design of their new product, prior to the official release date28. In that case, betatesters actually volunteer to test the product. Most of them are real enthusiasts who share acommon passion for either the brand or the product. Being part of the design of a new product is asign – in their eyes – that they are also part of the company, that they are more than mere“consumers”. Beta testers are not the result of the random sampling of a given population, they are realenthusiasts. Most shareware designers use that method in order to let their users test their productsfree of charge. After a 30-day-period, users who want to go on using the software will then have topay a small fee to the software editor. Most of time, this process is carried out online. Amongst23CEO’s or CFO’s, CIO’s, etc, i.e high-level decision makers, also known as VITO (The Very Important Top Officer).Selling To VITO (The Very Important Top Officer), by Anthony Parinello, Denis Waitley.24.The income website can be accessed at . Their book ‘le Marketing créatique’ ISBN 2-907418-02-5will certainly be hard to find, even in French but it was ground-breaking material which I warmly recommend.25 Similar concepts were developed later on by Geoffrey Moore in the updated and revised version of ‘Crossing theChasm’ but we will only refer to Demarest & Krycève in this article.26Reverse-engineering per se is when you are redesigning a piece of software that has already been developed instead ofrebuilding the software from scratch; the designer will then redesign a statement of requirement which will includeexisting and new functionality.Desmaret & Krycève’s “créatique” concept was hard to translate (a mixture of creativity and technique). I decided to usethe reverse-engineering metaphor instead.27 ‘le Marketing créatique’ by Desmaret & Krycève, Ibid.28As was the case namely with the pre-release version of Windows 95. Beta testers had to pay for that version ofWindows 95 in order to be able to use MS’s new OS before everyone else. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 17 / 62
  18. 18. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005some of the most popular office desktop utilities, Jasc’s Paintshop Pro imaging software is probablyone of the most successful29. Paintshop Pro is very inexpensive and yet, most of its functionality is as good as Adobe’s veryprofessional Photoshop suite. Besides, Photoshop is far less user-friendly than Paintshop Pro. Andyet, very few of Paintshop Pro’s users can remember what version 1 of their favourite piece ofsoftware looked like in 199130, i.e. a very immature imaging utility, hardly better than the Microsoftpaint utility that came standard with Windows 3.0. Reverse-engineering marketing made it possiblefor Paintshop Pro to evolve so dramatically. STRATEGIC MARKETING Strategic marketing is in our eyes one of the pillars of marketing Management. As such, I havealso dedicated a whole chapter to that theme at the end of this article. Strategic marketing is the enabler that makes it possible to share a common vision across theentire organisation. At the heart of Strategic marketing, one can find strategic assessments31 whichmake it possible to elicit the current strategy and spell out all the strategic objectives which willguide future action. Thanks to a strategic assessment, one will be able to target actions according tothe lifecycle of products and services and to establish priorities in terms of the development of newproducts and services. This preliminary phase is crucial for providing the necessary strategic focus.Without it, most strategic endeavours tend to end up with managers turning around like headlesschickens and trying to compensate hindsight with frantic haphazard activity. Lack of focus oftenforces managers to multiply innovations with no apparent reason or logic. A proper strategicassessment will provide vision and guidance to product marketing but a frantic bout of innovationwill never provide a strategic vision for the organisation. On the other hand, proper strategic planning should not be mixed up with that stressful andridiculous exercise named financial planning, which consists in projecting growth year on yearbased upon last year’s results and without the underpinning of a proper strategic market andproduct analysis. Financial planning is unfortunately very commonplace. It won’t give however anyhint as to how markets night react, it mostly overlooks markets and products issues by puttingmore pressure on the sales force; but in times of crisis, it proves mostly ineffectual. Last but notleast, it almost always fails to encourage the anticipation of future issues32.29 Read about the official and legal ‘unlock’ procedure of Paintshop Pro at See for details about the Paintshop Pro saga.31 Our original strategic assessments methodology is available at Cp The marketing Plan, a pictorial guide for managers by Malcolm H.B McDonald and Peter Morris. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 18 / 62
  19. 19. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 I C T M A R K E T I N G S E G M E N TA T I O N ICT MARKETING MAPPING ICT Marketing Segmentation Mapping 2 main trends, in opposite directions Consumer markets Consumers Deskjet Amazon Telephonie printers (reco) PCs, PDAs xDSL Office automation Ex: Easyoffice mass-customisation mass- SMBs Semi SMB ERPs Shrink-wrap durables Telephonie software Corporate Accounts software Bespoke Commodity Products/services Products/services ToIP/VoIP for Corporate accounts Services Bespoke B2B Web services, réseau de Grid computing base Alliances ??? Mass Bespoke Jan 2004 ICT Marketing © 2004 by Yann A Gourvennec 20 Figure 8: ICT marketing Segmentation Mapping In the above diagram I have mapped ICT marketing against two axes: one axis is showing thetype of clients (consumer, SME’s, corporate accounts); the other axis caters for the level ofcustomisation which applies to the type of product or service that is being sold. I have excludedSoho clients from this diagram although they do differ from both the consumer and enterprisemarkets (whether they be small or medium). From this diagram, we can isolate two main trends: on the one hand, most consumer marketsare now penetrated by professional products, although such products were not aimed at them at theoutset. In 2003, more than 50% of personal computers sold in France were purchased fromsupermarkets33. Amongst such products, one can find a great number of products of a professionalstandard which could be used by the average white collar, if not superior. Another example is theamazing penetration of three-in-one printers – originally aimed at SME’s – within the consumermarket. On the other hand, a similar trend in the opposite direction can be observed on professional(B2B) markets. Most people would in fact associate the corporate market to bespoke products andservices. However, one is forced to observe that there is a strong movement towards thecommoditisation and generalisation of a number of services that used to be considered as highrange, specific and professional. This is indeed the case in the software arena. The software industryis probably going through a certain number of issues, which are the foretelling signs of future majordisruptions. This industry, once all geared towards bespoke software design, opted for an all-ERPapproach at the turn of the 1990’s. To a large extent, this era of ERP is not completely over, as we33By supermarkets I mean supermarkets and hypermarkets as opposed to specialised computer stores. Please note that inmany European countries, supermarkets are also selling non-food products contrary to what is happening in the UK withthe standard configuration of a Tesco, Sainsbury’s or other supermarket in that country. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 19 / 62
  20. 20. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005speak, but an increasing number of ERP experts are now finding themselves on the shelf whereasfinding a job for them was so easy only a few years ago. Indeed IT standardisation – through the copying of best practices – is becoming increasinglypervasive. But the standardisation is no longer going through Business Process Reengineering (akaBPR) as one used to do at the end of the 1990’s. Best practices are indeed more and more to befound within the software itself, by dint of improving it upon the recommendations of previouscustomers and users who have contributed to its improvement. (if anything, it will contain toomuch functionality, and very seldom not enough functionality). Software corrections and upgradesare thus delivered through the new versions of modern software34. Of course this is a trend, whichwill take years to mature and believing that our entire universe will be wiped out overnight wouldnot be reasonable. But one has to admit that a great number of software houses – amongst thelargest – are now in search of new business models. This quest for new business models is at theheart of new IT strategies with the soaring impact of offshoring but also nearshoring35 practices. Numbers are there to underpin my comments about the commoditisation of IT. In France,rumour has it that already 5% of all projects could be offshore projects, but accounting for notmore than 1% of the sector’s overall revenue36. In the United States, according to an IDC report,offshore has now gone beyond the status of fad and is now turning into mainstream. “In 2004, thevalue of IT services provided to U.S. businesses through offshore labor will double to $16 billion.In the subsequent three years it will almost triple yet again to $46 billion, capturing almost one-quarter of the U.S. opportunity37.” To give you an idea of what $8 bn are worth, Capgemini’srevenues in 2001 worldwide were not higher than that. And they are certainly lower now. Suchfrightening prospects are enticing many Americans to believe that it is no longer a good sector fortheir children to work in, hence certain reactions such as “Mama, don’t let your babies grow up tobe IT workers” by Shelly Powers38. However, if observation shows that the consumer and enterprises domains are seriouslyintertwined (mass market and bespoke solutions, consumer and enterprise) as far as products andservices are concerned, one has to admit too that the ways such products and services should bemarketed vary greatly.34 Cp my summary of Nicholas Carr’s IT DOESN’T MATTER available at material of this article are also available at that address.35 Definition of Nearshore outsourcing (source : “Nearshore outsourcing is thepractice of getting work done or services performed by people in neighboring countries rather than in your own country.Many companies in the United States, for example, outsource work to Canada and Mexico. Geographic proximity meansthat travel and communications are easier and less expensive, there are likely to be at least some commonalities betweenthe cultures, and people are more likely to speak the same language”. In other words, nearshore outsourcing is similar tooffshore outsourcing but this kind of outsourcing is operated from neighbouring countries as opposed to remotecountries. In France, most of nearshore developments are carried out in Spain, namely for CAPGEMINI who set up theirnearshore “factory” in MADRID (their offshore operations are in MUMBAÏ, India.36 However, it has not been possible for me to confirm such statistics with hard facts.37 Source, IDC Predictions 2004: New IT Growth Wave, New Game Plan Insight #30499 - Dec 2003 by Frank Gens.Voir également le dossier consacré à ce sujet par The Economist, Special Report Offshoring, Decembre 13th 2003, pp79-8238 More about this engrossing debate online on Phil Wolff’s Klog (Knowledge Weblog) A Klog Apart at Read the article entitled “Where does IT go from here?” (direct access from The beginning of it all was Shelley Powers’s article entitled “The state of GeekPart I: Temp jobs, no health” available now at Powers’s exclamation‘Mama, dont let your babies grow up to be IT workers’ struck the imagination of many a ‘blogger’. It is also tale-tellingwith regards to the growing disenchantment of many US citizens regarding IT after the Internet bubble burst. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 20 / 62
  21. 21. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 TENTATIVE SEGMENTATION OF ICT MARKETINGB2C (BUSINESS TO CONSUMER, AKA CONSUMER, ICT PRODUCTS MARKETING) This is certainly the most popular type of ICT marketing and it is inevitably drawing on standard consumer marketing techniques. One of the main differences though is that it won’t apply to perishables but durables or semi-durables instead. Because new technology and hi-tech products are increasingly successful with the general public, ICT Consumer marketing is naturally closer to the marketing of household appliances and mainly that of sound and video systems. As a matter of fact, traditional products such as computers, PDA’s etc. and sound and video products and now being merged into hybrid devices which combine high-end multimedia with IT and vice versa in order to produce increasingly sophisticated systems aimed at broadcasting – or should we say ‘narrowcasting’ instead – multimedia contents, where video plays an ever increasing role, and where wireless technology is ubiquitous. In a little more than three years, the good old stereo has now been replaced by more sophisticated equipment. It may even disappear in no time39.B2B (BUSINESS TO BUSINESS) ICT MARKETING This type of marketing, which is aimed at professionals, is also well known. The necessarydivide between Corporate and SMB B2B marketing however, is far less known, or at least, fieldpractice shows that very few people master the subtle difference between diverse B2B segments i.e.Soho, SMB and corporate accounts. Large corporations often are international; in fact, very few aren’t if we except centralgovernment bodies. Their number is limited and they require face-to-face, personalised contactover a long-term period. Selling to large corporate accounts mobilises large account-teams, whichcan amount to dozens of dedicated professionals in certain cases (sales, business consult engineers,and delivery….). This investment in sales resources is justified in so far as the revenue, which isgenerated by such mega accounts is proportionally huge too (sometimes above €100 m p.a. for oneparticular account). Conversely, SME’s are more varied in shape or form and they are more difficult to describe.First and foremost, SME’s can be segmented in more than many ways: size, number of employees,revenue, international presence, whether it is independent or part of a larger group…); secondly,because SME’s differ greatly from one another. How could you compare an independentorganisation of 15 employees with another larger entity, whose staff goes beyond 500, which isscattered across 3 different sites and, lastly, which belongs to a large multinational group? Thesetwo organisations would not be said to have much in common at the end of the day, I would say. As a result, marketing products or services to SME’s is a job in itself for it requires a lot of sub-segmentation. Selling to SME’s is all things to all people; sometimes on the fringe of consumermarketing, some other times on the fringe of corporate marketing. At the bottom of the SMEmarket segmentation, one can find the so-called SO-HO market. The behaviour patterns of thelatter are very close to those of consumers. The smaller the target customers, the more ICTmarketing techniques and know-how will be necessary to maximize the hit-rate/contact-cost ratio. B2E (BUSINESS TO EMPLOYEE) B2E marketing is a little less known than the previous categories, which we have just described.B2E covers those activities aimed at corporate employees, mostly service-orientated. One of themost striking examples I know of is Dominique Beaulieu’s Accor services concept (née Affiniteam).The concept hinges upon the notion of “Cliemployee” an interesting concept, whereby Beaulieu39 Read the Sound Of The Stereo Fades Into History, by Simon London, Financial Times, Nov 18, 2003 (Music is everywhere - oncomputers, portable players, home theatre systems, mobile phones. Sales in the US of home audio...) ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 21 / 62
  22. 22. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005advises corporations to treat their staff as if they were clients, which as a matter of fact they havereally become, by dint of recurring job-frailty and difficulties on the employment market, whichnaturally lessen corporate loyalty and emphasize more self-centered strategies on the part ofindividuals. C2C (CONSUMER TO CONSUMER) Building a community often – or should I say always – requires that users be allowed to talk toone another as freely as possible. Amazon friends is a valuable example of client/user collaborationwith a company as a means to link users to one another. (Marketing 3) Exemple de C2C : AMAZON Friends Harriet Klausner #1 top-reviewer 5990 reviews Jan 2004 Club des MOA - Le Marketing des NTIC © 2003-2004 Yann A Gourvennec 14 Figure 9: Amazon Friends and The ‘top reviewers’ online panel B2C2B (BUSINESS TO CONSUMER TO BUSINESS) At first sight this category seems a lot less obvious than others. However, real-life examplesabound such as INTEL’s stickers on PC’s, which influence manufacturers when they make theirindustrial choices. Indeed, suppliers like INTEL are putting pressure on them thanks to brandpower and top of the mind awareness. Besides INTEL, also subsidises PC manufacturersadvertising campaigns therefore putting even more pressure on them so that they promote INTELchips as opposed to third party components. Figure 10: The logos that sell In some cases, such a powerful marketing approach may even enable a supplier – however lowin the value chain – to narrow down the choice for end-users, through the bias that it manages tointroduce in the manufacturers’ sourcing processes40.40 on how laptop manufacturers were caught by Intel who managed tonarrow down the choice for consumers through particularly effective B2B2C Marketing Management. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 22 / 62
  23. 23. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 C2B (CONSUMER TO BUSINESS)Italian researcher Giancarlo Livraghi41 has a very good definition of C2B marketing: “The mostimportant activity in e-commerce isn’t selling. It’s buying. Quite often that doesn’t mean buyingonline but checking, comparing, analysing quality and price before baying in traditional stores orservices. Customer empowerment isn’t a legend or a theory, it’s hard fact and it will grow as morepeople become more aware of the tools they have to pick and choose – and negotiate. This couldbe the single most important development in the new economy. It may be daunting for somecompanies, but an opportunity for all who know how to find the right clues. With or without theInternet, in many businesses the concept of marketing (even of market) will have to changeradically. We are only at the beginning of a development that can have vast and deepconsequences”. NB: Please note that this list of categories is purposely not comprehensive, as they only serveto prove that more than one approach is available. ENTERPRISE MOBILITY OR THE ARCHETYPICAL COMPLEX PROJECT E.g: Users, Buyers and opinion leaders of entreprise mobility services •ADMITTED DRIVERS & INHIBITORS •Improved schedule management •Faster, better … •Information always available •No re-keying of data required « Peer-pressure » •HIDDEN DRIVERS & INHIBITORS (neighbours, family, colleagues) •"status symbol" •Independence from hierarchy •ADMITTED DRIVERS & INHIBITORS •Working tools can be used for personal •New Technology appeal reasons (eg: games, downloads,…) •Remote admin •Security •Less admin costs Users •HIDDEN DRIVERS & INHIBITORS •Reduce users’ leeway •User control more difficult •Project conveys good image Public relations Advertising & MIS Optinion leaders or decision Managers makers Optinion leaders •ADMITTED DRIVERS & INHIBITORS or decision •Better planning makers •Supply chain optimisation •Reduce costs & improve employee productivity •HIDDEN DRIVERS & INHIBITORS Specialised & Industry Industry •Increase availability of employees (they can be Mass media mentors and mentors and contacted anywhere, at any time) •Improve control over staff advisers advisers Jan 2004 ICT Marketing © 2004 by Yann A Gourvennec 22 Figure 11 Buyer behaviour in a mobility project The subject of enterprise mobility is a very tale-telling example of the complexity surroundingB2B marketing. Almost all the ingredients of industrial marketing are there (see diagram above).The users aren’t forcibly the buyers for one thing; secondly, the motivations of each of thecategories described in our diagram (users, opinion leaders, decision makers…) are varied, whenthey are not contradicting each other.41 Giancarlo Livraghi ( ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 23 / 62
  24. 24. YANN A. GOURVENNEC – HTTP://VISIONARYMARKETING.COM – © 2005 PROJECT MARKETING OR MARKETING PROJECTS? I take it for certain that in modern day organisations, project management is ubiquitous, andnot just in marketing. This is something I had already mentioned in Visionary Marketing42 in 1995,therefore jumping into Olivier Badot & Bernard Cova’s footsteps43. I would also like to refer to another book, which describes Project Marketing44 in depth;Project Marketing in B2B/manufacturing and processing industries is all about the selling process,where the selling process in this case is handled like a project, which requires in-depth analysis ofthe complexity of the client’s ecosystem (both internal and external). This analysis is best depictedthrough “Milieu maps” in which sales teams map the complex decision processes of their clients. Figure 12:Sample Milieu map (Cova, Salle & Ghauri, Ibid.) Selling to industrial clients requires a lot more than mere salesmanship. It will certainly involvemarketing insight, namely when building bespoke solutions (Otherwise named co-marketing).Partnership Marketing is therefore very useful too, because selling goes – in this case – way beyondshifting boxes or even services. It means building actual long-term partnership programs, which canbe described as industrial ecosystems. Even when industrial marketing is not involved, i.e. whenselling products or services are not so much based upon individual relationships, marketing stillresorts to project management techniques. All in all, the way that marketing uses project management techniques is not that different fromwhat is done in IT. The main purpose is to inject marketing insight within the new productcreation process, therefore ensuring that usability, user-friendliness and functionality (and possiblybuyer behaviour) aspects are well taken into account. In this configuration, marketeers are bothproduct managers and user-project leaders and they have to assume both responsibilities.42 Visionary Marketing, Yann Gourvennec, 1995 p 30 Badot & Cova (Le Neomarketing, 1992, untranslated; a summary of this book is available in French at B. Cova, P. Ghauri & R. Salle : Project Marketing, Beyond Competitive Bidding. ICT MARKETING BY VISIONARYMARKETING.COM OVERVIEW, CHARACTERISTICS, METHODS & EXAMPLES Page 24 / 62