If your business has an offering in a complex market for enterprise business software like business intelligence (BI), it behooves you to maintain an ear to the ground to collect marketplace perceptions of your product category. In turn, your marketing communications should be tuned to conform to these marketplace perceptions. Of course, where the pervasive take is wrong (and you can substantiate why) then, of course, it makes total sense to take the voice of a marketplace leader and suggest a different path or conclusion. Nevertheless, you must have an accurate understanding of current marketplace perception of your industry, which ought to be reflected somewhere in your communications.
This call for attention to marketplace buzz or chatter may seem to be a no brainer, but if it is so obvious, then how would one explain the frequent hyperbole that characterizes some of the product benefit claims produced by entrants into this market? Here’s just a snip from an Oracle® Corporation website: “[a]n effective Business Intelligence strategy drives profitable growth and operational efficiency.” Of course the key operand here is “effective”, but the communications piece neither highlights the term, nor includes a caveat. We think this type of communications is rather ineffective. We think that the credibility of Oracle would have been enhanced had they opted to include the following caveat that, in fact, was included by Microsoft® Corporation in a white paper on the BI topic: “Businesses, in an effort to stay one step ahead, collect large amounts of data ranging from demographics, buyer behavior, and customer loyalty to financial and operational data. Unfortunately the data is useless for decision making, its intended purpose, without a way of organizing and displaying it as meaningful information”. In the Microsoft quote the writer at least states the pervasive marketplace perception that “the data is useless for decision making” and, thereby pays his due marketplace perception. (We do need to note that the Microsoft piece is not entirely free of hyperbole as the writer goes on to suggest that, with “a way of organizing and displaying [the data] as meaningful information” once may get to something useful “for decision making”, which is still a point of contention in the marketplace).
We think that marketing communications for enterprise business software products must support an effort to characterize an innovative tech business as something of a trusted business partner. Acknowledging prevalent marketplace perception is one method of magnetizing some of that trusted marketplace brand. We are keen on discussing opportunities to help innovative technology businesses better craft marketing communications to meet marketplace realities. Please contact Ira Michael Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion. You may also email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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