I have been harping for a long time, in case you are coming out with a new product/service in the market, you need to check for the availability of the ecosystem in the technology market space. So if you are Google or Facebook, you cannot expect to enter or dominate the market if there is no internet connectivity.
I have also written earlier about how Thomas Edison was among the few people who had systematised the concept of testing in his New Jersey Labs . There were hundreds of people testing various aspects of his inventions in parallel. He was not testing things serially which is more time consuming.
Incidentally while the light bulb is attributed to Edison, there were at least another 20 odd people who were building the light bulb at the same time.
What is important to remember is that Edison understood the concept of the ecosystem for the success of the light bulb. If there was no electricity, the adoption of the light bulb would not happen. I guess his experience of working with the telegraph company, had given him this background.
For those of you who don’t know Edison was also among the original promoters of what we know today, as the General Electric company and it was called the Edison General Electric. So while the light bulb was being designed, they were also designing the electric network that would get the electricity to the homes of the people so that there would be an immediate market for his invention.
Edison was the perfect marketing / business person who understood that the ecosystem is most critical when getting a new concept into the market.
Even today, there’s so much noise about different technologies that are hitting the market. What is important for the technologies to succeed is the infrastructure or ecosystem to be present in a very stable condition. If the ecosystem itself is shaky then you won’t be able to get the new technology launched successfully. This is one of the most critical lessons in product management which people miss.
Till next time then.
In this part today we will look at another set of great marketing successes who have used education as a method to differentiate themselves and made me their customer.
Example 1: Jay Abraham. I referred to him in the first part of this series. He is big time into giving away knowledge free of cost. There’s so much knowledge which I have gained from him, that when I could afford I started investing in his programs. Due to him I learned that there are only 3 ways to grow a business. The strategy of pre-eminence. The marketing Parthenon etc.
Example 2: Motilal Oswal.This is one of the biggest brokerages in India. When I was starting to learn about the stock markets, I read a lot of the Berkshire letters to the shareholders by Warren Buffet. I read a massive amount of books on the subject. The only challenge was that all the content was international. I was looking for content specifically for India.
That’s when I found the Wealth Creation studies that have been authored by Raamdeo Aggarwal each year for the last 20 odd years. These studies don’t talk about their company at all except maybe for the methodologies they use. Due to that, you gain trust.
When I read those twenty odd reports, I was able to understand the Indian stock markets. So when I had to choose my brokerage, I chose motilaloswal. There were others who were offering cheaper options but because I had trust in motilaloswal, I took them.
Its however difficult to create pure education based content and put it out. Even though I am so much in favor of creating educational content around your offerings, its especially tough when you are in the technology space where there’s so much happening. So I also struggle to get this to happen.
Having said that, I would still think its the best way to build trust with customers.
Till next time then.
I have had a lot of situations where we thought we had an amazing product / service but we were not getting a response from the market.
We tried various scenarios, tested various markets but the response was just not there.
In B2B technology services, you may have a wonderful product or service, which is well differentiated but the market does not respond to your service. This inspite of the fact that you are looking at a very small niche, you have identified your Ideal Customer (the person / role) and talking about the pain points that they may have.
The reason for this as I have explained in my earlier posts is that technology companies follow an “infrastructure” or “ecosystem” model. Which means if your product / service does not easily fit into the existing infrastructure then the adoption will be very low.
In this situation instead of asking questions like is this the right market to focus or does this market have the ability to pay. The questions that need to asked could be more oriented towards what could be preventing the audience from responding to your messaging.
Is it that you don’t explain how you fit into the “infrastructure” or is it that they feel it will be too much of an effort to even think about your product / service. To be able to analyse this you need to sit quietly and brainstorm all the possible reasons which could prevent them from interacting with you.
Once you list all the items then quickly start testing to eliminate each of the issues and see which ones have the most impact.
Most often I have found, the reason for not getting to the right answer has been the fact that I had not reached the right question. Once I had asked the right set of questions, things were generally a cake walk.
Till next time then.
Yesterday I spoke about why having a “Whos’s not your customer” can help put a check from you getting de-focussed from your Ideal Customer / segment / niche.
Who’s not your customer can be seen from different angles – lets explore that in a little more detail.
If you are in the technology space in B2B then it could be – all customers who still use physical IVRs cannot be my customers or all customers where the CIO reports into the CFO cannot be my customers or all customers who don’t use “cloud” cannot be my customer.
Inspite of being in the technology domain you could have non-technology disqualifiers as well – like the CIO reporting to the CFO or if the customer does not have a specialised program for diversity companies. Another disqualifier could be all companies who ask for a credit period of more than 30 days. Depending on the kind of business you are in you can choose the people you don’t want to work with.
Depending on the business you are in these , these disqualifiers help you fine tune your company’s ICP even more. So suppose you are a small company in IT services. As part of the the ICP you realise that you would like to work with multi billion dollar enterprises. However these companies might have payment terms which are 90 days credit. Now even if you were able to get this kind of a customer you may realise that you cannot sustain that kind of credit terms and your business suffers.
In this case it would be a better idea to identify multi billion dollar companies who have payment terms of less than 30 days only as your ideal customer. This way you don’t waste your energy.
As I mentioned yesterday – sometimes when looking at just the positive side of the ICP can defocus you. By identifying the people whom you cannot do business with, whether based on technical or non-technical criteria can dramatically improve your chances of success.
I would like to see your comments if this idea helps you as well.
Till next time then.