Archive for April, 2012

Challenges In Thinking Through The Customer Experience

Despite the recent glut of mobile apps, data shows that most apps downloaded by customers are eventually deleted, showing clearly that they have novelty value but little relevance.

One of the key reasons for many seemingly “novel” products being failures in the marketplace is how poorly they relate to the customer experience. This is as true of high tech products as others – in fact, anecdotal evidence suggests that it may be more likely in the case of high tech products, where the development is technology driven and may not have much grounding in the customer experience.

Why is it so difficult to think through the customer experience when theoretically, most of us agree that it is necessary? We have previously discussed “Day in the life of” or DILO as a way to understand the customer experience. One of the big challenges in using a DILO approach is not knowing what aspects of the customer experience to focus upon, or looking only at those aspects that are most closely related to our product (or area of expertise).

For instance, a company that works in enterprise mobility offering a Sales Force Automation solution rendering it on a mobile device may study the user experience from the perspective of the Sales / Marketing Director who will be using the product at a strategic level, to enhance company-wide sales performance, Customer Management and improving relationships. However, the user experience of the sales and marketing team members would be totally different, who Read More[ READ MORE ]

When Do You Start Marketing Your Product?

If you take a linear view of the product development and management processes, you may answer this as product planning followed by product development and then by product marketing.

While product planning should be a starting point (read our thought paper on market-centric product planning), marketing does not need to wait until the development is finished and the product ready for rollout. In fact, if you’ve waited this long, you’ve been waiting too long.

Product marketing can and should begin while product planning and development is in progress, and this applies as much to software products or B2B technology products as to any B2C product.

Product marketing strategy

The most important reason to start marketing early is marketing is not just implementation of sales programs. Product marketing includes evaluation of the market and developing the right market strategy. It is critical for the product marketing team to prepare a good business case that defines the specific market segment for which a product is being developed.

When business cases are prepared post product development, they end up force fitting segments to the product, which may or may not exist. Starting with a clear picture of the right market segment and how the product will be positioned towards that market ensures that at a later stage, the marketing resources are not wasted on segments that don’t have a strong and current need.

Shorter sales cycles

Very long sales cycles exist precisely because most of the time, we are Read More[ READ MORE ]