All posts by N. P. Menon

Menon is the founder & CEO of Confianzys, India’s leading product business consulting firm. He is a strong evangelist for Made in India products. Menon has over 30 years of experience across multiple roles in the product business. Prior to starting Confianzys, Menon was a founding member & COO of Bahawan CyberTek group, an international IT products & services firm. He has been on the founding team of four global product entities, who collectively clock USD 250MN in revenues today. During his career, Menon has consulted and advised product companies across domains like eBusiness, automotive, healthcare, Government, Defence, Consumer Electronics, Industrial automation, Banking, ePayments and logistics. His core interest and body of work revolves around business / market strategy, market sensing, product visioning and product marketing.

Why Competitors’ Strategy may not work for you

Businesses often make the mistake of either over-estimating the efficacy of competitors’ marketing strategies or emulating them without really understanding the reasons for their success. For product managers, an important part of the product planning process is understanding the total market environment in which customer needs are being served by competing products too. Understanding should not however mean imitation. There are a number of reasons why the strategy of even the most successful competing product may not work for yours. Different objectives. If one product…

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Capitalising on Indian Online communities

It’s been many years now since Chris Anderson first proposed his long tail theory to explain how demand trends are shifting in the age of online buying and virtual communities. Although the long tail has been questioned, there is no denying that our openness to (and opportunity to buy) niche products has increased. Virtual communities, large and small have played a key role in driving demand for non-mainstream products. They have also made it easier for marketers to find specific interest groups that their products…

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The long and short of sales cycles

This data chart above, from an interesting survey done by MarketingSherpa (a firm that specializes in researching Marketing itself) with over 1000 B2B marketers reveals the wide gulf in the average B2B sales cycle. From lead generation to sales conversion, while 17% claimed to take less than a month on average, at the other extreme were a sizeable 11% who said that it took them over 12 months! What makes the difference? Well, a good many things impact the average length of the sales cycle,…

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Positioning: judged by customers and nudged by competition

Watching well-made ads like IBM’s “Let’s build a smarter planet” or even the latest “Incredible India” campaign, it’s easy for even those of us trained in the practice of marketing to sometimes end up confusing these with Positioning. What is worse, we think that Positioning is relevant mainly for consumer-facing businesses and not B2B firms, which the majority of technology product companies are. Positioning is not about advertising campaigns or memorable taglines. Al Ries and Jack Trout define Positioning as “the sum of all activities…

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A Different Mindset for Ecosystem Innovation

While much has been written on Innovation and how to enable it in an organization, one of the most useful concepts I’ve come across on the subject is the ‘12 vectors of Innovation’ developed based on research conducted by Mohan Sawhney and Rob Wolcott, faculty at the Kellogg School of Management. A framework to help companies identify innovation opportunities, it is built around 4 broad areas: Offering (What), Customers (Who), Process (Who) and Presence (Where). Those interested can read up more here, on the 12 vectors…

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