I was intrigued by Farhad Manjoo’s first 2014 High Definition column in the Wall Street Journal. In it, he admonishes us to “Grow Up” and stop whining about the lack of the “next big thing” in technology in favor of celebrating the advances made over the past year. While his focus calls out smartphones and tablets, it’s good overall advice, and words that apply to technology marketers always looking for the “next big product differentiator.”
Maybe it’s time to take a look back at the value our solutions are already bringing to the markets we serve rather than waiting for the development team to provide the next solution. If we’ve achieved any significant success over the past few years it’s most likely been the result of finding a way to fill a customer need or solve a real problem with a solid solution – at a reasonable price. What was “ahead of its time” two years ago often evolves into the “proven and trusted market solution”. There’s nothing wrong with that.
It’s possible a bit of message retooling or slightly altered positioning might be in order. Just like a fresh coat of paint and new trim can work wonders for a room starting to show a bit of wear, a revitalized message coupled with a renewed focus might make a significant difference in extending an existing solutions’ lifespan while “the next new thing” makes its way through the development cycles.
Retooling a message or value proposition can take some work, and it can be a messy endeavor. But done right it can pay off well in terms of revenue and extended life for a technology solution. Reworking a message or value proposition can give a Sales team new life, provide new angles for marketing campaigns and present a different look to a prospect base.
The added value to marketers of looking at our existing solutions for expanded sales is the wealth of information we have about their success (and challenges). Leveraging the information at hand from customers, through interviews, persona research, surveys and other means can provide key insight that can help fine tune a revitalized message that can lead to new sales and a stronger revenue base. And pave the way for new solution options when ready.