Developing a value proposition at a technology marketing organization can be quite a feat. I have watched and participated in many of these processes and have always found the needed consensus building to be quite cumbersome. The end result can be very powerful, but getting there is the hard part.
We all learned the who, what ,why, when and where questions and I have used these five simple questions to measure the organizations ability to communicate their value. In most cases, sales and marketing have varied opinions and these may conflict with product development and other department perceptions. The bottom line here is that by answering these questions and building consensus, your ability to market your technology solutions will be focused and more effective.
Although these five questions seem to oversimplify the process, your organization needs to agree on the answers. Usually marketing, sales and other relevant departments are included in this process. Get ready for the challenges
- Who? – what audience/segment are you targeting, and why. This first question tends to create a lot of conversations and usually ends up with multiple audiences and segments. Try to limit the audiences.
- What? – what do you want/have to say to that segment that is relevant. Once an audience is identified and agreed upon, most tech organization can drum up a lot of messages regarding what points they can say. Usually too many! But the main challenge here is ensuring that the what you want to say to the audience is relevant
- Why? – why would they listen. This is the hardest question to answer for all organizations. The pitfall is that the answers tend to sway towards the basics, our company, our experience, our service, our technology. the key here is that there needs to be some solid differentiation across all of these common answers. Finding the uniqueness your technology and company bring to the market is critical and hard to find a consensus. But this answer drives the overall effectiveness of your position!
- When? – when do you contact them, and how often. This answer can be handled with good market and audience research and should result in an integrated marketing communication plan that has the right reach and frequency of messaging.
- Where? – where do they want to receive the message. They key issues here is understanding your audience various media consumption habits and not relying on the marketing vehicles preferred by various internal teams. Figuring out how your audience wants to receive message and in what format can only increase the effectiveness of your efforts.
I stress again that this simple process can drive some very agitated meetings, but the in the end with proper census, your technology marketing efforts can be more focused and create the results your organization is looking for.