Technology or Solution?
Technological innovation has always driven high tech companies. But it turns out that your prospects want more than innovation. More than faster processing speeds. More than the latest competitive features. More than integrated platforms. What they want are answers to their problems. And it turns out that technological innovation alone is not the answer.
You see, in today’s challenging economic climate, your prospects don’t have time to figure out what your technology can do for them. And they don’t have the time or budget to piece together a complex systems based on a grand vision. What they’re looking for are pragmatic solutions that solve their unique business problems. And that’s what solution marketing is all about.
Think of how often traditional tech marketers focus on our products, our technical differentiators, our preferred channels and pricing, etc. Unlike traditional technology marketing, solution marketing is more focused on the customer – their business needs, their industry, their function, their preferred channels, their benefits, etc.
Solution marketing is the process of defining, informing, and providing access to complete and integrated solutions that help customers to solve their problems and deliver value.
Solution Marketing Encompasses: *
Solution – Whatever it takes to solve the customer’s problem. The solution might include your product, as well as partners’ products, solution frameworks, integration tools and services, strategic and technical services, solution training, solution-level support and more.
Education & Engagement – The process of sharing information, engaging in a 2-way dialog and educating the market on your solution. Rather than trying to force suspects to see your message, you’ll enable them to find information later on when they have a real problem to solve.
Value – A more complete approach than competitive pricing alone. Value takes into account the benefit that the customer will achieve minus the total cost (TCO) of the solution.
Value = benefit – total cost. Customers are willing to pay more for high benefit solutions, so you need to understand the customer benefits in order to price the solution appropriately.
Access – The ability for the customer to acquire your solution when and how they want it. For example, software companies might have both SaaS and on-premise offerings.
*Based on the SIVA model from Chekitan Dev and Don Schultz