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  • awesome.

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  • very nice, I heartily agree

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  • Well, Scott , you say the obvious so nicely....

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  • LOL, yup, just pointing out what one would hope that companies would know.  And yet, they don't.

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  • The most brilliant ideas are often simply common sense that no-one has said out loud yet.

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  • To many are into the numbers game rather than the relationship. Build the trust and relationship.   That's how Grandpa did it, that's how Dad did it, and it worked out real well for them

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  • yep. I think we are gonna have to go way back to learn a new idea again. :)

     

    Scott , I can add this to our book correct?

     

    ken

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  • kenny Madden (Spiceworks) wrote:

    Scott , I can add this to our book correct?

    That's the idea!

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  • Nice Scott,

    Even Spiceworks has found that it can be difficult to get vendors to commit resources to a personal relationship with users in a community.

    They invited a bunch of vendors to participate in the Backup Buyers Club community and only a few actually would put out the effort. It doesn't fit the marketing model. It takes time to interact with clients one on one.

    One company that I see on the SW boards that is making an effort is CA. Now I can tell you that CA would not normally be on my list of vendors. I don't know why, maybe too monolithic? But now that I've seen one of their reps posting and actually reaching out to an end-user I would take another look at them.

    I can buy a lot of software. How much is that worth to them?

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  • Arun from CA won the vendor relationship award (don't know the official name) at SpiceWorld this year.  CA has definitely done an awesome job in the community and certainly "gets it".  Arun isn't the only CA person doing a good job either, it seems to be successful corporate culture over there.

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  • Eric, I think I know the answer but I would love for you to elaborate on your comment " doesn't fit the marketing model". Are you referring to the sales/marketing is a numbers game and the broadcast method
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  • kenny Madden (Spiceworks) wrote:

     

    Eric, I think I know the answer but I would love for you to elaborate on your comment " doesn't fit the marketing model". Are you referring to the sales/marketing is a numbers game and the broadcast method

    Exactly. Big companies make their money on scale. So they broadcast their message. It's the spaghetti method. Throw enough spaghetti on the wall and some will stick. Their conversion rate might be low but they expect that.

    Small companies don't have the resources for mass marketing campaigns. So they don't broadcast. They direct market. Now of course big companies direct market too, just not to the degree that small companies do or can. They know exactly who their prospects (or suspects as I like to refer to them until they express an interest in the product or service) are. They just need to communicate with them by whatever means available, letter, email, fax, message board, chat room, etc.. Their conversion rate needs to be high.

    So looking at community marketing it is very expensive to have a big company rep that makes $$$ per year trolling the boards for leads. The marketing director will say, "One sale at a time? Are you kidding me?"

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  • What they miss, of course, is that companies like CA manage to convert companies like NTG who talk them up all the time.  So CA, through a very small amount of caring about their customers (or potential customers or even just people) turn a few voices (Arun, Kai) into a massive channel.

    It is a complete misunderstanding that a few one on one conversations represent the whole community.  Only in rare circumstances do companies talk one on one to the vendor until they are ready to buy - in which case the cost is more than justifies.

    CA and Intel sure don't think that talking to the NTG technical and sales teams is a waste of time.  Each one of our staffers gets face time with scores of potential customers, plus we interface with hundreds or thousands more.  And we don't do so in a "here is a pretty print ad" kind of way, we do it in a "here is a story about a vendor who cares" kind of way.

    Small interactions in the community have a ripple effect in the marketplace.  Only .1% of the market is in "the conversation" but that .1% talks to 1% who talk to 50%.

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  • Scott Alan Miller wrote:

     

    What they miss, of course, is that companies like CA manage to convert companies like NTG who talk them up all the time.  So CA, through a very small amount of caring about their customers (or potential customers or even just people) turn a few voices (Arun, Kai) into a massive channel.

     

    Again, exactly, they (the companies not doing it) miss the point that a one on one conversation is incredibly valuable. From CA's standpoint they don't want IBM, EMC or any other company muddling up their message....

    Purchasers, whether they are end-users or vars, still need to discern between vendor promotion and peer recommendation. There's a big difference as peers have nothing to gain from promoting the solution, they're simply product champions.

     

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  • yep, massive mindset change required.  1000 "leads" = 1 sale. therefore 2000 leads = 2 sales.

    Some vendors are actually starting to get it and understand they have to engage and reach the SMB IT vendor on their buyesr terms NOT the vendors.

     

    good bye funnel hello CIRCLE.:)

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  • Wonderful conversation. This never ceases to get me all excited. Here are my own

     personal opinions.

     

     

    Eric Langley  wrote:

    The marketing director will say, "One sale at a time? Are you kidding me?"

    This is something we agreed about on our first SW call. We are not here to sell. Even outside SW, we prevent confusing ourselves by selling exclusively via our Channel Partners.

    Scott Alan Miller  wrote:

    Small interactions in the community have a ripple effect in the marketplace. Only .1% of the market is in "the conversation" but that .1% talks to 1% who talk to 50%.

    Communities will work best for products that do their job. They empower customers to choose the things that work. But they do something amazing for us Vendors as well . .

    The market is driven by perception. User opinions have some inertia to them and take a certain amout of time to circulate. An example in CA's context:

    Did you know that ARCserve Today has the highest Customer satisfaction Indices? Amazing turnaround but how many have heard of it yet. .

    Read our GM Blog about it:  http://bit.ly/faCnEo

    We simply have the best numbers. And there no other place than the community to let people know via One-One Interactions.

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  • Eric Langley wrote:

    Again, exactly, they (the companies not doing it) miss the point that a one on one conversation is incredibly valuable. From CA's standpoint they don't want IBM, EMC or any other company muddling up their message....

    Social Media is an idea whose time has come. Would like us being the first to understand that our message can only be as good as our Products.

    At CA Technologies, we have made an attempt to make our products as 'Social' as we could - See attached screenshot from the ARCserve D2D Home Screen that shows how we provide Direct Access to Social Media Comunities from the ARCserve Product Home Screen(True for ARCserve Backup, D2D, Replication & High Availability).  

    attach_file Attachment ARCserveCommunity.PNG 23.4 KB
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  • yep if your products sucks. All the sales , marketing , social media etc is a big waste of money. What start up's and large vendors alike could do, is use social media to ensure their is a market for their products in a permission based way.(maybe).

    Some companies do this but then they fail to ask the next question? would you spend $$$$ to solve that problem.  The status quo is amazing. Homoestasis!

     

    Sales and marketing is woefully equipped or incented to engage the buyer on their terms today .

    Social media is making this worst NOT better unfortunately 

     

     

     

     

     

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  • I think that social media increases the dynamic range of market response.  When people like a product and/or company the impact is that much bigger.  When when a product or company sucks the disaster is that much bigger.

    Look at companies that jump into the community.  Those with good track records with a number of community members or those with no experience but that treat the community right get great responses.  Those that have already burned their bridges show up and just rile up a group of previously unorganized community members who all have horror stories to bring up and discuss.

    Everything is bigger in Tex... err, the community.

    Spice (1) flagReport
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  • Great article Scott.  I'm late to the party seeing it but enjoyed it none the less.  Very informative for a novice at marketing like me!

    Spice (1) flagReport
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  • Thanks!

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