July 8, 2010 by Stephanie Janard
Tech companies, take note: businesses and the government are grumbling about the high cost of investing in major IT projects that fall short on their promise to work as a broad tool across all departments – or even to meet basic benchmarks in a single capacity. A recent quote from the Federal Office of Management and Budget:
“Financial system modernizations projects in the federal government have become too large and complex. By setting the scope of projects too broadly rather than focusing on essential business needs, federal agencies are incurring substantial cost overruns and lengthy delays in planned deployments. Compounding this problem, projects persistently fall short of planned results once deployed.” (My emphasis in bold.)
The writing is on the wall. No, not that tech companies should stop selling multipurpose solutions that work across the enterprise. Someday, prospects will care about all that again. But they increasingly care less (and it’s debatable how much they ever actually did) about “doing more with less.” They’re getting wise to what this promise often actually delivers: solutions that cost more resources to learn and deploy with less in the end to show for it.
Look, the prospect’s definition of value has changed, at least for now. It’s no longer “How much can I get at a good price?” Today, the buyer wants to know “How can I get what I really need now at a good price?”
So here is what I propose. Shine a light instead – in your marketing collateral, your trade show signage, your face-to-face sales pitches – on the prospect’s current and pressingly real business needs, not all the extra bells and whistles your product features.
It’s really the most compelling messaging today. And if your product or service does indeed deliver on meeting these specific, urgent business needs, successful results will be more plainly apparent. Which garners trust in buying from you again.
So it goes without saying, having a solid handle on these urgent business challenges, in order of their priority, is one of the marketer’s most pressing needs – now more than ever.