Most technologists understand their products. In the early stages, founders have worked with a few key customers to define something that addresses specific needs. However, as the days of packaged software showed, every firm has a different approach to business, so what’s important to one might not address the needs of the many.
The people who work with startups are early adopters, people who like to be on the “bleeding edge.” They’re more technical, more willing to look under the hood and more accepting of some of the challenges of young software. Early adopters can help a company generate early business, revenue and buzz, but they aren’t the long term solution.
How does a company make the transition from addressing the early adopters to addressing the mass of business customers? Usually the answer is “not well.”
From finding early adopters who are interested in the technology, management must begin to understand what business needs in the marketplace should drive product development. The start is to better understand the market and its needs. Next is to understand the state of the firm. Only then can plans be made to bridge the divide, to understand how to turn the company to better address market needs.
Teich Communications can help growing companies make the shift.
The technology industry continues to evolve. There are always new concepts coming forward and getting the attention of developers, IT and business management. How can you tell what’s a fad, what’s bleeding edge and what is mainstream? Teich Communications can help you evaluate your technology initiatives, and provides analysis as to the expected appropriateness and effectiveness of your multiple options. We can also help you understand new technology in non-technical terms, to better discuss potential benefits with line management and other business people who need to leverage technology to address business challenges.
Once the market and the company are better understood, positioning can be created. That is the bridge between what the market wants and what the company has to offer. Developing a strong product, having a trained support staff and hiring a skilled sales force are all necessary but not sufficient. Unless every person in the company understands how to address the market in a consistent manner, mixed messages can slow or kill the sales cycle or prevent customer retention.
Teich Communications can help a growing company build both corporate and product positioning to serve as a core for all messaging. A broad expertise across departments means a view of positioning not limited to a pure marketing or development background, but addresses the holistic needs of a young technology firm
Understanding the market is critical but not sufficient. That’s not enough to close the deal. Business, not just business software, is complex. There are multiple players in any decision, with business users, technical personnel, financial oversight and many other people and departments involved in the decision. Messages must be built that address each stakeholder in ways that address their needs and through channels they prefer.
Today there is a large variety of messaging channels. Twitter, your web site and webinars are only the start. Trade shows still matter and sales people still needs collateral (whether printed or soft copies) to bring to prospects, a wide range of documents from corporate brochures to data sheets, white papers and more.
Messaging consistency doesn’t stop there. Think about training and even documentation. The best firms have a consistent message from the first time a prospect hears about the firm through the entire lifecycle of the relationship. You need the same messages in every market facing piece of information.
Teich Communications has a broad background to take the core market positioning and deliver it in multiple formats for individual channels. You gain a consistent approach to varied channels that will shorten the sales cycle and increase customer retention.