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"Prototypes" and Marketing Strategies

"Prototypes" and Marketing Strategies

Imagine you buy an innovative car from a big vendor. A car that has a considerable
lower consumption than competetive models, that has a fantastic reliability
as well as versatility that makes you highly pleased every day you drive it,
But there is a single handicap:

The manufacturer delivers the car as some kind of "prototype", only to
handpicked customers with camouflaged exterior and no advertising.

Your friends show you the latest magazine articles, press releases, advertising materials
and benchmark tests about their car from a competetive vendor and how great it performs.
You know for sure that your "prototype" is superior to their cars but your vendor
isn't very agile and doesn't formulate an offensive go to market strategy for the "prototype".
Instead it is focusing on a meaningless broadly messages about the advantages of his
large portfolio If you ask the sales reps about your favorite "prototype",
they can't even give you any details about it. The answer is: "Sorry, I haven't
heard of is prototype, we haven't been educated on it yet. But I can show you
a lot of detailed information about our standard model."

However from an technology point of view the vendor is really smart and
delivers the next enhanced version of his "prototype", even smarter and better
than the previous one. But it is still a "prototype": No advertising, no magazine
articles, no benchmark tests. Nothing you can show to your friends and
you are still driving with this camouflaged exterior that doesn't attract
others. Even worser, it is difficult to buy accessoires for your
"prototype" as the manufactures of those parts haven't heard of that "prototype".

But there is this yearly meeting of "prototype" friends around the globe.
You love this meeting and all the smart people there that share the same
passion for this "prototype". Representatives from the vendor are there as
well and they are updating the audience about the great progress they made in
developing a market strategy. They promise that they will be starting off now
and bringing the "prototype" to market. The audience gives them a lot of applause.

You leave the meeting with a warm feeling. Soon will you be able to compete
with your friends and and show them magazine articles. press releases, benchmark
results, advertising material that clearly show the unique capabilties of
your "prototype". But another year goes by. You still drive your "prototype"
and the next advanced version is already ready to be delivered by your
vendor. Again it is very smart one. Unfortunately it is still a "prototype":
No real marketing, no advertising, no benchmarks...

So after many years driving your beloved "prototype" and listening to the
same promises of your vendor, you decide to buy a new car. But not from the
the same vendor, as you're disappointed about his inability to market the
excellent "prototype" and you lost the faith. So you buy the car from a
competetive vendor, one from which the large part of your friends already
bought their car from. Now you are able to participate in the discussions
of your friends about the newest benchmark results, magazine articles and
advertising campaigns.

Unfortunately your new car has a higher consumption, needs more maintenance
and is far away from being as agile and versatile as your beloved
"prototype" and you look back and think:

'Funny, what an amazing success this excellent "prototype" could have
achieved if the vendor had performed serious marketing and clever
advertising for it !'

Shit happens (:-

One moral of this story:

IBM has all these partner marketing programs and spends real money on that.
However I believe that companies dealing with Informix would benefit much
more if IBM would create product awareness for IDS by starting a more
product-specific marketing and advertising.

Taking only a very small part of the money that IBM puts into it's meaningless
"Smarter Planet" campaign and use that for promoting IDS in a clever
and offensive way would make a real difference and would result in a
real benefit for IBM Informix partners, IBM Informix ISV's and
IBM Informix customers as well as IBM itself.

Thank you for listening, IBM !

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