Monday, June 28, 2010

"Built to Last" Positioning

Nice article by Bruce Schier today on Nimsoft's latest announcement around their Unified Monitoring strategy and products got me thinking about positioning that lasts.

We launched Unified at Nimsoft 9 months ago, and the message resonates as much now as it did then, and I see no slowing down. What I am wondering makes good positioning last long? Is there good positioning that doesn't have a long life, probably not... Here's a few things I know about positioning that's "built to last"...
  1. Built to last positioning leads the customer to solutions to BOTH today's and tomorrow's challenges
  2. Built to last positioning puts (positive) internal pressure on the product roadmap, because it accelerates aspects of the product that matter, which probably weren't the focus before the positioning was articulated
  3. Built to last positioning is in synch with customer needs, market trends AND brand "permission". If anyone of these is weak, the stool falls down
  4. Built to last positioning isn't accidental, it's well thought out and articulated, and takes hard work to get to
  5. Built to last positioning becomes part of the DNA of the company, it changes not just messaging, but roadmap, selling strategies, support priorities and investments.
  6. Built to last positioning is easy to see in hindsight, but really hard to figure out ahead of time (see #3)
  7. The value of built to last positioning is expressed ultimately in increased sales and shareholder value
Nimsoft is a great case study in this, their Unified Monitoring strategy has paid off in product innovation, ramping sales, improved communications, and as is well known, in shareholder value.

What are your thoughts on how to forge built to last positioning???

Friday, June 25, 2010

Positioning from Strength - the Nimsoft Story

(Republished in support of the series on Sramana Mitra's blog interview Series of CEO Gary Read..."From Bootstrap to 350M")

Friday, April 16, 2010

Positioning from Strength

Often I observe that when business is good, positioning gets stale. However, no one cares. As one of my good CFO friends once told me "Top line growth covers a lot of rocks". I think this is a shame, and a real missed opportunity. Positioning from Strength is a HIGHLY leveragable activity, one that has the potential to accelerate both business and valuation.

Take my client Nimsoft, recently acquired by CA for $350M on a very healthy multiple. When I arrived to work with the CEO, Gary Read and his exec team, business was going great. Nimsoft had (and still has) a tremendous product, great sales momentum and was an execution machine. However, to Gary's credit, he was open and receptive to a discussion of positioning, vision and go forward marketing strategy, in a way that was highly unusual for a business going so well.

I think Gary saw that Nimsoft was sitting at the apex of an opportunity to reposition from strength, and to use that strength to build a platform and vision that was forward looking and unique. That's exactly what we did when we launched and implemented the Nimsoft Unified Monitoring strategy, architecture, alliance and .com portal.

The results, well they speak for themselves, great going forward positioning, coupled with continued amazing execution led to continued growth and the CA transaction. But we are not done yet, and this week took the next step with the launch of Nimsoft On Demand, a SaaS delivery of Nimsoft Unified Monitoring. Look for more great things to come from the Nimsoft business now that it is part of CA, this is only the beginning.

So, I think this shows very strongly the value of positioning from strength. CEOs and BODs, don't wait for the crisis, IF YOUR BUSINESS IS GOING GREAT, and you haven't examined your GTM positioning and messaging within the last 12-18 months, there's never been a better time than right now...(Need help, well, I know someone who's pretty good at this :))...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Social media, innovation, B2B Product Marketing

I've been long since posting. I've been busy with clients and at home with the end of school year rush of events. Lots going on...

Been thinking a lot about Social Media, Innovation and B2B Product Marketing and the various intersections of these. I think there's a big change going on in B2B, lot's has been written about the new "Science" of analytical marketing, but at the same time, there is a huge gap on "Strategic Analytics" for B2B product marketers. I think there is a very real oppty to advance the science and tools that product marketers have at their disposal. More thoughts to come.

In addition, I am curious, if you are a product marketing professional, where do you go for help, advise and learning?? How do you find industry best practices when faced with a problem? Where do you advance your "toolkit"?? What role does social media play today, and do you find it worth your time???

More to come on these topics....