Driving competition out of business and growing top-line revenues by 53%
The Client: Telamon, a software/hardware company that specialized in niche products involving data communications.
The Situation: The company had acquired utility software to automatically notify support personnel concerning outages. The product was marginally leading a pack of six competitors despite superior stability and features. Revenue growth was a mere 5% annually.
Silicon Strategies Role: Marketing strategy development, research and tactical campaign guidance.
The Research: Telamon had not performed any formal marketing research, despite having sold the product for three years before Silicon Strategies Marketing became involved. This resulted in a meager annual sales growth of approximately 5%.
Silicon Strategies conducted fundamental research including:
- Market sizing and definition
- Market segment models
- Customer interviews – psychographics
- Deep competitive analysis
- Pricing studies
The Strategy: Our research identified one compelling functional aspect of the market: all buyers required integration of Telamon-like products with their existing support software. Research also identified three product categories (help desk, network management and systems administration frameworks) that were prime segments.
Silicon Strategies Marketing also delved into the psychographics of key buyer genotypes and discovered one universal and compelling trait: all buyers had high-stress jobs within IT.
These studies created a multi-pronged market dominance strategy:
- Partner with leading partners in the top three segments
- Educate partners on the integration, turning them into brand advocates and unpaid sales staffs
- Promote directly to partner customers using identified psychographics
It was important to have the entire Telamon organization follow this strategy. Silicon Strategies Marketing codified the marketing strategy in an easy-to-remember set of objectives and educated the entire company on the plan:
- Integrate: Create and encourage new integrations with partners that led target market segments.
- Educate: Educate partners, press and analysts about the product and the reasons it was valuable for IT.
- Propagate: Use any news about partnerships and integrations to garner not only press, but to establish the image that this product was the only serious solution available (a sub-branding element). This extended to the website where the front page was a tabloid news sheet that promoted integration news.
- Pacify: Central to the marketing message was highlighting that this product made life easier for the buyer. We sold “decreased stress” before selling features and benefits.
The Results: The success was very positive:
- Sales increased 53% within a year and a half.
- The company garnered contractual partnerships with three targeted market segment leaders.
- The product had an installed base approximately ten times the size of the nearest competitor.
- Three integration partners distributed demos of Telamon tools with every shipment of their product.
- One partner (Hewlett Packard) was an active reseller. Other partners were working on reseller agreements.
- One competitor went out of business, one sold out and a third left the target market segments.
The Lesson: Every product has a unique strategy which must be based on the expected outcomes of the buyers. The strategy must be clearly and concisely communicated throughout the company.
But more importantly, marketing messages may have nothing to do with the product. In this case the message had more to do with the stressful lives of IT workers, and what they wanted to achieve on a more personal level. By taking the time to know their prospects, we learned their deepest personal motivators and used those to generate sales.