rethinking marketing

I’ve mentioned before that Wiki has really taken off here at SAP.  Every time I go and look, it has grown in leaps and bounds.  Perhaps Tesha and co should give Andrew McAfee a tour, as he is always on the look out for examples of emergence in action. The internal Wiki at SAP is probably as good an example as you’ll find anywhere. The one on SDN is pretty damn good too. Have a look

Over the last few months I’ve become fascinated by  ” social media in the Enterprise” adoption,  because I think it is starting  to fundamentally change how software is developed, supported  and marketed.  It is why I lurk on the fringes of the social media collective, and watch podtech every now and then.

Having been successful in the enterprise software for 35 odd years, some folks would think that a startup wiki vendor couldn’t teach SAP  much about selling and marketing to the enterprise.  I think those folks are so wrong. 

Read this post from Jeffrey Walker, President of Atlassian, titled how to ruin a perfectly fine product with marketing. It is sobering yet refreshing stuff, and a cunning plan.

He begins.

We’re about to release a new product, and someone asked how we are gearing up our marketing for its introduction. The answer is we’re not.

And concludes.

Introduce your marketing once you really have a grip on how people outside your company view your product.

He also has some wise and witty words about Google and Microsoft.

Yes, at this moment – fleeting as it may be — I do like both Microsoft and Google. Why? Because they are about to commoditize wikis for the masses and educate another 10 – 50 million people on wikis. In rather different ways. Wikis, which without doubt are one of the two killer apps to emerge from Web 2.0 Wonderland, along with blogs, will be spread and will benefit from the massive marketing budgets and reach of the Evil Empire and Do No Evil.

No wonder Atlassian is doing well.


4 thoughts on “rethinking marketing”

  1. Thomas,
    My group, and several others, have been using, and pushing the adoption, of Socialtext. (disclosure: SAP Ventures is an investor). I too am very interested in social media adoption in the enterprise. I’m generally optimistic, but think adopting these tools (read: changing the way people work) is challenging and final success is not guaranteed.

  2. Thomas,
    Marketing done well would already understand how people outside of your company perceive your product/service – before the launch.

    I think the problem is that most companies don’t do marketing correctly.

    Marketing, in itself, is not a bad thing. It’s just a discipline that is so often poorly executed.

    Don’t throw out the good marketers. Weed out the bad.

  3. Thanks mate for the kind words. You’ve insired me to do another blog on what I affectionately call ‘anti-marketing’. Of course marketing can be a good thing; some of my best friends are marketeers. 🙂 The point is: it is helpful to look at traditional marketing techniques skeptically.

    So few companies treat customers like they might actually want to be treated. Pricing is the big one: why can’t we see more prices publicly and not be forced to call some sales person? Why must I provide all this personal information to get a whitepaper, that is self-promotional to begin with.

    These well-ingrained marketing approaches in our industry don’t engender trust.

    I like that wiki at Nice. 🙂

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