Friday, 3 July 2009

Who is speaking the language of the customer?

When I look at the websites and sales collateral of some of the leading Unified Communications vendors I’m struck by the language used to market their solutions. Has the vendors not noticed that we’re still in an economic slump. Has the vendors not noticed that the business imperatives for customers have changed? Or, has the marketing staff been laid off?

The customer imperatives addressed by UC vendors prior to credit crunch and economic recession were strategic and were articulated as driving business innovation and acceleration or building for growth and flexibility. Today, the business imperatives have changed and are more tactical and driven by cost savings and operational economics, such as ROI and TCO. Yet the vendors don’t seem to accept this and are sticking with the same tone in their communications and marketing. To illustrate the point, I included a few positioning statements from a few leading UC vendor’s websites:

  • Innovate across the value chain (Cisco)
  • Streamlining for Speed (Siemens EC)
  • Accelerate decision making and customer service cycles (Cisco)
  • Collaborate effectively in your broadly distributed, mobile environment. (Avaya)
  • Communications are no longer a utility, they're an enterprise enabler (Siemens EC)

Juicy, isn't it? Do me a favor and read them out load to see if you believe these messages resonate with customers today.

If you’re a reseller, just ignore the marketing messages coming from the vendors, for now.

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