STRATEGIC MARKETING FOR CLOUD INNOVATORS
Asymmetric marketing is a branch of strategic marketing that encourages ISVs to grow their businesses based on the multi-decade best practices of software and cloud superpowers. It is based on the book of the same name by Platformula Group founder Joseph Bentzel.
Asymmetric marketers rely on 7 guidelines that drive marketing execution.
1. Today's Tech Landscapes are Not Flat. They are Dominated by Superpowers.
Adoption of enterprise and consumer technology does not occur on a level playing field, or simply go to the 'best product'. It is skewed in the direction of the strategic marketing initiatives of the software superpowers, i.e. dominant vendor 'centers of gravity' with category-extensible market power and vast installed base ecosystems capturing 75% of all enterprise IT maintenance spend. Cloud innovators grasp this fact and seek to co-opt superpower alliances to drive their own agenda, while leveraging asymmetric counter-measures to superpower dominance---I.E. the 21st century open source movement---to bootstrap their own product roadmap.
2. Superpower Rivalry Serves as Marketing GPS for ISVs & Cloud/Mobile App Developers.
When superpowers go to war with each other, opportunities emerge for innovators. Think Apple iPhone vs. Google Android in mobility.... Think Salesforce vs. Oracle in CRM... Think Amazon AWS vs. VMware in enterprise cloud infrastructure-as-a-service. You get the picture. By gaming the continuous cage fight between and among leading vendor rivals, asymmetric marketers capitalize on superpower market dynamism and turn it to their own advantage. Cloud innovators see superpower rivalry as their competitive GPS, and a way to supercharge their platformula development efforts.
3. Smart Product Roadmaps Embrace & Extend Superpower Platformulas.
Cloud ISVs, including those based on open source technologies, have many choices to make in terms of product innovation. Rather than re-invent the wheel, asymmetric product marketers build out their capability on the basis of pre-existing superpower platformulas, i.e. the specific combination of technology platform, open APIs and partner marketing success formulas in place within a given ecosystem. This symbiotic attachment strategy often gains them permissioned partner access to superpower installed base relationships, and M&A/exit opportunities for their investors.
4. Asymmetric Marketers Build a Use/Buy Pipeline, i.e. Embrace an Inverse Selling Model.
Trial software downloads, open source community editions, freemium SaaS services, white-label 'Powered By' approaches, affiliate partner channels, social network recommenders and influencers.... These are asymmetric strategies for driving revenue by engaging customers and developers around a compelling user experience, API, value proposition, or community...then selling them something. At Platformula Group we call this the Use/Buy or inverse pipeline model. This model streamlines go-to-market processes for ISVs, while enabling them to drive sustainable demand. Without an inverse pipeline model, many B2B attempts to leverage marketing automation software via a 'hard sell' approach simply fail.
5. Building Barriers to Competitive Entry into Your Customer Base is Just Common Sense Marketing.
Asymmetric marketers embrace 'Customer Barrier Management' or CBM. They understand that a lifetime customer relationship model must be defended against parasitic encroachment by competitors. Executing your CBM strategy is like building a marketing no fly zone in which any non-permissioned entrants to your installed customer base are rapidly shown the front door. ISV startups built around free open source technologies and low barriers to entry are wise to think CBM.
6. Marketing & Sales Culture and Organizational Readiness Are Paramount, and Key to Execution.
In Texas they call it "Big Hat, No Cattle", i.e. grandiose strategic vision with anemic marketing execution. Asymmetric marketers reject Big Hat, No Cattle dysfunction and build tribal, no-huddle-offense operating cultures driven by social intranets and marketing automation. This is especially relevant to lean startup teams that grow up in incubators.
7. Asymmetric Marketers Crash Superpower Market Conversations & Practice Brand Symbiosis.
On today's 24/7/365 social-advantaged media landscape, the software/cloud/mobile superpowers often drive the conversation. They possess the deep pockets and marketing budgets that can drown out innovator messaging and marginalize new breed app developers, ISVs and service providers. Asymmetric marketers crash these market conversations and co-opt superpower messaging and brand campaigns for their own benefit. They practice conversational symbiosis and borrowed brand association.
For more information, or an in-house briefing on the principles of Asymmetric Marketing, contact us today at PlatformulaGroup@gmail.com.