I was reminded how easy it is to get marketing completely wrong today when I saw (on UK television) an advertisement for New York Bagels.
Bagels are not as heavily embedded in the UK psyche as in the US, I admit. Brits think of them as something you see people eating on US cop shows and sitcoms, often in New York. So what did the marketing company do? It spent the entire time showing the British market how delicious bagels could be … and then finished with a picture of three packs of New York bagels.
The point here is that the advertising company had missed its mark. Yes, there was a need to educate the British audience, but we know so little about bagels that it seems the advert is for ‘bagels’ as opposed to a particular brand name. When it refers to New York bagels, I and many Brits like me thought that that was the name of the food – like you might say Scottish salmon. My reaction was to pop down to my local store and by ITS OWN brand of bagels – the advert said ‘eat bagels’, not ‘buy New York bagels’. I guess in the US the advertisement or should I say commercial would work OK because the audience would be very familiar with bagels and realize the New York Bagel is a brand name.
So the marketing failed at one of the first hurdles – it had not attuned the message for the target audience.
In the software world, marketing is often extremely poor. I have always thought the main reason is that software companies have often grown around a particular technology, run by technology people, and to these people it is completely obvious why someone should buy its products – because they are technically wonderful! However, the same general marketing principles apply – you must know your target audiences, understand your key value proposition and how you are positioned in the software firmament and what your competition are up to. But a short look at marketing for virtually any software offering will quickly show this is rarely the case!
Lustratus uses its REPAMA Strategic Marketing analysis tools with clients to look at how products are being marketed, and the results can be quite eye-opening…so in order to increase awareness of this topic and further understanding, Lustratus has started a new blog to discuss issues around software marketing and its effectiveness. While this will be of obvious interest to software marketeers, I recommend it to buyers of software too – it is always useful to see how potential suppliers are tuning their messages and what markets they are really interested in.