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Geoff Anderson
A seasoned marketing professional with over 11 years experience in metrology instrumentation marketing
Interests: Bicycling, motorcycling, guitar playing, photography
Recent Activity
Geoff Anderson is now following GuyKawasaki
Feb 14, 2013
Geoff Anderson is now following Ben Foster
Jan 9, 2013
You must have very different sales people than I have ever had. Sadly, while I would like to think that all sales people hit all 5 of these, way too many sales people fall far short. For example, in your #1, the empathy is a good in theory idea, but one that I rarely see in practice. It is far more common to have sales advocating to give the customer every thing in the "ask" and to not question why. As a product manager, I often have to get involved, usually after sales tells the senior executive that if we don't add feature Y, we will never make another sale. And almost 100% of the time, it turns out that it was neither a requirement, nor would the customer NOT accept a reasonable workaround. #5 is a laugher here. They "barely" use our CRM. One of them hasn't sync'd his database in over 4 months (I get to see who connects when). Usually they complain that the tools are too difficult to use, or fear that the tools are in place to just babysit them, neither which is true. Great post though!
Thanks for the comment. Email has some inherent issues, the first being that there is no way to prove, without doubt, that the intended recipient received it, and that it wasn't read in transit (yes, you could encrypt email, and use public key cryptography to protect it in transit. But in practice, this is just too much hassle). The other issue is that there have been high profile cases of email spoofing where bad actors had altered headers to try to hide the provenance of the email. Fax addresses both of these issues handily. First you know that when you dial a number, and the receiving party answers, that a fax machine negotiates and the transmission happens. There is a record of the call and the transmission, so a recipient can't legally claim that the document wasn't received. Second, you know that nobody in the path of the communications snooped and read the information. You have a great deal of confidence that the confidentiality of the document is preserved. By your name, "electronic signatures" I would infer that you are in the field of e-signatures. Great concept, and some modest (and growing) adoption, but still limited deployment, and waiting for exponential growth. One day it will go wide and deep, but that day has not come yet. Cheers, Geoff
Samantha, Thanks for the comment. I agree with you that if RIM focused on the Financial and public sector, they would remain a good fit. But the difficulty is that growth there will be anemic, compared with the explosion that is experienced in the rest of business, and the consumer space. I would anticipate that the investment community would (rightly) continue to punish RIM even if they did redouble their efforts in financial and public sector. A true catch 22 for them, and an uncomfortable position to be in. - Geoff
Julie, You make some great points. I will admit that this was a difficult post to write, as I am a user and believer in the social media options out there. However, hardly a day goes by where I don't get a solicitation from some social media expert to consult with us on our social media strategy. Some pretty outlandish claims are made that strain credulity. The frustration that lead to this topic was a not so subtle shift in our own marketing group. Instead of rallying the long time marketing team around a sensible social media strategy, several great people were pushed out to make way for a new group of "fresh" thinkers. They are smart, and driven, but they are starting at 0 in domain and segment knowledge. and this is bad for our business. It is also devilishly difficult to quantify how effective social media marketing is. That said, it is an interesting time, and some of the technologies are quite useful.
Hate to comment on my own posting, but recently I did a little comparison shopping to seriously consider trading in my iPhone for an Android device. Two reasons, the data plan from AT&T is ridiculously expensive, and a recent trip to the east coast reminded me why AT&T has the lowest customer satisfaction of all the carriers (in DC it was almost impossible to make a call or get data access) There are a shedload of Android based options, but I have to admit, the selection of options that are comparable to the iPhone are limited, and even the new Google Nexus-S (made by Samsung), while it looks great, has some clunkiness in the user interface compared to the iPhone. It is no wonder why Android is outselling iPhone, as there are dozens of models based on it, but there is also a lot of variation in what it does, and how capable the offerings from the other carriers are. Apple is probably not worried about losing the technical lead from Android, and continues to provide a better user experience.
Toggle Commented Jan 1, 2011 on Can Apple Keep its Position? at Leaders' Blog
Steve, Interesting thesis, and provocative as well. You can see this in some of the modern free -> premium services that you try before you buy. Two that come to mind (and recent wins that got me to pay for) are Dropbox and Evernote. Both have acceptable free versions, with reasonable usage limitations (2gigs free storage on drop box for example), but if you purchase the service there is additional value. While this is not exactly as you describe, it is a form of the "show the value" and "They will purchase" methodology. Alas, I recall reading that somewhat less than 2% of the free evernote users upgrade. Does that mean that they haven't shown enough value? Or is it indicative of a market that has not evolved to a true value balance for pricing? I don't know, but as a product manager (who mostly has worked in a hardware world), it would be hard for me to envision a business plan where you rely on 2% of your customers to keep the doors open. Thanks for the post! Geof
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Steve, Good post and good read on Many small companies and startups are way too worried about brand identity and equity. If you build great products, and attract a following, you can't help but build brand identity and equity. Of course the big name branding consultants won't tell you this. Working for a place now that has so much brand equity that it is scary how that helps. Of course, it fires up the competition, and makes you ultra aware of not screwing it up, but it is a great place to be. Great read!
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Hate to follow up on my own post, but I had to relate another Apple customer service win. About 6 weeks ago, I was out hiking, and I took a spill. Fell face first off the train, got a good shiner, and my palm looked like chopped liver. Sadly, my iPhone stopped working. It was in my pack, and it didn't get knocked, but I didn't know what went wrong. IT was dead. No power, no display, no signs of life. I setup an appointment at the Apple store here in town with the Genius bar. I assumed that since it was well out of warranty, they would tell me yep, it was dead, and to buy a replacement. I was surprised when the genius came out with a new phone, signed some paperwork, and 15 minutes later with $0 out of pocket, I have a new phone, and am happily driving back home. Flash forward to this last Friday. I am on my 1:1 call with my boss, and the phone dies. I try to call back, and nothing. The iPhone isn't dark. I can still log into my home wifi, and all the other things work, but no connection to AT&T. I reset it, I restore it, I work through the recommendations on troubleshooting it. zero, zip, nada. Today I made another appointment at the Apple store with the Genius bar, fully expecting to be told it is time to buy an upgraded phone, and be done with it. I would have been wrong. After a few checks, the genius told me the radio had died, and they replaced it AGAIN with another new unit. he said sometimes this happens. No charge, even though it was well out of warranty. How awesome is that?
Geoff Anderson is now following Chris Halliwell
Jun 10, 2010
Love it Steve. Great find, and I am sure it will be an instant classic. Thanks for sharing!
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Nick, What a great post, and an amazing piece of insight on the ebb and flow of technology. Your two examples of national programs highlight how good government stewardship can drive both technological innovations, and spur a huge wave of propagation or diffusion into the public sector. My old company started from an idea by a couple of scientists on the Manhattan project, so that one is near and dear to my heart. I get very discouraged when I hear rhetoric from our elected officials condemning government involvement in major programs. Without the national focus on BIG projects, it is difficult to see where private institutions can pick up the slack. Particularly when Wall Street seems to punish companies who have the long range view, and allot big research budgets that have more than a few quarter's time horizon for payoff... Hence the loss of things like Bell Labs, Xerox PARC (PARC still exists, but it is not what it once was), among others. I look forward to future installments! Geoff