[NOTE: This post might make more sense if you’ve already read my Open Letter to Influence Marketers, but I think it also might work standalone. Your individual mileage may vary.]
After I published my “Open Letter” post on Friday, I had a conversation with Kate Hutchinson, a colleague and friend for whom I have a lot of respect. During that conversation, she very gently reminded me that I dislike it when people complain about something without offering any constructive alternative.
I’ll admit, that once I got the point she was driving at, it stung a little, but that was entirely my fault, not hers. I had done the very thing that I dislike.
I’ll demonstrate with two examples: Continue reading
[UPDATE: I’ve posted an Addendum to this Open Letter. After you read this, be sure to check that out, too.]
Dear Vendor Marketers,
I love being invited to your technical briefings. I can’t emphasize this enough. They’re awesome. They’re filled with useful and interesting information that I’m more than happy to spend my own personal time writing blog posts about, adding my personal analysis and thoughts. With 30 years’ experience in the IT industry, I think that analysis and those thoughts have some value.
Plus, it means a lot to have you trust me with NDA and/or embargoed information. Again, I can’t emphasize this enough. It makes me feel like you truly consider me a valued partner in your success, and that you respect the value of what I can provide.
However, Continue reading
Folks who’ve known me a while will know I’m a big fan of mind maps. A mind map is a diagram that helps to organize information visually. I know a lot of folks like outlines, and I’ll grant that they have their place, but I’ve always found outlines too structured and too limiting.
Outlines force straight-line, linear, hierarchical thinking. That’s exactly what you want for some things. I know a lot of people who think in a straight line most of the time — I’m just not one of them.
My thinking tends to try to go in multiple directions at once, and I like to figure out how things connect together. Sometimes those connections aren’t straight lines and don’t fit into simple hierarchies. This is where mind maps come in handy.
Plus, with a mind map, I feel like I can get an overview of the “big picture” with a single glance.
Several people have seen me using mind maps as a note-taking tool during brainstorming sessions. I wanted to demonstrate their usefulness as a tracking tool, too, so I figured, why not use my job search as an example (since I’m actually using a mind map to track my search).
If you weren’t aware that I’m currently looking for my next job, please take a moment to read about my job search before continuing with this post.
OK, with that out of the way, let’s dive in. Continue reading
In general, Marketing is a Good ThingTM. It’s how we learn about new products. It’s where we get info on how to differentiate between products. It can help us decide a particular product’s suitability for specific purposes.
The folks in Marketing in the IT industry often take a lot of flak. There are several reasons for this.
IT is, by its very nature, technical. The vast majority of folks in Marketing don’t have technical backgrounds. Also, many Marketing folks have never been the customer for the product they’re marketing. This creates two hurdles when trying to market to technical customers.
Also, I’ll admit it — technical folks tend to be picky, sometimes even nit-picky.
I’ve always said that I brought two big advantages to any Marketing-type position:
- I have a technical, not a Marketing, background.
- I have been a customer.
So, while IT-related Marketing sometimes takes the blame for things that aren’t their fault, sometimes they do things that really are their fault. Below, I’ll cover the five things that Marketers need to just STOP right freaking now.