MKTX | Need a compelling company vision? Create a cause to champion.
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Need a compelling company vision? Create a cause to champion.

Earlier blogs have talked about establishing a message to use in engaging your audiences – potential customers and influencers such as members of the press.   We talked about establishing a vision and mission for your company that supports it.   But what if, after thinking about what the world would lose without your product or service, your vision is still cloudy? Maybe it’s time for a crisis to emerge.

A few decades ago, when I was a cub marketer at Intel, we were locked in a fierce marketing battle with Motorola for microprocessor market leadership. The competition was touting the simplicity of their processor’s architecture and attacking Intel’s architecture as complex and restricting for software developers. Intel perceived that they were losing sales as a result. We responded by meeting the competition head-on, talking about how a software crisis was looming whereby there wouldn’t be enough programmers to implement system solutions if everyone used Motorola’s simple processors.

That old crisis (which Intel won with a large marketing budget and many feet-on-the street) has now been replaced at Intel with the Internet of Things (IoT) – a “crisis of opportunity,” if you will. The company is making a billion dollar bet on how its architecture is better aligned to provide Internet connectivity for everything from appliances, to wearables, to cars and factory machines. The crusade gives talking points to everyone, including the press, who want to be viewed as on top of the latest trends. And it is giving Intel an answer to the problem of lost opportunities in the cell phone and tablet markets.

One crisis can build on another one, too. For example, our client TenAsys sees that the IoT movement will drive the need to run a lot of different types of software on a PC at the same time. Our recent ad for TenAsys shows how this crisis is solved for system designers expected to respond to this challenge.

Maybe you don’t have a market challenge of the magnitude of Intel’s. You may still benefit from thinking bigger than you are, to create a crisis that you can resolve or a challenge that you can meet better than your competitors. Often this will stem from features that you added to your product or service in response to specific customer feedback regarding problems they had or needs unfulfilled. Generalize this to take into consideration a broader market. Then, look for different ways to tell your audiences how you lead the way in addressing the challenges.

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Bob Patterson
bobp@mktx.com

Leader of MKTX since its founding in 1998, Bob Patterson has over 30 years of experience in high-tech marketing. Bob received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Wharton School. He began his career at Intel Corporation where, during his 11 year tenure, he was part of the team of people instrumental in laying the foundations for Intel's success in the microprocessor market. Bob left Intel in 1987 and co-founded RadiSys Corporation, an Intel spin-off dedicated to exploiting the "Wintel" hardware/software standardization phenomenon in markets outside of desktop computing. As RadiSys' first VP of marketing and sales, Bob developed and executed the company's initial marketing plans and set up RadiSys' early sales channels. When Bob needs a break from cranking out strategies and content for our clients, he takes to the skies of the Northwest in his Cessna or his RV-12.