Growth Insights for CEOs

Delivering Customer Value to and from the Cloud Computing Ecosystem

Posted by Doug Rainbolt

It would be an understatement to say that cloud computing has been anything short of transformational. It is both the predominant computing infrastructure in use today and a key go-to-market model, through which software and underlying data are delivered on-demand to users via the Internet. 

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Marketing Playing both Halves to Accelerate Growth

Posted by Doug Rainbolt

What do I mean by marketing playing both halves?  Is my sports mindedness coming through?  Maybe! I tend to make comparisons to sports only because it’s easier to provide contexts. For the sake of illustration, in the context of marketing’s engagement with prospects and customers, assume that the first half covers all of the steps required to identify and convert prospects into customers. When marketing and sales people speak of the funnel and buying stages, it’s generally about first half focus and performance.  The second half covers the rest of the story. That is, once a prospect becomes a customer, how do we as marketers engage with them?  If we’re talking about a B2B customer, the halves are generally asymmetrical, where the second half is much longer than the first.  Have you ever heard a marathoner say that the halfway point in a marathon is mile 20? The point is that the bulk of energy expended and the benefits accrued, happens after the customer buys. Yes, we have Customer Success organizations popping up, especially in Software as a Service (SaaS) companies, and many are quite capable and successful in reducing churn and providing great support when customers need it. But, I’d argue that in many, if not most companies, the role of marketing resembles a cameo appearance in the second half. We’re not seeing the developed customer advocacy that leads to even higher revenue growth and valuations.

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When do I need to Hire a Product Manager?

Posted by Doug Rainbolt

 

Over the course of my career I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside some really good product managers. The good ones tend to be easy to spot even though many don’t like attention cast on them and are quite content being behind the scenes. Like the conductor, they’re focused on keeping the trains going on time. The “trains” in this case are the products or services a company offers.  There is a cadence to product management done right and the frequency they operate under is tuned into by the entire organization. Think of Max Weinberg, Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band drummer. It’s said that drummers are the heart and soul of bands. While Springsteen was clearly “The Boss”, Weinberg set the beat and always had his eyes constantly fixated on Springsteen during live performances and could make adjustments in a microsecond that allowed the band to be at its best.

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Lessons in Innovation: The Customer Development Team’s exposure to Prospective Customers

Posted by Doug Rainbolt

In my last post I shared a process for companies to consider using when evaluating new products for new markets.  The core idea is to test “customer readiness” before making significant investments in Marketing and Sales. And the vehicle for testing is to use a cross-functional Customer Development team to reach out to prospects to create and expedite learning moments. Uncover the facts, test your assumptions, and iterate on the product, if absolutely required, before executing the big launch. In this post, I’ll share an experience I’ve had when using this approach.

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Managing the Uncertainty in New Markets

Posted by Doug Rainbolt

In my last post I addressed the challenges companies face when considering entering new markets.  I called these the “white spaces”.  The challenge is assessing the value in entering those markets without consuming excessive resources. It’s about exploiting opportunities, but not over-spending and taking on too much risk at the start.

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