Technology Marketing Myth 1

March 25, 2008

I was reading an industry specific “trade rag” recently. To protect the “guilty” I won’t specify which one. I am sure that one of these exists for just about every vertical market and industry.

In this particular publication was a piece on supporting this particular industry with a certain technology platform and tool set. The piece started well, but then it became readily apparent….

…It was not a “piece” at all, but what I will call an “advertorial” – it was written by the supplier of the tool that could magically fix all problems mentioned in the article.

If you are a non technology manager and read some sort of industry publication, you may see a “tech” article similar to the following;

a) The article will start out with some general technology related concepts. So far – So good, no problem yet.

b) The next part will go into what you “should” do about it. I get suspicious when it says “should” and look for the next point

c) The by-line signature will then have, (surprise) the contact name of the company that provides the product that just happens to do what the article said “should” be done.

Being a technology manager, that bugs me. You want to advertise? feel free. You want to deliver a specific “white paper” that demonstrates your take on how your product can solve a specific problem – knock your self out. But technology vendors providing that sort of biased “writing” can be downright mis-leading.

First, No tool is a silver bullet. People, process then technology. Without the people and processes in place, technology won’t help you, see my post on automating broken processes.

Second, there is more then one road. When they say “should” in these advertorials, I can say that a different way is how it “should” be done. I could even plagiarize 90% of the article, change the “should” do parts to something that a competitive product does, and I would be just as correct.

If you are a non technology manager reading a technology piece in an industry trade publication – watch out for these.

This is not painting all vendor writing with the same brush. If the relationship is clearly stated up front, they can still be of value. Lets break these vendor written articles down into some bullet points;

Bad Vendor Piece

– Article Introduction & concept
– you “should do” this
– By-line signature by a company that provides the “should do”

Good Vendor Piece

– Article Introduction & concept
– Possible responses and methods of dealing with the concept
– How vendor can approach and help the possible responses and methods

Regardless of your industry, I challenge you to compare these advertorial writings with one of the other other non technology articles in the publication dealing with your industry. Using my bullet points, your industry expert articles will look something like this;

– Article Introduction & concept
– Possible responses and methods of dealing with the concept
– Demonstrations of how the responses and methods have helped others within your industry
– And possibly even comparisons of competing technologies that helped other organizations

You should leave the bird cage open
SIGNED: the Cat

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