The Opposite of Marketing: Keeping Your Product Attributes A Secret

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Didn’t we say, don’t keep your customers guessing? Well, if that wasn’t clear enough, here is a story of how a company can make it very difficult for potential customers to understand its offering. SocialEdge is a product (or service?) by Infosys. In their words:

“Infosys SocialEdge provides a comprehensive way to engage with consumers, influence their purchase decisions and provide post-purchase assistance”.

Does that tell you what SocialEdge actually is or does? It doesn’t even explain how it’s “social”!

Below is a Twitter conversation I had about this yesterday.

Infosys can get away with something like this because they probably have enough high-flying sales people to go and convince customers anyway.

But you or I cannot do this. If you are a small business or if you have a SaaS product with subscription pricing, these interactions are of utmost importance. Make sure that it’s very easy for your website visitors to:

  • Understand your offering — benefits and features
  • Get to the pricing details and compare options
  • Subscribe for a trial (or show interest if you haven’t launched yet)

Which companies are doing this right — or not? Do share your examples!


About Nilesh

Nilesh has worked in the IT industry for nine years, and is both a PMP and an MBA in marketing. He has worked in and with small businesses, managing projects, leading teams, and improving business processes.At Markitty, Nilesh translates requirements into tasks and timelines. He jumps into whatever is needed, whether it’s marketing, design, or technical architecture. He also keeps the others sane with his intermittent wisecracking.

4 thoughts on “The Opposite of Marketing: Keeping Your Product Attributes A Secret

  1. I can fully empathize with Infy on this. As in many large companies, I am assuming the Marketers in Infy are from Mars/Venus while the engineeers turned salesmen are from Mercury.

    Here’s what I can imagine the conversation would be like:

    Sales: Here is the product content. Please host it.
    Marketer: Hmm I think some changes are required. Let the user know what he/she’s getting
    Sales: No. The boss has approved it. Publish as is.
    Marketer (a wimp): ok.
    Sales: We also want a lead generation form built in.
    Marketer (cowering already): ok
    Sales: Here is a list of details we want. ALL MANDATORY!
    Marketer (mummy!): ok
    Sales: When can you publish? We want it ASAP.
    Marketer: yessir!

    There’s always this pressure to generate leads. We’re marketing rather esoteric stuff – something that users can’t see, feel or touch. It’s a different ballgame – what digital marketers are eventually marketing is not the company. It’s the content of your website/brochure/white paper etc.

    What marketers in IT and related services do not necessarily understand is that the customer will make his comparisons and educate himself fully on your solution way before he even thinks of an RFP. So as a marketer, you’ve to reassess your role – are you a lead generator? Or are you thinking from your customer’s perspective – help him take an informed decision about a need he wants to satisfy?

    This post is spot on.

  2. @marketer I agree, and I am not surprised that a large company like Infosys finds it difficult to make this shift. But as I said, they can still get away with it (at least for a while). But small businesses don’t have such luxury.

    And thanks for the nice and long comment :-).

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