Thursday, November 09, 2006

Another point of view

Regarding Tony's post to this blog this morning, I have a somewhat different view from my vantage point. Tony is a developer and a lot of his work involves product design and quality development. He has some marketing responsibilities as well, but that is not his primary focus.

As President of SharePoint Solutions, I have a lot of responsibility for sales and marketing. And, one of the things I have learned over the years is that the sales and marketing function in most companies is critical. Not only is it critical for the company itself, but it is also critical for the customer. Without sales and marketing professionals and good tools for them to use to get the message out, customers would never find out about products that can help them solve their business problems.

I see the services that MSD2D provides as very important sales and marketing tools that help both the advertiser and the customers. We frequently use MSD2Ds tools and services and they have been extremely effective.

I think Tony does make a good point (although perhaps a little too strongly :)) that it is important to properly label advertisements as such. That may be something MSD2D could do a better job of on the article that normally hits our inboxes each Thursday.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

After reading both Tony's original post and Jeff Cate's response, I must admit I'm with Tony on this one, and I'd even go a bit further. Perhaps unfortunately for those involved in Sales, Marketing, or both (and I have been one of these people for much of my own professional life), there is a simple reality here: the singular goal of such organisations is to generate revenue, and the consumer is - and should be - naturally wary of this.

An implicit trust of Sales and Marketing organisations to dispense unbiased information is naive at best, and foolhardy at worst. I have direct personal experience of one of the most esteemed and high-profile "industry analyst" groups (no name mentioned) that would not even pay attention to the solutions offered by a vendor without extensive solicitation from that vendor in the first place - unless said vendor occupied an industry profile so large it could not be ignored. Any solution vendor without either the high profile or the friendly relationship with this analyst firm would likely be completely left out of solution analyses and product comparisons. Given such a solicitous nature to the analyst/vendor relationship, how is one to interpret the analysts' reports? I think the answer is so obvious there is no need to state it. This is reality. We're not in Kansas any more, Dorothy.

Having said all that, I do still browse the output of many of these vendors and partner marketing/analyst companies, maintaining full awareness of the reality of their motives. With a healthy dose of skepticism one can avoid being led down the garden path while still getting a picture of potential solutions. So perhaps there is hope for sales and marketing after all. :-)