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Driving High Velocity Pipeline – Experience, Engagement and Delivery

It’s been almost a year since I starting blogging about the role of Experience in the new Cloud Go To Market strategy.  In my post on Bridging to SaaS Success; A Basic Blueprint, I said:  

Go To Market Tactics: E -> E: Evaluation to Experience. Today’s go to market mix, pricing, channel and promotion is built to drive evaluation and transaction. Successful service go to market requires a shift to tactics that drive experience and satisfaction. Successful SaaS organizations shift their go to market tactics and investments and become experience, not product marketers.

I then expanded on these thoughts with my post entitled SaaS Go To Market, Why Experience Rules:

“Today’s customer has little patience for White Papers, datasheets, detailed feature function product specs and the like. They may attend a webinar, but the next step is experience. Even for large organizations with complex buying behavior, the expectation of SaaS is easy, accessible and meaningful experience of the service, either through demonstration instances, trial or freemium models.”

And while the proof continues to mount that this is the case, each additional post I do on the topic inevitably invites some heated Twitter and or blog comments.  I’ve enjoyed debating the topic at conferences as varying as the Goldman Sachs Cloud Computing Conference and the Silicon Valley Cloud Computing Meet-up Group’s Talk Cloudy to Me all day meetup.

Today I want to add another layer of detail into my V3 High Impact Go To Market Model, on how to use Engagement and Experience to drive impact.  Velocity is a function of Delivery, Engagement and Experience, simply V=D*Engagement*Experience.

The HIGHEST velocity go to market programs, tailor their delivery to channel of communication and buyers place in the buying cycle.  Content Rules, a popular book in marketing circles today, spends a lot of time focused on just this, and for me it is necessary and recommended reading and very good stuff.

However, in my experience, Content Rules fails to take on the other 2 variables in the equation, Engagement and Experience.  In order to drive Engagement, a strong Viewpoint and Value position must be staked out and communicated.  Then, this must be married with Experience driven delivery.

For a long time, I’ve been calling most White Papers YAWNERS™, Yet Another White Paper Nobody Ever Reads.  The reasons are two fold, first, the White Paper format and typical writing is simply not engaging, because in 99% of the cases it has no compelling viewpoint, it is, usually simply a LONG WINDED DATASHEET.

Secondly, as I’ve stated ad-nausea, products are evaluated, services are experienced.  We have truly moved from a products to services marketplace, and low experience vehicles, even with good engagement are just not enough.  If we put these together in a simple 2×2 matrix, we see the emergence of what are truly high velocity programs.

In the upper right we see high velocity programs such as Trials, live demo instances and the like.  In the bottom left we see low velocity deliverables such as whitepapers and datasheets.  And while there is a role for these low velocity deliverables, high velocity marketing spend will heavily weight high Engagement and high Experience programs and deliverables.

In my final post in this series, we tie together Viewpoint, Value and Velocity with the traditional marketing and sales funnel, and see how this framework can create High Impact and growth.

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