What do you sell – a product or technology?
last issue featured the difference between a technology and a product.
The most important question, especially for technology companies, is “what do we sell?” We’ve come across numerous companies that find this question difficult to answer. Other companies gave us as many answers as there were employees in the company.
The difficulty arises from a blurred boundary between a technology and product at these companies.
The technology is usually the raison d’être for most technology companies. When we want to answer the question “what do we sell?”, we have to start by taking inventory of the company’s assets.
With young companies, the main asset will be the technology and whoever developed it, and with more mature companies, the assets will include the customer base, the distribution network and the company’s reputation.
The challenge is to understand the assets (such as the technology) and the possibility of offering products based on these assets. The compatibility between technology and product is not unique: you can offer different products based on any given technology.
Take for example a company that developed communication software that runs on a certain component. The product can be the actual software, the component with the software on it, or a card that contains components with the software. Choosing any one of those options has strategic, tactical and operative implications that may ultimately affect the company’s success.
Overly focusing on technology may result in not paying enough attention to the capacity of the actual product, and the options that were outlined above will not be considered at all.
Focusing on technology, instead of on a product and market, has numerous disadvantages. It adversely affects the division of development resources (with an emphasis on adding capabilities instead of QA and consolidation, for example). It dims and weakens the company’s marketing message, distorts the company’s division of functions and can ultimately affect its success. I have no doubt that many of you know of such companies.
- The column was written by: Neta Weinrib, an expert on marketing technological products. Information about Neta appears
More information about marketing assistance for technological products appears