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"Curt Monash's publications provide unmatched insight into
technology and marketplace trends. I have read them avidly for over a decade."

--Larry Ellison, Chairman
and CEO, Oracle

"Curt Monash possesses the rare ability to distill the essence of technological issues into understandable terms. He is particularly adept at melding a firm's product positioning, corporate strategy, and valuation parameters into a concise and coherent framework upon which one can make an informed investment decision. He is a trusted resource."
Matthew P. Kaufler, CFA
Portfolio Manager
Clover Capital Management, Inc.

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Marketing and Strategy for Enterprise Technology Companies 

Based on his long experience observing and advising enterprise (and some consumer) technology companies, Curt Monash has distilled some general principles of strategy and marketing.   A few of these are outlined below. 

Multidimensional Positioning of Enterprise Technology  

Traditional marketing concepts typically share a common set of assumptions, namely that markets consist of simple-minded buyers making irrational buying decisions.  In the business of selling complex enterprise technology, however, these assumptions are so inaccurate as to render those consumer-oriented concepts almost meaningless.    Key factors to consider in technology positioning strategy include: 

  • Enterprise purchases of expensive complex products are validated against a broad range of buying criteria, making product and vendor positioning inherently multidimensional.

  • Every contender is positioned – sometimes involuntarily -- according to the same set of dimensions.

  • Messaging strategies that support certain parts of your positioning can undermine you in other dimensions.

  • Competitors can and do undermine each others’ positions.  Message choices are moves in that game. 

Branding and Potlatch Marketing  

Enterprise technology branding basically equates to diffuse messaging that is relevant to enterprise IT buyers.  In practice, this falls into four primary categories: 

  1. Image marketing to create an impression of overall leadership and success. 

  2. Brand extension, in which a leader in one category seeks to leverage that leadership in a related area.

  3. “We get it” messaging, positioning the company as particularly clueful about, e.g., the needs of a specific customer industry, or about a particular computing platform.

  4. “Fun”-based marketing, often geared to hard-core techies and hackers rather than to the blander executives who make most IT purchases. 

The most important of these is the first.    

For more information, please contact Curt Monash.

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Updated: 05/11/04