The Impact of Real Buyer Insights on Product Management and Marketing Decisions

If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine.

– Jim Barksdale, former CEO of Netscape

Who or what is driving your product decisions?

If you’ve spent your career in product marketing/management in tech companies, you can relate to the above quote from the perspective of both mid-level and senior product marketing executives.

Up and coming product manager/marketers are regularly champions of features, or product positioning that face an uphill battle against the priorities of the Engineering team and the demands of the sales team – stemming from existing customer asks and the most recent competitive sales loss. Add on top of that the biases of a boss, and you’ve got to overcome a lot to bring about a change in emphasis (never mind direction).

product management

Making these directional and investment decisions isn’t actually any easier sitting in the product management/marketing leadership role. They need to make significant go-to-market investments almost weekly, while running an organization, mediating compelling and conflicting arguments from highly opinionated and smart groups – all while trying to listen to the customer. Just a few of the decisions that need to be made:

  • Which feature enhancements need to make the cut in the next release because of customer demand or competitive factors?
  • Which initiatives/project drivers MUST be on your site’s home page and which can be de-emphasized?
  • Are there market niches that are growing or that your company ignores that you could address with a different positioning or marketing campaign?
  • In sales collateral/training, what are the key competitor weaknesses to make sure the reps understand?

Buyer insight provides more clarity for decision-making – if you find the right sources 

Product and positioning decisions are never easy, but almost any internal debate can be swayed by quantifiable insight on buyer preferences and purchasing behavior. However, most companies struggle to bring relevant and accurate data to bear at the right time. Part of the reason is most of the easily available data has a significant bias problem, such as:

  • Insights from deals that your company has won or lost doesn’t reflect the perspective of buyers that were never part of your sales pipeline. TechTarget data shows that unless you are a major player, this is typically much greater than 50% of the market.
  • When you talk with prospects or customers (or getting data that is filtered by sales reps), you know you are not getting the complete story as they try to protect or promote key details that support their position.
  • Custom research efforts take time to kick off and are point in time. These approaches are a poor match for a market that is constantly changing and you must make decisions year-round.
  • Most industry research is written from the perspective of an experienced industry analyst who interprets broader trends or future looking insights furnished by suppliers. This is a very valuable part of understanding the market, but different than buyer data.

How TechTarget helps   

To help product management/marketing leaders find the right representative buyer insight, TechTarget Research has developed Deal ScoreCard. Deal ScoreCard describes how buyers for 20 different Cloud, Data Center, Storage and EUC markets perceive their needs, requirements and vendor opinions at the essential moments of their purchasing cycles, every quarter. Just a few of the insights that it delivers include:

  • Features, project initiatives, workloads – For a specific market, which specific factors (by each category) are most important in a product-market, which are trending up and down quarter over quarter and which are the major vendors in the market perceived to be weak or strong on.
  • What’s important at shortlist v. important at product evaluation – Which issues are most important as buyers shape their plans for a project (budget, product space, important vendors) v. which issues do they see as important when they are deep into rep discussions and technology evaluation. The difference between these moments leads to very different go-to-market investments.
  • Where are market leaders weak – Most challenger technology company strategies are built around a growing weakness or blind spot of a market leader. Deal ScoreCard goes to great lengths to quantify those blind spots.

You can see some of the foundational analyses of a Deal ScoreCard here. If you are interested in learning more about how the in-depth data in Deal ScoreCard can help your organization, please visit TechTarget.com/Research.

[“Source-techtarget”]

Can Delhi become the new creative capital of India?

Kolkata, the capital of India during the imperial days, also served as the creative capital of India for the longest time. Then somewhere in ’80s, the winds of change started blowing and the creative capital left the Bengali bhadralok’s abode and moved to the country’s financial capital, Mumbai, where both clients and money were. That was also the time when migration started happening in hordes and the creative talent was also moving where the money was.

Delhi, in the midst of all this, remained out of radar for creative minds as creativity here was limited to DAVP ads and political advertising.

But the times have now changed and Delhi is emerging as the top city on the map for the creative community.

In last year’s Cannes wins from India, the numbers from Delhi were more or less the same as Mumbai. The story is the same if we also consider Effies, which proves that Delhi’s advertising industry has come out of yoke and is successful at proving its mettle.

A lot of the network agencies’ senior professionals, NCDs (National Creative Director) and CCOs (Chief Creative Director), are based in Delhi. For example, Swati Bhattacharya of FCB, Soumitra Karnik of Dentsu, Ajay Gahlaut of Ogilvy and Prateek Bhardwaj of McCann. The JWT and Ogilvy offices are bigger than the Mumbai offices.

Akashneel Dasgupta

Akashneel Dasgupta, Senior Vice-President and Executive Creative Director, ADK Fortune, said, “Things have changed now. A lot of new categories have emerged and become the biggest spenders in the category. For example, mobile phones have become the biggest spenders. Actually, the biggest spenders from Mumbai have reduced their spending.”

He said, “With most of the production houses located in Mumbai, most of the shooting takes place in Mumbai. And the impression that goes out is that Mumbai is doing a lot of work, but actually more work is happening in Delhi.”

A few of the industry men believe that even after performing on a par with the Mumbai office, they have to satisfy with less. The struggle to reach the top and be known is much more in Delhi than in Mumbai.

Ajay Gahlaut

Recently, Ajay Gahlaut, Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy North and Deputy CCO, Ogilvy India, took to Facebook to share his point of view for the newer generation joining the advertising industry. He wrote there, “Frankly if you’re a sensible, rational human being, it’s a no-brainer. Work in Mumbai. You are closer to the powers that be. Your work is seen and appreciated faster. Clients are more inclined to see agencies as partners instead of mere suppliers. So you will get more attention and respect. You will get applauded and feted if you do great work for the client. Wide smiles and a positive atmosphere will greet you in most client boardrooms.”

He went on further, “You will, as you gain seniority and experience, be called for various jury duties of diverse award shows. Here you will network with the top people in the industry on equal footing. People will take you seriously and listen to your opinion with interest. This will enhance your employability and value in the job market.”

On the contrary, he added, “On the other hand, if you decide to stay on in Delhi. You will be a faceless name on an email list for your seniors and superiors in Mumbai. You start working on proactive ideas because you want to win awards. You win awards. And more awards. Year after year. Suddenly one day you realise that despite winning so many awards on your own steam, you’ve never been called as a juror for any award show. While some of your juniors in the Mumbai office are going for their sixth jury duty in as many years. Then it dawns on you that there are two reasons for this. One, the award show people simply don’t see you enough to remember you. And second, it’s simpler and cheaper to get a jury member from Mumbai. Uber is cheaper than Indigo after all.”

Prathap Suthan

Sharing his past experiences and the current state of affairs in Delhi on Facebook, Prathap Suthan, Chief Creative officer, Bang In The Middle, said that in his previous organisation, the working conditions were bad. Even after producing good work, the Delhi team had to satisfy with less in comparison to Mumbai. He further wrote, “One fine day, when the biggest of the egos from Mumbai came down to our office to generally smirk at us and our plight, I happened to ask him that why is it that despite the fact we are almost five times larger than Mumbai, our office is pathetic and the Mumbai office is a piece of stunning art and architecture? The big man replied. “Clients come to the showroom. They don’t go to the factory. You should be lucky you have a place to sit.” End of story and discussion. That sort of summed up and told me just exactly how Mumbai looked at Delhi. It happened, and it happens.”

Ashish Limaye

Ashish Limaye of Happy Finish thinks that Delhi makes one a tough person and Mumbai has its own set of trouble. “Mumbai has its own troubles of battling the infrastructure and sleeping in plush pigeon holes called apartments. Delhi in spite of its rugged approach and palatial living makes you tough to live beyond advertising in a job called life. Both I’d say must have on any blokes wish list. Nice read as always.”

Malvika Mehra

Not agreeing with Gahlaut and Suthan’s point, Malvika Mehra of Tomorrow Creative Lab, said, “I don’t agree with Ajay (Gahlaut). I think in our limited capacities, we still can make the place what we want it to be. And negate the perceptions. Personally speaking, the best years of my working life actually came from a sudden ‘posting’ to the original underdog, Bangalore. Where great work on Bingo! Lenovo, Allen Solly, IBM, Titan happened. Great strategists, copy, art and account management folks happened. And awards happened.”

Amit Akali

Seconding Mehra’s thought, Amit Akali, Chief Creative Officer, What’s Your Problem, said, “I think you can make the most of it absolutely anywhere. Every place has its advantages and disadvantages. Now Bangalore also has a National Creative Director at Dentsu India (Simi Sabhaney), Happy Mcgarrybowen’s work is good and appreciated. Every place has its advantages and disadvantages and makes one stronger.”

Although the times have changed and Delhi is getting its long due share of accolades, the perception still stays that Mumbai is the hub of advertising. Kyoorius, Effies, Olive Crown and most of the industry awards happen in Mumbai.

Jitender Dabas

Jitender Dabas, Chief Strategy Officer, McCann India, said that it is more of a perception now than the reality. He said, “The advertising industry has changed in terms of its power and equation, but somehow all the industry bodies are Mumbai-based.”

Akali added, “Like it or not, Abby awards meeting is happening and the jury will meet in Mumbai and the people from Mumbai will find it easier to come for it. Therefore, automatically the jury is made more of Mumbai people. I am not saying it is a rule. Effies for an exception has a Delhi round of jury too. But the fact is that the ecosystem is based in Mumbai.”

Dasgupta making a strong point here, said, “There is a certain network in Mumbai among the senior creatives. They hang around together across the agencies. For Delhi people, it is a bit difficult to be a part of that network. Delhi people are not normally available at these awards. The agency has to bear the cost to send people to the awards.”

Therefore to sum it up, Mumbai is perceived to be the capital city of advertising. But the scenario is changing and it’s no more about the cities but how one makes the best out of the advantages and disadvantages of the cities.

[“Source-bestmediainfo”]

Metal Gear Survive, Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, Shadow of the Colossus, and Other Games Releasing This February

Metal Gear Survive, Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, Shadow of the Colossus, and Other Games Releasing This February

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Shadow of the Colossus for the PS4 is a remaster of the PS2 classic
  • Metal Gear Survive is the first entry in the series minus its creator
  • Bayonetta 1 and 2 will come to the Nintendo Switch

Now that the 2017 hangover is done with, we’re now stepping into February where an exciting lineup of games wait us. We have some great remasters like Secret of Mana and Shadow of the Colossus, along with some ports of some of the hottest action games that we didn’t get to play the first time around. Don’t worry, we have some great originals releases out in February too. Here’s our un-cluttered list of the games that are a must-play this month, starting with a spin-off on the biggest stealth game franchise ever.

 

Metal Gear Survive
The Metal Gear Solid franchise has a long, convoluted history behind it that was masterfully pieced together by the legendary game developer Hideo Kojima. He may be out working on his own new IP, but Konami has found a way that may just make the franchise more interesting – by adding zombies.

It sounds like an easy cash grab, but Metal Gear survive does have a lot of new concepts at work that help it transition well from a stealth action game to a survival horror one. Besides the hide and attack bits, you can now craft a myriad of items and traps on the fly to better prepare for the zombie apocalypse. Or at least give you some very entertaining ways for dealing with them.

 

  • Metal Gear Survive release date: February 22
  • Metal Gear Survive platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • Metal Gear Survive price: Rs. 2,790 on PC & Xbox One, Rs. 2,750 on PS4 ($39.99 in the US)

Age of Empires: Definitive Edition
It’s time for old-school strategy game fans to relive their glory days. Age of Empires returns with much better visuals, improved gameplay, and basically all the pampering you’ve come to expect from modern gaming, while retaining the original feel. It’s not just a cheap remaster either. Age of Empires has been rebuilt from the ground-up with 4K visuals, redone narration and pacing, as well what’s touted to be a much better 8-player online multiplayer gaming experience. Will it touch the right nostalgic chords? We’ll know soon enough.

 

  • Age of Empires: DE release date: February 20
  • Age of Empires: DE platforms: PC
  • Age of Empires: DE price: Rs. 574 ($19.99 in the US)

Bayonetta 1+2 Collection
Missed Bayonetta 2? Can’t blame you considering it was originally released only on the Nintendo Wii U. But now with the immensely more popular Nintendo Switch, the game will finally have the reach that it deserves. To make sure you’re completely up to speed for the upcoming Bayonetta 3, you also get the original Bayonetta as well, which simply sweetens the deal.

 

  • Bayonetta 1+2 Collection release date: February 16
  • Bayonetta 1+2 Collection platforms: Switch
  • Bayonetta 1+2 Collection price: $59.99 USD (roughly Rs.3,830)

Kingdom Come: Deliverance
It’s not Skyrim, but it is a story-driven open-world RPG that will just scratch that itch. Kingdom Come: Deliverance offers a highly detailed and period accurate set pieces including real-world locations and castles, and spins a story that’s ripe with the right amount of facts and fiction. Even the combat style and soundtrack used in the game are real representations of the 15th century European setting that the game is based in. If you like attention to minute details, then this game is exactly what you need.

 

  • Kingdom Come: Deliverance release date: February 13
  • Kingdom Come: Deliverance platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • Kingdom Come: Deliverance price: Rs. 1,179 on PC, Rs. 3,999 on consoles ($59.99 in the US)

Shadow of the Colossus
Yes we know it’s been remastered before on the PS3 and originally on the PS2 before that, but the PS4 version of Shadow of the Colossus is a whole new beast. The visuals are brand new in this version instead of just a texture upgrade that we saw in the PS3 re-release, so the game looks a lot better than it ever did. Moreover the most frustrating part of the original game has been redone as well. Yes, we’re talking about the controls. If you haven’t played this game on any of the previous generation of consoles, you should give this one a try only for the most epic boss battles in the history of PlayStation.

 

  • Shadow of the Colossus release date: February 7
  • Shadow of the Colossus platforms: PS4
  • Shadow of the Colossus price: Rs. 2,750 ($39.99 in the US)

This isn’t all either, if you’re using Xbox Live Gold, here’s what you can play this month.

Games for Xbox Live Gold – February 2018

  • Shadow Warrior (Xbox One)
  • Assassin’s Creed Chronicles – India (Xbox One, Feb 16 to Mar 15)
  • Split/Second (Xbox 360, Feb 1 to 15)
  • Crazy Taxi (Xbox 360, Feb 16 to 28)

What are you planning to play this month? Let us know via the comments.

 

 

[“Source-ndtv”]

iPhone Slow: Apple Apologises Over Handling of Issue,

iPhone Slow: Apple Apologises Over Handling of Issue, Drops Price of Out-of-Warranty Battery Replacements

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Apple will offer battery replacements for $29, down from $79
  • Apple apologised over its handling of the issue
  • Will issue iOS update with greater battery life transparency

Facing lawsuits and consumer outrage after it said it slowed older iPhones with flagging batteries, Apple is slashing prices for battery replacements and will change its software to show users whether their phone battery is good.

In a posting on its website Thursday, Apple apologised over its handling of the battery issue and said it would make a number of changes for customers “to recognise their loyalty and to regain the trust of anyone who may have doubted Apple’s intentions.”

Apple made the move to address concerns about the quality and durability of its products at a time when it is charging $999 (roughly Rs. 64,000) for its newest flagship model, the iPhone X.

The company said it would cut the price of an out-of-warranty battery replacement from $79 (roughly Rs. 5,000) to $29 (roughly Rs. 1,850) for an iPhone 6 or later, starting next month. In India, the cost of out-of-warranty battery replacement was approximately Rs. 6,500 inclusive of taxes, as per industry sources. Apple has confirmed that the new price starting next month will be Rs. 2,000, exclusive of taxes. The company also will update its iOS operating system to let users see whether their battery is in poor health and is affecting the phone’s performance.

“We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down,” Apple said in its posting. “We apologise.”

On December 20, Apple acknowledged that iPhone software has the effect of slowing down some phones with battery problems. Apple said the problem was that aging lithium batteries delivered power unevenly, which could cause iPhones to shutdown unexpectedly to protect the delicate circuits inside.

That disclosure played on a common belief among consumers that Apple purposely slows down older phones to encourage customers to buy newer iPhone models. While no credible evidence has ever emerged that Apple engaged in such conduct, the battery disclosure struck a nerve on social media and elsewhere.

Apple on Thursday denied that it has ever done anything to intentionally shorten the life of a product.

At least eight lawsuits have been filed in California, New York, and Illinois alleging that the company defrauded users by slowing devices down without warning them. The company also faces a legal complaint in France, where so-called “planned obsolesce” is against the law.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]