Turning a Technology Brand into RevenueBy: Paul DiModica
During the last twenty-four months, business-to-business technology players have miss-positioned their corporate business development by disproportionately spending their firm's funding resources on brand awareness instead of revenue generation.
Branding is not revenue.
Branding is not advertising.
Advertising is not revenue.
Revenue is Revenue.
In a world where email press releases create public company stock spikes, and where b2c companies are spending $10 to capture each $1 in revenue, the tactical process of generating business revenue has been lost on hype, inflated market capitulations and instant youth of America CEO's who at 25 are perceived to be experienced senior management. Enough is enough.
The Internet is just a distribution channel. Yes, an extraordinary evolutional step for business, but still just a channel. Just like a direct sales force, a strategic reseller, an authorized distributor or a private label (OEM) partnership, it has a strategic and tactical value as well as an operating expense model that can be prohibitive.
So, what is a brand? Depending on the author of the month, "branding is a strategic positioning in a targeted buyer's state of mind that creates awareness to select one vendor over another."
Sounds great, but branding does not create revenue. We have all seen the Super Ball commercials where flamboyant ads that cost million of dollars display funky off the wall concepts trying to create market mind share with a target audience. Additionally, we have been exposed to irrelevant ads (remember the original Lexus ads of the early nineties that never showed the car) that don't show the product or service but display some artsy message.
Well it's time to change. As technology business executives, we need to recapture our operating business models back from ad agencies, marketing departments and business brand managers and start operating in the new economy based on old economy proven business revenue methodologies.
Prior to the aggressive expansion of the Internet in 1997, branding, marketing, PR and ad agencies were staff positions and advisors in a corporate traditional hierarchy. With the advent of the new economy, these departments launched themselves into line position responsibilities. Instead of advising management on communication strategies, they implemented programs.
So, an ad agency that was selling cereal and print placement in 1996 now evolved into interactive media experts. Although, this comment may not be well received by my agency friends, in fact it is accurate. Who pitches all of those dumb ads you see on TV to an executive steering committee of a high technology firm - an ad agency. Who built entire companies operating business plans around a company name with no supporting revenue model - a brand manager.
Does having positive client brand awareness help sales, yes of course. But, is brand building the most efficient form of spending to create revenue for a high technology firm start-up - no. If you listen to staff departments who has never sold software or collected a million dollar P.O. for a technology service in a competitive marketplace as your primary influencer to build revenue, then you will get limited revenue.
Accepting this fact, you are now on your way to increase your sales.
Building revenue in the new economy is based on implementing a business development approach to revenue. Prior to 1998, the term a Business Development Manager was synonymous with the word salesman or account manager. But at the new economy evolved, the element of technology and partner collaboration also developed. Today, the term business development has matriculated into a hybrid business approach where sales, marketing and strategy are interactively liked together to generate revenue.
Using a BDM approach to generate revenue you combine old world sales methodologies and new world collaborative relationships to focus on tactical revenue generation. The successful technology companies of our time were all built on a persistent sales force, not branding.
To generate increased revenue for your technology firm, implement these guideposts:
© Copyright 2001 Paul DiModica
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