Just The Facts, Ma'am.By CWNP On 04/27/2009 - 10 Comments
I was going to write long, thoughtful emails to all of my Strategic Marketing VP friends and Sr. TME friends individually, but I just don't have the time. So, this is the next best thing - albeit a bit impersonal. If you work at a Wi-Fi manufacturer and hold either of these positions, or perahps another similar position where you find yourself speaking with industry analysts and media professionals, please lend an ear. It'll pay liberal dividends.
I'm not trying to ruffle feathers. I just want to be helpful to both sides of this equation. This is just a polite observation. Do with it as you will.
When media professionals and analysts reach out to you, oftentimes they are looking for a short, succinct answer to a short, succint question. Sometimes a YES or NO answer will do nicely in fact. Everyone knows that it's your job to spew kool-aid, but this isn't the time to do that. It's far better to give a very direct, straightforward answer to their question(s) and to save the kool-aid for a time when they don't have strict deadlines and they're not in the middle of writing an important document. As marketing folks, you understand deadlines and the need to stay on-task very well. That's where these folks are at also.
Get to know the analysts and media professionals you deal with regularly. It's important to understand that some of these industry professionals want to learn your technology and how it stacks up against your competitors, and some do not. Some analysts and media professionals are more technical than others, and some have a very wide variety of topics to cover as part of their position within their organization. This means that for one reason or another they may not be able, or have the time, to become an expert in your implementation of the technology or even the generalities of the technology as a whole. Please be considerate of this. If they want more information, trust me, they'll ask for it. Be ready to give them as little or as much as they ask for (within reason of course), and be willing to give it to them in layman's terms or in geek-speak - depending on how they want it.
Don't forget that sometimes NDAs are needed, but giving analysts/media what they're asking for (again, within reason) will usually result in favorable reviews/write-ups.
As of late, I've been acting as a vendor-neutral, technical liasion, as some of these industry professionals have been speaking with me about Wi-Fi technology, clarification of vendor features and capabilities, product and feature naming conventions, competitive information, and many other topics. I'm having a blast getting to know them! I'm still learning some of these lessons myself, and seeing how important they are, I'm sharing them with you. As my good friend Criss Hyde says, "hope this helps."
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