Marketing: are you a solution looking for a problem?

If you’re old enough to remember the corporate business scene back in the 1980s, one CEO’s passing comment revolutionised the entire IT caboodle when presented with another amazing new box of tricks from IBM, or ICL, or …well, it doesn’t matter who. (There were enough of them suffering from the same syndrome back then: being engineering-led, not marketing-led.)

Marketing: are you a solution looking for a problem?

“I don’t give a **** what this IS. What will it DO for my bottom line?”

The IT giant’s sales team had just plonked their engineers’ most recent brainchild down on the client CEO’s desk and told them what amazing tricks it could do, as briefed by the entire engineering team and backed by the C-Suite board wallahs.

The CEO said, “I don’t give a **** what this IS…”

…”But what will it DO for me and my business’s bottom line?”

And there fell, flat on its face, the whole perception of IT and its erstwhile role in the marketplace up until that point.
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UPDATE … see the comments below for more on this, er, interesting period in the marketing of IT…
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