Happy New Year (and U2 in 1983)

I used to be such a huge U2 fan......but that was a long time ago and well before Bonos recent bouts of political activism. Not that Im against political activity, its just that I dont have much in common with them anymore. Yet, their live shows were beyond compare (well except maybe to Springsteens).

Merry Christmas. Joy to the world! And Happy New Year.

Speak with you soon. DC


Marketing Really Can Be Easy (and Should Be)

Perhaps I should have started my blog with this post, but alas, I didn’t. I think some of my earlier posts were a bit more important (especially the Advent post). But a recent Business Week article amazed me that some of the largest firms in the world still struggle with how to embrace Marketing. The evolution of the Marketing tool kit with Google in the Web 2.0 world simply provides more digital arrows for the quiver and doesn’t really change the approach to Marketing.

AdWords are yesterday’s Webinars, which are last week’s direct mailings, which are last month’s tv ad, which is last year’s radio ad. My first Boss told me that Marketing was a mix of art and science. Pretty good high level definition (he is a man of few words). In my opinion, successful Marketing is defined by four key capabilities:

1. Positioning the firms’ products and services to relevant markets;
2. Creating brand awareness for the firm and its products;
3. Generating a predictable flow of qualified leads; and
4. Enabling the firm’s Sales organization

Even the largest firms with large Teams and astronomical budgets oftentimes get it wrong. Why? The usual reasons – poor planning and/or lack of control. And no funnel. CEOs (and Boards) embrace and support Marketing much more easily when they when they understand and buy in to the plan, see the results, and trust that the process is under control. When this type of systematic, “scientific” Marketing is realized, the art of Marketing emerges, and then the real fun begins.

Speak with you soon. DC


A Comment on HP Servers

HP publishes an interesting series of Marketing replies on various topics; its called The Real Story. One particular publication provides HP's view of their strong market performance in the x86 server space. Using IDC's calendar Q307 data, its really hard to dispute HP's accomplishments -- what a remarkable run. And with some real understanding based on my prior roles, the Proliants (DL380s) are truly remarkable pieces of hardware. But at an ASP <$3K per box, its not rocket science to understand how they are moving the market. What strikes me as quite odd, however, is their complete absence of a legitimate Enterprise software offering. I know I'm not the only one familiar with the term "naked box." I mean, shouldn't someone at HP be saying, "hey, we've created a hardware install base of over 11,000 units in the past 90 days......uh, does anyone know how we can sell more of our stuff on them to address more of our user's pain points......and better yet, does any one have any new ideas so that we don't have to rely on bundling most of our Proliants with VMware from EMC?" Last I recall, EMC was one of their stiffest competitors (see HP's The Real Story). Mercury? Please. Good testing tools, but hardly a comprehensive Enterprise play. Automated Operations v. 1.0. WHO ever buys v. 1.0 of anything? What about an app server? Dev tools? In house integrators?

In my opinion, HP will ALWAYS be a good hardware company. But Im not the only one who notices the rarity of folks jumping from IBM, Microsoft, EMC, VMware, SAP, or Oracle to join HP's ranks to build a better server.

Speak with you soon. DC


Tampa Isn't Philly

Sure, I know that. I was only at Penn for 2 years. Thoughts of my walks to the subway still make me cold. And I remember everyone looking down at the ground during the commute to campus. It was sad.
But this post from IvyBlog is really sad to me. Some of the smartest people Ive ever met were there. But IQ doesnt always translate to good sense. Or a moral compass. Ive added the photo of Pier60 at Clearwater Beach to cheer up any of you fellow Quakers. It's 75 here. And sunny.

Speak with you soon. DC


Advent Started Yesterday - Where Were You?

Its always the best time of the year for me. Preparation. Anticipation. Joy. Everyone seems a bit nicer. The sun shines a bit brighter. And each year, Im a bit more thankful, regardless of my accomplishments. Im always hopeful that its because more of us acknowledge the grace weve been given and elate in what it all means. Advent marks the official beginning of Christmas -- and Im thankful because I know Im not the only one who notices.

Speak with you soon. DC