Whenever I read a great book, I summarize it so I can learn better and recall it later. I have dozens of these and I have been asked to make some of my “Ken’s Notes” available. Here is part 2 of “Behind the Cloud” by Marc Benioff, the founder of salesforce.com. Scroll to the bottom for links to the rest – Ken Krogue
How to Cut Through the Noise and Pitch the Bigger Picture
Play #15: Position Yourself
Held a press party with 30 journalists to demo the software and declare something bigger than CRM: “The End of Software.” Take every opportunity to show your difference to the media and potential customers. Wage war against the traditional.
Play #16: Party with a Purpose.
Marc spent $600k to have the B-52’s play at a massive party to launch the concept and break through the noise.
Play #17: Create a Persona.
Marc played the role of revolutionary and wore fatigues in the fight against established software. The CEO is the perfect person to become this “character.” A brand is not just a logo, it is a collective set of memories, a personality.
Play #18: Differentiate, Differentiate, Differentiate.
“No Software” logo and “the End of Software” mission. Marc had an ad with a jet fighter shooting down a biplane that ran in the Contra Costa Times for free.
Play #19: Make Every Employee a Key Player on the Marketing Team, and Ensure Everyone Is On Message.
When someone asks, “What exactly does Salesforce.com do?” Everyone should give the same answer. PR firm made a two-sided laminated card with one sentence stating what they did and benefits, customers, partners, competitors, and awards. Then had brown-bag lunches to train everyone how to talk about it.
Play #20: Always, Always Go After Goliath
Always go after the market leader. Salesforce.com sent picketers to the Moscone center at the Seibel event saying, “The Internet is really neat… Software is obsolete!” Seibel called the police which only fanned the flames. 1000 companies signed up within two weeks and this was the Hi-Tech Campaign of the Year by PR Week.
Play #21: Tactics Dictate Strategy. One idea alone is a tactic, but executed many ways becomes a strategy.
Marc learned this from Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries and Jack Trout. Leverage your competitions activities for your own benefit. They also hired bicycle rickshaws at the Seibel tradeshow and gave rides for free while they talked about their own solution during the ride. Later they rented all the taxis and put flyers in them so everyone from the conference had to see their message. Sun Tzu said, “appear at places he must run to defend, and rush places where he least expects.” They also issues press releases the same day as the competitors quarterly earnings releases went live.
Play #22: Engage the Market Leader.
Ran an ad against Seibel with a “Don’t get bullied” theme with a boy writing on the chalkboard, “I will not give my lunch money to Siebel” and “I will not spend my summer vacation installing Siebel.” Hit balls over the net to your competitors. By Seibel acknowledging Salesforce.com, they legitimized them. The tail wagged the dog.
Play #23: Reporters are Writers; Tell Them a Story
Press became an ally. They positioned as the little upstart that could.
Play #24: Cultivate Relationships with Select Journalists
I never treat members of the media as adversaries; they are friends of the company. Keep a list of two dozen journalists that are influential worldwide. Make it simple to reach you, be a resource for a quote or comment, help offer fresh insight and to meet deadlines. Always remain relevant. Marc constantly referenced The Innovators Dilemma and The Big Switch.
“Well, it’s 7:29 AM in Singapore, and I just read the Microsoft announced a new offering to compete with us while I was asleep.”
Play #25: Make Your Own Metaphors
Relate your product to something that is current and relevant and that everyone understands.
“Salesforce.com is Amazon.com meets Siebel Systems,” then “AppExchange is the eBay of enterprise software.” And, “Force.com is the Windows Internet Operating System.”
Play #26: No Sacred Cows.
They were spending $2 to $3 million a month on direct mail and advertising. Direct mail only generated 14 leads in 6 months so they stopped it.
Examine what is working, evolve your ideas, and change the way you do things.
Part 1 – The Start-Up Playbook – How to Turn a Simple Idea into a High-Growth Company
Part 2 – The Marketing Playbook – How to Cut Through the Noise and Pitch the Bigger Picture
Part 3 – The Events Playbook – How to Use Events to Build Buzz and Drive Business
Part 4 – The Sales Playbook – How to Energize Your Customers into a Million-Member Sales Team
Part 5 – The Technology Play Book – How to Develop Products Users Love
Part 6 – The Corporate Philanthropy Playbook – Make Your Company About More Than the Bottom Line
Part 7 – The Global Playbook – How to Launch Your Product and Introduce Your Model to New Markets
Part 8 – The Finance Playbook – How to Raise Capital, Create a Return, and Never Sell Your Soul
Part 9 – The Leadership Playbook – How to Create Alignment—the Key to Organizational Success
The Final Play