Is marketing like maths?

I was just reading my colleague Ben Mann’s latest blog entry on the need to tinker with presentations etc. and I am very much the same. No document or presentation is ever done or finished. There is always some way to improve it, to make it sing, to have a clearer message. I have been feeling this more and more this summer as I have been building new presentations to align WebSphere Connectivity with Industry solutions – something IBM’s Smarter Planet approach has been doing for our complete set of offerings.

At times it has been tough going trying to tell the story, but then things drop into place. Sometimes it doesn’t require much change to make everything work. And mostly it seems to come down to one common answer. If you are telling the right message, the right story, it should be clear and simple. Telling it, building it, explaining it should all work. And trying to change it, improve it, should be difficult. Just as A-level Maths had you work out proofs for formula, and it would all work out neatly, or you knew you had done it wrong. If we can’t tell a compelling story in marketing, then we probably need to change our approach if not what we are trying to say. If marketing is done right, it should be obvious and we shouldn’t feel the need to change it.To some extent I think that is why SOA has been successful. SOA is actually a simple idea. People had already been doing it for years. Just formalizing it, and calling it SOA allowed everyone to agree, and now of course it is accepted, and has won the argument to all intents and purposes. Also it was probably the reason WebSphere MQ was successful. It was a simple idea, simply executed, allowing for a simple message…2+2=4 if you like.

So am I there yet with my latest marketing…not quite…but I think I have the basis for the proof, now I just need to follow it through, and show my working in my neatest handwriting. Fingers crossed for a good grade!


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