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Case Study: MapSherpa

What we did:

MapSherpa engaged Francis Moran and Associates in September, 2011. The company had successfully brought to market a direct-to-consumer version of its online map-making application as well as a custom version for a large outdoor recreation association. MapSherpa was now contemplating building its second-generation product, but was uncertain which market segments it ought to target, and what product it might need to build to address its chosen segment.

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Why I hate tech marketing

By Francis Moran

Two weeks ago, with more than a deliberate nod to Valentine’s Day, I wrote about why I love working in technology marketing. I have spent most of my 25-year career in this exciting, dynamic and challenging sector, and with good reason, so the benefits obviously outweigh the detractions. But every coin has a flip side, and today I’m going to talk about some of the things I truly dislike about tech marketing.

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6 little things that tell your customers you don’t care

By Linda Moran and Francis Moran

Hey there, small or medium B2B technology company: Have you thought about what your actions are saying to your customers? Even if you don’t think you can afford a big company’s expensive embrace of high-touch customer service, at least you can stop shooting yourself in the foot. Here are six little things you might be doing, all of which tell your customers you don’t really care about them.

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Why I heart tech marketing

By Francis Moran

Ah, tech marketing. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

1. The learning curve can be wonderfully steep

It’s not true of all the tech companies and products I have worked with during my 25-year career, but my favourite clients have invariably been the ones that require me to go deep in order to understand them. I don’t have an iron ring on my pinkie finger and although I was once a Canadian math Olympiad, I abandoned the maths and sciences in favour of writing, journalism and business strategy when I hit university. (However, I couldn’t resist taking Calculus – as an elective! – in first year. And it was my best mark.) So it’s a real blast for this engineering wannabe when the subject matter is technically dense and I have to learn all kinds of new stuff. I’m an old dog but learning new tricks is one of my favourite things.

My enthusiasm for complex scientific and engineering subject matter does translate into a swift understanding of all aspects of a technology client’s business, something that has been a key differentiator for me over the years.

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The trouble with mentors is…

By Francis Moran

I just this minute got off the phone with a CEO who has twice been a client. Along with a technical founder, he’s been working on a new startup for about a year now, and he wanted to pick my brain a bit on messaging and positioning. He said he was struggling with the consistency of his messaging, especially when it came to pitching investors. The company is looking for $500,000 in an angel round.

“Investors are telling us we sound like a completely different company the second time they hear our pitch,” my friend said.

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