Technology marketing

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Are developers responsible for how their products are used?

By Francis Moran

Ottawa finally got its version of the C100′s terrific Accelerate conferences last week and it was a stellar event from beginning to end.

The C100 is a group — or mafia, as they like to call themselves — of mainly Silicon Valley-based Canadian entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and others keen to support Canadian technology companies. Its 48 Hours in the Valley twice a year brings 20 Canadian companies to the mecca of technology for two days of networking, pitches and meetings. For several years now, The C100 has been bringing itself to Canada through Accelerate events, usually day-long conferences. I have been to several Accelerate sessions in Montreal and Toronto over the past few years and have long yammered at Atlee Clark, C100′s chief organiser, that Ottawa needed one of its own.

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Customer surveys are great. Unless you ask the wrong questions.

By Francis Moran

The chief technology officer of a company for which I occasionally do some work dug into his archives this past week and came up with a customer survey that was administered when this company was developing its first major product about 20 years ago. I regularly express concern that this company does an inadequate job of properly figuring out what its market really needs. As a result, it frequently falls into the trap of listening to a single prospect’s requirements and building products that ultimately prove to have a market of just one. So the CTO was pretty chuffed with his survey and was keen to show it to me and gain my affirmation that they had done the right thing.

Unfortunately, I had to burst his bubble.

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Why my pony tail ain’t my brand

This is the next entry in our “Best of” series, in which we venture deep into the vault to replay blog opinion and insight that has withstood the test of time. Today’s post hails from February 2011. We welcome your feedback.

By Francis Moran

One day last week, I tweeted the message you see to the lower right because I was tickled by the email that came in. In my haste, however, I added a snappy hashtag and thereby made the same common mistake I often accuse marketers — even branding experts — of making.

The prospect who sent me that email remembered how I look. I will be the first to admit that a red — okay, rapidly greying — pony tail, full-but-tidy beard and what used to be a curly moustache do tend to set me apart from the average corporate consultant, even in the less-buttoned-down realm of marketing. Based on how I look, he was able to easily remember who I am.

He wasn’t, however, looking for a pony-tailed, bearded guy; he was, in fact, looking for a PR firm. And, because of whatever impression about my abilities as a PR guy that I had left with him during a past engagement, he immediately thought of me.

In that nutshell, then, you have the difference between branding and visual identity, something that, as I said at the opening, many marketers and not a few so-called branding experts often confuse.

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With clients, you must sometimes be cruel to be kind

By Leo Valiquette

I recently worked on a client’s blog post that discussed how an IT project can easily stray far from its original problem statement as it moves through an RFP process and the creation of a statement of work to the point where it finally reaches the implementation stage. What seemed obvious at the outset sometimes gets lost in process and procedure and in the desire of any external vendor to protect its own interests.

Does this sound familiar?

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Great articles roundup: App development, digital footprints, SEO agencies vs. content marketing agencies

By Hailley Griffis

Every Friday, we round up some of the best articles we’ve come across in the past week and share them with our readers. Front and centre this time around are Gigaom, Memeburn, Search Engine Journal and Spin Sucks.

4 tips for developing applications that end users will actually end up using

Jordan Novet dives into the world of applications and notes that although companies are realizing that complicated enterprise applications don’t cut it anymore, a lot of applications still end up getting deleted. He looks at how to give employees applications that hold real value.

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