About Time Technology Executives Stop Drinking The Marketing Kool-Aid

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As an industry analyst, I have the privilege of attending global industry events and exchanging ideas with some of the brightest executives from the world of technology. While I may not always agree with these executives and their employers’ perspectives, the discussion is almost always intellectually stimulating. But then, there are discussions that are quite the opposite. I am talking about the ones where the executives are busy dumping marketing scripts. Typically these executives are almost often are too busy running the sales pipeline and have little or no context to drive an intelligent conversation.

Harsh as it may sound, this is the blatant truth.

Talking about dumping marketing scripts, here’s a case that sets this in context. I recently noticed the top executive of a large technology vendor use the example of opening a bank account online as a benchmark of Digital Transformation in his keynote session. This perplexed me and made me wonder if I was the only one who thinks this example is rather dated and not fitting of the amazing ways in which technology is being used to drive transformation.

Fact is, it’s 2017 and given the exponential growth in smartphones, broadband, and cloud-delivered IT resources, the example of opening online bank accounts among others have become table stakes. Not to say there are no laggards in the market, but then, there always have been and shall remain those who are either late to change or refuse to change for reasons of their own.

With this as the premise, I decided to run a quick poll on Twitter (embed below).

The poll was taken by a decent sample of responses (34 to be precise) and the results are conclusive. 74% respondents believe the ability to open a bank account is NOT transformative. Hence my assertion that Technology executives and their marketing teams must pay attention to the examples they use to paint a picture of their company having the ability to support customers end-to-end on their digital transformation journeys.

The way I see it – if the top executive of a large technology vendor uses such dated examples to prove their company’s capabilities, user organisations need to be cautious and not expect much. Else, failure is imminent.

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Sanchit Vir Gogia: Sanchit is the Chief Analyst, Founder & CEO of Greyhound Knowledge Group, a Global Strategy & Transformation Research, Advisory & Consulting Group. To read more about him, click here.

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