Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dreamforce and's secret potion

There are many factors that help explain's success. For the sake of clarity let's explain that in a world where expensive proprietary software solutions with low customer adoption were the norm, turned the tables by delivering easy-to-use enterprise software on the web under a pay-as-you-go subscription model. The end of software.
Marc Benioff,'s CEO, is an absolute genius pitching the big picture and building the "No software" story against the dark, old software "evil" guys. The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) market would not be the same without this Star Wars-like communication strategy. No wonder's software development platform is called Yes, may the "force" be with you. and...the evil guys

From a marketing perspective I think one of's most differential features is its customer-centricity. Let me approach it this time from the point of view of communication: corporate software companies sell Duh!. Here are a couple of random snapshots about how SAP and Oracle "sell" their CRM through their websites.

"SAP maintains status as leader in CRM solutions"

"Differentiate for strategic advantage with the latest release of Siebel CRM 8.1.1"

Well, sells to corporations too, but they talk to people. Whether you are the CEO or the CIO, messaging is clear and straight-forward. Especially they are really good at talking to the people who are going to use their product 8 hours a day. Customer success stories play a key role in's communication strategy. Testimonials are pervasive all through their website. They are prominently displayed at events such as Dreamforce or Tour de Force. The "CRM Success Heroes" campaign is not on anymore, but the following screenshots can still give a you a bit of a taste of the difference in communication styles.

"Join the crowd. The trusted choice of 47,700 companies"

"Now can run my corporate website? Wow... Mike Wolverton. Cathedral Partners"

Dreamforce is a perfect example of the importance that the end user has for the company. I was there last Monday and I could witness the amount of resources dedicated to make this annual reunion with customers a blast. Impressive keynotes, sessions and workshops, training, demos... And on top of it, they throw a party with the Foo Fighters.

No comments: