ELCOM: Web Content Management

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Product good. Marketing… not so good

It’s been an interesting exercise thinking about marketing at Elcom over the last feMarketing FAILw months.

In my opinion (biased as I am) I think we have an excellent product. However, something we haven’t been very good at is the marketing side of things. Often people have heard of us, but they don’t really know what we do. We mention that we have  a content management system (CMS) product and they ask how it compares to WordPress… 

We’ve obviously not communicated our differentiation very well! (And conversely WordPress has been very good at getting its brand out)

 

A change is coming

But I’m glad to see that our marketing is starting to change (although it is only early days) and we are getting the message out a little better. If you take a look at our new site for example, we’ve aimed to highlight our products as well as focusing more on what our customers (and potential customers) are looking to solve.

 

Working on the wrong stuff

A trap of course, is that many companies (Elcom included) tend to take on the wrong kind of work. A profitable opportunity comes along and we find it hard to resist, even if it is a departure from our core skill-set. This is problematic (since we probably won’t deliver a superior solution) and costly (especially in terms of opportunity cost – our resources could be better utilised elsewhere)…

 

What’s the point of this post?

Apart from being a shameless plug for Elcom :-), it’s also an important reminder for technical people in general. My role is primarily a technical one, and yet more and more it is clear that I’m really in business development.

As developers we can often fall into the trap of thinking that great technology is all it takes (ie ‘build it and they will come’). This is only half of the equation. As developers we need to understand the problem from a business perspective (as well as a technical challenge). Obvious I know, but often neglected.

Combining this thought with the trap highlighted earlier, we can see where marketing fits in: It’s about ensuring there is a good fit between the problem our client is experiencing and the solutions we can provide. Clients want to find someone appropriate to solve their problem, and we want to work with clients that we can greatly help.

And by marketing I mean the strategic market segmenting, informed targeting and proper execution (ie it’s not about having a few brochures, glossy web site and generalised AdWords).

So, here’s my point: Marketing is a good thing. It’s all about getting the right people connected.

(Interesting factoid: Microsoft has more people in sales and marketing than they do in development)

 

About Elcom

So, given that this post is 50% advertisement for Elcom, let me at least take the opportunity to clarify what we do:

What does Elcom do?Elcom Technology - Web Content Management

Elcom is in the Web Content Management space (Wikipedia article here). That is, we help clients use their web, intranet and extranet to improve business.

Companies have woken up to the fact that their web assets need to improve processes, bring in revenue, cut costs etc, not just act as brochure-ware (and note: I’m including fancy Flash, Silverlight and dynamic sites as brochure-ware).

Elcom is both a product company (see our products) and a services company (see our services).

 

What does the CommunityManager.NET product do?

Community Manager* is our flagship Enterprise Web Content Management product. It’s been around for a while (very stable), has a ton of modules (this should clear up any comparisons with WordPress) and is well supported (we have a dedicated helpdesk and technical support team).

The key to content management is simple tools. Community Manager has a really slick interface for managing thousands of pages easily and securely. It is perhaps ironic, that with all the features our product has, often the highest priority for clients is just having something that their staff can actually use!

(You’d be surprised at how many CMS products are practically useless once you start managing more than a hundred pages or have multiple content authors)

Aside: Our latest version is released later this month (sneak peak here). And we also have products for managing corporate training, and enabling enterprise search.

 

Our clientsElcom Client Case studies

Our products are targeted at mid-to-large size companies (ie with possibly hundreds, but usually thousands of pages). Community Manager is behind many large sites you may have dealt with (eg Austrade, Hyundai, Lend Lease, D-Link, Selleys).

Many of our clients are running their entire business on Community Manager.

 

How can Elcom help?

Our clients tend to be a little confused (possibly frustrated) about how to best harness the web, create a useful intranet, enable an extranet, put up an online store, manage a portal, etc.

We’ve been able to help them

  • sort out their real business requirements
  • deal with all the stakeholders, and then
  • provide all the services they need in order to make it happen, including:
    • project management
    • scoping
    • information architecture
    • graphic design
    • SEO
    • custom development
    • implementation
    • hosting
    • helpdesk

Here’s a few interesting scenarios we’ve delivered lately. And here’s a few case studies (with plenty more being written up in the coming weeks).

If you’ve got any questions feel free to give me a call to discuss: +61 2 9209 4468 (or use my contact page)

 

Summary

We’ve finally woken up to the fact that marketing is a good thing!

Our product and service offering isn’t changing much, but the way we connect with companies is. It’s about ensuring we’re a good match and probably saying ‘No’ more often.

 

End of advertisement :-)

 

* We refer to it as Community Manager, CommunityManager.NET and CM depending on the context. The names are interchangeable.

Referral: We’ve engaged The Jenkins Partnership to help organise all our marketing strategy and execution. Feel free to contact Leighton if you need some of his help.

Top image credit: FAIL Blog

 

Technorati Tags: Marketing,Elcom Technology

8 comments

  • Hi Deepak,
    We don’t have a trial version currently. It is something we are considering and will likely provide in the future since it opens up another avenue for selling. Our current sales process is very much a relationship based one whereby we interact with the client discussing business needs, potential solutions, etc, before we even get to demoing the product.
    We can provide sandbox environments for prospects looking to evaluate however.
    If you are interested in checking it out I can give you a demo sometime.
    Cheers,
    Craig

  • Hi Deepak,
    We don’t have a trial version currently. It is something we are considering and will likely provide in the future since it opens up another avenue for selling. Our current sales process is very much a relationship based one whereby we interact with the client discussing business needs, potential solutions, etc, before we even get to demoing the product.
    We can provide sandbox environments for prospects looking to evaluate however.
    If you are interested in checking it out I can give you a demo sometime.
    Cheers,
    Craig

About Craig

I'm the co-host of HubShots and the CEO of XEN - helping mid-large B2B companies with their digital marketing and lead generation.

Craig Bailey

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