Enterprises are made up of people, too

Gigaom on the way Apple targets enterprises (or doesn't target them):

It targets people. It focuses on users. And Apple lets them decide how and where they’ll use its products.

This sounds simple, but in my experience very few companies think this way. Most startups write business plans that dredge up IDC data on market size, then define their target market (e.g., “Global 2000 enterprises”). Few seem to realize that there are people employed within these target markets, and these people will be the ones who actually embrace or reject one’s product.

I'm frequently asked by some of my customers about how to market to businesses versus consumers. You need to market very differently to enterprises than you do to individuals, the thinking goes.

Well, yes, you can. You can try and sell through the top.

But I've always felt that you could also go a different way, which I'd personally find more satisfying: Market to the individuals within the organization.

37signals has done this very well with Basecamp and Highrise. People just sign up and charge it to their corporate credit card, and get on with their lives. No need to involve the IT department or go through lengthy procedures for evaluating and buying software. Just do it already.

And if there's enough bottom-up demand, eventually the company will have to find a way to give it their blessings.

Much more fun, in my opinion, to do business that way.

(Hat tip to David for the tip)

Art and fear


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