Ken Rutsky

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Top Stories by Ken Rutsky

"The Cloud Changes Everything" is heard so often that it is a cliché. But then again, distributed energy production and transmission enabled our 20th century manufacturing revolution and the interstate highway systems changed our society. Those of us who practice B2B technology marketing are living in the most interesting time of our careers. Not only is social media changing our communications channels faster than our ability to manage them, but cloud economics and delivery is changing our products and our customers. In order to thrive and succeed in cloudy times, we must be disciplined and innovative, focused yet adaptable, agile and efficient. No easy task. We must re-invent every aspect of our marketing mix, from our very notion of our product, to pricing and promotion, to our channels, understanding of our customer and view of our competition. So now, instead o... (more)

Why Experience Will Be Key to 2012 Cloud Sales and Marketing

When I was a wet behind the ears sales rep in the Rolling Meadow's Illinois branch office in 1986 (yes, they had computers back then :)), I remember the big sign that hung on the wall: Calls + Demos = Sales Our office sold everything from PCs to copiers (yes, IBM sold copiers) to mini computers (S34, 36, 38, and later AS/400 and RS6000s) and the biggest S360 Mainframes. Though the sign belonged to the "Office Machines", i.e., Copiers, team, I quickly learned in my territory of small manufacturers and distributors, the key to selling the minicomputer lay in not just having the r... (more)

Five Reasons We Overvalue Value in Cloud Sales and Marketing

Value Propositions and elevator pitches live in the rarefied air of marketing speak.  They are almost seen as mystical accomplishments reachable by only the anointed among us.  "But what's the elevator pitch" we hear time and time again....Give me the 30 second attention grabber, etc, etc. While I agree that Value matters, and actually matters a lot,  I think as sales and marketing professionals, we've worshiped at this alter for so long, we've lost sight of the end goal.  We've become Value snobs.  Here's are my top 5 reason's why we overvalue Value: We are Product Narcissists... W... (more)

Bridging to SaaS Success: A Basic Business Blueprint

Established and new ISVs, telcos, hosters and other tech providers are launching SaaS services at an ever-increasing pace, and that's great. However, many of these initiatives fail to attract leads and customers in the volume expected, resulting in management, market and shareholder disappointment. Why is this? While organizations spend a LOT of time understanding the technical transformation required to build a SaaS service, they fail to understand that this is just the anchor of the transitional bridging they must do. In order to gain share and revenues they must deal with the... (more)

Are You Experienced? - Transforming SaaS Go to Market

Many ISVs are making dramatic shifts to become SaaS providers. This requires a shift in mindset from product to service and in organization from linear to circular. Once these shifts are under way, in order to succeed and stand out, ISVs we must now bridge their go-to-market strategy, objectives and tactics from Evaluation to Experience. Today's customer has little patience for white papers, datasheets, detailed feature function product specs and the like. They may attend a webinar, but the next step is experience. Even for large organizations with complex buying behavior, the e... (more)