How Dejero uses content to create technical differentiation
Does this sound familiar? You know—I mean really, truly know—that your solution is uniquely capable of solving some really thorny market problems. Unfortunately, “the market” sees all solutions as being basically the same. That is, there’s no technical differentiation.
You just know that if you could show your technical differentiation and—crucially—why that differentiation matters, then you’d be able to win more deals, win deals faster, and resist discounting pressures.
Well—surprise surprise!—this situation is a common problem in tech. Here’s how one of our clients addresses the challenge head-on.
Dejero provides a solution that lets customers make the most—in terms of utility, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency—of multiple network connections. While Dejero’s roots are in serving the needs of broadcasters, Dejero’s solutions are applicable to a range of additional markets including transportation, public safety, and enterprise.
For instance, within the enterprise market Dejero’s Smart Blending Technology enhances the performance and efficiency of Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN).
SD-WAN simplifies the management and operation of a WAN by decoupling the networking hardware from its control mechanism. In doing so, it allows organizations to build higher-performance WANs using lower-cost and commercially available Internet access, rather than depending upon comparatively expensive MPLS.
Smart Blending provides substantial advantages over the connection aggregation techniques used by most SD-WAN solutions, but for prospects to value these advantages, they first need to understand the limitations (and real-world consequences) of existing approaches.
A classic technology marketing challenge
Thus, Dejero faced a classic technology marketing challenge. To highlight and protect their solution value, Dejero needed:
- To help prospects better understand common market problems; and
- To help prospects appreciate and value how Dejero’s solution overcomes (or—more accurately in this case—entirely avoids) these problems
Achieving these outcomes is not easy, as superficial messages can’t convey enough detail. Plus, it’s unreasonable and unrealistic to expect the broader sales teams to know the technology in sufficient depth to engage with technical-minded buyers and evaluators.
What about having technical people join sales calls? Many start-ups go this route, and it’s fine to a point—but it doesn’t scale. Over time, organizations get caught in a trap of having the CTO, VP Eng, Lead Architect, and other domain experts spending far too many hours saying the same things over and over.
Dejero wanted to avoid this path and instead address prospect needs in an efficient, effective, and scalable manner: Dejero needed fairly rigourous, but accessible, technical content.
Enter the Cromulent
Dejero’s technical experts had already drafted some written content and whiteboard-sketched a number of diagrams, but they needed this material turned into polished marketing resources suitable for prospects and customers.
From discussions about Dejero’s customers and the specific needs of sales team, we decided that two papers were needed:
- An analytical whitepaper focused on SD-WAN which examines different approaches to connection aggregation and, in doing so, educates readers about the real-world shortcomings of most SD-WAN solutions; the document also explains how Dejero’s Smart Blending Technology overcomes the shortcomings of alternatives
- A market-agnostic technical showcase which focuses on explaining how Dejero’s Smart Blending Technology works
To create these pieces, we first needed to read and understand the material from Dejero’s technical team.
Next, we needed to construct the whitepaper in a manner that best examined the subject of SD-WAN connection aggregation technology. To avoid triggering objections from the reader, we took great care to keep the explanations themselves objective; at the same time, even though the subject matter was quite technical, we needed to present it in a relatively straightforward manner that didn’t depend upon the reader having specialized domain knowledge.
We applied a similar approach for the technical showcase, although in this case we had more ‘freedom’ to aggressively position Dejero’s technology.
For both pieces, we created clear diagrams based on the whiteboard concepts.
As soon as the documents were completed, they were being sent to prospects—feedback was extremely positive and indicated that the papers were achieving their objectives: prospects were reading the papers in their entirety and were coming away with both a newfound understanding of a complex subject and an appreciation for Dejero’s Smart Blending solution.
To support and promote these papers, Dejero’s marketing team also launched landing pages (see the link up near the top of this post).
Since this first batch of papers, we’ve subsequently helped Dejero with a few others in pursuit of technical differentiation for other foundational elements of their solutions.
As noted elsewhere, this type of material can be tremendously valuable, for a few reasons:
- It clearly, correctly, and consistently communicates important messages about what makes your solution different and why those differences matter—related to real customer problems
- As noted earlier, it scales: it’s much easier (and more cost-effective) to send a document to twenty prospects and to multiple people within an account than it is to get a senior technical resource to join a multitude of pre-sales calls
- It places you in a position of competitive advantage and forces competitors to spend time and energy responding (if they even can)
- By showing the value of a technical differentiator, it’s a helpful force to resist discounting pressures
- It arms your champions and helps them fight internal procurement battles
If you want a few more reasons, or are wondering how to get started on technical differentiation, then please take a minute to check out our earlier post Using technical marketing content to help your company scale.