SearchDomino conducted a survey earlier this quarter that covered a broad array of topics in the Notes/Domino market.  I'm surprised that they only received 208 responses -- but it was a rather lengthy survey, so I can sort of understand.  (Note: I started to fill it out, but then realized that my answers weren't exactly the type of respondent they were looking for, so I stopped).

Anyway, in their first story based on the survey, we have good news and bad news....

When we asked our readers what the three biggest benefits of Notes/Domino were, the overwhelming response was security, chosen by 110, or 58.8%, of the 187 respondents, followed by reliability/stability, picked by 96, or 51.3%.  ....

Okay, what's the biggest problem with Notes/Domino? The overwhelming answer was the familiar refrain, "the way the product is marketed," chosen by 58, or 31%, of the 187 respondents. After that, there was no one problem that dominated.
Familiar is right.  Now, admittedly, their survey took place before the Notes/Domino 7 launch campaign started.  In the last three weeks, though, I believe we've seen some pretty solid examples of how effectively IBM can and is marketing this product.  When was the last time Microsoft Exchange had a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal?  We're also well into a 200+ city worldwide roadshow for ND7.  The Notes/Domino web pages on have all been substantially updated, and the launch was featured on the top-level homepage for a week.  The press coverage of the new release has been positive and included customer quotes.  There are new stories on  

But it seems that there is forever an expectation gap in this area.  Long-time Notes/Domino customers want an "R5"-type of advertising campaign, with TV ads, billboards, and cool giveaways.  I get asked about this all the time.  So, some truisms --

1) The software industry has changed dramatically since that time.  I'm not sure, other than Microsoft's Office/Windows monopolies, that there is a software vendor in-market today who spends that kind of money on awareness advertising.
2) In software, there generally is little correlation between large-scale TV, billboard (and similar) advertising and product success.  For awareness, TV & billboard advertising works great, but it doesn't always translate into direct sales.  Let's take the case of one of my competitors, Oracle Collaboration Suite.  When Oracle launched OCS, the billboard ads were everywhere -- I couldn't land in a North American airport without seeing an "unbreakable" billboard.  But years later, Oracle has garnered less than 1% of the collaboration market.  On the other hand, I've not seen television commercials for Adobe Acrobat, possibly ever.  Yet nobody would question the success that Acrobat has, right?
3) Advertising <> marketing.  Every time I am asked about "Lotus marketing", I ask the counter-question "do you mean marketing or advertising?"  There is a ton of marketing going on for IBM Software, for Workplace as a brand family, and yes, for Notes/Domino.  Marketing is about the "four Ps" -- product, price, place, promotion.  The mix of what IBM does to market Notes/Domino is way more than just advertising. And a lot of it is quite successful.

There are days I daydream a little fantasy about leaving the computing industry and going to work for a consumer-products company, or the travel industry, or someplace where they are selling a commodity to consumers.  That kind of marketing is obviously very different than B2B.  They have to spend a higher percentage of revenue on marketing, have to differentiate through marketing, and have to keep awareness high because of the recurring nature of the purchase decisions.  I can only imagine the pressure.

Link: SearchDomino: Survey shows that, above all, Notes/Domino users love their product's security >

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