Angus: Marketing in the 21st IBM i century!

If IBM i really is the best platform on the planet, why are people trying to sell its predecessors?

For all the IBM i vendors, recruiters and other parties, here are two basic questions for you related to marketing to the IBM i community:

  1. What are you marketing?
  2. To whom are you marketing?

I hear the same (tired old) complaints about our community, in that they mostly do not call the platform by its current branding. Many customers I visit do refer to the platform as AS/400, iSeries or System i, and occasionally something more obscure like i5. The marketer response has been that “we have to cater for all these perspectives”. And, to cater for that audience, marketers use various names for the product they are pitching, thinking that will attract the audience they desire. Instead, it makes them look like they are trying to sell coal to fuel a gas heater.

It is important to distinguish WHAT you are marketing from the audience TO WHOM you are marketing. Using an old platform name to attract an audience, is like trying to sell a Windows tablet by calling it a DOS computer. A skilled marketer would be selling a Windows tablet by marketing to everyone – including a Windows audience and a DOS audience. But they would never market something by its old branding.

So, it is time for marketing teams in our IBM i community to get their act together. It is time to start marketing the hell out of IBM i. Instead of changing the branding in a poor attempt to attract the desired audience, we should be marketing IBM i products, events, jobs, etc, to an IBM i, System i, iSeries and AS/400 audience. Using buzzwords and old branding should not be the focus – instead, it should be a means to attract an audience to the cool, new and exciting things that IBM i represents.

Find your IBM i product, and market it to the IBM i, iSeries, AS/400 and System i audience.

1 Comment

[...] about the difference between marketing a product and marketing to an audience (see my blog titled Marketing in the 21st IBM i century!), and it resonated very well. I think this is a successful approach to having vendors understand [...]

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