Mary offers a messaging framework for moving beyond product-centric features and product-centric benefits to demonstrating your understanding of a prospect’s problems, needs, and wants. If you want to see more samples of her thinking for startups see her two blogs “Way to Grow” and “First Year”
The meeting starts at 6:30 with networking, Mary’s presentation will be from 7-8:15PM. I have previewed it with her and was struck by the number of thought provoking suggestions for marketing folks–and software startup founding teams–used to focusing on features.
Just a brief note on the SDForum Marketing SIG, our promise is “Practical tips and techniques for anticipating, identifying, and satisfying customers needs for emerging technologies profitably.” We are guided by this quote from “Management: Task, Responsibilities, Practices” by Peter Drucker on the importance of marketing:
“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only these two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.”
Update August 2008: Mary Sullivan’s slides are now available here http://www.sdforum.com/document/docWindow.cfm?fuseaction=document.viewDocument&documentid=85&documentFormatId=103