Marketing Geniuses & Marketing Fads

Of course.  Of COURSE DysfunctoSoft pursued this bonehead ground-breaking marketing "strategy".  Hey, without this type of inspired marketing , why there might not be a "Dysfuncto" in DysfunctoSoft.

What, you ask, is the Cranky Product Manager bitching about this time?

Well, about a year ago DysfunctoSoft's Marketing VP, who thinks of himself as a visionary, read an article about the Next Big Thing: the fantabulous SECOND LIFE virtual world.  By some weird circumstance of the universe, this nimrod "visionary" always envisions the same future as the American Airlines in-flight magazine.  Funny that.

Anyway, Veep Nimrod got on the case.  His mission in life became securing DysfunctoSoft a corporate presence in Second Life.  The future of DysfunctoSoft depended on it.  It was a critical new avenue to potential customers. Because, as you know, C-level executives with multi-million dollar software budgets are usually hanging out there. Poor, lonely CIOs. Always wandering around virtual worlds aimlessly, thinking, "If only more enterprise software vendors had islands in Second Life, well then my Second Life could be just as tedious and soul-sucking as my first!" and "Man, I wish I'd run into a virtual software salesperson so I could hear a dreary sales pitch without having to deal with the real-world free dinners, drinks, and lap dances.

Anyway, not wanting to be hasty, Veep Nimrod did some market research on his ground-breaking concept.  He asked his 12-year old son what he thought of the idea.  "WICKED AWESOME" the kid said, in between rounds of Halo.

Emboldened by such powerful market validation, Veep Nimrod put his plan in motion. There was so much work to do and not a minute to waste. And now, finally, after _14 months!_ of weekly status meetings, managing vigorous debate among multiple cross-functional teams, and intensive work on his avatar, Veep Nimrod launched DysfunctoSoft corporate presence in Second Life. 

Yippee.

Too bad Second Life is now a ghost town.  Not even lonely CIOs hang out there anymore.  Number of leads generated by this revolutionary marketing effort after 2 months? ZERO.

But at least this all-consuming epic marketing campaign distracted the Dysfuncto Marketing Geniuses for over a year.  It kept them from inflicting any more damage to the Cranky Product Manager's beloved product.  If they hadn't been otherwise occupied, the Geniuses probably would have added something like "Web 2.0" or "Social Networking Edition" to the CPM's product's name.  You know, some kind of faddish phrase that has no relation to what the product is or does. Because the Geniuses want to make absolutely SURE that customers (and sales people) have no clue what the product actually does.  Because confusing the eff out of them is the sure way to customers' wallets, right?. Hey, if a tactic works for date rapists, it must be a good idea for enterprise software, agreed?

Watch out Marketing Geniuses.  The Cranky Product Manager is disgusted with you. And her avatar can kick your avatars' virtual asses.

7 comments

  1. carolinebender

    Unless D’soft makes sex toys or animal costumes, I can’t imagine what market it could find in Second Life. Thanks for saying “web 2.0,” though. I hadn’t heard it for several hours today. ~~CB

  2. ValleyGirl

    This reminds me of a press release a few weeks ago by Serena about using FaceBook as their company intranet standard — asking employees to dedicate one hour every Friday to updating their profiles. He said he wants to see employees combining professional and personal lives online to work better together. Like, I’m going to post a picture of my drunk grandmother next to my enterprise solution whitepaper?

    http://www.serena.com/company/news/pr/sPR_11022007.html

  3. The Cranky Product Manager

    Thanks for the link, ValleyGirl. The CPM finds it humorous that Serena would actually issue a press release about instituting a practice that will waste 10s of thousands of man hours per year. Potential investors will love it! And not to mention that once you really start encouraging the mixing of professional and personal with that many people (600 employees?), well guaranteed within a year you’ll have several harrassment lawsuits on your hands.

    Using Facebook as your company’s intranet sounds like a good way to encourage a clique-ish high school atmosphere at your company. Which means it’ll be super productive and high achieving right?

  4. GottaBeMe

    Our company spent years almost designing what would have been a version of MySpace for a specific group of trade professionals. It died on the vine when someone finally realized that these trade professionals did not want to spend time doing online social networking with each other. They want to hook customers who will give them business. So then they decided to redesign the old site so it was “web 2.0″.