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Find a Customer Pain Point and Create Your Next Customer(s)

As B2B tech marketers, we are constantly trying to align our message, offers and products with customer pain points and funded initiatives of IT decision makers.

One, to be relevant, and, two, to sell more stuff. This became crystal clear this past week when I attended TechWeb’s Enterprise 2.0 (or as we call it “E2”) event held in Boston. It’s an event of about 1,500 executives coming together to figure out how to bring rich web applications, community and collaboration into enterprise business technology environments. Think of it as web 2.0 stuff meets Enterprise IT for business. This is an emerging customer pain point that Advil won’t fix or relieve. But you can.

Enterprise CIO types and business managers from Wachovia, Pfizer, and the CIA (not the Culinary Institute of America, that other CIA – and check out their web site by the way if you have a few hours) were sounding pretty millennial in their descriptions of the next big areas of emphasis for their business. It was a little weird hearing words flying out of Business Technology Executives’ mouths like “share”, “collaborate”, “discuss”, followed closely by old favorites like “control”, “revenue”, and “operating margin”.

With much apprehension and more questions than answers for these big consumers of IT products and services, there is a big pain, and opportunity, for you as a tech marketers and provider. As in past tech cycles, while many Enterprise 2.0 applications will be purchased, it is the companies that supply the tools and infrastructure that usually strike gold. So, what are the opportunities in this next E2 cycle?

Cloud Computing: Every major Enterprise is now investigating and exploring the viability of what they can and can’t run from the “cloud”. InformationWeek sees the enterprise opportunity as huge and has launched a serious content play to help business technology executives “Master the Cloud”. Rob Preston, editorial leader, lays out the Cloud Computing customer pain points in his latest “Down to Business” column.

Network Infrastructure: More video, more photos and more applications being sent around enterprise networks and the web = more servers, routers, switches, etc being bought (Facebook is reportedly buying 1,000 servers a month).

Social Media ‘Management’: I know it sounds like an oxymoron using social and management in the same label, but the biggest opportunity may lie in custom software development, hosting and the management/analytics tools.

Software applications: Adding web 2.0 plug-ins and software from traditional enterprise providers and Facebook, Google, Twitter, and many progressive, emerging platforms into existing enterprise applications (e.g., Oracle’s Social CRM).

Please share what are your customers biggest pain points and how you are capitalizing on the Enterprise 2.0 movement as rich web apps mash up with business technology.