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No, really. Seriously. Marketing. Ok, I fully understand you don't believe me. Let me explain..... No, there is too much. Let me sum up....
At the recent user conference, a new marketing campaign was announced called "Lotus Knows". This is a bid deal by itself, because for years we've been told never to expect a direct marketing campaign that is deeper than general "IBM Software". Suddenly, the LOTUS brand is going to be getting some love.
The idea behind the campaign is to really show off the things people can do with Lotus software that even many users of the tools hadn't thought of. We've been told to expect this campaign to be visible in more places than we're used to seeing. Specifically, expect to see it at places when you're "Away" -- at airports, on taxi cabs, etc.
Ok, since you know I'm a cynical old guy, here's my take on the whole thing:
#1. Even if the whole thing is just turds dropped from a high place (as was suggested by someone in chat) as long as the turds are yellow and say LOTUS on them, we're already a step ahead of where we've been. Just seeing money being spent on the brand will go a long way toward dispelling the myth that the product line is being allowed to wither on the vine.
#2. If the campaign in even marginally successful and getting people to take another look at what they've already got and think about what else can be done, then for us business partners it will be a huge win. For customers it will be a win as well because they'll increase the value for their money. For IBM, the goal would be to increase renewals and keep customers. In a market this stable, it's critical to keep your customers and regenerate maintenance. It costs 10 times as much to get a new customer as to keep an existing one -- and the way the licensing works, it's a wash in terms of profitability.
#3. If the campaign is wildly successful and at the same time Microsoft continues to offer so little of value (and frankly, I believe that IT "big thinkers" are starting to see through the pretty curtains into the mess that is Sharepoint underneath) then IBM just may see an uptick in new Lotus Notes seats.
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