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Marketing complex products and services takes a methodical approach

This article was based on the interview with Jaxon Repp from HarperDB by Greg Kihlström for The Agile Brand with Greg Kihlström podcast. Listen to the original episode here:

Marketing complex products and services can be a challenging task. These types of products often require a deep understanding of technical details and can be difficult to explain to potential customers. However, with the right approach, marketing complex products and services can lead to great success.

One company that shares this need is HarperDB. HarperDB is a distributed application platform that started out as a distributed database. Their goal was to bring their database closer to users to lower latency. However, they soon realized that they could go beyond just being a database and build an application server on top of it to simplify the architecture of distributed systems.

The first step in marketing complex products is to clearly define the value proposition. Potential customers need to understand why they should choose your product over competitors. For HarperDB, their value proposition is the ability to have instances of their database all over the planet, close to where users are, to minimize latency. They also emphasize the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of their solution for distributed computing.

Another important aspect of marketing complex products is understanding the target audience and their desired customer experience. HarperDB’s customers fall into two distinct groups: application developers and giant network providers. Application developers are focused on performance, speed, and capability, while network providers have a vested interest in making their customers’ applications run as fast as possible. HarperDB tailors their marketing messages to address the specific needs and pain points of these two groups.

When marketing complex products, it is crucial to simplify the messaging and avoid overwhelming potential customers with technical jargon and a complex product roadmap. HarperDB understands this and focuses on highlighting the benefits and outcomes that their platform can deliver. They emphasize the ability to eliminate latency, simplify architecture, and reduce the complexity and total cost of ownership for distributed systems.

In addition to simplifying the messaging, it is also important to provide clear and concise explanations of how the product works. This can be done through various channels such as website content, blog posts, videos, and customer testimonials. HarperDB utilizes these channels to educate potential customers about their distributed application platform and how it can solve their specific challenges.

Furthermore, building strong relationships with customers and understanding their needs is vital for marketing complex products. HarperDB’s field CTO, Jaxon Repp, spends his time working with customers, discussing their needs, and influencing the product part of the organization to come up with solutions that deliver value. By actively listening to customers and incorporating their feedback into the product development process, HarperDB ensures that their platform continues to meet the evolving needs of their target audience.

Marketing complex products and services requires a strategic approach that focuses on clearly defining the value proposition, understanding the target audience, simplifying the messaging, providing clear explanations, and building strong relationships with customers. By following these principles, companies like HarperDB can effectively market their complex products and services and achieve success in the market.

House of the Customer by Greg Kihlström is now available.
House of the Customer by Greg Kihlström

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