The old joke says you can take any word from a terminological lexicon of manufacturing company and turn it into enterprise software. Just add “management” word… Product portfolio (management), Engineering change (management), Engineering document (management), Cost (management), Quality (management), Material requirement (management), etc…
The reason for that is simple. After all, engineering and manufacturing companies are doing about the same. As a result of that, marketing of such solution is a tough job. Engineering software and, especially, product lifecycle management is known to be complex to market.
You cannot avoid that. Businesses are using marketing to help capture market, introduce new product to existing and new customers and help moving sales forward. There are plenty of marketing tactics you can use – social media, TV, public relationships and others. Marketing can be very powerful. However, to make it sound right, you company should be think about development its own content. Good copyright person is hard to find.
I’m not a marketing person by any means. However, after watching and reading marketing materials about product lifecycle management for a long time, I decided to come with some ideas about things you better avoid to say in your marketing materials when you speak about PLM. Here is my top 10 list:
1. Industry proven PLM system
What you actually want to say – we have customers. So, just say that.
2. Easy to use user interface
The time of complex solutions are over. Nobody want to develop complex user interface. And I haven’t seen somebody who wants to say “our system is complex to use”. So just make your user interface simple…
3. Ready to use PLM
The main complexity of PLM use is coming from organization and not from product and technology. So, every PLM system is ready to use if company is ready to use it without any implementation, configuration and customization (if needed). And it is ready to use only when your company processes and PLM system implementation are aligned.
4. Out-of-the-box PLM configurations
Same as above. Every system has some out-of-the box configuration. These configuration can present well what system is capable to do, but almost never can be used by company in a production mode.
5. Flexible PLM
Because of what I said above about configuration and customization, flexibility is one of the key requirements for any system. And believe me, nobody want to say that his system is inflexible.
6. Fully configurable
Same as “flexible”, system is either configurable or not. Have you heard about “Not fully configurable systems”? So, just say you can configure the system.
7. Fully customizable
Same as above.
8. Fully integrated
The demand of enterprise customers is to integrate PLM system into the existing environment and connect with other systems – CRM, ERP, MES, etc. But, to integrate system takes time and resources. What you want to say is that you can do do and the system has enough tools to support it.
9. Immersive CAD integration
Same as above about “fully integrated”. What you want to say is that you system supports integration and can be used inside CAD user interface.
10. De-facto industry standards
What you really want to say is that many customers are using your system and it is well-known. So, just say that.
What is my conclusion? I’m sure missed few words. So, what words do you think we need to stop using in PLM marketing? Comment or tweet and let me know. Simplicity is the biggest power. Companies are tired from complex solution and sophisticated marketing words. Just my thoughts…
Want to learn more about PLM? Check out my new PLM Book website.
Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of openBoM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.