Skip to main content

Salesforce.com's "No Software" Mantra: More Effective Than They Know

From its beginnings, Salesforce.com has emphasized its online delivery model with its "No Software" positioning, even snagging 1-800-NO SOFTWARE as its toll-free line. While the application service provider (ASP) or software-as-a-service (SaaS) model in general has never lived up to its initial hype, among consumers or business users, Salesforce.com has enjoyed impressive success with it.

While the company's success with sales and marketing users is hardly news at this point, I was surprised in doing some research recently at how successful the No Software campaign has been among another group: enterprise software developers. Salesforce.com has apparently succeeded at making "software" a nasty word for many of these firms, almost like a racial slur or a misogynistic anachronism not to be uttered in polite company.

For example, Synopsys, a developer of electronic design automation software, doesn't produce software at all according to either its home page or products page: it makes design products and "platforms." Cerner, a medical software provider, doesn't claim to produce software either, but does display screen shots of its "solutions."

Here are several more examples of software vendors who don't offer (Heaven forbid!) "software," but do provide platforms, solutions, "applications," "services," "environments," "suites," "technologies," "architectures," "engines," "modules," "servers," "tools," or "systems:"

Telcordia (information-networking and operations software)
Hyperion (business intelligence/analytics software)
FileNet (enterprise content management software)
NAVTEQ (digital map data and software)
i2 Technologies (supply chain management software)
Jack Henry & Associates (banking software)
Kronos (time tracking and HR management software)
Per-Se Technologies (medical billing software)
Infor (ERP software)
Eclipsys (clinical software)
Open Text (content management software)
Internet Security Systems (network security software)
DICOM Group (document capture and workflow automation software)

I could go on, but you get the idea. By not only capturing the interest of prospects, but changing the terminology of an entire industry, Salesforce.com has clearly done an outstanding job of branding.

About the only folks who haven't bought into the "No Software" message are industry journalists; all of the companies cited here (including Salesforce.com) appear on the list of the largest 500 software companies compiled by Software Magazine.

*****

Terms: Salesforce.com, no software, application service provider, CRM software, software 500 list, software-as-a-service (SaaS)

The portal for Web site marketing strategy: WebMarketCentral.com

Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentral.com

RSS feed

Comments

All Time Greats

Best of 2008: Social Media Optimization, Part 6

This content has been moved to Best of 2008: Social Media Marketing on the Webbiquity blog. ***** technorati tags: online video SEO reputation management social bookmarking social media marketing SEO and reputation management Search Engine Journal Loren Baker Google Video ClipShare PHPmotion 30 largest social bookmarking sites Anything Goes Blog Stuntdubl social media can increase revenue Social Media Today Jacob Morgan increase blog traffic How To Make My Blog Marko Saric what not to do in social media Interactive Insights Group Robin Broitman social media gaffes Target Motrin Starbucks Whole Foods FedEx del.icio.us tags: online video SEO reputation management social bookmarking social media marketing SEO and reputation management Search Engine Journal Loren Baker Google Video ClipShare PHPmotion 30 largest social bookmarking sites Anything Goes Blog Stuntdubl social media can increase revenue Social Media Today Jacob Morgan increa

Email Campaign, Newsletter and Banner Ad Click-Through Rates (CTR)

When planning online advertising and email promotion budgets, it's critical to calculate the likely ROI upfront whenever possible, as well as to establish campaign benchmarks. The first step is understanding the average and likely range of CTRs for various programs. The growth in online advertising, the proliferation of enewsletters, the emergence of new forms of information delivery such as RSS and the emergence of social media sites have all affected CTR, so planning based on current data is crucial. It can be challenging to find current statistics, but based on several studies, these are typical CTR ranges for email newsletter ads, email campaigns (blasts or internally-produced enewsletters), and banner ads. Email newsletter advertisements Open rates range from 28-40%, with an average of about 33%—meaning that roughly one-third of the subscriber base is likely to see your ad. The Advertising Is Good For You blog tracks these statistics from DoubleClick . The average CT

Twitter Twaddle, Part 1: What Twitter Is and Why It's Cool

Most Web 2.0 sites fall into one of a few increasingly well-defined categories, such as social bookmarking (Digg, del.icio.us, Searchles), social networking (LinkedIn, Facebook) or file sharing (YouTube, Flickr, podOmatic ). Twitter, however, stands alone. (Okay, there's also Pownce, but Twitter is better.) Self-described as simply a real-time short messaging service and often referred to a microblogging platform , to those new to it, Twitter resembles nothing so much as a giant cocktail party where everyone talks at once and hopes others listen. You can tell who's important by how many "followers" that person has, though that's no guarantee anyone is really paying attention. People (or rather, Tweeple in the Twitter lexicon ) can come and go without really being noticed, just like at a real (very, very large) gathering. Twitter can be difficult to explain to those unfamiliar with it. Jennifer Laycock writes that Twitter is like Post-It notes ; lots of them a

Google and the Parable of the Turkey

In The Black Swan , Nassim Nicholas Taleb writes about the life of the turkey: for 100 days, the turkey is sheltered, fed and cared for by the farmer. The turkey grows to trust the farmer completely, even perhaps developing a fondness for the farmer (and of course the feed). Then, on the 101st day (with Thanksgiving quickly approaching), the relationship between the turkey and the farmer changes abruptly and permanently. The rationale behind the farmer's apparent benevolence become clear in a final flash before the turkey takes the necessary step preceding de-feathering, vacuum-packing, freezing and shipping off to the market. Taleb's lesson for us from this: don't be a turkey. More succinctly, don't assume that the future will resemble the past, or, in the words of mutual fund prospectuses , "past performance is no guarantee of future results." Also, remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Of course, that doesn't take into account the pe

SEO Link Spam - What Is It and Who's to Blame?

Over the years, unscrupulous black hat SEO scammers have used a variety of tricks—keyword stuffing, link farms, white text and others—to try to manipulate search results, and the algorithms used by Google, Yahoo and the other search engines have evolved to identify and squelch the effectiveness of such nefarious tactics. A more vexing issue for the search engines is dealing with link spam, not only because it is difficult to detect and address algorithmically, but because there isn't even a clear definition. As a website owner, the term represents emails like this: Dear webmaster, As a part of ongoing campaign to increase the Link Popularity of My website I am looking for some good potential sites like yours. I review your site and find that, in SEO perspective your site is Perfect. Also, this would be a great resource for my visitors too. I would request you to consider listing my site. Title:- My Spammy Website URL:- http://www.indiaspamforyou.com Description:- mi

How to Use SEO: Leverage SEO To Be Found Online and Boost Your Online Marketing

All businesses that want to attract customers online, no matter the business size or age, have few options other than Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  SEO In The Box™ by Results Driven Marketing®, LLC There are roughly 1.8 billion websites online, and basic SEO allows Google to find and index or catalog your webpages.  After that, Google serves you up to searchers in the organic section.  The question remains: where they list your site, on page one or page 22 or further back? SEO controls your positioning. Do you want to be found online or not? If your business is online or you want your product or service to be found online, then Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a must, and knowing how to use SEO to leverage the power of the internet is vital. Arguably, an effective SEO strategy gets you on the organic results section of the search engine results pages (SERP). Organic traffic is highly valuable and requires high-quality SEO. But even businesses that use l

The 8 Layers of a B2B Web Marketing Plan

One way to think about designing a B2B technology web marketing plan is as a series of layers, like an onion. At the core is SEO—simply making your website "findable" through organic search to buyers who are looking for what you offer. Working out from the center are concentric layers of additional investment and sophistication. Small companies and start-ups with modest budgets will focus most of their efforts on the inner layers or rings, which are primarily designed for lead generation. As the company and its marketing budget grow, efforts can be expanded to the outer layers, which are aimed more at branding but support lead generation efforts. Ideally, a company eventually reaches the outer layer where pure branding activities (such as print advertising) help to maximize the effectiveness of lead generation programs (such as SEM) near the center of the circle. This diagram shows how different types of web marketing programs can be prioritized in order to maximize the re

How Can SEO Tools Help Create A Mobile Site More Appealing?

How SEO Tools Can Help Make Your Mobile Website Appealing: The world is rapidly going mobile, and if you haven't already built a mobile version of your site yet, then your competition will happily take care of this part for you, by snatching your mobile visitors away from you. Learning how social media marketing can help gain awareness for your business or site is a great positive.  Here we provide a great example of how a cell phone makeover can radically change the experience for your mobile visitors.  We begin with some simple guidelines to ensure your website's mobile experience is designed to please the user in the hopes of gaining more clients. Through the use of seo tools , the benefits derived from the gained knowledge in marketing could create improvements to any aspects of the works. This is beneficial for search engine optimization purposes.  Importantly, keep your mobile site to have minimized any challenges that could occur for viewers. One of the m