While this software giant is dominant on the desktop, its offerings were still considered weaklings in vertical markets like healthcare. These industries have been dominated by established vertical competitors with many years of experience and large, dedicated sales forces.
With a small budget and big perceptual obstacles, Microsoft asked B2P to help attract and engage hospital CFOs to consider their financial information system, Great Plains, for hospitals.
Unfortunately, we faced formidable obstacles. Financial software like this is often purchased as mere components of larger integrated clinical information systems (CIS), in which the CFO is but one influencer. In addition, hospital CFOs are some of the busiest, most heavily-sought titles in business. And, they were certain that our client had nothing of importance to say to them.
We quickly found in our exploratory Prospect Persona research that the only way Great Plains was going to be considered at all was if the CFO broke ranks and insisted on the financial technology they needed. Thus, we had to find a way to disrupt the typical purchase process.
Rather than talking about the product, as the market would expect Microsoft to do, we took a creative approach that focused on a “CFO speaks” theme, to discuss the real issues these executives face that this software can solve.
Based on our Key Prospect Insight, we positioned Great Plains as “the financial information system CFOs would get if they drove the process.” So our program focused on identifying the “lessons learned” by CFOs in successfully navigating the hospital gauntlet to get a standalone financial information system approved – even if it was not from Microsoft.
The program also discussed the challenges and disappointments CFOs experienced with financial information systems that came bundled, introducing a question in prospects’ minds about passively adopting CIS systems.
This program became the cornerstone of the marketing effort for the year. With little time or money, we produced a series of webcasts that engaged the CFOs we sought, as well as a white paper that was effective as an incentive for generating prospects through direct marketing. We got real CFOs to state the case for our product and position Great Plains as the best-in-class alternative to “bolt-on” CIS financial modules.