The definition for Solutions Marketing is given as “A combination of products, services, and intellectual property focused on a specific business problem that drives measurable business value. The solutions components can be from either the vendor or one or more partners, and the solutions implementer can be the vendor, the partner, the customer itself, or a combination of the three.”
I was recently introduced to this definition by Mr. Steven Hurley, MD of Solutions Insights Inc., a renowned marketing professional and practitioner of Solutions Marketing, erstwhile director of the ITSMA ( Information Technology Services Marketing Association), former Director at Arthur D’Little management consulting group and my Professor of Solutions Marketing course at the HULT International Business School, Boston.
As the information and knowledge sank in and my understanding of the subject was relatively better, I started to connect the dots between what I am learning in class and what I have practised as a sales functionary in the flexible packaging industry in India and Nigeria.
It was almost an epiphany in class when I substituted the key words in the classic ITSMA definition with those from the flexible packaging industry and started to see a connection. This quick analysis is appended below ;
“A combination of products (Flexible packaging laminate, pre-formed pouches), services (Art work development, printing plate development, gravure printing drum development), and intellectual property (Lamination technology, knowledge of multi-layer laminates, Knowledge of materials, chemicals and adhesives) focused on a specific business problem (Client’s specific challenge in developing the right packaging for his product that meets his product performance requirements) that drives measurable business value (Customer saves in economic value terms by using less packaging material, through down gauging, superior barrier with innovative materials).
The substitutions are given in bold type.
The classic definition ends with a concise explanation of how the inter-stakeholders relationships are woven together to provide the framework for a successful solutions marketing initiative- and it goes like this: ”
The solutions components can be from either the vendor and one or more partners, and the solutions implementer can be the vendor, the partner, the customer itself, or a combination of the three.”
With this definition I drew a simplistic version of how the solutions marketing initiative would work in the flexible packaging industry, which is depicted in the insert.
I would request you all to ideate on this and to comment with your thoughts on this.