Lotus Knows It Has A Lot Of Work To Do

So the Lotus Knows Ideajam is over. In
the three days that it was running there was nearly 1000 ideas submitted
to the site and over 20,000 votes were counted. All this adds up to one
hell of a headache for the folks at IBM Lotus’s marketing department as
they review all the ideas, cut out all the fluff and spam and obvious troll
entries and whittle the contents down to something that is usable in their
‘Lotus Knows’ advertising campaign.

Personally I submitted two ideas to
the IdeaJam site, the first one was an idea that the advertising teams
needs to market to the right audience, this idea did not gain a lot of
votes however my second submitted
ended up being the 14th most popular idea on the entire
site. This idea had 113 promotes and 4 demotes. The idea was simple and
one that has been echoed in the Lotus Community for a long time, that IBM
Lotus need to start showing and using products and their names in their

This is an idea that I and many others
are very passionate about and the voting on the LotusKnows IdeaJam website
shows this and I’m glad that the idea ended up very high on the list of
most popular idea on the site. Maybe now IBM Lotus will take this idea
on board and do some real adverts that don’t leave you scratching your
head wondering what the heck they are trying to sell you.

I’ve seen Microsoft adverts on TV for
Microsoft’s Office Communicator, detailing how a company has saved money
by not having to fly people to meetings across the world, saving money
and helping to reduce the companies carbon footprint and I’ve seen IBM’s
adverts on TV for IBM’s Smarter Planet which details… Actually I have
no clue what it details. There are no ‘smarter’ examples of using something
like IBM Lotus Sametime to do the same money saving, carbon footprint reducing
that the MS advert shows, there are no ‘smarter’ examples of using IBM
Tivoli to show more efficient IT Support teams maintaining servers all
around the world, there are no ‘smarter’ examples of using something like
Lotus Protector to reduce and eliminate spam from corporate emails systems
which would lead to a more efficient workforce that doesn’t need to deal
with the spam emails and the more efficient mail servers that don’t need
to process and store that spam.

Imagine an apple advert for the iPhone,
it’s a busy New York sidewalk, lot of people walking in each direction
and one person is talking on an iPhone but you can’t really tell because
the shot is so wide the iPhone in the persons hand is too small to make
out and then the screen fades to black and you just see an apple logo (
no mention of iPhone, just an Apple logo ). That would not sell many iPhones.
Instead Apple shows the iPhone on screen and shows some of the cool apps
and things that it can do. People see the apps and it makes them want to
buy the iPhone so that they can also do the cool things the iPhone can
do. To me the Smarter Planet adverts are very much like my imagined Apple
advert, a wide vague shot of something you can’t get a grasp on and then
fade to the company logo without telling you what you were trying to achieve.

Lotus Knows… It has a LOT of work
to do.

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3 comments on “Lotus Knows It Has A Lot Of Work To Do
  1. Declan, perhaps the vagueness of many of the current and past advertising campaigns is related to the excessive reliance on external agencies who are not primarily IBM/Lotus software users. They are more comfortable marketing nebulous big concepts of brand awareness rather than the down to earth details of specific products. Possibly, even internally at IBM the marketers are not informed enough about the products they are charged with promoting. I saw an excellent idea in the Jam (I think by an IBMer) about the need for more internal marketing of Lotus software. They must “eat their own dog food” before they can sincerely and passionately promote it to the world. { Link }


  2. @Roland – Given all the comments from Ed Brill and others over the years, I think it is clear that the lack of focus on products is completely intentional, not due to lack of knowledge. Whether we agree or not on IBM’s strategy, we should understand that it is an explicit strategy which would need to be explicitly changed.


  3. Wanted to agree with you about marketing to the correct audience. I wish I had seen that in the posts because it would have gained my vote for sure. I appreciate you suggestions. Keep up the good work.


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