Evolution of technology services

Evolution of technology services
Market Leader 2011

LAURIE YOUNG is a leader – and writer of several books – in UK professional services marketing and his co-author is managing director of the Boston based ITSMA (Information Technology Services Marketing Association). They have produced a tour de force that spans strategic management, services marketing, branding, account management, service and quality management, innovation and marketing communications. But the focus is on how these tools apply to the radically changing world of technology services.

By their definition, this evolving sector spans established technology companies and consultancies and those services that exploit an ‘installed base’ or infrastructure and thus extends to the utility companies.

While the first two chapters (defining the sector and introducing services marketing) and chapter nine (communicating with service markets) might be considered basic, the remaining chapters are full of value even to seasoned marketers. Themes throughout the book include the importance of: public relations, addressing rational and emotional needs, investment in customer intelligence and integration of marketing and sales.

The 40-page appendix provides a summary of the best-known (and, as the authors point out, often misunderstood) analysis and marketing tools and techniques. I enjoyed the challenges to some of the most commonly used marketing tools.

Its 300 pages are crammed with academic rigour and valuable insight. The case studies show ideas in action among some of the world’s leading B2B and B2C service organisations.

It’s a sophisticated, intelligent and challenging introduction to services marketing for senior people – especially those in larger organisations. However, I’m not sure it would do much except worry the many smaller technology or other service firms who are yet to embrace some of the tough strategic challenges the book addresses. ­

Marketing technology as a service: Proven techniques that add value, Laurie Young and Bev Burgess, John Wiley & Sons (2010), £34.99