The easy answer is “distributing PCs”—you know, those boxes with semiconductors inside that people do their accounts with or play videogames on. But what if “PC” didn’t just stand for a Microsoft/Intel (or Apple, Linux, AMD, etc.) machine? What if a PC distributor took a broader view of “PC” standing for “personal computing” of any type, whether desktop, laptop, tablet, cloud, outsourced service, or whatever?
The All-Time Classic of “Marketing Myopia”
Back in 1960, Theodore Levitt wrote an article called “Marketing Myopia.” Its message was one of the simplest, yet also one of the most important in the whole of marketing. Levitt said that businesses would be more likely to succeed if they focused on what customers want rather than just selling products. That may sound obvious today, yet some PC distributors still fall into the trap of pushing faster processors and bigger hard disks, instead of meeting needs to better handle and store information.
Those Who “Get It” and Those Who Don’t
Oil companies reacted to Levitt’s idea by changing their approach from suppliers of oil (product) to suppliers of energy (meeting a need). To this day, they remain the biggest companies in the world. The railroad industry was not so fortunate. Besides having to face competition from cars and planes, it was stuck in a “railroad” marketing rut, unable to see beyond the product (railroad) to the real need (transport). However, as long as a PC distributor keeps an open mind and stays aligned with customer needs, it can avoid the decline of the myopic product-centered company.
How much should distributors try to drive the market for IT solutions? How much can they help resellers by creating new needs? Your point of view is welcome in the Comments section below.
And to follow-through on the ideas introduced in this short post, be sure to download your free copy of the quick reference guide to the Top 6 Computer Distributors that Help Small Business VARs, Network Integrators, MSPs, and PC Repair Businesses Cost-Effectively Deliver High-Margin, End-to-End Solutions.
Creative Commons Image Source: flickr Mark Mrwizard