Trends Report

Software Vendor Positioning Benchmark, Q4 2008

A Review Of Software Marketing Practices With A Self-Assessment Tool

December 23rd, 2008
With contributors:
Thomas Mendel, Ph.D. , Edward Radcliffe


A year after we first published it, Forrester's vendor positioning review (VPR) methodology has become a proven strategy tool; Forrester analysts have applied it in multiple advisory engagements, and marketing professionals actively leverage it as a self-assessment tool. After studying vendors in several specific software categories, it's now time to use the methodology to assess the positioning of the software industry giants. We have assessed the corporate positioning and three representative product groups for each of these vendors: CA, Google, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Oracle, SAP, and Symantec. Their positioning appears on a spectrum from information technology (IT) to business technology (BT). The vendors show significantly different gaps between their corporate and product-related positioning: Some are well aligned; some have business-oriented corporate positioning yet purely technical product positioning; some have the opposite approach. Our study reveals some remarkable best practices from which vendor strategy professionals can learn.

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