Category Creation: Not for the Faint of Heart

Author: Maana Marketing
Category Creation: Not for the Faint of Heart

Maana contributed an article for LinkedIn Pulse on our efforts to create the Enterprise Knowledge Technology Category, that is important to share with our community.

The inspiration for the post was our involvement at the GE Communications Summit. It was a gathering of some of the brightest communications experts in the industry, from GE’s team to CMO of CNN and many other influential media companies along with tech and PR firms. Over the course of two days, advice and best practices were shared about every aspect of communications programs in today’s “always on” and “on-demand” world of information. The timing could not have been better since the executive team here at Maana had just formulated our communications strategy after some intense industry analysis and in-depth customer evaluation.  Our conclusion? Category creation.

Mind you, category creation is not for the faint of heart. However, when you see your technology enable someone (in our case Fortune 500 companies) do something never thought possible and you find yourself constantly falling outside of the box that industry watchers want to put you in, then it is with passion and conviction to set the agenda.  In our case it is the creation of a category called, “Enterprise Knowledge Technology.”

While the decision to create the category had been made, attending the GE conference provided the validation that made me more determined. Here are some of the takeaways:

  1. Be Bold/Play Offense. You are doing something different, so have a firm point of view on who you are (your company) and where you are going.
  2. Tell your story your way. If not,someone else will tell the wrong story about you.
  3. Invest the time to get your story right. Maana has spent enormous amount of time crafting our story that highlights how Knowledge Technology is different from data analytics and why that matters.
  4. Humility, Simplicity, Transparency are important. You are communicating to people, even when you are targeting companies. Humility has been an integral part of Maana’s culture and we stay true to that when we market to our prospects, but we also have to strike the balance of being bold and confident.
  5. Create stories that resonate with the audience you are trying to reach. In considering those stories also be aware of the channels in which you are sharing. What is right for Twitter may not translate well for an industry conference or, for that matter LinkedIn.
  6. Visuals Are King. Infographics, photos, and charts help illustrate concepts more handily than straight narrative.
  7. Use communication channels, wisely. With new channels being created daily, it is important to have a strategic plan and choose based on audience and message. Also, with limited resources, best to do three well with intent versus five not so well.
  8. Your marketing team is bigger than you think.  Involve your employees and customers in your category crusade.  There is no one more qualified (and likely as passionate) than those who make up the company and rely on your business to be part of this effort.

Maana is moving forward in positive motion with our customers and investors behind us, and our proven-technology value and data helping to tell our story. It is an exciting time for our great team at Maana.



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