As we embark on another round of BPM navel gazing, otherwise known as the BPM conference season, I’m wondering whether the BPM Marketing community are failing to connect with our target audiences.
A couple of recent blog articles brought this to mind. This first article by Ian Gotts “Why does nobody care” highlighted the declining audiences at BPM conferences compared to huge audiences for CRM events.
This second post by Connie Moore highlights the failure of BPM to engage with the C suite, the majority of whom she says don’t really care about process and methodologies and are turned on by business outcomes, profit, market share, growth.
The role of marketing is to create connections. This is done by clearly defining the problem you are trying to solve and showing your prospect how your product or service does this (preferably with case studies to reassure the client). The two blog articles indicate that BPM is failing to connect.
Customers don’t buy BPM suites they buy solutions for business problems. BPM customers don’t wake up in the morning and say to themselves, you know I really need some complex rules, predictive analytics or social bpm. Instead they enter the office with problems they need to solve; transform customer support, drive increased revenue, lower service delivery costs or utilize their staff more efficiently.
Which brings me back to this year’s BPM conference season. How can we light a fire of interest in BPM and connect with our audience? I’ve an idea. BPM conferences regularly have solution provider sessions. These solution sessions however tend to be around the edges of the event, separate from the main conference tracks focusing on BPM technology and related topics like organizational change.
Conference organisers should flip this model on it’s head. Focus the event not on BPM technologies but on BPM Solutions, with solution tracks for Finance, Government, Telco, Retail etc. and push the BPM technology and theory sessions to the edge of the event. Let delegates see best practice elsewhere and learn from it, let them see what is possible with BPM rather than the potential of BPM. Then we’ll begin to connect.