Intuit seems to be in something akin to head scratching mode. That should not surprise. It is a problem we see time and again in companies that have a long legacy in on premise. What it should tell us though is that there are viable, competitive alternatives in the market.
That is something we have seen time and again. A combination of ingrained culture, past success and a deadly need to feed Wall Street analysts with good news conspire to prevent vendors from doing what they know in their hearts has to get done.
Dell discovered a solution in attempting to go private. That gives it the financial privacy (sic) to experiment, switch gears, self immolate if it has to in order to develop a fresh and sustainable business model that can come back out to the market. Intuit does not have that luxury and arguably doesn't need it any time soon. However, it is coming to something when we see them attempt a market intelligence plan based upon a random survey of professional accountants that offers a bribe to part with numbers. They say: How many clients use Cloud accounting software? Win an iPad 2! Here's the link.
The image at the top, taken from Hugh MacLeod's gapingvoid site is a great reminder of what doesn't work. Accompanying the cartoon, he says:
Few people begrudge you for building a better mousetrap, especially if they have a mouse problem. Whether you invade their chill time with a loud, obnoxious commercial, well, that’s different.
The problem people have, of course, is not with marketing, but with bad marketing.
I actually think people love great marketing, even more than they hate bad marketing.
My takeaway from the Intuit thing goes something like this: "Heh Mr Practitioner, we can't be arsed to go out and do our own research so we'll suck your brains. Win an iPad for the the pleasure and have a nice day."
If they thought this through carefully enough they'd discover there are enough data sources from which to make an educated series of hypotheses that they could then test with their own ideas about how to make cloud work for them. Heck - if they asked, we could give them a solid idea of the numbers they need to think about.
Instead, what we mostly see is copycat 'stuff' interspersed with this kind of mind numbing approach to an already failed marketing method.
Apart from the guaranteed #fail element, it is an astonishing waste of money, money that customers will end up paying for in their license and maintenance fees.
Image credit: Oliver Ressler