SAP ads debunk mid-market myths

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Marty Homlish
Title: Exec VP-global chief marketing officer
Company: SAP
Years in current job: 4 years
Quote: “SAP emerged as the ‘safe choice’ for customers.”

In 2004, when SAP set out to focus on mid-market business customers, it started with an initiative to dispel some misconceptions this target audience seemed to have about SAP. Enter SAP's "Myth Busters" marketing campaign.

According to Marty Homlish, exec VP and global chief marketing officer, the campaign addressed four misconceptions: SAP is too big, too expensive, too complex or too slow.

The initiative included an expansion of its customer reference campaign. That campaign gives examples of "best-run companies" that use SAP, with print executions such as "The North Face Runs SAP" and "Fender Runs SAP." Print advertising, including business, IT and vertical publications, has been the core medium for SAP, Homlish said.

The strategy seems to be working: Unaided awareness of the SAP brand among mid-market companies increased by more than 60% over the previous year, according to its research.

Homlish also said SAP gained an advantage this year over competitors Oracle and PeopleSoft by remaining focused on the needs of its customers. While Oracle and PeopleSoft were locked in a protracted take-over battle, SAP's revenue rose 23% in the second quarter of 2004 over the previous-year quarter, fueled largely by an increase in SAP's software-license revenue in North America, according to the company.

"SAP emerged as the `safe choice' for customers-the experienced, long-term industry leader focused on solutions that help companies better manage their business and achieve growth through innovation," Homlish said.

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