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David Diamond March 20, 2014 at 5:26 pm

I haven’t yet had a chance to read John’s “orange paper” but, c’mon, it’s John–you know it’s going to be great stuff.

I more wanted to back you up on what you’re saying about trust and education. In my 16+ years in this business, I can say that I’ve witnessed so many seedy practices from DAM vendors that it no longer surprises me when people value vendor people with the same esteem they have for street corner drug dealers. I’ve seen them buy Twitter followers and YouTube views, and I’ve seen them tell customers they have a “cloud solution” when, in fact, they didn’t. (And still don’t, by the way.) And I can’t count the number of times I’ve read phrases from my own book pop up in the blogs, white papers and posts of other vendors.

The fact is that our industry is overrun with people who don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. Or worse, they just regurgitate what they’ve heard others say and pretend it’s their own.

The very notion that someone is downloading an educational white paper suggests that she or he is *not* yet ready to have a sales conversation. But why wouldn’t the sales team act? After all, the thugs at the DAM vendor down the street are probably peddling the same regurgitated content in one of their white papers, and their sales team certainly isn’t going to wait.

“We have to get in there early,” is what I have heard from sales teams forever. And they’re completely correct. But the point they miss is that “get in there” doesn’t mean asking about budgets and timelines. It means providing valuable resources that demonstrate that you’re not just a moron hungry for cash.

But this, of course, requires, you know, experience and knowledge. And who the hell has time for that? After all, there are DAM ROI and “business case” infographics, “super excited!” tweets, and other such fiction to produce.

Because our industry remains in the shadows of CRM, CMS, Marketing Automation and other sexier fields, we tend to get the runts of the litters when it comes to sales and marketing people. And it shows.

Fortunately, I think it’s getting easier for people to be able to tell who our industry’s true experts really are. Just because many DAM vendors have (finally) realized that it’s time to start focusing on DAM education doesn’t mean they can. I am so thankful just to know that someone like John has written a white paper because I know it’s something I can recommend to others, even if I haven’t read it. By contrast, I recently attended the first in a new series of “educational webinars” from a DAM vendor whom I knew would be unable to deliver on anything that wasn’t a restatement of someone else’s content. And I wasn’t disappointed there either. You can’t fake knowledge unless you’re reading from a script. And when you are reading from a script, chances are that’s evidence that you lack the knowledge you claim to have.

So, I think this is all great. Vendors *should* produce more white papers (that they author themselves), and they should also provide as many “best practice” webinars as they can. Because through all of these “educational” materials, and through the business process follow-ups, the entire market will get a much clearer sense of who’s here to do some good and who’s here because they didn’t get that job at Salesforce.

David Diamond
Director of Global Marketing

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