Expert's Panel

A collection of timely and important
topics posed to our panel of experts.
Recently Added (3)

1
What is the best strategy for selling into China; reps, direct sales from the US or other countries, or local people?

2
How do you get soft data and discern what is relevant?

3
Customers lie about their needs and wants. How do you sift through the BS to get to the truth?

Timeless Topics (127)

4
Customers lie about their needs and wants. How do you sift through the BS to get to the truth?

5
What is the best strategy for selling into China; reps, direct sales from the US or other countries, or local people?

6
How often should supplier product marketing managers go see key customers? Any rule of thumb?

7
What are the pitfalls and good ideas for making the transition from a technology to a market driven company?

8
When you are a small company with limited budget where can you get data such as TAM and SAM?

9
What red flags can we identify that might signal a pending downturn?

10
Give some examples of market driven companies and contrast them with technology driven companies.

11
What would be the most important advice you would give a new product marketing person?

12
What is the best way to forecast sales on a new product or product upgrade?

13
What are good activities for a Product Manager to delegate?

14
What are the marketing challenges of the future. Especially the impact of technology improvements and drivers slowing down?

15
What are good arguments to executive management when you are being pushed to release a product to soon?

16
What is the most important lesson you have learned that makes you a great marketer?

17
What are the current (2007) main drivers for semiconductor equipment and materials?

18
What are legal and good practices for collecting competitive information? Also that which is beyond the public domain- what are the channels and methods to justify the acquisition of this information?

19
How do I obtain contacts and research to ensure my product in a new market, for my company, addresses the needs of the key industry players?

20
When in the product development cycle should a product be announced? There is often tremendous pressure to introduce a product at the trade show/exposition, even though it won’t be ready to ship then.

21
How do I create a compelling ROI analysis presentation for the customer when there is an unclear connection between the use of my equipment and the money saved by the customer? Also, how does one go about developing an ROI model when the customer does not have, or is unwilling to share, all the necessary information?

22
What is the bigger risk: Selling an immature product and relying on your strong field service to fix it; or delaying the product until it is perfect?

23
How can we sell value in Korea, China and Japan. Our customers appreciate our better product, but are unwilling to pay a premium for it? Our competitor's product that is lower in price is often viewed as "good enough".

24
Is there any strong research tool for predicting future markets and the technical environment?

25
What are the tools you would use to define a product life cycle?

26
What is the expenditure structure of chip manufacturers; percent of manpower, utilities, water, chemicals, gases, etc.?

27
Discuss the use of customer’s positioning, using well known players and their people to position you in the industry.

28
What are some suggestions for rejuvenating old products?

29
What are the advantages and disadvantages of joint development as part of product development positioning?

30
Do you see more consolidation not only in chip makers, but equipment and materials suppliers?

31
What are some good tools for acquisition of soft market data? So often the customer tells you what you want to hear and not what they really think.

32
What are the major causes of failure of a marketing plan?

33
What are the critical assumptions in marketing plans? When and where do we typically have the least data?

34
Other than market share and gross margin, what metrics are good for marketing organizations?

35
How do you change an engineering driven company into a market driven company, and how do you increase the influence of marketing in such a company?

36
How do you successfully conduct market surveys - format, media, incentive for customers, etc.?

37
What are the best 2 or 3 examples of superbly marketed products in our industry's history?

38
Discuss hostile competitors. How do you deal with half-truths, sometimes lies that they feed to your customers?

39
How do you establish good, productive relationships with upper management? What are the effective ways to get them to buy-in to your marketing plan or roadmap?

40
You haven't talked much about market segmentation and the associated tactics to prevent cross over. Doesn't this basic marketing strategy play a role in our industry? How should we segment the market? How do we use segmentation?

41
What is the next growth area in equipment after CMP and Cu Electroplating?

42
Explain Beta Site preparation and management.

43
How do you evaluate cost of ownership data from multiple sources? Is there a polite way to get people to cough up real data? Why don't people use the SEMI Cost of Ownership formula?

44
How do you deal with the constant pressure to reduce prices?

45
Customers want cheap tools but they continue to demand customization. All of the options make sense in and of themselves, but they drive up costs and reduce manufacturing efficiency. How can we get customers to accept more standardized products?

46
How do you protect your market share when you are market share leader?

47
What are the priorities of product marketing?

48
What is the difference between strategic marketing and the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) responsibilities and how do you control a CTO?

49
What are your thoughts on the organizational trends to separate sales from marketing and combine sales with field service?

50
What type of trade show promotion has caught your eye?

51
How do you see the distinction between product marketing and product management?

52
Cite examples of effective promotions for capital equipment.

53
What are the effects of new technologies such as copper on the design rule shrink?

54
What is the typical capital equipment product development time?

55
Of the marketing roles and responsibilities we discussed, which fall into inside sales or strategic marketing as opposed to product marketing?

56
How do I sell senior management on the importance of marketing in my company?

57
How can you impose restraint an over enthusiastic technologist when you have him participate in marketing business? Correcting him in public is rude, but you don't want misstatements to stand.

58
What mechanisms can you recommend for changing a bad or poor image- with product, a company, a department internally?

59
What is the skill set and how do you grow into a good product marketer?

60
How can a market leader minimize or prevent an erosion of gross margins when competitors attempt to gain market share via market penetration pricing?

61
What are the general methods for proving product positioning?

62
How do you best gather competitive information?

63
How do you promote advantages when you are not the leader in the field, especially when your advantages are service, commitment to customer satisfaction, etc. These are things that are not tangible and often overlooked.

64
Provide some examples of how products are properly positioned.

65
How do you deal with dysfunctional engineering (e.g. completion dates with sign-offs that are consistently missed)?

66
How do you take your biggest customer's strong suggestion as the initiative to develop an MRS (Market Requirement Statement) when there is no other information available to confirm that the suggestion might represent the technology direction?

67
What global trends do you see in the SEM industry?

68
How do you manage customer expectations?

69
How is marketing able to drive a project in non-market driven companies?

70
Talk about positioning the company in that many customers are looking for supplier partners and not just tools?

71
How would you split your limited time between strategic and tactical marketing?

72
How do you convince the customer of your product line's value without hard data?

73
Our machine configurations and order entry are not linked and we experience many errors. What would you advise?

74
Elaborate on the MRS (Market Requirement Statement) and how far you can push your engineering staff to get out of their comfort zone and relate to the MRS?

75
How do I best approach the CEO to support my product line when executive management support of my division is low?

76
In regard to pricing, it is becoming more of an industry practice for OEMs to meet and share pricing about components they buy from suppliers in order to obtain better prices and therefore be more competitive against the industry leader. What, if any, legal aspects does this violate?

77
My competitor owns the top 10 – 20 customers. How do I approach those customers?

78
How do you establish the price the market will pay when determining product pricing?

79
What are the key elements of a market survey?

80
Product marketing responsibilities are so vast it seems almost impossible for a person to juggle all of them. Name five responsibilities of the PME that must not fall below the cut line.

81
Suggestions on how to effectively combat the introduction of a competitor's system at a major show. What means should be used?

82
Elaborate on the impact from the use of foundries in the Asia Pacific, notably Taiwan and China, as it relates to the sales approach, marketing approach and other things for equipment manufacturers.

83
What is "Cost of Ownership" and how do you sell it?

84
If you are first in the market, how do you evaluate the market value of your product?

85
Can you provide or recommend good product marketing brochures?

86
How do you sell over "bundling" or give-aways from the big gorilla?

87
How do you anticipate marketing fundamentals to evolve or change in the next five to ten years?

88
Provide some ideas on how to deal with requests for specials in terms of getting buy-off or acceptance from engineering and production.

89
What is the best way to forecast sales on the adoption of a new widget or widget upgrade?

90
Suggestions on how to combat the introduction of a competitor's equipment at a major show. What means should be used?

91
How can an MRS (Market Requirement Statement) work for a product that is already in development and near completion?

92
Customer perceptions dictate most marketing decisions. How can you change those perceptions favorably toward your company and products?

93
How do you compete with a company whose product is far inferior, technically, reliability, and with innovativeness, but it has the resources to give the product away and gain market share?

94
Resources and time are always in short supply. Where do you get the most bang for the buck in the product marketing world?

95
How do you assess market size for a niche product?

96
What is the typical number or percent of employees in a company that are marketing? How many are desirable or adequate?

97
What is the cost versus benefit of participating in alliances? Give some examples.

98
How do you assess indirect competition?

99
What would help to position your company when you enter a mature market quite late and customers are not willing to discuss their perceptions in detail because your product is low end and has lots of competitors?

100
My experience has been that the MRS (Market Requirement Statement) is vital early in product development, but loses its effectiveness once the product ships. Comment on this.

101
What is the best methodology for monitoring progress of a product through the product development cycle? When would you kill a product during development?

102
Discuss more marketing organization structures, particularly with respect to internal versus external marketing.

103
What if you have to go head-to-head with an established competitor on his own turf. How would you position yourself?

104
What are the fundamental marketing lessons that you have learned from failures and successes?

105
If you are at a company not doing a Market Requirement Statement and controlling the product development process effectively, how do you get the buy-in from everyone to begin doing it?

106
What is the best strategy to launch a new product into a down market?

107
How does the evolving foundry business impact the SEM cycles? Are there any changes occurring in this area?

108
What are leading equipment companies doing in regard to global customers'strategy, pricing, and support?

109
Any thoughts on negative selling, or comparison to the competition, especially for Asia?

110
What is a typical product development period from concept to a product worthy system?

111
What are the quantitative metrics to judge success in marketing?

112
Concerning global price vs. market price, how do we convince a customer, who has facilities in Europe and Asia, to buy when we offer two different prices depending upon where the products are built?

113
How can we train our sales force and customers to provide better forecasts?

114
Is there any value in spending money on promoting a mature, entrenched product?

115
What is the best strategy for selling into China; reps, direct sales from the US or other countries, or local people?

116
How much detail should be in the MRS and do product managers need to work with the product development team to develop the MRS?

117
How do I operate at a higher level and go from a fire-fighter to a planner?

118
Discuss techniques for market research.

119
How much detail should be in the MRS and do product managers need to work with the product development team to develop the MRS?

120
Is there any value in spending money on promoting a mature, entrenched product?

121
With the advent of FASB SAB 101 in 2001, customers have been endowed with tremendous power that can affect a business unit's revenue. What advice do you have to address this challenge?

122
What methods are best used to get engineering to accomplish the correct goals?

123
My tool is going up against a long-time incumbent. How do we break into the market successfully?

124
In situations where it hard to get market data such as TAM and SAM because we're a small company with a low budget, what is the solution?

125
Is there an objective model for evaluating the attractiveness of potential markets to enter?

126
The success of a product is a function of many factors that cannot be controlled. Given that, what criteria that is measurable, would be good to judge a product manager?

127
What are the essential components of the "pitch pak" (salesperson's package)?