There was a good blog post on the TDCloud blog titled, "What's Your "Whirl Factor?" It was a good read.
"If the industry as a whole knew how awesome your product was--if they really understood all the differentiating features and the benefits of using it--would they still get behind it? Would sales people actively sell it? Would customers be lining up to buy it?"
Seth Godin has often written about marketing needs to be baked into the product. When I look at Accession by Metaswitch or FreedomIQ's old Newber app on the iPhone store, I get good examples of how to bake it in.
Why don't more companies have this Whirl factor?
First, there is a serious lack of innovation in telecom. It usually comes at the CPE end. In other words, the service provider isn't innovating the hardware vendors are. (Think smartphone and cellco).
Second, our industry is all about replacement services. VoIP replaces POTS; LTE replacing DSL. Broadband replaces dial-up. Blah blah.
Our industry has too much noise and ADD that prevents many from knowing about your product. That said, your marketing probably doesn't help. You talk features and product and technology using insider language, buzz words and marketing speak. No one understands any of that!
I get so many press releases and many I have no idea what the company does. I got a call from a vendor's PR firm asking to interview them at ITEXPO. All I got out of that conversation was that they did something in SDN. If I don't understand it, how is the average buyer?
Next, would anyone sell it? If it was easy to sell and it paid well. Or there was a lot of demand (like cable broadband).
The one question many service providers can't answer, Who would buy it and why?
One thing about sales - especially in Hosted PBX and cloud services (versus hardware and premise gear) - "If you believe in your product, then by default you should be answering this question with a resounding "yes!"" If you don't, Go Sell Something else!!! Honestly, how do you sell something you don't believe in?
Final bit of advice from the post: "The importance of a good marketing execution plan cannot be over estimated."