Making assumptions and marketing



Having a bit of an exchange with Cyril Spasevski, chairman and CTO of Magillem Design Services in France, on Harry the ASIC Guy's site.  Cyril takes exception to my calling his company an design services company and not an EDA tool vendor.  Specifically, he says: 



When you speak about a company ….”Magillem is…”…please could you refer to the official web site magillem.com, a minimum is to look at the company activity before announcing your “vision”…of what we are supposed to do!!!
Gary is right on the activity, we are not a service organization, we provide eda tools and xml content assembly software, and are profitable and public.Twitter and blogs sometimes are not enough…to understand things, Lou, i hope that all your actions are not done in the same way. When you say”has systematized it’s offering to companies needing to outsource design.” : where did you get this ???? Please verify your sources as a journalist, with talent as usual.





I don't need to get into the details of the discussion on the blog but Cyril's concern about my lack of understanding of his company bring up some interesting issues regarding communications and marketing.



Cyril assumed I did not go to his company website to findout about the company when I made my comments, but that is not quite correct. 



I know the French do things a little differently than us, which is probably why they have the Chairman and CTO as the senior marketer of the company (at least I think he is because I could not find a listing of corporate officers on their website and the "contact us" button only gives an email form.  I've never seen anyone by Cyril quoted so it looks like he holds the reins pretty tight.  When you go to the website and click on the "about us,"  99 percent of the content is in French, so unless you speak French or have someone nearby who is fluent, you are at an immediate disadvantage.  The web is wonderful for filling in blanks, but when I did a search for Magillem I got pretty much nothing but press releases talking about their design services... not their tools.



(Now in February, they did announce a tool -- my comments was made in January --- but from the news release it seems that their tool is only available to their services customers.  That's an assumption, but that's what I got out of the release.)



I talked to people at Magillem in 2008 about what they did and they told me they were a design service provider so I assumed that was still their business, especially when I could not find anything else about them on the 'net.  I talked about who they were at a couple of industry mixers between that 2008 meeting and my January comment.  And when I look them up on directories, they are listed as a design services provider.



So, that's the background.  I assumed they were one thing, and Cyril assumes everyone but me knows they are something else.  We are both clearly wrong and I apologize for referring to Magillem as a service provider, rather than a tool vendor.



Here's the thing: I don't know of anyone else in my small industry circle who assumes anything more than what I do, and that's a problem for Magillem.  They seem to be highly focused on technology and their customers, which is absolutely great, but they are not putting much effort into letting anyone else know much about who they are and what they do.  There is no discernible investment in marketing and communications beyond their own small industry circle, and they have someone who is not necessarily gifted or trained in those arts making decisions about how it is to be done.



And when you do fail to make that investment, the market -- filled with stupid people like me -- starts to define who you are without your involvement.  There is a lesson to be learned here.  Anyone know what that is?