Examining FileMaker’s new marketing campaign: the “Workplace Innovation Platform”.

At the recent 2018 Devcon, FileMaker Inc. created a “special session” and invited the whole conference to attend.  Emails were sent out for people to watch live via web cast.  It was a big deal.  Nobody knew what it was about, but the speculation began.  “Maybe they’re gonna change the name of the product?” said some.  Others speculated it would be a sequel to the somewhat infamous “Beet Lord” marketing video.

But nobody guessed FileMaker would create a new marketing “category” called the “Workplace Innovation Platform”.  So what is a “Workplace Innovation Platform”?  Let’s go through a quick overview here, but also provide links to all the official marketing so you can be sure to “hear” it direct from FileMaker the way they wanted to say it.

One of the key takeaways at the session for me was the struggle FileMaker was going through to define itself.  They didn’t really feel like a low code or no code platform and it’s more than just a database.  So if they were going to do a big marketing push, where should they put their efforts?  Ultimately, they felt like they had to come up with a new, unique category which better defined what FileMaker is so good at: workplace innovation!  Since it is a full platform with all the necessary components (model, view, controller) to build full solutions, FileMaker is, in fact, a workplace innovation platform!

The energy in that huge Texas ballroom was mixed.  Some people seemed excited, others skeptical, but mostly everyone was at least supportive.  It seems to be a bit of a gamble to try to push a new term into our lexicon, but I applaud the confidence of FileMaker Inc. to make it a point that FileMaker helps us innovate and do amazing things!

That said, I didn’t expect too much from the new marketing push but something interesting happened to me: I was asked to do a presentation to a very large prospective enterprise sized client and I needed to “prove” that our small business could “keep up” technically with them.  I realized that since FileMaker was already doing all this new marketing, I could use it as a resource to create my pitch.

I started by explaining that we were experts at creating custom middleware using a rapid application development tool called FileMaker.  Of course, being an enterprise sized company, I had to give the obligatory FileMaker caveat that it’s grown up over the years since it was thought of as that “little, old database we used in school one time…” or something similar.  And this is where the new marketing really help!  I showed them the last page of a pdf ebook FileMaker is distributing as one of it’s marketing tools.  Here’s a pic:

This one little image is super powerful!  I was able to first point out that FileMaker is an Apple Subsidiary and inasmuch, has the weight and innovation of one of the world’s biggest companies.  I was also able to make the case that FileMaker was Apple’s strategy to get into the “Enterprise space”. Microsoft and Linux may dominate servers, but Apple could be the glue between the dominant apps where people and their time are consumed with manual paper processes, managing spreadsheets, disconnected systems, and many other kinds of repetitive administrative tasks.  This is where FileMaker shines!  I showed them how FileMaker (Apple) was pushing this new marketing campaign and speculated that we would be seeing a lot more FileMaker in the future.  Finally I revealed FileMaker’s new slogan and explained how true it has been for our little company: the “Problem Solver’s Problem Solver”.

The presentation went really well and Mr. Enterprise was convinced!  A week later we got the green light for the account, and next week we will have our first meeting with them to start planning!  Thanks FileMaker Inc!

Workplace Innovation Platform Marketing Resources: