Have you re-branded CM? We have, and occasionally I get this question...
"Wow! This is fantastic! Did you create this?" OR "How long did it take you to develop this?!"
I'm wondering how the community responds to such questions. Are you upfront? Do you bury this dirty secret? Blur the lines?
I'm new to CM and I believe it is a fantastic tool. Yes it is very sophisticated and has that wow factor. I haven't been asked these questions, as I'm still in the process of re-branding. I have considered the possibility however and think I would approach it in the following manner. First, I wouldn't consider it a "dirty secret" rather an added arrow in your quiver of specialty products that you offer to your clients. The base price is low enough to add a small margin and still offer a wonderful product at an affordable rate for any business. It's a win win proposition. Somebody else developed the application and I have no qualms in admitting the fact. Other than that, you don't have to give away all your trade secrets now do you:)
We've rebranded it and use it for about thirty or so clients. We tell them, when asked, that we found a product so great that we wanted to offer it to our clients, so we used it as a baseline and made it better. We haven't told them how we've made it better, just that it keeps growing and changing. Which is true.
When we're marketing it, or talking about what services we offer, we say we have our own email marketing system. They say "Oh, like Constant Contact?" I say, "Yes, but our doesn't suck like CC and you can actually use ours without knowing HTML". That's usually when we close the deal.
We approach it more as a "Powered by Campaign Monitor" where we value add services on top, the main point being that it is not just the tool that makes a successful campaign. We provide the insight derived from using CM over multiple clients, how to make an effective campaign, how to integrate it with google analytics, websites, print etc. We can extend the customisation of the templates beyond the editor that CM provides us - whilst still letting them do the content/script tweaks before sending.
I will say that we don't pitch that as part of the core message - we explain what we do above and beyond what CM provides when asked by a client.
I tell clients that we've been working with a group of Sydney based software developers who develop and maintain world class email marketing software for over 4 years. All true, no names mentioned, no spurious claims.