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Why isn't FogCreek in March Programmer's Paradise

Why did you take your software out of the Programmers Paradise Catalog Joel or is it just for this month?

Pixelizer
Thursday, February 05, 2004

Maybe Joel found out firsthand what an incredible PITA it can be to deal with resellers.

Would be interesting to see what he says about the Programmer's Paradise experience, if anything.

Mitch and Murray (from downtown)
Thursday, February 05, 2004

Let's just put it this way: Fog Creek is always reevaluating things we do in terms of cost/benefit ratios and return on investment.

Joel Spolsky
Fog Creek Software
Thursday, February 05, 2004

Perhaps you could share your own experience Mitch and Murray? (i.e. Why is it such a PITA?)

Pixelizer
Thursday, February 05, 2004

"Let's just put it this way: Fog Creek is always reevaluating things we do in terms of cost/benefit ratios and return on investment. "

Translation:  Fog Creek is smart and handles advertising the way the direct mail industry does - if a given advertising presence is not generating enough revenue to justify it's worth, stop spending money on that particular advertising presence.

Norrick
Thursday, February 05, 2004

How do you determine what the benefit from a particular advertising expenditure is?

Perhaps you can look at it simply as X cents per Y pairs of eyes looking at it, but there's all sorts of factors involved, such as whether those pairs of eyes are mail room clerks, or vice-presidents-in-charge-of-all-software-purchases, no?

How does one measure the value of an advertising campaign?

Nigel
Friday, February 06, 2004

With your typical Madison Avenue campaign, you can't; not that most of those advertisers try.

But a small company can make it a point to ask each and every sales prospect one very important (and easy) question:  "How did you hear of us?"

Asking that question allows you to map your prospects (and ultimately your sales) back to specific advertisements or pieces of publicity.  Perhaps you have an ad that gets you lots of prospects, but none of them buy.  Another ad brings in few prospects, but many of them buy.  Now you know which ad you should keep and which you should can, but more importantly you can track the demographic information of the medium in which your ad ran in order to better understand who your most likely customer is, allowing you to tailor your advertising medium, message and placement to the most likely buyers.

There have been entire books written on the subject.

Norrick
Friday, February 06, 2004

"How do you determine what the benefit from a particular advertising expenditure is?"

Easy, just point them to a unique domain, or a unique 1-800 number, or a generic 1-800 number "and ask for 'Sue'", or if it is a direct mailing, then put what's called a "promo code" on the application form... you get the idea


Friday, February 06, 2004

but that doesn't work if your promoting your company with an aritcle in a newspaper or catalog--that gains you name recognition, when people buy they may say "i read about you in a magazine", even with specifics, but they won't say "with the promo code 123abc at the end of the article".

mb
Friday, February 06, 2004

But in that case there's really no cost involved, nor even that much effort.  If it was that remarkable an interview then they'll mention it and if you're into giving interviews its not a bad thing to have a PR agency that will manage the cuttings.

Simon Lucy
Friday, February 06, 2004

Well ok, if its an article then there's considerable effort :-)

Simon Lucy
Friday, February 06, 2004

"but that doesn't work if your promoting your company with an aritcle in a newspaper or catalog--that gains you name recognition, when people buy they may say "i read about you in a magazine", even with specifics, but they won't say "with the promo code 123abc at the end of the article". "

Consider this - you get 100 prospects calling you about purchasing some software.  25 prospects say they called because of Ad A, 25 because of Ad B, 25 because of Ad C and 25 because of Ad D.

Let's say that 10 of the Ad A people purchase, but only 5 of the Ad B people buy, 1 of the Ad C people buy, and none of the Ad D people buy.  That you should eliminate Ad D and keep Ad A is obvious.  But what about B and C?  Are this point, you have not only information about what Ad (and therefore what piece of media) drove these people to you, but you have information about the purchasers themselves.

This is the point at which you can fiddle with Ad B and see if you can get your responses up.  Are the people who responded to Ad B and made a purchase similar to the Ad A people?  In what way?  In what way are they different?  Maybe you should just run Ad A in the same media as Ad B.  Maybe you should change Ad B.  A little.  Or maybe you decide that the 5 purchases don't cover the costs of your ad and try to negotiate a better rate, or drop that media altogether.

You can do a lot by paying attention to some very basic details of how people find you.

Norrick
Friday, February 06, 2004

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