Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Developping a marketing plan

Hi

I am a very technically oriented person and have been programming during the last 10 years. I didn't do _any_ marketing and only a few selling activities in this time. Before this ten years, I went to school.

The company I work for seems to be in trouble. It is a small consultancy company. So, one's work is determined by the existance of a project. The last four months I haven't been on a project and many of my co-employees haven't, neither. This, and the fact that there have been lay-offs recently, let's me estimate the situation as critical.

Although I sort of enjoyed the situation a bit (I mean, I could surf a lot, do many, many things I liked and so on) I am dissatified. I want to change something. When talking to my managers, I realize that they have no clue what to do either. But I am 90% sure that this company is lacking a good marketing plan/strategy. I am willing to give up surfing the web for my pleasure and to invest the time I have to develop such a plan.

Now, the question, as always is: What do you think. Are there any good books, links, ressources or something else I didn't think of? Is it actually a viable path? Is this heading for more disaster or is it worth it?

Prodotto speciale per la pulizia di schermi
Tuesday, June 01, 2004

> But I am 90% sure that this company is lacking a good marketing plan/strategy.

Is there anyone doing any marketing at all? If so, then can you go to them and say "what are doing, and what can I do to help"?

Christopher Wells
Tuesday, June 01, 2004

No, there is _no_ person whose job description would fit that.

However, there are three managers (one of which I report to) who are, in theory at least, responsible to aquire projects. But I feel they have no experience in that either, no plan whatsoever.

The company was founded by two sellingwise strong guys and selled in good times, that is, before the IT market went mostly belly up. The buyers had the money but not the foresight to hire the best managers there were (imho).

Prodotto speciale per la pulizia di schermi
Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Whilst 99% of biz-related threads on this forum are bound to be complaining about said sales and marketing people, suddenly this thread is a wake up call to explain just how important those types fit into a working world.

Product-oriented companies that I have been in have about 3-1 sales/marketing mix and 8/1 sales+marketing/development.  Is this normal?  What is it like for consultancies?

Hmm, aside from that, a consultant 'waiting for work' is a consultant 'waiting for unemployment'.  Start looking around, assessing your opportunities elsewhere.  It is so much easier to get a new job when you already have one!

Few engineering types are truely able to work in a business role; you might be a lucky exception?  Else you have to start working out how to sell the company.

The most obvious way a programmer can generate revenue is by programming; but consultancy is reactionary, so if you don't have something to program..  could you consider becoming a product company?  Or have a 'product project'?  Admittedly, products are difficult to start, and it'd better be something in your core area (at work or hobby technical interest), else it is going to just waste time.  A company of embedded consultants ought not bet the farm on suddenly writing a new office suite, for example.

Hmm, sorry for going on, interesting situation (when you detach the real personal urgency from it all).

i like i
Tuesday, June 01, 2004

You can visit these sites:

www.softwareceo.com
www.aipmm.com
www.softwaresuccess.com.
www.softwaremarketsolution.com
www.productmarketing.com
The Yahoo Product Manager's Groups

You should also visit www.aegis-resources.com; they carry The Product Marketing Handbook for Software; very comprehensive; you can read about it on this site.

You should also consider subscribing to Softletter.

Monday, June 1st
Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Totally unrelated, but why are you special screen cleaning products?!

Pietro
Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Book recommendations:

- Marketing Management, by Kotler http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0130336297/qid=1086101939/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/002-9606593-9842434?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

- Competitive Strategy, by Porter http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0684841487/qid=1086101965/sr=8-1/ref=pd_ka_1/002-9606593-9842434?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

These are very good books.

MX
Tuesday, June 01, 2004

> Totally unrelated, but why are you special screen cleaning products?!

I found that description on a bottle in my office and thought it was fun to use it as a name...

The others: thanks for the links

Prodotto speciale per la pulizia di schermi
Tuesday, June 01, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home