Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




marketing to developers

hi everybody!

we are about to release a component for asp.net and we want to sell it to other developers.

now i know that i get very annoyed when somebody tries to "sell" something to me. how would you market such a thing? or do you know of successful companies or very good websites that to this?

thanks in advance!

ronnie
Thursday, August 26, 2004

Demonstrate its use in a small example; write some copy describing how it can compliment your target's projects.  Talk about it in discussion forums geared toward your target's kind of projects (but only do so where it's actually relevant to a discussion).

Make a *very simple* case for your product.  Show how it solves a problem and does so in a nice, easy-to-use way.  Aside from existing competitors, you're competing against your customer also, since that customer will ask himself whether it's worth the hassle of using your product rather than building it himself.

Kalani
Thursday, August 26, 2004

Only discussing this yesterday... I think the problem is two fold:

1. When you show something to a developer they immediately think "I could do that myself"

2. They rather optimistically think they could do it in about 4 weeks rather than the 12 months it will *really* take.

gwyn
Thursday, August 26, 2004

I guess it depends on the scale of your operation, but those little google ads might be a good idea. Generally speaking, try to get info about your product in the face of people who are actually looking for something like it. And avoid pestering those who dont as much as possible.
If you want to "create awareness" of your product, do it in a non-selling sort of way. Make a site with a forum, and offer tutorials or something for free to get some reciprocity going. This site is an example of this- people genrally dont mind Joel plugging his stuff now and then, because we get thoughtful and amusing articles to read. Just dont over do it with the plugging.

Eric Debois
Thursday, August 26, 2004

demonstrate it at relevant users groups

the artist formerly known as prince
Thursday, August 26, 2004

CodeProject seems to take articles written about specific products.

Tim
Thursday, August 26, 2004

Second the motion for demonstrations/presentations at user groups.  May be lots of nights in the car/on the road, but small(er) intimate groups will give you their attention if you know your stuff AND it's really something that will help them.

<sigh/>
Thursday, August 26, 2004

Half of them will tell you to "open source" it.


Thursday, August 26, 2004

Yeah. And when you ask them "What's gained by that?" they suddenly don't know.

Jack
Thursday, August 26, 2004

"demonstrate it at relevant users groups "

AND... use those groups almost as "focus groups". I.e., give a presentation. Thier questions will tell you what you got right and wrong. 

Then, tweak your presentation.

Repeat until done.

Then user that finished, tweaked & tested presentation for your marketing/advertising message.

Google Adwords is a good way to start cheap.

Mr.Analogy (Shrinkwrap ISV company owner)
Thursday, August 26, 2004

I don't know about other language vendors, but one of the busiest among Borland's newsgroups is the "Third Party Tools" newsgroup.  Tiny vendors frequently post announcements regarding their products (and then reannounce every couple weeks for each tiny .0x release), and users of newsgroup inquire as to what products will suit their purpose. 

Most of the announcements are from vendors who are charging fees for their software, though some are OS and/or free.  Not sure if it's a Delphi thing, but nobody complains that most of the components are sold for a price.  There are plenty of free and OS components out there for Delphi, too, but also plenty of vendors who make a living selling developer tools.

So you might want to check if there's a similar newsgroup anywhere for whatever language/platform your tool is used with.  If you want to look to see what it's like, Borland's is at

nntp://news.borland.public.delphi.thirdpartytools.general

Herbert Sitz
Thursday, August 26, 2004

That's good advice. I think a lot of Delphi (and VB) development is in big companies where they're happy to pay small amounts for things the developers say are necessary or useful.


Friday, August 27, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home