Odds & Ends

Technology Marketing

Technical audiences are different.

  • They distrust and dislike conventional sales and marketing approaches.
  • They actively seek out highly detailed information.
  • There are few actual decision makers:
  • Technical people recommend.
  • Senior Management approves.
  • Both must be addressed

Direct Marketing

A 30 page direct mail piece? Normally brevity is the soul of advertising and marketing.

Learn how the rules are different in technology marketing. Not only is bigger better, it can actually be less expensive!

Trade Shows: Investment or Waste?

Trade Shows are one of the mainstays of marketing for many high technology companies. Participating in Trade Shows is extremely expensive. And the benefits are often unclear and difficult to measure - if any effort is made to measure them.

Learn how the combination of selecting the right show and taking advantage of the opportunity it presents can deliver solid results through event marketing, not event attendence.

Open Source Essays

This collection of essays explores various aspects of Open Source. They will typically be works in progress, so feedback and suggestions are welcomed!

Profitable Professional Seminars

Many professional socities and organizations run seminars to educate, to provide a community service, and to make money. Unfortunately, these seminars have tended to become unprofitable.

Local ACM and IEEE chapters in Boston are following a new course to deliver profitable professional seminars. Learn their secrets:

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Many professional and technical organizations run seminars. There are many reasons for this, including education, a service to their members, and fund raising. Profits from seminars are often the main source of income for the group.

Unfortunately, it has become more difficult to get enough people to register for the seminars to be profitable. This was the case with the Boston chapter of a national computer society. Although the group had been presenting seminars for over 40 years, attendance had been falling off. In fact, the last few seminars had lost money.

I became involved with the chapter, offering marketing and business skills. Interestingly, these seem to be unusual skills in many technical groups... Since the old ways of doing things weren't working, the group was willing - even enthusiastic - about trying new things

Two major changes were made: First, a new business and pricing model was implemented.

Second, completely new promotion and advertising approaches were developed. These approaches combined benefits-oriented messaging with multiple touch points.

The benefits-oriented messaging was completely new. It has been said of technical people that they would promote sushi as "cold raw dead fish". Unfortunately this is true...

The major changes were to develop marketing copy for the seminar the focused on benefits as well as giving the facts, packaging this information in multiple formats, and getting the information out in many ways. A Web site was developed for each seminar, postcards were created and mailed, flyers were handed out at meetings, and email blasts were sent.

Marketing and advertising studies have shown that it takes an average of seven "touch points" to get someone to make a decision. Technical people tend to believe that you only need to tell someone something once...

The new approach has proven very successful. With no changes in how the chapter dealt with selecting topics, recruiting speakers, arranging venues, or in actually delivering a seminar, they went from losing money to a $30,000.00 profit on the next seminar.

This wasn't an accident. Four other profitable seminars have been run using this model, reversing a decade-long decline in attendance.