DevExpress Newsletter 4: Message from the CTO

17 June 2009

Here's the Message from the CTO from the fourth DevExpress Newsletter:

We're developers, right? We are gods in the machine, our world is black and white, binary ones and zeros are our meat and drink. As such, we see through marketing blurb in a trice. Us click on AdSense links or read ads in MSDN Magazine? Never! Ergo, it's not worth spending money on, right?

Actually it is. Any company that wants to grow (by definition, that's all of them) has to spend time, resources, and money on getting the word out to entice new customers to purchase. There's always attrition, so you must find new customers. There's cold calling (yuk) or there's advertising and marketing. The alternative — sitting back and hoping you get noticed or talked about — is way riskier.

We, of course, want to bring you (and excite you with) new products and functionality, and to do that we have to get new customers. To do that, we advertise, we purchase AdSense, we go to big events like TechEd and support local user groups when we can, we fiddle with SEO strategies, we produce this newsletter. In short, we try to get our brand noticed.

Marketing, no matter what we may think of it personally, is vital for a company's survival.

Provocative? I know many customers disparage our marketing in the sense that they believe we should be plowing back that money into R&D instead ("the products will sell themselves" usually with a following clause, "if only you had X, so mobilize the team and start writing it"). Also, marketing is not just magazine ads or web banners or conferences or sponsorship. It's also our evangelism efforts, for another example (blogging, twittering, answering phones and talking to customers, and so on). So, what do you think?

12 comment(s)
Joe Hendricks

I have always admired DevExpress's marketing, from early Delphi days onward.  Keep it up!

17 June, 2009
Gary L Cox Jr [DX-Squad]

I say keep on keeping on.  You guys are great and your products do really speak for themselves.  Each project I have done using your controls for a client has resulted in the client wanting all projects done with DevExpress.  It's a standard at one of the State Offices in Texas now to use DevExpress.

17 June, 2009
Alex Boston

I agree with you partially, As I think best marketing method is the developers themselves.

For Ex I'm working as dotNet consultant because of XPO mainly and then XAF int it's seamless integration with all other controls I (Directly) recommend Devexpress for 4 companies up to now and those companies are using different products from devexpress right now.

Again I highlight "Directly" as any developer from those companies when he join a new company he will recommend devexpress (indirectly) came from my first recommendation and also because of his experience on devexpress.

Also as opposite example I spent already many days/months using WPF Grid from vendor X (as the DX one is not final yet) so I will not switch to AgDataGrid easily and I recommend the other grid and used it in one company.

So IMO your real marketing tool should be building DX experts.

-Regarding features race IMO DX are doing good job,They generally a bit ahead from other competitors (even my most needed feature are still marked TBD like RTL) and it's already implemented by other vendors.

-Regarding Marketing let me say it "DX is not the 1st in marketing". Also I encourage DX to analyze marketing costs vs new sales  over the time to see wither it in the right direction or ?.

-Releasing few controls free was really a very good step that made me to recommend it to every on I know (spreading the word).

-I suggest also considering this Q:Do a newbie developer/company will go and easily buy controls that cost about 1200$ or more? sure they at least ask any experienced one.Compering and evaluating difference vendors controls to use for a new project is a very costly decision (in mater of license, time spent to learn).

-Finally I suggest one marketing method which is based on supporting "Contrib" projects for ex: "community.devexpress.com/.../74749.aspx", So if DX give a small hand to such kind of ideas the DX community will be changed.(Many vendors did that step already fro ex: MVC from M$).

All of the above is based on my experience which may be wrong.

Thanks

Monzer

17 June, 2009
Danil Aroustamov

marketing is everything. 5-10 times more important than development. Those that disagree - simply never had a business to run in their life (and with an attitude that disagrees with marketing, for their own sake, shouldn't even consider one...). Excellent components stopped their dev efforts because their marketing was wrong or nonexistent.

Every free and opensource component sooner or later will either stop the development or completely close out, or be on a life support from some huge anti-MS or anti-Java propaganda sponsors.

I would rather pay enough for a quality that will be available and sustainable than have to rewrite my code because a component is no longer supported, cause their "opensource/free saves us all"-strategy apparently backfired killed them.

You can disagree with me all you want, it just means you naver ran a profitable business in your entire life, and if you disagree, it means you never will...

Cheers!

17 June, 2009
Goldy Wang

Brave Team, always Support you!

17 June, 2009
Jacques Bourgeois

I won't click on AdSense. I won't read an MSDN ads. Too much crap is hiding the worthy stuff, and I do not have time to hunt for the good things.

However, I like stuff that makes me think about my profession, and your newsletter does that.

You want to reach out. Do not advertize. Energize our brain. That is what attracts me to a company.

17 June, 2009
Alex Boston

Danil, I agree with you 100%. And from your POV what about marketing methods ?.

18 June, 2009
Tor Myklebust

You've got my vote, for sure. I'm always in for a discussion with a friend about how dry life would be without devexpress. I even explain parts of it to my wife (which of course isn't listening). A friend of mine said yesterday: "I use .net 2.0, and I find my devexpress winforms subscription much more richer and important than .net 3.5".

Of course, our appreciation has nothing to do with this article, I guess; but at least I think more of "cool" when I see the DX ad here and there, not "oh, get back to your R&D desks, people!".

Another friend of mine, also subscriber (he convinced me first, easily), said: "I'll never work without dx again". What does this imply? He pays for the subscription himself? He has it as an employee requirement? When he enters a new job, and wants them to make use of your subscriptions, could he be aided by you in any way? Discount, perhaps?

18 June, 2009
michael

I partially agree with you. I am very sure that the most efficient way is the recommendation of your products. Take me for example:

- I use the DXperience suite in my own company

- I wrote an article on XPO in the dotNET-magazin (I do not

know how many customers came from this)

- I try to place DevExpress in all my projects for clients. For examaple: In the current project they licensed 2 Developer-licenses for DXperience. In the former project they licensed at about 6 XPO-licenses. etc.

Regards,

Michael

18 June, 2009
Christoph Brändle

I fully agree with marketing

but a cto should also inform about technology

18 June, 2009
Sean R

I agree.  However,  ads in MSDN are about the only ads I look at.  I've learned about several new products from them.  However, the best advertising, and probably the only free advertising, is "word of mouth".  That is how I learned about DevExpress.  When you make great products, which DevExpress has done, the word will get around.  Kudos, and keep up the good work.

18 June, 2009
Grant Anderson 2

There's a difference between having to constantly market to push products to push sales....And having a pull effect where customers are lining up to buy the product...And using the product(s) everywhere they can.  Ok, so you're doing the first.  Why not the second?

18 June, 2009

Please login or register to post comments.