As a customer of Sourcegear (Vault) and Fog Creek (FogBugz), I was thinking today about
how much blogs are influencing my purchasing decisions. I don't think we
can call it "Marketing", its more like "Blogeting".
In the past I would learn about new products either from a
friend or by seeing an advertisement. My decision to purchase was based almost
exclusively on the demo experience. I'm sure that I missed out on a
lot of great products simply because I didn't "get it" when I played with their
demonstration product. If they didn't hook me within 10 minutes I moved on
without so much as a second thought.
But with these two
products something different occurred; I learned about them from the
owner's personal blog (Eric
Sink of Sourcegear and Joel Spolsky of Fog
Creek). This changed the entire sales paradigm by injecting a personal
connection not found in normal business relationships. I found I cared more
about them, their company, and their products. I was no longer dealing with
"Faceless Company X" but a real human being. I was buying a product from someone
that I knew, I liked, and wanted to be involved with.
This connection also
effected my demo experience. Although in both cases I found the initial releases
didn't fit me, I didn't walk away. This was because I wanted to like
their products. I liked them so much, how could I not? So I stuck around and
eventually purchased each product when it did fit my needs (I purchased
Vault at 1.1 and FogBugz at 3.0). And since I had watched the product grow and
became part of the community around the product, I can't see me ever leaving.
I'm a customer for
life and that means a lot in today's market. Thanks