Marketing a Software Product.

It seems the first rule of Marketing is to make sure that folks know that your product exists, and is being actively supported.

We in Little Yellow Bubble Land (tm) know all about this. It seems that since 1993 (when I first used Notes), I've had to tell folks that Notes exists. Something that was brought home yet again last night, when in a local pub, a software engineer of some years standing said 'Whats Lotus Notes?'.

In fact, this recent UserFriendly.Org cartoon really sums up IBM's marketing of Lotus Notes. Just substitute the words 'Cloaking Material' for 'Notes Marketing', and 'Stef' (the male in the last frame) for - well - any notable, famous IBM person associated with Lotus Notes, and you get the rather funny:

I'm sure I'm off a few Christmas Card Lists for this little piece of mockery. However, since IBM went on record stating that there is 850 developers in Lotus, and they spend more on Marketing than their developers - my response would be 'Show me the Ads!'.

Microsoft does NOT have that issue with Vista. Microsoft has another problem. Vista is about as popular as Garry Glitter at a kids party. Not good. So what do Microsoft do? They splash a reported $300m USD (which is about 30 euros and small change at the current exchange rate) and hire Seinfield himself to front the new Vista ads. Incredible. I mean - would they be wiser splashing that money on actually fixing the product?. But there I go again, taking the simplistic route.