Where do business people with fat checkbooks "live" and hangout?


2

We have identified specific industries that we market our software product, but in general that would be any company that is developing software for sale and/or internal use. Also recognize that the people who are making the purchasing decision for our product would be executives, directors and managers.

Where do these software development industry people with fat checkbooks "live" (as a figure of speech), where they hangout? What magazines, newspapers, blogs they read? What conferences they go? How do they educate themselves and where they learn new things from? What people they listen too?

Where they are and how how do we find them?

How do we even start?

Thanks a bunch!

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asked Jan 23 '10 at 12:21
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Poopsky
195 points

2 Answers


4

The short answer is that they don't hang out together, at least not the people that you describe. What I mean is that your description is too broad.

Executives (at least those in large companies) don't hang out with managers. Executives make hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars a year. Managers make much less. Executives are older, managers are younger. And most importantly, they care about different things - Executives think big picture and set strategic direction, directors and managers are more tactical and mired in the details.

Also, companies that build software for sale do so in their R&D or Engineering departments. People that lead those departments are tasked with innovating and bringing new products to market that grow revenue. Companies that build software for internal use do so in their Information Technology departments. An IT department is an internal service center that works for other departments in the company. People that lead IT departments are typically tasked with improving service levels and reducing costs. Managers and executives in a software R&D department care about very different things than managers and executives in an IT department.

When you have a product that can be used broadly, it's very hard to take it to the entire market at once. It's much easier to identify a smaller sub-market to attack first. One company I worked for called Documentum made software that helps large companies manage their electronic documents. All larger companies need this, but they started by targeting Pharmaceutical companies - specifically those departments within the Pharma companies that have to submit New Drug Applications to the FDA. They knew that if the Pharma companies could submit their applications faster, they would be approved faster, and this was worth a lot of money to the Pharma companies. By focusing on that one business problem in that one industry, they got the traction they needed to be successful. This is the approach that is recommended in the great book "Crossing the Chasm" by Geoffrey Moore.

answered Jan 24 '10 at 01:47
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Michael Trafton
3,141 points
  • +1 for a great answer. The question itself is almost irrelevant, at least as far as it goes. The important decision maker is often not the person with the money. As you point out, high level execs are concerned with long-term planning, managers are concerned with tactical and strategic moves, which is who you need to convince about a product for the here and now. – Elie 8 years ago
  • Thank you for the great answer! Yes, I know my question was too broad. So, the managers that we would need to go after, how do we find where they hangout, what magazines, etc read? We defined who we need to approach, now the question is how do we find them, how do we appoach? – Poopsky 8 years ago

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Use Twitter to find people, and find out what they are doing and what they are reading.

While not true yet of many executives in traditional companies, the leaders and decision-makers of some companies "developing software for sale and/or internal use" will be on Twitter. If they are, they are telling you exactly what news articles they find interesting, where they are traveling and hanging out (Foursquare), what conferences they are going to, etc.

Make a list of companies you wish you could sell to, and start searching for them on Twitter.

answered Jan 24 '10 at 02:30
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Frederick Cook
301 points

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