Audio available: [audio:2006-08-26_the_next_big_thing_in_software.mp3]
I read recently where one online marketer said he could sell 1000 copies of his new product over the next 12 months, and continue to sell it afterwards. But he preferred to limit the amount to 500 and sell them all straight away.
Then he could move onto his next project.
I can’t be the only person who thinks that’s a very short sighted thing to do. And what does it tell you about the level of post-sales support you’re going to get?
While it’s probably a very effective marketing technique and gets an immediate burst of sales, the damage done to the sellers reputation and the trust lost means it’s going to be difficult to sell to those customers again.
I know, because I’ve felt that disappointment when I’ve bought a promising product and then a few weeks later found it completely abandoned by the owners. What a shame, and what a lost chance to build a reputable brand that will bring in a flow of income for years.
Opportunistic marketing like this leaves a nasty taste in the mouth, and I already have a list of "never deal with agains" in my head.
Any software I produce will always be supported. I may replace or obsolete it by merging it into larger products, but there will always be an upgrade path and a special offer up that path for my customers. And I’ll never just walk away, that’s bad business practice.
Then we have the other side of the coin. Hyped up products that promise to solve all your problems and then fail to deliver. Again, I’ve had my share of those purchases where the product is "as advertised" but isn’t quite what I was expecting to get.
Will I buy from these people ever again? Of course not.