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just an honest answer, will give points

Hello all., this is an odd question for the forum but I thought I would get an honest answer here.  I am working with a client who offers an online project management solution for IT professionals and project managers.  The features include hardware/sofware recommendations and ways to delegate assignments to individual people within an organization.  The service is free to all IT people, the major manufacturers use the data taken from the project status to make their products better so they are the ones who ultimately pay.  What I would like to know is what type of incentive is best for getting someone to try the service? I am helping them decide what types of marketing would be best and I thought I would start here.  If you are interested I can send you the link to their site and you can give it a try, I am interested in what would make someone want to try it out.  

should I use toys? opportunities to get into a drawing?  ??????

thanks everyone

I will give each person 100 points for their honesty..

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1 Solution
Yes, please post a link :)
Some ideas:
- you need a) people to come for the first time and b) people to continue and of course c) people to recommend the site to others

first time visiters:
- advertise on sites where decision makers are (i.e. post the link on EE, lol)
- viral advertising, be a decision maker, post on a forum / blog: "this site helped me"

return visiters:
- make sure your site offers everything these guys need. If your site is usefull, they'll return by themselves. If they dont, you're doing something wrong. Once they've "tried it" and aren't hooked, you've lost them.
- questionairs! surveys! demand honest feedback and "pay" for it (eg. by passing on rebates from the manufacturers)

- make some kind of "recommendation" scheme to allow these people to pass the link onto other people in similar positions.

- geeks like toys, but remember, using the internet they'll be from everywhere... would you send a $5 toy to someone in Timbuctu (eg $30 for postage)?
Mod: maybe this should be sent to "Online Marketing"?
billfryAuthor Commented:
Hello guys, softplus, I am online marketing and also an IT person so just wanted to know what would get your interest.  I certainly agree with your above recommendations, this is what I have been telling my pr and advertising department.  

I will be back soon...

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Dawn, no I didn't mean you :) - just the question: you posted it under "Web Dev. Software - Interdev", "Microsoft Interdev" is a programming tool used to create asp-based websites. There is a seperate topic area on the site here just for "Online Marketing" -- it would probably generate better responses if the question was there instead of here.
billfryAuthor Commented:
softplus, got ya.  I went to the area that had project management stuff posted on it since this is essentiall what this is.  here is the link, now remember I think their home page needs a ton of work but for now you can cruise around.  I of course think it is no where near as good as this place..  :)


and again as an IT person I would never use it...

thanks so much for your help, looks like you will be getting all the points..

I find it quite amusing that you used the phrase
<<and again as an IT person I would never use it...>>
It is going to be very hard to market a product you have no faith in.

Having been a company IT Professional and now a contractor, I have the following comments.(This after looking at the site and the overview of the product.

One thing that caught my eye right off was the statement...
<< The Solution Optimizer provides feedback based on real-time market intelligence>>
I have yet in 18 yrs of being in IT seen ANYTHING marketing could do to help an IT department with ANYTHING. Except that is screw up good design plans.

<<gives you an insight to what other IT professionals have done on similar projects>>
Every IT department in a company has it's own company/department set of standards, which I have yet to see any even close to another. That leads to using this tool you can see how company A designed their project which is totally against all the standards of company B, thus company B cannot use the suggested solution. An example company A allows the use of IFrames and that is how they coed their solution, company B does not so...

<<Manage multiple IT projects from inception to post deployment evaluation; assign team members, manage budgets and timelines, and select solutions.>>
<< Keep track of projects you are responsible for, their development status, and the team members involved.>>
Almost all large IT shops already have this software.

<<Team review tools help your team come to a group consensus on the best products to use in your projects.
The Product Comparison tool assists in narrowing your product focus so you can better identify products that meet your criteria. Once a group of products have been identified, the product comparison tool allows you to then compare competing products side by side, to find the best fit for your project.>>
With budgets today almost all IT departments are not going to be looking to purchase new tools to get the job done, but rather how can we complete the project with the tools we have.

Just my 2 cents worth :)

billfryAuthor Commented:

you are so right, I can not market something I have no faith in yet I am being forced too.  I agree with every single statement you have made in this email and have told my managers the same types of things yet they don't listen.  Funny  how they dont' listen to an IT person and now they won't listen to someone who specializes in search marketing..  I will write more later but wanted to thank you for the best response I have ever seen.  

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