A few years ago, someone performed an early exit from a Sunday session on marketing at the AIPCA’s Tech Conference. “What a waste of time,” he complained. “This is so basic.”
I shot back, “It’s basic to you. But there are about 300 people in there who paid extra to listen to this session on a Sunday morning. It’s not basic to them. It’s a mystery.”
This anecdote may have been used before. But it’s not something to worry about because as I talk to those attending the conference for users of the Thomson CS Professional Suite (still the old Creative Solutions to a lot of people), it’s very apparent how true the observation is.
What is obvious to those of us immersed in the technology business, or in any business on a day-to-day basis, is not so obvious to many of those trying to run businesses and have a lot of demands on their time.
A brief conversation with an attendee, who came because his firm uses many of the CS Suite products, showed that the big happening for him was not on the leading edge of technology. He wasn’t using the Thomson client portals and hasn’t yet plunged into document management. After a lot of thinking, his firm had purchased Thomson’s Practice CS.
Practice management is hardly revolutionary, although many small firms are more likely to use time and billing pages, if they are using anything this area.
No, this is why it takes the hot technologies so long to become mainstream. Small businesses are so busy running their business that it’s hard for them to find time to review new products. Then there’s the caution about investing a firm’s money into something new, and perhaps unproven.
This is why the business of selling stuff is so tricky. Vendors need to produce new products to keep revenue going, and to provide increased performance in products. But it’s also necessary to keep in mind how fast business is willing to move into the future.
And it’s also good to remember that often the press is oozing over products that have barely made an impact.
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