Chris Kranky

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Marketing – sometimes you can’t stand alone

Chris KoehnckeChris Koehncke

AnagramA few weeks ago, I posted about my favorite software utility, Roboform, which manages my daily nightmare of remembering all my various passwords and filling out online forms. A fantastic program $29.95 program and a big Kranky recommendation, you can download a free trial.

I was upgrading the software for Roboform and up pops a co-marketing message from Roboform to try out another software utility from Textual called Anagram. Anagram is a utility that deals with a problem we all actually have with contact management, namely how to get their names into your contact database (which for most of us is Outlook).

I hate folks who send me those stupid Vcards, it makes every email look like it has an attachment, you’d think Microsoft when they were busy reinventng the world would deal with obvious crap like this. I also hate Plaxo (another one of my venting postings). Most of us include our contact information in our signature line. But it’s far from being in any uniform format. This is where Anagram comes in.

Anagram, running in the taskbar, goes into action when I hit a shortcut key of my choosing. It then pops-up, scans the email I have open and trys to decipher the text to determine the sender’s contact information. It then opens a new Outlook contact and populates it with the information it found. I found it amazing in at it’s accuracy and it’s a great utility.

But here’s the rub piece, my free 30-day trial was up and the program wanted me to purchase it. Fine. Only the software is $29.95. The problem is I use Anagram only a couple of times a week, if that, and yes it solves a problem for me. I hate entering contact information. But Anagram is the same price as Roboform and I use Roboform dozens of times per day. Meaning – I get a whole lot more value out of Roboform than Anagram.

So I didn’t buy the program? So Textual didn’t get my money, now what.

This is where packaging comes in, Textual should do a deal with Roboform and for $9.95 or $14.95 uplift include both programs. Textual is probably saying, "hey that’s less money for us". But the reality is they’d get an order of magnitude more units and hence have great revenue.

This is a clear example of value and pricing. The Textual marketing guy can probably get all worked up telling you how great the Anagram utility is. Indeed it is. Unfortunately, he’d likely fail when explaining the value/price against their own marketing partner Roboform product.

Your price must accurately reflect not only the preceived value from the customer but also similar broad catagory products. I’ve seen far to many cases of products/services that simply require too much thought from me the buyer to be sold on their own, they should simply be bundled. Consumer rule #1 – if you expect the consumer to think, they won’t.