About IT Marketing with a Human Face

Problem No. 1
We are a software company operating in a narrow niche of electronic archive systems and libraries, and marketing / PR is one of the key business processes in our work. Increasing sales and brand recognition, competitive battles, department development, employee training, task allocation, performance control ... - problematic questions can be listed without stopping. Like many companies, we boil in our own juice, are constantly in search of new channels and promotion tools, so we need an influx of fresh ideas, an exchange of experience with colleagues in the shop.

Problem number 2

2 years ago, we started teaching IT marketing at St. Petersburg Electrotechnical University “LETI” as part of the course “Product Management”. My own experience, supported by the theory of good books, is great, of course. But to implement a large-scale academic approach, it is necessary to generalize the experience of the whole industry, using a wide range of tools and practices from various IT sectors. We, in turn, have teaching experience and ideas, as well as a desire and willingness to share them.

Where can I find, hear and summarize all these experiences and ideas of marketers in IT? “We have to go to industry conferences,” we thought.

Where we are going?

Below is a small selection of events over the past year.

If you know examples of other good and interesting events on this or related topics - we will be glad to comment.

Formula of the right event

Looking around, we found that:
1. There are very few thematic special events in marketing and PR in the IT sector
2. The maximum that is found is individual reports from representatives of large and paid events (more often in Moscow, less often in St. Petersburg )

Having visited several events and discussed with colleagues, we have formed a number of principles and requirements for the event :
1) The correct format. More educational information, successful cases, practical recommendations and reviews of tools and techniques, less self-promotion, no reports like “we are the best on the market, the rest are dung,” no hunting and clown performances.
2) The right speakers and reports (not advertising, but problems and solutions told by experts with experience, results, unique practices and best practices) from the right companies (IT, hi-tech, consulting).
3) The right place. In the stump of the hotel and conference rooms with pathos interiors. You give interesting places to expand the horizons of the marketer.
4) Right listeners: no inter-partner PR people. Those who are just learning and want to become proficient, beginners, and already experienced specialists, diverse technicians and managers of all levels, must reach.
5) The correct cost of participation, i.e. is free. Who pays in the end? Organizers who are promoting their event, company and lifestyle and work. Organizational costs should be kept to a minimum.
6) The correct regularity and timing. Not once a year as a reporting and re-election event, but at least once a quarter. After work in the evening for 2-3 hours.

What happened

We already have experience in organizing such events (we talked about designing interfaces on the Meetup GUI , and about testing software on How to become a TRUE tester ). Therefore, it was decided to launch an IT marketing seminar under the working title MarketoIT . The plans (September 25, 2013 in St. Petersburg at 18.30) to comply with the above requirements:
1) The correct format : a seminar-discussion
2) The correct speakers and reports : We tried to choose questions from the most diverse areas of IT marketing - and promoting startups, and building the work of a marketing department, and creative ideas for promoting, and the competence of IT marketers from the right and most diverse IT companies ( technology startup , software company , PR and marketing agency , IT training center ).
3) The right place. Выбрали Fab Lab — лабораторию цифрового производства.
4) Right listeners : MarketoIT is actively registering, the number of registrants has exceeded 100, so now you can analyze the audience of the event.

Most of the participants are either students or PR and marketing specialists - 22% and 21% respectively. Managers (for products, projects, business development) and university graduates (11%) are slightly less expected.
It is worth noting that the issues discussed at MarketoIT are also interesting to owners of their own business and department heads, they make up a tenth of those who submitted their applications for participation.
Of course, programmers, testers and other technical specialists will come to us - 7% of the audience.
With surprise, applications were found from economists and designers, but quite expected - from specialists in related professions - analysts, freelancers and SEO-optimizers.
5) The correct cost of participation, i.e. is free.
6) The correct regularity and timing. We plan to gather students after a working day for 3 hours approximately once a quarter.

To summarize

1. What are your own criteria for the right event?
2. What issues and IT marketing issues are you interested in? We are already preparing a discussion program for the next workshops.
3. Do you know good speakers who can interestingly cover such issues? You can recommend yourself, familiar speakers or companies for such events.
4. If there are people who want to hold a similar event in their own city, we will only be happy to support it.