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Not knowing the click through rates of advertisements in general here on SO makes this somewhat philosophical and subjective (hence CW), but is the Telerik promotion one that is getting more clicks vs. others like IssueTrak?

Will other vendors look at this kind of model rather than standard advertising in the future?

This is what I'm specifically referring to:

alt text

I know that I personally had never used Telerik before this and had spent quite a bit of time on Infragistics. I can now safely say that Telerik will be my preferred product..

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5 Answers 5

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Thanks Telerik! This was my reaction:

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This really isn't an advertising model. It's a bona fide thank-you to Stack Overflow members from our friends at Telerik.

I mean, let's think about it. It's a promotion that's precision-targeted to an extremely small number (250?) of members (many of whom are not even .NET developers) to give away a product? Where's the money in that? Hoping that a handful of ~250 somewhat-influential people happen to recommend the product to someone else? As far as business/marketing plans go... this is certainly not one.

As I noted elsewhere,

The 10K-targeting was a very special thing that we did exclusively for Telerik, as they are a very special sponsor. But at this time, we are not offering rep-targeting for anyone else. Once we see how this promo goes, then we may consider offering it to other premium sponsors.

So depending on the demand (and if we think the readers would find it a good fit), we may do another thing like this in the future... but it's never going to replace standard advertising.

Spending money on advertising (when done right) will bring in more money. Giving away the whole enchilada to a small number of people (no matter how you do it) will not.

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You have to be kidding; as an advertising man I'm sure you are aware that they would've expected exactly the response they are getting (good will; thanks for the freebies, etc). –  please delete me Sep 24 '09 at 4:09
    
Ah, no. Keep in mind that we worked very close with Telerik to develop this promo... and neither of expected any public acknowledgement or gratitude, though it was a nice surprise. But even if all of this (including this comment) is some deviosu marketing plot... there's no money to be made, and good will and freebies don't pay the mortgage or feed the kids. And besides, if we were that cunning, we'd probably find a better way to make money. –  Alex Papadimoulis Sep 24 '09 at 4:20
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I don't consider it devious, but the outcome seems so obvious that I find it hard to believe you couldn't predict it. At least, it's the more likely (given the market) out of the other possibilities. –  please delete me Sep 24 '09 at 4:25
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Maybe, but I guess we weren't trying to predict any outcome. It was more like "hey, lets do this 'cause it'll be cool!" instead of "if we do this, I bet we'll see a positive benefit!" Not everything in business has to have a business/profit motive... –  Alex Papadimoulis Sep 24 '09 at 5:10
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No doubt; all I'm saying is that it's a bit disingenuous to claim it doesn't have some basis in marketing the company. I personally don't care (it didn't affect me; not having the level of points required). Anyway, useless argument started by me as always. I'll leave it be. –  please delete me Sep 24 '09 at 5:42
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+1 to @pleasedeleteme. A business does not give anything away ever without getting a positive result. This may have been done because its cool, but also because it generates a substantial amount of discussion, positive feedback, and leads to future purchases. Same reason why companies do things for the communities they are in. The long term positive results. –  RSolberg Sep 24 '09 at 14:11
    
"where's the money in that?" somewhat directly contradicts with "Once we see how this promo goes, then we may consider offering it to other sponsors". How would you even think about considering offering it to more sponsors if there's no gain to be made? You certainly can see that there might be a gain somewhere. –  John the Seagull Sep 25 '09 at 8:03
    
@RSolberg: "A business does not give anything away ever without getting a positive result" - that's ridiculously naïve. Have you ever given/done anything of value without expecting anything in return? Who do you think runs businesses? Robots? Ants? Or... maybe people, who are just like you and me, who've decided to have customers pay their living expenses directly instead of an employer? –  Alex Papadimoulis Sep 25 '09 at 14:03
    
@Vinko: "offering to" != "charging for" -- advertising needs to target a large number of people to be effective (i.e. scalable and reproducable), and ~250 people is three magnitudes too small. As far as advertising goes, a 10K-rep target (free or not free) is highly unproductive, which is why we'd only offer it to special sponsors interested in a bona-fide thank-you to the members who make their real advertising possible. –  Alex Papadimoulis Sep 25 '09 at 14:16
    
@Alex: I'm Naive? There is a cost associated with them offering a free license to 10K users. They would not incur the cost to simply say "thank you" without anticipating a long term benefit. I have no idea what your credentials are, but I'm going to spell out these costs for you... –  RSolberg Nov 2 '09 at 18:03
    
Costs of this advertisement (might be more...) 1. Generation of graphic; 2. Internal business discussions on doing this; 3. Meetings between party's to coordinate campaign; 4. Internal dev time to generate registration process; 5. Costs associated with supporting users (web hosting, tech support, etc.); 6. Paying for the placement on the website, or StackOverflow not getting paid for the placement on the website... –  RSolberg Nov 2 '09 at 18:05

I clicked on the Telerik ad and browsed through their products for a while, and I don't even do .Net. Just sayin'.

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Depends on the results of course.You know, those results only the relevant people know.

I for one, vote for more promotions like this. Freebies!!! More freebies!!!!!!

Seriously, I had never heard of Telerik before and now I'm going real soon now to give a test drive to their products. That might be good for them

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I'm not sure the benefit to them here is as much increased sales as it is increased familiarity among those who are likely to answer a lot of questions about the product on StackOverflow. So they get to provide a better support experience at a lower cost. There may also be a hope that those with higher reputation will have the influence later to create sales to entire teams. –  Joel Coehoorn Feb 6 '10 at 17:59

Hooked me, too. I'm now a licensed user.

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