In “Why Do You Buy CAD Software? Survey Result (preliminary)“, Roopinder Tara of the CAD Insider blog (and the useful TenLinksDaily newsletter) gives an early indication of the key factors used in assessing CAD software for purchase – based on an online survey (still ongoing at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=891102592287).
After over 120 responses, the key factors (listed in order of importance) are:
- robustness of software (most important) 8.1
- read legacy data 7.4
- initial cost and maintenance 5.7
- reputation of company 5.6
- write legacy data 5.6
- availability of trained personnel 5.5
- popularity 5.1
- evaluation during a trial period 5.0
- scores in benchmarks 4.8
- published reviews 3.7
- case histories 3.4
- shoot outs 2.8
- advertising (least important) 1.0
The numbers after each entry represent a weighted score showing relative importance and is normalized to the lowest score (ie: robustness was 8.1 times more important than advertising).
The above list ranks traditional marketing promotion activity (eg: advertising, case studies, shoot-out events, etc) towards the bottom of the list, but the appearance of company reputation at No.4 does suggest there is a strong role for the public relations professional in creating the right vendor credentials in the purchaser’s mind.
It would be interesting, I think, to do something similar for construction collaboration technologies (aka ‘project extranets’), though the list of factors might need to be expanded slightly perhaps to cover additional issues. For example, there might need to be questions relating to hosting (where solutions are not managed in-house).
tags: CAD, extranet, AEC, collaboration, marketing, public relations