What are you paying
for when you buy social
We recently had chance to learn what one of our competitors is
charging for their social business software product.
It raised the question about what you are paying for when you
purchase social software, and why some companies charge so
much more than we do for Communifire.
A few weeks back our sales team gave a demo of Communifire,
our social business software product, to the IT team of a multi-
million dollar manufacturing based company in Germany.
The IT director of the company was quite impressed with
Communifire, but told us that they have already signed a deal
with one of our competitors.
He was shocked to find out the price difference.
He told us that our competitor is charging a minimum of
$85,000 USD/year for self-hosted licenses, more than
8 times that of Communifire.
Given the fact that Communifire has almost the same basic
feature set, the price difference was quite puzzling.
He asked us to give him and his team a demo installation of
Communifire, so that they could compare the features
After a few weeks he reported back to us.
He told us that his team found Communifire more user
friendly and well-suited to their needs. He said he’d raise this
issue with his top management and ask them to
We were pleased with the positive feedback he sent us, though
we wondered why a company would pay tens or hundreds of
thousands of dollars to a “giant” in the social business software
space when they can get the same features and support at a
much lower price point.
Most of our competitors are publicly traded companies that
have all sorts of pressures that privately owned companies like
Axero don’t have, pressures that push up prices.
Naturally, they are much more desperate to achieve
extravagant profits, increasing quarter on quarter.
So just as soon as they are done selling to you, they are off
trying to sell ten more people just like you.
Ironically, even with their high prices, many of them haven’t
Meanwhile, Axero has remained profitable consistently since
we released Communifire in 2009, with our budget-friendly
We’ve done it by focusing on one customer at a time, realizing
that our success is tied to your success.
We haven’t spent much on marketing or advertising, while our
competitors -- being desperate to get your attention -- spend
up to millions a year, if not more ... expenses they have to pass
on to you, if they are to have a hope of achieving profitability.
This advertising does provide some value to customers, by
making it easier to find a solution and making their brand the
safe choice (a person rarely gets challenged for choosing the
most advertised product).
But how many tens of thousands of dollars is this worth to
you? And how safe is the choice if the company is putting most
of their resources into marketing instead of into the product?
The larger the company you work at, the more likely you are
concerned to be about choosing another large company with
a safe brand ... and the less concerned you may be about the
product itself. It’s just the nature of most large companies and
their internal politics and decision-making.
This is why we’ve always focused our attention on the small to
We’ll help any large company that comes along, and they’ll get
the same great deal, great product, and great support any of
our other customers enjoy, but it simply isn’t worth our time to
go after them. It costs too much -- costs that we’d have to pass
on to our smaller customers.
Even as we consider doing more marketing and advertising,
we are conscious of the need to do so strategically (and
respectfully of your time and attention) ... to avoid incurring
costs that we’d have to pass on to you.
We can’t compete against the millions of dollars spent on
marketing and advertising by our competitors, which forces us
to focus on targeted and more meaningful messages.
We’ll benefit from all the hype our competitors have raised
about social business and then move beyond the hype to
explain how to use social business software in the real world.
We have plenty of experience in this area, having focused on
helping our customers solve their challenges. We feel bad that
our competitors’ customers are paying for advertising that
benefits us, but there is little we can do about it.
When you purchase social business software, you buy it “as-is,”
based on the features provided today. It’s very likely that you
gave a thought to the ability of the product to keep up with
your (mostly unforseen) needs into the future.
Some of what you’re paying today goes toward this as well.
In the case of Communifire, we’ve focused on building a
thoroughly robust foundation that is scalable ... to keep future
development costs low.
Meanwhile, many of our customers have been more anxious
to rapidly add features that you’ll likely just ‘check off’ in your
And it’s also likely that you may have neglected the core
technology choices and the fundamental architecture that the
platform is built upon.
This increases their costs of future development, compared to
the incredible flexibility of Communifire.
We provide the features our customers need to be successful
now. It’s not about adding features just because we can and
because it’s cool. How the features are implemented are just
as important. We pay attention to those details by developing
a robust platform and adding features intelligently to it.
Just ask any of our partners or customers that add (or have us
add) their own custom functionality.
Research is another area where we’ve almost accidentally
stumbled into an incredible cost-saving business approach
because of who we are and the customers we want to
Since we have always worked closely with our customers, and
because the product itself is designed to be responsive to the
changing needs of our customers, we don’t have to spend a
lot of money to hire all kinds of experts and industry analysts
to predict what you’re going to need (with enough lead time
to build it for you) and then convince you that you do, in fact,
We seem to be more social with our customers, so we don’t
have to spend (and pass on) money to develop relationships
with analysts, hiring experts, and paying for polling and
surveys in order to understand them.
We simply talk to our customers, partner with them in a sense,
and build what they need today to be successful.
It’s not about what we tell them they need.
And we’re looking to be even more responsive in the future,
becoming closer, not more distant to them as we grow
You don’t want to have to change social platforms every year
or two. You need the confidence that your vendor will stick
with you. Axero is privately owned, profitable, and debt-free.
So you are our #1 focus. Our roadmap is driven by you,
You are in charge of Communifire’s future.
We know that you have a choice.
Surely, you are aware of this too.
Communifire offers one mix of features and business model ...
and our competitors offer their own variations. If you find value
in the extra costs associated with the other products, then they
are likely a better option for you.
Now that you are armed with information and a very feasible
gameplan, you’re ready to put an effective social business
strategy in place, to the benefit of your company, your
customers, and your own bottom line.
We’re glad you found us.
Now you can make an informed decision about what you are
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