Good product, bad marketing

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Fred Greco | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Nov 2 2012 12:17 PM

I was surprised this morning to see Logos 5 introduced. For the record, I am a veteran Logos user, starting from before L3, and upgraded to L4 (Gold) and then to Platinum. I understand the principles hit on in various threads, that you get to keep your resources, and that you won't lose L4 functionality.

I just upgraded to L5 (Platinum) after reviewing the (still really bad looking and not-properly-functioning) upgrade page. The best part of my experience was calling in and talking to a gentleman at Logos who answered my (relatively sophisticated) questions about new functionality and books and the differences between upgrade packages (in my case, Silver, Gold and Platinum). He was very helpful.

What I hope is that the powers that be at Logos learn from the dozens of threads and hundreds of angry posts on this forum. The vast majority of them (in my opinion), although not all, could have been prevented or ameliorated by some simple sound business practices. Let me note for the record here that I have no problem with Logos being a business. I have no problem with Mr. Pritchett and others at Logos making money. I don't even object to them making a good amount of money. If the market will bear the cost, then "the laborer is worthy of his wages." So I will not join in the chorus that calls for Logos to price everything at cost (essentially). But the roll out of this new product seems ridiculous:

  1. Logos (alone it seems) knew of the roll out date. That is fine on one level, but that then puts all the onus on Logos to be prepared for all the questions, all the calls, all the problems. Why roll this out on a Friday? I guarantee there will be problems over the weekend. Why on earth were the servers and website not ready? Seriously. Did no one do any testing? Run any models ("let's assume that 30% of our customer base upgrades...")? Why would Logos expect everyone to just sit tight while the website, the upgrade calculator, and everything else is a mess?
  2. The upgrade calculator is horrible. This is the exact same thing that happened with L4. It (mostly) does not even display correctly. It shows products you own as "new to you." It is incredibly difficult to read (who thought of the very pastel blue circles? Really?) Not all the products have pop-ups. Most that do do not pop-up properly (the top half is off screen). This is not a huge deal, but when you are trying to convince people to spend money, and actually spend more money (one quote I said the sales gentleman was "convince me to spend an extra $150 to go to Platinum from Gold") you should make it easier not harder for them to spend money. And when Logos is completely in charge of the roll out date - no one knew, so there was no need to "meet expectations" - they should have it perfect. This is a business fail, plain and simple. A good analogy was Apple's unveiling of MobileMe and its subsequent crash and burn.
  3. What am I getting? I know that the new (Apple driven) marketing tool is to not give information on new products, but come on. A video is nice, but some descriptions, something more than a 30,000 foot view would be good. Again, Logos is totally in charge of the product cycle here, so the only one to blame for that is Logos. Why can't I get a semi-detailed description of the "Bible Word Study: Senses" feature? That feature is part of the reason (maybe the main reason?) that I would upgrade to Gold from Silver ($300 out of my pocket). Why can't I find out what it does? See a specific demo on that feature?
  4. What would I be missing out on? Why didn't the marketers have a detailed description of what the upcoming crossgrade feature will be? Why not tell me what I will be missing out on, so I can be more motivated to upgrade to a new base? Why do I have to even find out about this feature AFTER reading 150 seething posts? Why is Logos relying on their customers on the forums to calm everyone down and answer questions? Why is there not a simple page on the website outlining in simple terms what the differences are?

Sorry, but this drives me nuts. the problem here is not a bad product. It is not greed. It is not shortchanging people. It is incompetent marketing. Yes, I said that. Logos managed to take what should be a great day in the life of their installed base, and make them think hard about switching products. They managed to create more negative publicity for new users (where do we think Google will send potential buyers to learn about the product? That's right, the forums). And the worst part about this is that it is the second time this has happened. Just like last time when Logos could have saved itself huge amounts of negativity by simply and clearly describing the indexing process (as they now do, even on their phone hold message), a simple and clear roll out would have changed today. Instead of telling people that his margin is 0.38% (information I don't think I or anyone else is entitled to), Bob should have his marketing people working hard and smart to make sure it is 0.5% or more. 

Ignore me if you like, but I am a repeat, non-angry, just-purchased-upgrade customer who has a background in small business, and even I can see how lame Logos has rolled out its products.

Fred Greco
Senior Pastor, Christ Church PCA, Katy, TX
Windows 10 64-bit; Logos 7.1 SR-2 (Reformed Platinum)

Posts 8603
TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 6:02 PM

Fred, just a comment on what is actually happening with the upgrade calculator (aesthetics aside).

Dan Pritchett explained the calculator.

Truth Is Still Truth Even if You Don't Believe It

Check the Wiki

Warning: Sarcasm is my love language. I may inadvertently express my love to you.

Posts 406
Fred Greco | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 6:19 PM

TCBlack:

Fred, just a comment on what is actually happening with the upgrade calculator (aesthetics aside).

Dan Pritchett explained the calculator.

Agreed, but I am talking about marketing, not "being wrong." How hard would it have been to do something as simple as have three icons: one for "you don't have this resource," one for "you have this resource," and one for "this resource you own has been modified in some way" ? Not perfect, but it would very easily avoid the screaming on the forums we saw.

Fred Greco
Senior Pastor, Christ Church PCA, Katy, TX
Windows 10 64-bit; Logos 7.1 SR-2 (Reformed Platinum)

Posts 1697
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 7:34 PM

Fred, you're right. We could have handled it better.

I'm not going to list the reasons or excuses -- it's a long list of lots of factors and external influences. But we will review this experience and try to learn from our mistakes.

I am sorry for the frustration.

-- Bob

Posts 406
Fred Greco | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 7:48 PM

Bob,

You have a great product. And the fact of the matter is, that in modern America, most of us (and me at the head of that line!) are impatient and too quick to conclusions. I'm not interested in showing you up (and I hope it did not seem that way), but rather on keeping the focus on a very good Bible product.

It is my hope that in the coming weeks Logos 5 will get the attention and praise it deserves.

Blessings to you!

Fred Greco
Senior Pastor, Christ Church PCA, Katy, TX
Windows 10 64-bit; Logos 7.1 SR-2 (Reformed Platinum)

Posts 799
LogosEmployee
Sean Boisen | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 3 2012 12:19 AM

Fred Greco:

...

Why can't I get a semi-detailed description of the "Bible Word Study: Senses" feature? That feature is part of the reason (maybe the main reason?) that I would upgrade to Gold from Silver ($300 out of my pocket). Why can't I find out what it does? See a specific demo on that feature?

...

Fred:

I'm sorry we haven't provided the information you want. This feature integrates the Bible Sense Lexicon into Bible Word Study, so that when you're studying a particular word in one of the biblical languages, you can see the different senses in which it occurs. So the primary benefits are currently best described here: http://www.logos.com/bible-sense-lexicon .

I expect we'll be making training videos for this and other new features, and those videos will also serve to demonstrate how these features work.

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