In the past week I’ve done a series on the status of Corel Corporation and some marketing suggestions for improving sales of CorelDRAW. Today I’m going to recap the series along with a few answers to the comments that have been posted or e-mailed to me.
My first suggestion was to add a publishing tool to the CorelDRAW suite. Those of us who use and appreciate the power of Corel Ventura are saddened that Corel has completely abandoned a phenomenal product. I outlined why I feel it is extremely important to have a publishing tool in the box. One user commented that even though they have purchased Adobe InDesign for their publishing tool, they will never switch to Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop. Even if Corel loses a small percentage of users, that is too many and it could be avoided by developing a publishing tool.
Next I presented a unique way to get CorelDRAW into the schools. Sure, there is an Academic version of CorelDRAW available at a significant discount to students and educators. While it may generate sales, I don’t think it builds a long-term link with the buyers that is necessary for future growth. I think Corel could really make inroads if they develop a school program similar to the one I described.
My third suggestion, convert the pirates, is probably the most controversial of the ideas I presented. There is a very large percentage of CorelDRAW users who have not paid for their software. So converting these users into paying users would give Corel a nice revenue boost.
As a very active third party in the world of CorelDRAW, one of my biggest pet peeves is the minimal third party support provided by CorelDRAW. So my fourth suggestion was to support third parties. I’m certainly not going to hide the fact that this proposal would be beneficial to me. But I described how it can be just as beneficial to Corel Corporation and to users of CorelDRAW. One person asked me to ask Corel in a public discussion forum why they haven’t implemented such a plan. I have asked many times in public and in private. And Corel Corporation can certainly comment here on the blog if they wish. I wish I knew why their support is so poor. We can only hope they make changes sooner rather than later.
Lastly I suggested they develop more specialized versions similar to what they have done with DecoStudio. Of all the suggestions I threw out, I think this is the one that is most likely to turn into a reality. No, I don’t have any inside knowledge so it is just a gut feeling.
One user commented that I had painted a doomsday portrait and they were concerned about the future of CorelDRAW. If you are in business, you have to continually evaluate plans so that your company can continue to grow. Corel Corporation has seen their stock hurt in the last year. So have many other companies. I don’t think this indicates Corel is going to go away, just that they need to improve their business. If they did “go away”, it would probably be because they are purchased by another company.
Similarly, I fully expect many more versions of CorelDRAW in the future. If Corel sells more copies, they have more money to spend on development. That means more cool features and more fixes for the bugs. As a user, I want CorelDRAW to continue to be a leading-edge piece of graphics software. Thus I provided marketing ideas that I feel will take the product to the next level. Some of those ideas can also be implemented by users. If you have a way to get more copies of CorelDRAW in the marketplace, that will benefit all users.
I definitely want to hear what you think. Are there marketing ideas I’ve missed? Do you have ways to take the ideas I’ve presented and make them even better?
Let’s all raise a margarita and toast Cinco de Mayo while we ponder the ideas presented! 🙂