During our podcast with Brandon Corbin, we started talking about the competitive advantages of the Indianapolis tech community. He drew an interesting parallel between Indianapolis and Silicon Valley in the early days. Back then, there were many companies who were building computers. There were other related products, but in the ’70s and ’80s it was about the hardware.
The community excelled and attracted the best and brightest from around the country both to work within the growing base of companies and to simply be a part of the strong community of computer hobbyists. As the industry has grown, Silicon Valley has mushroomed into a tech center supporting innovative software products, social communities and ancillary services, but at its core was the computer.
Marketing Technology – Indianapolis’ Secret Weapon
In the emerging Indianapolis tech community, our core is marketing technology. While there is a lot of emphasis at the state level on manufacturing, logistics and health technology, our sleeping giant of marketing technology often flies under the radar. This is surprising when you look at the list of local superstars: Aprimo, Cha Cha, ExactTarget, Slingshot SEO and Interactive Intelligence (just to name a few) and some exciting up-and-comers like Formstack, IGoDigital and Compendium Blogware. These are all companies which have either built a technology product to advance marketing activities or use technology effectively as part of their approach to marketing.
As a marketer, I love being in the middle of this community. Indy is small enough that I know many of the founders and developers, and with groups like Techpoint and Verge, there are many opportunities to talk to them directly about how to use their products to expand my business. It is cool that I can kick the tires, test new products, ask questions and every now and then, even make a suggestion that becomes a product feature.
Direct access to the range of marketing technology tools and the people who have developed them give me a distinct competitive advantage against marketing companies in Dayton, St. Louis, Louisville or even Chicago. It is time to stop looking west. While Silicon Valley will always have computers and programmers, Indy has marketers. And that is just fine with me!
Check out Doug Karr’s list of local Marketing Tech Companies for a more in-depth look at this growing community.