Bluebeam Upping Its Marketing Game To Fuel Channel Growth


As Bluebeam Software's products gain traction in technical industries, the Pasadena, Calif.-based vendor is pushing hard to provide partners with more marketing support.

Aaron Courdy, Bluebeam's senior channel manager, said sales of the company's PDF creation and collaboration markup tool have grown 40 percent on an annual basis since 2011. Forty percent of current sales come through the channel, up from 30 percent three years ago he said. Bluebeam hopes to leverage its increased marketing efforts to grow channel sales to 60 percent to 70 percent of its overall business within the next two years, Courdy said.

Bluebeam's Revu 12.5 -- which competes against the better-known Adobe Acrobat -- allows up to 500 people to simultaneously mark up a PDF and apply technical tools such as scale and linear measurement, making it a good fit for manufacturing, oil and gas, and other technical vertical markets, Courdy said.

[Related: Review - Nuance Power PDF Mimics Acrobat For Less]

The company was showing off its latest technology and recruiting new channel partners this week at the XChange 2014 conference in San Antonio, hosted by The Channel Company, the publisher of CRN.

Bluebeam has increased its marketing staff from one to four over the past year, a move that Courdy expects to help accelerate the company's channel efforts. For example, the company now has the resources to help solution providers tailor pitches and promotional literature to specific vertical markets, Courdy said.

The increased marketing head count also will help Bluebeam attend more industry events, Courdy said. The company attended 60 events in 2013, a figure it equaled by the end of the first quarter this year, he said.

Solution providers can get 20 percent margins  to start, with opportunities for higher margins as partners increase sales and develop a marketing plan, he said.

Bluebeam currently has 180 channel partners, including 140 U.S. solution providers.

nXio, a solution provider based in Lenexa, Kansas, began offering Bluebeam products three years ago, said company president John Hardwick. Today, Bluebeam products can be found in 200 of nXio's accounts, mostly in the construction and auto technician sectors. 

nXio is able to keep a 20 percent margin on Bluebeam sales, Hardwick said, and his five-person firm receives better customer service from Bluebeam than from many larger vendors.

"I can call somebody and get an answer right away," Hardwick said.

Grant Strom, director of sales and marketing at Managed Design in Edina, Minn., said the sales cycle for Edina products is quick since customers in core verticals already know of its capabilities. Strom said Bluestream offerings are easy to use and intuitive, and save end users time and money.

"Their solutions solve problems for customers," he said.  

PUBLISHED AUG. 19, 2014