Undercover DM Moves Employee Monitoring Software

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A controversial employee and computer monitoring program is seeing success so far without traditional direct marketing or advertising methods. According to Richard Eaton, founder of WinWhatWhere Corp., Kennewick, WA, he doesn't really market his WinWhatWhere software product, which allows bosses to track every computer keystroke initiated by employees, but he's made quite a business for himself with his Web site.

Apparently, Eaton is one of those few lucky marketers who's had phenomenal success planting mentions and well-thought-out blurbs of a product in key publications where prospects are likely to take note.

Eaton said he gets all of his sales by word of mouth and from people who have learned about his product from magazines. But he admits after a little trial and error that he gets more responses that lead to sales from engineering and human relations-oriented publications. WinWhatWhere also has been featured in the pages of ComputerWorld and Wired.

Eaton admitted he could sell more if he initiated a traditional marketing campaign, but he said he's more than satisfied with the "directly marketed" public relations mentions he gets from periodicals. "There's a big jump that would have to occur to get me to the next [marketing] level," he said.

The lucky programmer-turned-semimarketer stumbled upon his innovate product after creating an algorithm to compare user complaints about a software program to actual user keystrokes. From there, he realized there was a need to help employers monitor the actual activities of employees vs. what they were telling associates.

"We are looking into funding to make a marketing leap," said Eaton. "And there does seem to be a need now. But we're already selling between 600 and 700 licenses a year." Current clients include Delta Airlines, Lockheed Martin, the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Mint and "several of the big oil companies."

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