Welcome to the archives for NewsTalk, an IBJ blog published from November 2007 through December 2010.

Internet marketing software city?

April 16, 2009
Indianapolis is known for hosting big races and other sports events, but the leader of an obscure niche called Internet marketing software?

Chris Baggott, who runs one of the companies developing the software, Compendium Blogware, says Indianapolis actually has emerged as a center of the budding industry.

Consider that the city also hosts ExactTarget and Aprimo, both of which have filed intentions to go public. There’s also 5 Buckets, Lights Out Intelligence and Market Path. Broaden the definition slightly, and there’s WebLink International, eTapestry and the well-established Interactive Intelligence.

All told, the micro cluster has more than 1,000 employees.

“Quietly we have become the Internet marketing software capital of the world,” Baggott says.

Why? Indianapolis is close to lots of universities pumping out software programmers and other workers the industry needs. The city also is a cheap place to operate compared with Silicon Valley and other traditional software centers.

Perhaps as important, Baggott says Indianapolis does lots of things right. Traffic flows well, living costs are reasonable, and the downtown is vibrant. The ongoing parade of sports events and other downtown attractions is impressive to recruits as well as potential customers, he says.

In fact, Baggott says Indianapolis leaders do their job so well that they should focus their energies on continuing to do a good job rather than becoming distracted with initiatives like BioCrossroads, which promotes the life science industry. No similar effort has been created for the Internet marketing software companies, but that’s OK by Baggott.

“What’s great about Indianapolis is, the government stays out of my way,” he says.

What do you think about Baggott’s view of Indianapolis as the capital for the industry? Are business conditions here as good as he says?
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