Archive for November, 2009

The Trend Toward Marketing and Selling Software Online

As I’m sure any software marketer knows, more and more of the sales and marketing of software is happening online. Even for high-price enterprise software, much of the initial customer data gathering and lead generation is often done online. I wrote a recent page on Software-Marketing-Advisor with some key tips for selling software online.

In an article published today on MarketingProfs, “The Surprising Evolution of Online Marketing in Software Sales”, Jayson Gehri talks about the trends in software marketing online, and some tools that could be quite useful to software marketers looking to extend or simplify their online marketing efforts.

Selling software online is about two key things: First, clearly communicate the benefits to your customer (in language they understand, not geek-speak or feature lists). Second, allow the prospect to experience the software in as real a way as possible. Jayson’s article gives some useful pointers to making the most effective use of online software demos.

For some additional help with selling software online, take a look at our list of key tips here.

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How Important is it to be First?

first, winner, first to market, trophyI’ve started re-reading a useful little marketing strategy book I own: “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing” by Al Ries and Jack Trout.

Their first “law” is the Law of Leadership: it’s better to be first than it is to be better, they claim.

They give the example of Charles Lindbergh as the first person to fly the Atlantic solo. Have you ever heard of the second person, Bert Hinkler, even though he was able to fly faster & consumed less fuel? Probably not.

That got me thinking… is that law always true, and are there any exceptions to it? I think it’s a good rule of thumb, but we have to be careful applying it to technology products: There are times in technology marketing when being the first to market is not the best choice (for example, if the technology is not yet mature enough, or the supporting infrastructure isn’t ready for a compelling usage model yet). It has to be a strategic decision, with this as one consideration.

However, thinking about this “law” in terms of how to position your product or service makes a lot of sense: if you’re launching a project management software product it may not be smart to go head-to-head with Microsoft Project as a meets-all-needs basic project planning tool. Better to find a specific market segment where you have enough unique value or unique features to be the “first” to really solve their particular problems. Get traction and success in that subsegment, then you can grow from there.

How to Make Sense of Web Analytics

web analytics, marketing data, charts
If you’re wondering how to make more effective use of web analytics data (aren’t we all?), then this upcoming free webinar looks like it could be a useful one to check out.

Avinash Kaushik is presenting on “Actionable Web Analytics: Five Tips for Insightful Analysis”. In today’s tough economic climate it is not the lack of data on the web that is a problem, it is our ability to make sense of it all that is the challenge. In this deeply practical webinar Avinash shares his favorite tips for taking reams of data from your website and finding the nuggets of actionable insights in it. Bounce rates, segmentation, pan-session behavior analysis, key non-ecommerce success metrics and more strategies will be covered. You’ll walk away knowing how to improve marketing efficiency, drive insights into consumer behavior, and generate greater returns on your online investments.

Avinash Kaushik is the Analytics Evangelist for Google, and has published a couple of books on web analytics. It looks to be a worthwhile webinar, so check it out.


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