Archive for the 'marketing strategy' Category

How to Select a Software Marketing Firm

If you’re looking to hire a marketing agency to market your software, make sure you follow the guidelines in my new article on hiring a marketing firm.  Summary below.

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  1. Keep core strategy in-house – know your marketing goals and value proposition BEFORE hiring someone else to do your marketing.
  2. Make sure they know the tech space – hire someone with experience in the technology industry.
  3. Choose a firm with experience in your industry – they should understand your target customers (differentiate between B2B and B2C) and have experience in your vertical industry.
  4. Clearly define the roles – what will be your involvement? what are the specific expectations for the agency?
  5. Define metrics – you should have an idea of how you will measure the success of your marketing, before meeting with an agency.

Read more here: https://www.software-marketing-advisor.com/software-marketing-firm.html

7 Steps to Plan Your Software Product Marketing

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Many small tech firms don’t have a dedicated marketing employee in the company. Instead, company leaders or founders have to find the time to plan marketing, and as a result it often becomes an afterthought.

If this describes your company, here are some easy steps you can take to make sure you make strategic marketing decisions that align with your business goals.

1. First, you must really understand your market ecosystem

This includes:

  • your competitors,
  • potential customers,
  • potential partners,
  • influencers, thought leaders, media.

2. Second, identify the different segments within your market

Think about how you can group the market players, and what are the different sub-niches of potential customers or problems.

3. Third, write down detailed profiles for each segment

Consider the key descriptors of the various customer segments that you wrote down above. Really get into the shoes of each customer, and write down as detailed a description as you can: demographics, needs/wants, challenges, etc.

4. Fourth, narrow down to your ideal customer targets

Once you have a really detailed picture of each customer sub-segment, you should be able to identify which of the customer segments are most profitable and which are the segments for which you deliver the most unique value.

5. Understand the pain points & sales needs of your ideal target customer

Now that you have a really detailed picture of your ideal customer, you need to think about what are their main pain points – what keeps them awake at night?  How does your software or service address one of their top pain points?

Then consider sales needs:  in order to purchase your product, what information or material do they need?  Also consider who else is involved in or influences the purchase decision (stakeholders and influencers).

6. Perfect elevator pitch & messages

You need to think about the messages and elevator pitch to each of your target audiences above:

  • Ideal customer
  • Stakeholders
  • Influencers

What is the CTA (call to action – what you want them to do)?  What are the key talking points?

7. Finally, define your communications strategy

Basically, your communication strategy is just the key steps above written out in a document or slideset:  Who is your audience? What do you want them to do? How will you communicate that to them?  The answers to those questions are your marketing communications strategies.

Keep reading here to learn more and start planning your software product marketing.

6 Steps for a Successful Software Launch

A successful software launch can be a critical component to the long-term viability of any new software, app, or service. How can you plan your launch to really boost your product’s success?

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This article gives you six helpful steps to follow.

Keep in mind: as much time and energy should go into planning the launch and your ongoing software marketing strategy as goes into productizing and testing the actual product.

To help you plan, we have just launched our Go-to-Market Toolkit, which includes guides, templates and checklists to plan a successful software launch. The Toolkit is available now here.

If you’d like advance notice about new products or downloads, you can sign up for our FREE monthly newsletter here. Or contact us with any questions.

 

Planning Your Product Launch with a Go-to-Market Checklist

If you’re bringing a new product, software or service to market, then you need to have a go-to-market strategy:  what are your plans to launch your product and get customers and interest?

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Below is a simple week-by-week checklist leading up to a new software product introduction that you can use to keep all those marketing & promotion details straight. If you need some help putting your go-to-market plan together, or just have a few questions, then sign up for a Software Marketing Consult session here.

Next month we will be introducing our updated Go-to-Market planning package which will include a more detailed checklist and timeline, GTM strategy template, PR templates, eGuides and more! Sign up for our newsletter here to be notified when it is available.

8-12 weeks before launch:

  • Product name finalized
  • Acquire domain name, social handles for product name
  • Create ideal customer persona: Description, Pain points / needs, Benefits
  • USP (Unique Selling Proposition) – what is the key value of your product to your target customer? why are you/your business the right choice (build credibility)?
  • Create a high-level launch plan:
    1. Goals
    2. Strategies (Who is the audience? What channels? When? What messages? How will the customer find it? Why should they act?)
    3. Tactics – specific activities to accomplish the strategies
    4. Metrics – how to measure success

4 weeks before launch:

  • Website ready (or new web page / sub-domain for product)
  • All social pages ready
  • Promotion plan done:
    1. Plan for pre-launch, launch & post-launch press releases
    2. Media/influencer targets identified, with contact info
    3. Compile editorial calendars
    4. Advertising plan (eg, PPC, banner ads, FB ads, offline ads, etc)
  • Keywords for SEO or PPC identified
  • Content marketing plan in place – blog posts, guest blogging, social media

3 weeks before launch:

  • Create media kit (PR, company & product description, bio/story, headshots, screenshots, Q&A, video or demo, trial codes, etc)
  • Sign up for HARO, Pitchrate to receive email about media pitch requests
  • Email signup on website (start before launch)
  • Write email sequence to send to mailing list, both at launch, plus pre- and post-launch
  • Create SEO content for website/blog to bring in search visitors

2 weeks before launch:

  • Pre-launch press release sent to select media & influencers
  • Promote mailing list (prerelease signup)
  • Email update to mailing list
  • Customer support plan
  • Customer documentation complete
  • Channel plan in place – who do you need to sign up? what do they need to sell or list your software?

1 week before launch:

  • Email update to mailing list)
  • Promote mailing list (prerelease signup)
  • List of events (tradeshows, meetups, user groups) and websites where you can “announce” your new product/service)
  • Finalize all announcement copy: press release, description, elevator pitch, social content)

At launch:

  • Update website / product page
  • Launch press release published & sent to all media & influencers
  • Email update to mailing list
  • Add listing / description to websites, directories, stores, etc
  • Announce on social media, blog, forums/groups (as appropriate), etc

Post launch:

  • Post-launch press release with user/customer update/announcement
  • Email update to mailing list
  • Content marketing: social posts, blogs, guest posts, forum/group engagement, etc
  • Gather feedback from users, influencers, etc

 

Researching the Mobile Application Market

Do you need to research the mobile application market but unsure where to begin? Worried that your mobile app idea may not be a great business opportunity? Don’t have time or money for a custom mobile app market analysis or an expensive research report?

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Don’t reinvent the wheel. This article will give you some suggestions for doing mobile apps market research.

Check out the article below for:

  • a summary of the latest research on the mobile application market, which you can use to start your app market research,
  • a list of some of the latest mobile application market research reports, if you’d like to purchase a professional study,
  • a step-by-step process to create your own custom mobile app market analysis for your specific niche,
  • suggestions for affordable assistance if you just need a little help without breaking the bank.

Keep reading…

Software Marketing Planning Templates

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If you’re planning a software or SaaS business, or strategizing your marketing approach, a template can help you organize your thoughts and ideas.

Take a look at some of our available software marketing and business planning downloads here.

 

7 Tips to Plan Your B2B Software Marketing

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I know, it’s always a challenge to properly plan your B2B software marketing when you are wearing all the other hats to run your small software firm.

But there are actually some easy steps you can take to make sure your marketing decisions are more strategic and align with your business goals. And they’ll give you a strategic framework to quickly select which marketing opportunities are the best ones to drive your business forward.

Don’t Procrastinate Your Marketing Strategy Planning

By following these seven key steps you can quickly develop a software marketing strategy that lets you make informed decisions about marketing tactics:

  1. Understand your market landscape

    • who are your competitors?

    • who are potential customers?

    • who are potential partners/influencers?

  1. Segment your market

    • how can you group the market players?

    • what are the different categories of potential customers?

  1. Develop segment profiles

    • what are the key descriptors of the various customer segments?

  2. Define ideal customer targets

    • which of the customer segments are your most profitable targets?

    • write a detailed persona of each
  3. Understand pain points & sales needs

    • what are the main pain points of your target customers?

    • what information or material do they need to make a purchase decision?

    • who is involved in the purchase decision?

  4. Develop your elevator pitch & messages

    • what are the key talking points (to the target segments)?

  5. Define your communications strategy

    • what are the best marketing strategies to communicate your messages to your ideal target customers and solve their pain points?

It is important to follow each of these steps in turn, writing down a paragraph or two to answer the questions. In future posts, I will provide a little more detail on each step and links to useful worksheets where you can record and analyze your answers.  I’ll link those from this blog post when they’re up, so come back to learn more.

One final word of advice:  Don’t be tempted to just jump straight to the last step (creating your communications strategy) – this is the mistake that many startup founders make. They then find themselves throwing marketing opportunities at a wall to see what “sticks”. That is a huge waste of time and money. It is much better to invest a little bit of time up front to develop your strategy, than waste a lot of time on marketing activities that don’t contribute to your bottom line.

If you’re ready to get started planning your software marketing, then take a look at our Software Marketing Plan Package which includes some helpful templates and guides to step you through the process.

Marketing Your Software Consulting Business

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Whether you are an executive at an established software consulting business, or are a programmer who has decided to strike out on your own in freelance software development, marketing a tech consulting firm can be challenging.

Read the article at Software-Marketing-Advisor to learn more.

 

What is the Best Software Business Plan and Marketing Strategy for You?

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If you manage a software or online business, there are many different options for monetization, including:

  • traditional software license,
  • subscription fees,
  • advertising,
  • bundling,
  • licensing by component,
  • software consulting or
  • software reselling.

This article will help you plan the best business model and monetization strategy.  Keep reading to learn more about how to optimize your software business plan.

 

7 Steps for B2B Marketing Strategy

Having a hard time developing your B2B marketing strategy?  You’re not the only one. It can be hard for tech business owners to know where to focus their limited marketing resources.

The graphic below gives you 7 steps to follow to map out your marketing strategy to make sure it really focuses on your target customer needs and drives business growth.

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Here are the 7 steps in summary:

  1. Know your market – what are the key trends in your market?  who are the primary ecosystem players?  who are the thought leaders and influencers? who are your competition?
  2. Segment your customers – when you categorize your potential audience into smaller segments it becomes much easier to develop targeted messaging and marketing tactics.
  3. Develop segment profiles – for each customer segment, you should be able to write a detailed profile: who are they? what do they value? what keeps them awake at night? how do they make purchase decisions?
  4. Identify your ideal target customer – looking at the segment profiles, identify a small number (no more than three, preferably one or two) for whom your value proposition is highest, and there is a clear USP (unique selling proposition).
  5. Define pain points & sales needs – once you have a detailed profile of an ideal target customer, you can define what real pain point you address (something they NEED, not just WANT), and what information / support is needed to make a sale.
  6. Develop your elevator pitch – your pitch should address directly to your target customer and clearly tell them how your solution solves their pain point via a focused USP.
  7. Identify your communication channels – the final step is to determine how you are going to communicate your elevator pitch to your ideal target customer (without assuming you’ll bump into them in an elevator some day!).  Where does your target customer look for information? That’s where your message should be readily available.

At Software Marketing Advisor we provide coaching and tools to help you apply the 7 step process to your business and marketing needs.  Visit our coaching page for more information on how to get software marketing help for your business.

 


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