Archive for the 'software marketing' Category

How to Best Market Your Software

software marketing, software promotion, promotion, marketing

Read this article to learn some helpful tips for software advertising and marketing. Whether you are selling consumer or business software, follow this guide to software marketing to increase sales of your software.

Start by thinking about the answers to the following questions:

  • What do you want to get out of your software marketing efforts? New customers? Increased revenue? Increased market share? New markets?
  • What does your target customer look like, and what is their pain point that your software helps with?
  • What is your unique value proposition? What makes your product the best at solving your customer’s pain point as easily/cheaply/quickly as possible?
  • What is your customer’s buying decision process? Where do they look for information to solve their problem?

Keep reading to learn more

 

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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.

 

Developing Your App Marketing Strategy: 7 Key Steps

With a good app marketing strategy you can make sure that your sales and marketing efforts aren’t in vain. Keep your limited resources focused on your business goals with these 7 tips to planning a strong software marketing strategy.

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A focused software marketing strategy will decrease your time to market and shorten your sales cycle.  It can drive the most effective app launch for your software.

To start planning your app marketing strategy, follow the 7-step process below:

  1. Make sure you fully understand your market, including size, trends, and key players.
  2. Segment your potential customer base.
  3. Make detailed profiles of your customer segments.
  4. Identify which of your segments are your early adoption targets.
  5. Identify their key pain points and sales process needs.
  6. Develop micro-messaging for the target segments
  7. Plan your communication strategy

For more detail, read this article on how to plan your app marketing strategy.

Assess Your Marketing Effectiveness for 2016

Marketing should never be static – there’s a reason I always emphasize the circular, iterative nature of my 7-step marketing strategy process.

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7-Step Marketing Strategy Process

A strong marketing program must always start with a careful analysis of your target customer niche, their problems and pain points, and other solutions in the marketplace.  Once you fully understand the customer problem and available competitive solutions, then you can write your Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

Your USP is the one most important piece of content to drive your marketing.

Many of our clients turn to Software Marketing Advisor to help better craft their USP and marketing messaging.   Our Marketing Strategy Review service helps optimize your USP and messaging.

 

5 Top Challenges When Marketing B2B Software

What’s so different about marketing business-to-business (B2B) anyway?

I’ve spent most of my career in marketing of business software and services, so I get asked this question a lot.  How is marketing business software different from marketing a consumer app?

There’s actually some significant differences, and if you don’t remember that then you’re not likely to be successful with your marketing.

Here’s a list of the top 5 challenges in selling B2B software rather than consumer:

  1. Selling a Solution — If you’re selling a business app, then you have to sell a solution to a problem, not a piece of software.  Ideally, you can tie the use of your software to a solution to one of the top three problems that keeps your target user awake at night.  And then market that solution…
  2. More Than One Buyer – the purchase or adoption decision for a business application often involves more than one person.  You don’t only have to market to potential users, but you also have to include messaging for other stakeholders, such as group manager, execs, purchasing manager or CFO, etc.
  3. Aligning the Ecosystem – If you’re marketing a solution (see #1), as you should, then sometimes that solution involves more than just your product.  For example, when I was working for Intel we had to focus on software marketing with partners in order to convince users to buy a new PC – they don’t buy hardware, they buy software.  So figure out which companies sell the other pieces to your solution, and approach then to do joint marketing.
  4. Longer Sales Cycle – for a typical business software purchase, it’s not as easy as having the user visit your website, read your great sales copy, and click to purchase or sign up.  Even for a small purchase they may need to get their manager’s approval, or perhaps it needs to be included in the next budget cycle or reviewed with other stakeholders.  That all takes time.
  5. Supporting Content Matters – B2B buyers expect to find good-quality marketing content about your software.  At the least you should have a professional brochure, some case studies and testimonials, and a product data sheet.  You can also write and publish white papers to market to your audience.

Remembering these 5 key differences will make it easier to properly market your business software. For additional help, check out the software marketing toolkit here.

Stop Promoting Your App!

stopsignWhat is the biggest mistake that software marketers make?

Promoting their app!

Yes you heard that right….  the biggest mistake that software marketers make is focusing too much on promoting their app.

But isn’t that what software marketers are supposed to do?

No!

Unless you’re selling a game or other impulse-purchase entertainment-related app, you should be marketing a solution, not a piece of software.  As soon as you start to think about it that way, it will change your mindset:  You will put yourself in your customer’s shoes, and think about why they need this solution, what problem it solves….  These are your key marketing messages.

So stop marketing your app features…  Instead, market a solution to your customer’s problem.  You’ll be surprised how much more engagement you get.

For more help with marketing, try out our 7-Step Software Marketing Toolkit.  We’re running a special right now, so you can get a 3-month marketing campaign for the price of just one month.  Check out the 7-Step Marketing Toolkit here.

New Software Marketing Membership Program

New Software Marketing Membership Program

Get customized software marketing help with our new membership program:  sign up for as little or as much help as you need.  Check it out at the link above.

 

eBook: Seven Step Marketing Strategy Process

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This new Marketing Strategy Book, “The 7-Step Easy Marketing Strategy Process – How to Maximize Business Results from your Marketing Efforts”, is worth checking out.

The program is easy to follow, and will help you prioritze your marketing activities so you are selecting those activities that will truly increase software sales and drive new business.

You can sign up for the 7-step marketing strategy program here: http://www.easy-marketing-strategies.com/marketing-strategy-book.html   The program includes a 51-page eBook, marketing plan template, marketing strategy worksheet, 7-step program checklist, helpful tips for marketing activities, and more.

Should You Develop Mobile Apps for iOS or Android?

Currently, the leading platforms for mobile app developers are iPhone and iPad (ie, iOS devices) and Android smartphones and tablets. As a developer of mobile apps, do you choose one platform to focus your app development efforts on, or do you support both? And what about the other mobile platforms such as Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7, and BlackBerry?

In making that decision, do you look at which platform has the largest installed base? Or do you go by which platform is currently shipping the largest volume of units? Or what about which platform has the highest overall in-app usage time? The answers vary drastically depending on how you frame the question.

We published a summary of the mobile app market this month – it is available for download here.

Most of the published data on mobile share focuses on platform market share, which shows a rapid increase of Android compared to iOS. However, an article published by Business Insider in March instead considered the amount of actual time spent online as a proxy for app usage, which paints a very different picture with iOS clearly dominating.

The rapid rise in Android smartphone market share compared to the iPhone is clearly indicated in Silicon Alley Insider’s chart of the day from November 2011 which shows Android smartphones at 52.5% of the market, while iOS is less than 20%.

At first glance, this type of data may give a developer of mobile apps pause: Should one be prioritizing an Android version over iOS or vice versa?

With all the talk of platform market share, what many of us forget is that the relevant question is the market share of mobile app usage time. After all, that is what users will ultimately pay the app developer for. Silicon Alley Insider’s chart of the day from March 13 2012 instead tells the real story of Android versus iOS.

The chart from ComScore shows the digital traffic market share of connected devices by OS in the US – it’s a very different story than what’s told by the device platform market share where Android shipments are now dominating. When you look at it by digital traffic – the actual mobile Web usage – the picture changes, with iOS dominating at 60% and Android far behind at only 32%. Similarly, Net Applications finds iOS has a 4.4x larger web share than Android. On top of that, a number of studies have also found that iOS users are much more likely to pay for apps or make in-app purchases. On average, developers make 6x more on iOS apps for the equivalent app.

This data seems to clearly indicate that the first platform of choice for a mobile app should still be iOS.

So if you develop mobile apps, what choices do you make? Please vote in our poll:

Update your Business Plan for the New Decade

It’s now 2012… do you have an updated business plan or marketing plan to address the new decade?

If you’re a software company, the industry is changing with the move to SaaS, mobile apps, outsourcing and other trends. It’s important to make sure you have a current business plan to make sure you’re positioned to take optimal advantage of these changes.

Check the links to the right, and take advantage of our SaaS business plan template, or the Software Company business plan template, and get started optimizing your business today!


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