Archive for the 'software marketing' Category

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…

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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.

 

How to Best Market Your Software

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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

 

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.


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