Archive for the 'technology 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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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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Mobile app monetization: Think business model, not ads | VentureBeat

This article posted today at VentureBeat is well worth a read if you have a mobile app and need to work on better monetization . http://venturebeat.com/2013/06/02/mobile-app-monetization-think-business-model-not-ads/

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:

Using Competitive Analysis to Lead Your Target Subsegment

How useful is competitive analysis? As Michele Linn points out in her latest post “Five Key Questions Your B2B Competitive Analysis Should Answer” in her Savvy B2B Marketing blog, sometimes competitive analysis can lead to dead-end marketing strategies that are just copying your competition’s moves. A business version of “keeping up with the Jones’s”.

The best competitive strategy is to try to re-invent or re-define your category so that you are the market leader… a lot of great examples of companies that are out there that have done that.

Copying competitors won’t get you there… but competitive analysis can help you determine the best way to really crystallize your target subsegment that has you as the de facto leader…

So, yes, if you are selling software products or services, do invest some time in software marketing research to better understand your competitors. But instead of trying to follow them, use that information to develop strategies that truly differentiate you within your target segment.

What NOT to Post on your Customer Blog

OK, here’s one of my pet peeves: if you have a blog or a twitter account linked from your business website, make sure the posts and tweets are targeted to your customers and what they care about.

Seems obvious, right?

But I see so many small technology and software companies that use their blog to discuss the trials and tribulations of being a startup rather than addressing the customer pain point that they designed their product to solve in the first place.

If you want to write about the experience of running your business, and share best practices with others, then by all means have a separate blog. But don’t think your customers could care less! Even worse, you don’t want them seeing your dirty laundry (why tell them about the firefighting you were doing yesterday to deal with the outage you had…?).

Make sure you have a customer-focused blog on your website, with posts that are of interest to your customer. Try to weave your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) through the blog, while making sure not to appear too salesy. Your blog should contain additional helpful information, tips, and product-related announcements that your customers and prospects will find useful.


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