Posts Tagged 'marketing'

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.

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.

What’s the Difference between Your Company Vision and Mission?

So what is the difference between your company’s vision statement and your company’s mission, anyway?

Mission-Vision

I get asked that question a lot, since being clear about your vision and mission is critical to defining effective marketing strategies.

Basically, your company’s vision is what you want your company to be known for, or to become. It’s long-term, and more of an image of how you want your company to be perceived, rather than a specific goal.

Your mission, on the other hand, is more immediate: why are you in business and what is your company doing right now.

Your vision should direct your long-term goals, and your mission should direct your short-term objectives. And hopefully the two point your business in the same general direction!

Easy Ideas for Marketing Your Service Business

marketing-strategies-globe2 A lot of small services businesses struggle with marketing and acquiring new customers.  If that sounds like you, then below are a few tips to try out:

– Find local industry events or meetups that you can participate in and network with other professionals in your area of expertise. You may be able to pick up projects and establish a local reputation that way.

– Sign up for speaking opportunities at relevant local  events, meetups, and conferences. Your presentation shouldn’t be a sales pitch, but an “expert” presentation that establishes you as the go-to person in your area of focus and then include a brief sales followup to those that are interested in learning more.

– how does your website rank in organic Google search results? Write content for your website that is geared to pulling in traffic from people who are looking for folks like you – identify the long-tail keywords, and write a page for your site for each such keyword (without keyword stuffing or other black-hat stuff).

– Use LinkedIn: participate in relevant LinkedIn groups, connect to the people you already know in your field & that will give you access to other prospects also. Post updates about your company (customer case study or testimonial, info about your services, etc), keeping it “real” not spammy.

– Do you do any email marketing? You should be collecting emails on your website (offer a white paper or other information in return for their email address & use a double-opt-in form). Then have a regular customer newsletter.

– Get written up in some articles in your industry: write a press release on a newsworthy event about your company (eg, a new offering, etc), submit it through a press release site like PRWeb, and then reach out individually to journalists and bloggers in your industry – you can usually find contact information online. Just look for recent articles related to your space then reach out to those same folks. Focus on the respected publications, blogs and sites in your industry.

These are just a few ideas that can be useful for small service businesses.  If you’re looking for some more specific ideas for your business, then check out our marketing coaching services at http://www.kazooassociates.com/coaching.php

Happy Marketing!

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.

Some Recent Software Marketing Articles

Here’s a quick summary of a few recent articles and blog posts worth reading, covering topics from influencing the B2B buy cycle, SaaS sales compensation, and what works in online marketing:

Selling B2B software? Even if you sell to the enterprise, the fact is that B2B purchasers gather a lot of their initial research on potential solutions online. That’s why having an internet marketing strategy (inbound marketing) is so key. Take a look at this recent article on ChiefMarketer.com about “Adjusting to the Web-Influenced Buy Cycle.”

If you’re moving to an enterprise SaaS model, then how to update your sales compensation plan might be on your mind. In that case, this recent blog post by Joel York at Chaotic Flow on “SaaS Sales Compensation Made Easy” may come in handy. Just remember that for SaaS you really need to focus on keeping customer acquisition costs (including costly sales comp) as low as possible – only use direct sales force when you really need it.

You can check out this recent survey by Go-to-Market Strategies on what worked & what didn’t in online marketing in 2009, in their report “Online Marketing Trends: What Worked in 2009 and What to Expect in 2010”. They found the best bets were email marketing and optimized websites, followed by social media tools.


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