Posts Tagged 'software marketing'



Interview with David Taber, Author of Salesforce.com Secrets of Success

This interview with David Taber, Author of “Salesforce.com Secrets of Success” on the Marketo blog is a worthwhile read for any software marketer, especially those in the CRM space or those who wish to more effectively utilize their own CRM systems.

Key takeaways? They may not be new, but they’re important enough to deserve repeating:

  • Focus on lead quality, not lead quantity
  • Have a clear process to drive the sales cycle, and make sure everyone from marketing to sales understands their role in the process
  • Figure out and track meaningful, quantifiable measures of marketing success

What are the Best Digital Marketing Activities for Software Companies?

marketing-onlineThe Question of the Week over at Software-Marketing-Advisor.com is about identifying the best digital marketing activities that could be adopted for software enterprises.

It’s a good question, even though a very general one, because there are many web software marketing options available for software companies, and most are very affordable choices especially for smaller software firms and those that sell primarily online.

I also find that many software companies just don’t make the most of their web software marketing efforts. The most important thing to remember is that having a website is no guarantee that your target customers will find you… it is too easy to get lost as just one of the hundreds of millions of sites out there. Your website needs a marketing plan, just as any brick-and-mortar business does too.

First, think about your target customer. Where do they go online to find information about the problem your software product or service is addressing? That is where your digital marketing efforts should focus:

  • the search engines (Google is by far the most important),
  • relevant online forums and blogs,
  • relevant directories,
  • industry websites, etc.

So, getting your website visible in those places is your goal. Make a list of the most important sites where you would like your website to be highlighted.

In general, these are my main recommended areas to focus on for internet marketing of software products and solutions:

  1. SEO – make sure you’re following proper use of keywords, meta tags, and building inbound links to your website.
  2. Blog – you should have a blog on your website that is updated regularly, and participate in other blog discussions and comments.
  3. Participate in forums & discussion groups, including links to your website where appropriate (don’t spam!)
  4. Write articles and publish white papers online
  5. Issue online press releases
  6. Advertising: PPC or online classified advertising relevant to your niche.
  7. Webinars and virtual trade shows
  8. Get listed in directories – both general ones, and online software directories relevant to your niche
  9. Newsletter & email marketing (always opt-in)

You can find more detail in this article on building your web software marketing plan.

Technology Marketers Should Put Customer Usage Models First

Technology usage model

Technology usage model


Usage models are commonly used for technology and software products in testing, use analysis, UI design,… But I think one of the most important applications of technology usage models is in marketing.

What is a usage model? Basically, usage models are the ways in which customers use or interact with the technology product, software application, web service… whatever the product happens to be.

Some questions I think are important to ask ourselves are:

  • Why are usage models important in marketing?
  • How can we use usage models to improve marketing ROI?
  • Why don’t technology marketers focus more heavily on usage models?

Too often, technology marketers focus on the features… What cool things can this product do? What cool things can you do using this service?

But that’s thinking about it backwards…

Put usage models first, and that naturally gets you thinking first about the customer’s needs, and second about the features.

Welcome!

Since this is my first post on this Technology Marketing and Strategy blog, I’d like to take the opportunity to introduce myself and the areas I plan on covering in my blog. If you have other ideas for topics or questions you’d especially like addressed, then feel free to add a comment with your suggestion.

I started Software-Marketing-Advisor.com to address issues surrounding software marketing strategy and software business planning, particularly as the industry transitions to the Software as a Service (SaaS) model. Whether you sell enterprise software, consumer software, hosted services, or software consulting, you will find tips and ideas to refocus your marketing efforts, improve your business planning, and align your marketing strategy to your business goals.

Here on the Technology Marketing and Strategy blog, I’ll focus on issues surrounding the marketing of technology, whether that’s software, IT services, hardware, or other technology products or services.  What makes marketing technology different from marketing other types of products or services?  I think the big difference (unless you have a technical target customer base) is that when you’re marketing technology the customer may not know (or need to know) the details behind the product or service you are offering.  Yet too often technology marketers get wrapped up in the coolness factor of the technology itself, forgetting the real customer benefits.
In my fifteen years in various software/solutions marketing, strategy and consulting roles in the technology industry I’ve had the opportunity to work with software and services firms and enterprise companies of all sizes to help them better position their products and services to meet customer and market needs.  But too often I see marketing efforts reduced to pushing technology for the sake of technology, focus on features rather than benefits, and “tech coolness” rather than realworld customer usage models and solutions.
I plan on starting this blog with a discussion of customer usage models, and how to use usage model analysis to better understand your target customer, their real painpoints, and narrow down to your unique selling proposition.  So stay tuned for more in the next post…
In the meantime, take a look at these recent blog posts on my website blog at Software-Marketing-Advisor.com:

 


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