Software Marketing Review: Media Sign Pro

See how other companies market their software. This is part of a series of reviews looking at examples of software product marketing: “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”

Media Sign Pro

Media Sign Pro have a website that looks great, their product looks great. But it’s not clear what they do or what the product is. See for yourself…

Below is a screenshot from Media Sign Pro’s products page. Let’s look at what works well and what doesn’t.

I have marked up

  • The Good
  • The Bad
  • The Ugly
Screenshot of Media Sign Pro Products Page (top)

Media Sign Pro Products Page (top)

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

The Good. Great examples of software product marketing best practice

  • 1. The Media Sign Pro website is professionally produced and designed. It’s kept up-to-date and has a full set of features that you would expect to find on a modern website such as a useful selection of social media options to keep in touch with them.

  • 2. “Faster. Smarter. Better.” A simple triplet that’s positive and easy to understand. We always want stuff to be faster, smarter, and better. But it does beg the question better than what?

    Repeating the triplet below the image as headings for bulleted lists is a useful layout device to present the top-level message up front while adding detail further down.

The Bad. Could be improved

  • 3. This is the just about the only indication of what this software does – digital signage.

    If you are working with a company every day it can be very easy to be blinded to how newcomers see this. It should be much clearer that this is software you can use to turn a Macintosh monitor into a display in this case it is being used in a coffee shop.

    Newcomers might think digital signage means
    – banners on a website
    – the hardware
    – building a web site
    – advertising in public spaces

    It should be much clearer that this is software, what it does and what the benefit is and “We make everyone a pro” does not clarify at all.

The Ugly. Examples to illustrate what you should not do

  • 4. This is the products page, it says products plural on the navigation, in the page name, and prominently as the heading in the top left. So where are the products?

    There is only one product and the name is not even clear. Can you tell what the product is called? There is a logo in the top left “MEDIASIGNPRO” this looks like the company name. But in the website’s footer it say “Media Sign Inc”. The actual product name is Media Sign Pro (with spaces) but is not shown like that here.

    You should always be clear and consistent with your product name. Large enterprise software companies often spend too much time getting complicated with product names, regularly changing them, tweaking the punctuation or case. This is often a symptom of an inside-out mentality.

    Product names should be simple, clear, memorable, consistent and easy to spell for customers.

  • 5. Again if you know what digital signage means this is a beautiful image of what a digital sign can look like. But if you don’t know then you might think this website does something with coffee, or making web sites.

    One detail caught my eye. There are one or maybe two orange RSS icons. So my initial reaction was that this must be something I can click in – it must be a website. But it’s not.

    The image represent a screen hanging up in a coffee shop, and the customers can sit back and look at the promotions running on the screen like they are watching TV. The RSS icon is there because the information is being provided from an RSS feed, so the coffee shop staff don’t have to go into the Media Sign Pro software to provide “news” they can just point to a RSS feed. But in this image it adds to the confusion.

    This image needs context. I would have a photograph of the sign placed in a coffee shop with coffee drinkers watching it. And take the photo from a position where you can see behind the scenes and include a Mac with someone at the keyboard.

    Or use an animated sequence of images or video to show someone using the Mac then customers watching the sign.

There’s More

The screenshot we have been looking is only the top 20% of the page – there is a lot more “below the fold”…

Screenshot of Media Sign Pro Products Page (full)

Media Sign Pro Products Page (full)

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

The Good. Great examples of software product marketing best practice

  • 6. Much better, now we can see this is software, it’s Mac software and looks straightforward. And if you zoom in you can get a sense of what the software does.

  • 7. This feature list is a bit of a mixed bag. There are some good examples describing the customer experience as “hassle-free”, “no technical expertise required” and they have mainly avoided using jargon.

    But the features under “Better” seem to be a list of ones they wanted to include but did not fit under “Faster” or “Smarter”. “Better” is too generic to be useful, it seems like a filler to me. I also suspect that some were added just to fill up three columns evenly.

    Using  3 columns helps but still 15 features is too many and should be written as what you can do not what you can’t do.

    I would recommend consolidating similar features e.g. combining “No technical expertise required”, “User-friendly interface and workflow”, “Quick, easy, and hassle-free deployment” into “Quick and easy for everyone”.

    I would also rewrite negative features to be positive e.g. “Only one simple payment” instead of “no monthly hosting or content fees”.

The Bad. Could be improved

  • 8. This is the first real description of what you would use the software for: “Media Sign Pro has everything you need to create powerful digital signage”. But it does not spell out that this is software and more importantly it does not explain what the benefits are for you to create digital signage.

    If I owned a coffee shop my first question would be “what’s a digital sign and why do I need one?”

The Ugly. Examples to illustrate what you should not do

  • 9. The biggest mistake on this page is a simple layout problem.There is a lot of useful explanatory content on the page but it’s below the fold.

    According to Google’s Browser Size tool only 20% of people have screens big enough to see anything below 700 pixels.So you have to scroll down, but there are no visual cues to indicate there is more content below the fold, so many people won’t even know to scroll down.

    The easiest fix would be to put a border around the page, or a sidebar.

    The other route, probably the better solution, would be to split this huge page into multiple pages and have the website visitor navigate to the page they’re most interested in based on benefits for the customer.

Looking Good at the Expense of Being Clear

I think this is an example where making it look good has taken priority and they’re doing a disservice to the product. You have to read closely to figure out what it does and it appears to have all the right features.

The web page gives a good first impression, and if you know what they do everything is there.

But the key element I think Media Sign Pro are missing is looking at this from a newcomer’s perspective. People want to know within 5-8 seconds:

  • What is this?
  • What does it do?
  • What’s in it for me?

Join the Discussion

  • Do you agree – or am I being to harsh on Media Sign Pro?
  • What would you do differently?
  • Suggest any examples of best (or worst) practice for software product marketing

Please add a comment below or contact Giles @ Smart

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