Software Product Marketing That Works (Part 2)

Old School Product Marketing Must Change

In Software Product Marketing That Works (Part 1) we looked at how

  • Software vendors used to hold the power
  • Old school product marketing used to be easy
  • Old school product marketing no longer works

Don’t Push Your Marketing Out

Old School Marketing involved blasting your messages out as far and wide as possible. The idea was extend your reach as much as possible to improve visibility and awareness. Apart from maybe commodity products with massive advertising budgets, it’s no longer working.

Pushing your messages out everywhere is

  • Annoying
  • Irrelevant
  • Ineffective
  • Bad for business

Millions of companies are competing for our attention, our time, our eyeballs. To try and grab our attention they shout, they trick, they interrupt us from doing something else.

How does this make sense? If you met someone you thought would be a good customer, you wouldn’t yell at them when they are talking to someone else.

If you were the customer not only would you not buy, but you’d steer clear and advise others to the same. Has behaviour like this ever made you want to buy? No.

Instead, your marketing should fit to how your customers want to buy.

How Do Your Customers Buy?

Think about how you want to buy. Here’s a typical process for how people want to buy something significant:

  1. Research to understand the problem or need they have, discover what other people do and the categories of possible solutions
  2. Explore and compare main alternatives, understand the top pros and cons
  3. Check the preferred alternatives in detail, get feedback from trusted sources, try them for yourself
  4. Contact vendor to answer specific questions and place order

Some people will go through these steps in a different sequence, but generally this is how most people prefer to buy stuff they care about.

Your customers want to keep the vendor (you) out of the loop, they want to avoid annoying sales calls, people trying to hustle them.

So instead of yelling, interrupting, and annoying your customers, your marketing should aim to position yourself as the person they turn to for advice and help.

Don't Shout. Do Listen.

Turning Marketing Around So People Want to Buy from YOU

Imagine you’re the trusted source of information they turn to. Sounds fantastic, implausible even?

Let’s think of the result we want and work backwards to see what needs to be done.

  • We want customers to want to buy from us, to come to us first
  • To achieve this we want customers to believe they’ll get the best solution from us and appreciate us
  • To achieve this we want customers to trust us as experts and like us
  • To achieve this we want customers to listen to us, learn from us
  • To achieve this, customers first have to find us and be interested enough to follow us, before they even realize they need to buy

Encourage buyers to pull information in

This strategy is based on inbound marketing. It takes time, but the benefits are cumulative and sustainable when you turn your marketing around and get customers coming to you.

  • Share information about your domain to help people, prove your expertise and be likeable
  • Make it easy for your audience to share with others, provide feedback, and referrals
  • Be open, authentic, and respectful to be respected, trusted, and believed
  • Help your audience, provide engaging, relevant information that will educate them and help them solve their problems
  • Listen to your audience to know what they want, and for them to pay attention to you

Don’t push marketing to audience. Do encourage buyers to pull information in

In part 3 of this series, we’ll look at why you should not brag how great you and your software are.

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Software Product Marketing That Works (Part 2) by @SmartSoftMarket

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