Software Product Marketing That Works (Part 3)

Don't Brag. Do Encourage Feedback.
In this series we have discussed why

  1. ‘Old school’ product marketing must change
  2. You should encourage buyers to pull your information in instead of ‘pushing’ out your marketing

Here, we’ll look at trust and why you want your customers to do the selling not you.

Initially, No-one Trusts You

We all love buying but hate being sold to. Until proven otherwise, you as a vendor are a liar, a cheat, a scam or a waste-of-time.

We’re bombarded by thousands of marketing messages every day. Buyers don’t trust marketing and consumers tune out advertising.

It’s hard enough to get any attention. But when you get a prospect’s attention, how do you sell to them if they won’t believe you?

You don’t. As Kristin Zhivago says:

“Selling is dead. The Customer Community killed it.”
Kristin Zhivago @KristinZhivago

Your Customers are Trustworthy

Buyers will know a lot about your products before you even know they’re looking to buy.

Before they even talk to you, they will check you out thoroughly online. They’ll search for signs they can trust you and will carefully research what your customers say.

Customers begin their buying process with a need and a set of questions. Note that the need already exists. They start their research doing one of two things: they search on Google (for Low- to Medium-Scrutiny products and services) or they talk to their peers (for Heavy-Scrutiny and Intense-Scrutiny products and services). They start getting answers and recommendations, from other customers who have purchased the same product or service that they are thinking of buying. In other words, they turn to the Customer Community for answers – using reviews, discussion groups, blogs, and direct contact via email and conversations.
Kristin Zhivago [my emphasis]

Customers trust other customers. Hearing that other customers trust you with their business means they will at least listen to you now.

Authenticity + Delivery ? Trust

Buyers have always looked to see if they can trust a vendor with their business.

“Banks used to use marble pillars and armed guards to make it clear that our money was safe. Doctors put diplomas on the wall and wear white smocks.” Seth Godin

Most successful businesses work hard to project an image that ‘proves’ they are professional, trusted, the best in their field.

Unfortunately this can make them seem too serious, too bland, too boring. Applying too much polish to your image comes across as insincere – and reduces trust, because you’re not being authentic.

Large companies may try to impress us with their large offices, expensive furnishings, and corporate jets.

  • Are we really impressed?
  • Or are we concerned they’re spending too much on themselves at their customer’s expense?

When companies boast about how successful they are at making money, how many awards they have won, how visionary their executives are, does that really convince us to buy? Probably not.

Every company says they put the customer first. But bragging about yourself and your products proves you don’t.

To earn customers’ trust you should:

  • Make it easy for your customers to be found and heard
  • Focus your marketing on your customers not you
  • Consistently deliver on your promises

In part 4 of this series, we’ll look at why your product marketing should not focus on your product.

In the mean time, please add your comments below on how you can get people to trust you and your marketing.

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Software Product Marketing That Works (Part 3) by @SmartSoftMarket

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