Software Product Marketing That Works (Part 4)

In this series so far, 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
  3. You want your customers to do the selling not you.

Here, in part 4 we’ll look at why your software product marketing should be customer-centric not product-centric.

  • Don’t focus on your product features
  • Do focus on customer benefits, people using your products.

No One Cares About Your Software

Customers don’t care about you and your software

  • They don’t care how difficult it was to build
  • They don’t even care that your software can do a million different things
  • And they certainly don’t care about you

[Customers] don’t care about how the product works; they care what it does, and specifically how it can help them solve their top problems.
Dave Kellogg

Customers are Selfish

Customers only care about their own problems. When they see your website and your marketing messages, they want to know three things

  1. What does your software do – is it worth spending any time looking at this?
  2. How would they benefit – why is it better for them than doing nothing or other alternatives?
  3. Why should they trust you – who are you and how do I know this is safe, genuine and reliable?

The bottom line for a buyer: How is this going to help me get my bonus (or keep my job)?

Buyers don’t buy features – they buy solutions to their problems, especially those that help them earn their bonuses.
Tim Johnson on April Dunford’s blog

Your software marketing should always be focused on how your customers are going to succeed, how their business will expand, how they’ll save money… In this show, your software should play a supporting role. Make your customer the star, make your customer the hero.

Right Voice for Buyers

But while you need to sell the benefits to buyers, you should avoid being too ‘salesy’. Be careful your marketing ‘voice’ strikes the right tone. Buyers want to hear

  • You’re confident, positive, and assertive but without you bragging and seeming untrustworthy
  • You care more about your customers and their successes than achievements for yourself e.g. awards, new offices, your quarterly results
  • Your goal is to build a long-term sustainable business with happy customers. Your company culture is not based on generating short-term revenues.

Vendors that make their customer look great, make themselves look great.

Right Time for Product Features

Sure, some people will want to see details on your software. But never lead with them, instead

  • Provide technical details in lower-level web pages, data sheets and white papers
  • Better: show the product being used by customers on video
  • Best: let buyer use it themselves, let them ‘touch’ it and fall in love

Apologies to any US readers, but to mangle the words of President JK JF Kennedy 50 years ago

Ask not what your product can do for customers, ask what customers can do with your product

In part 5 of this series, we’ll look at why your software marketing should be clear first and clever second. In the mean time, please add your comments, questions and suggestions below.

Please [Tweet] This: Software Product Marketing That Works (Part 4) by @SmartSoftMarket

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