Technology

A Marketing Plan for a Software Company

Every marketing plan follows a basic structure that outlines strategies and tactics for pricing, promotions, product and place, but plan content must be tailored according to industry. Regardless of what your software does, a competitor is likely offering similar features — if not now, then he will soon. So tailor your marketing plan to emphasize your customer rather than your product features. Demonstrate how your software makes your customers’ lives easier or better.

Software Differentiators

  • According to veteran technology software marketer Mike Feeley from Austin, Texas, marketing should be targeted to the audience for which the software was built. This relates directly to your product pricing: Software can be very expensive, limiting the target audience. You can’t afford to woo self-employed consultants working from home if your software is out of their price range and better suited for larger companies. However, if your software is on a mobile platform, target the road warriors who depend on their “smart” electronic devices. This expands your customer base to include those willing to spend a few dollars for a mobile software app.

Gathering Users and Early Customers

  • Many technology companies find Beta testers as their “guinea pig” customers, offering their products for free in exchange for user feedback. This is a helpful development tool and a strategy to get early adopters as customers, while getting them to influence other prospective customers. If you’re selling business software, offer a free trial or limited functionality installations that allow users to access some of the features but not all until they purchase the product. You can give the software away to individuals and businesses but charge an annual licensing and maintenance or support fee. You then have customers ready to buy your next version or upgrade.

Differentiate Yourself Online

  • Assume all of your competitors are online in some way, so it’s easy to get lost in a crowded online environment. One way to differentiate your software from your competitors’ is to create “explainer videos.” These allow you to be creative in a field that can be droll without spending a lot of money. Using humor and eye-catching visuals, demonstrate how your software solves real-life problems that your target audience can relate to. Detail upcoming software versions. Hiring a good scriptwriter, voice talent and even an actor are good uses of marketing dollars. Put the videos on your website and social media sites, then conduct regular searches to see if they are shared on other sites you can target in the future.

Become a Thought Leader

  • Build your image as a thought leader by creating a strong online presence through content marketing. This will put you at the top of Internet searches. Write blogs and articles to share on social media and on websites that allow users to post material. Ask a local newspaper if you can contribute a regular column. Also use videos, slide shows and infographics. Vary your topics so you’re not always promoting your product; demonstrate that you identify with challenges your customers face. Use reader feedback to qualify customers for sales leads.

Article publié pour la première fois le 17/06/2015

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