Marketing

How to Market New Software

New Software Marketing

Due to the advent of the Internet and other advances in communications, the world has become a very small and crowded place – perhaps not literally but definitely figuratively. Virtually everything can be accessed from almost anywhere and you have to be very nimble and aware of what is going on around you in order to succeed. It is not enough to have a great product; it is all about how you market and execute that product that will determine whether or not you are viable. The software space is dominated by many large companies with huge marketing and advertising budgets. Even if you are not competing in the enormous shadow cast in this space by of one of the larger software companies, chances are that if you are servicing a niche that is profitable, a larger player will quickly become aware of your existence and will have the resources to imitate you… and then obliterate you, leaving nothing but a greasy nano spot. (Think marketing annihilation on a molecular level) Even if you are the first to market, you will not have much of a head start. Therefore, you must be fast out of the blocks within your limited means.

Getting it Right from the Start

Marketing your software must not be an afterthought; it must be thought out in tandem or even before the creation of your software. Factors such as those listed below are just a few of the issues you must grapple with in the context of marketing: [custom_list style=”list-1″]
  • Who you are creating your software for
  • Demographics of users
  • Competitors (Remember the Greasy Nano Spot)
  • Pricing points
  • Appropriate marketing methods
[custom_list] Addressing these points is both a specialized area and time-consuming. Are you absolutely sure that you want to go down this path? If you have put any forethought into your software marketing, you will look to integrate a dynamic installer in your software. Not only does it show your customer that you care about them by keeping them aware of upgrades and the like, (without having to go through too much effort to achieve this) it also gives both you and the user additional benefits that build goodwill at little or no cost. After all, if it is good enough for Java and Adobe, it should be good enough for you.
 
Benefits of dynamic installers include the following: [custom_list style=”list-1″]
  • The better installers are easy to integrate into your software and enable you to either use the templates they have on offer or customize them to suit the look and feel of your software if none of the templates are compatible
  • Place your software on the cloud which facilitates quicker and more stable downloads for users as well providing you with all the benefits inherent in cloud computing such as security and scalability
  • The ability to quickly and easily integrate “offer screen capabilities” to your software, which has been proven as a effective method of attracting downloads
  • Providing a form of push marketing that shows the user you care
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Social Media

It is the current trend and is expected to stay that way in the foreseeable future – social media. It is cheap, proactive, has an enormous following, and as an open forum, it gives you the capabilities of quickly penetrating the markets within. Regardless of your software, there is an appropriate social media outlet that will best enable you to market it to your target audience. You can also use social media to set the platform for your software marketing by using it to survey relevant parties and have them wait in anticipation. The following are examples of suggested marketing routes using social media: [custom_list style=”list-1″]
  • Software or an app in the field of financial services would be better suited to LinkedIn users as it is a more business oriented social media platform
  • Software or an app in the field of gaming would be better suited to YouTube or Twitter users as it has a broader based audience
[custom_list] This does not mean that you cannot market business software on YouTube, it just means that are “horses for courses,” and you must be aware of this. Similarly, you can implement a marketing program using one form of social media and cross-market to other platforms as the need arises. For example, you may start on LinkedIn and once you build up a following, use Twitter as a marketing/communications center, maintaining a constant form of contact while simultaneously promoting your product.

Give it Away

Your software must be created in different versions for numerous reasons, two of which are to target the different level of users, effectively maximizing your revenue and to make at least one version of your software product a freebie. Hook the users with your software by giving away a version and, if your software is good enough, they will pay for the more feature-laden versions. Similarly, give a free limited trial of the full version to induce them to use the software and see how indispensible it is. Do not use numbers for the different versions of your software – you are not Apple or Microsoft just yet. Go for proven names to which your market can already relate. Common names for versions of software include: [custom_list style=”list-1″]
  • Basic
  • Intermediate
  • Enterprise
[custom_list] The Basic version is usually the one given for free with a free limited trial of the Enterprise version being another frequently used marketing technique.

Partner with a Big Boy

There are companies which not only create their own software but also market other people’s software. (In lieu of molecular annihilation) They know what is required to successfully market software and have already put in the hard yards to establish their market and achieve credibility within the market. Obviously, these companies are not going to market your software for nothing, however, with the negotiation of a profit share strategy, you should not be out of pocket in upfront costs, and you should be able to ride their coattails to quick market penetration. Another benefit of collaborating with a big brother is that they may open your eyes to other income streams of which you may not have been aware, providing you with the opportunity to maximize the return from your software. For example, companies that specialize in this field should be able to offer you access to appropriate Tier 1. This brings you two benefits; the obvious one being the additional and diversified forms of revenue from advertising as well as software sales. A second benefit is the credibility you gain by being involved with Tier 1 companies. Credibility by association can be a powerful thing when it comes to the future recognition of your brand and your sterling reputation. (Provided Big Boy is not a future Bad Boy) Access to these advertisers is often facilitated through the integration of a dynamic installer, as discussed above.

Conclusion

Marketing new software is a specialized field that requires time and expertise. You must weigh up numerous factors before deciding whether you want to embark on the “marketing journey” as well as your journey of software creation. Factors to consider include: Only you know the answer to these questions and what you are and are not prepared to do with your intellectual property. [custom_list style=”list-1″]
  • Whether your time can be better spent creating new software or marketing existing software
  • Whether you want to invest your efforts into marketing software
  • Whether it is part of your “make up” to market software
  • Whether you are willing to cede control of your creation to other parties
[custom_list] Only you know the answer to these questions. What you are and are not prepared to do with your intellectual property remains to be seen. Special thanks for Sharon from Somoto – co-writer.  

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