Software Marketing Strategy for a Services-Oriented World

The Software Business Advisor is a free monthly newsletter aimed at helping business software vendors make sense of the changing software industry. It provides tips, techniques and tools to assist in software business planning, software sales, and software marketing.

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Volume #1, October 2008

Included in this issue:

  1. Effective Business Marketing Strategies: 3 Steps You Can Take Today to Overhaul Your Marketing Strategy
  2. Software Marketing Plan Reviews
  3. Book Review: "The Ultimate Marketing Toolkit" by Paula Peters
  4. Announcement: Business Marketing Strategy e-class coming next month – free for first 10 pre-registrants!


1. Effective Business Marketing Strategies: How to Develop Your Marketing Strategy

Marketing is critical to building and maintaining strong sales and a successful business. So do not make the mistake of considering it an afterthought. Taking a little time to write down your marketing strategy before you implement your marketing plan will help focus your product or service planning, focus your sales efforts, and ultimately save the business money and decrease time-to-market.

It Really Is As Easy As 1-2-3!

Developing some effective business marketing strategies does not need to be difficult or time-consuming. If you know your target customer and what pain point your product or service is addressing, then you’re already most of the way there.

  1. Analyze Your Customers, Market, and Competition

    Take a piece of paper, and write a brief answer to each of these questions below. This should only take you a few minutes if you’ve already researched your market and know your product.

    • Who is your target customer? (Be as precise as possible. Check out this article to help you.)
    • What are the top 3-5 issues facing your target customer and target market?
    • How does your product or service solve one or more of these top pain points? Describe it in one sentence – that’s your initial benefit statement.
    • What other solutions could your target customer use to solve this pain point? This will identify your main competitors (which may or may not be vendors with a similar product/service – sometimes the toughest competition is that which solves the customer’s problem in a different way).
    • How is your product or service (or your company) better than your competition? Try to find at least one differentiator that makes you stand out. Describe it in one sentence – that’s your unique selling proposition!
    • How/where does your target customer look for information or solutions to his/her pain point? This could be magazines they read, websites they visit, conferences they go to, or vendors/channel partners that they trust for advice or solutions.

    OK! That’s the input to your marketing strategy!

  2. Develop Your Business Marketing Strategies

    Given your responses to the questions above, you are now ready to summarize with a list of 3-5 effective marketing strategies given your target customer and your product/service value proposition.

    Think of the strategies as the rules that will guide your marketing decisions. For example, if you find there’s a single channel partner who touches all your customers and has a significant influence over how those customers try to solve their pain points… one of your strategies may be to focus on building a strong relationship with that channel partner. Leave the detailed “how” for the final tactics step below.

  3. Prioritize Your Marketing Tactics

    Now, go through the various marketing tactics that are available to you (check out these pages on software marketing and advertising tactics, and web software marketing). You should now be able to prioritize these marketing activities as sub-bullets under each of the marketing strategies you identified above. Stay focused! If a marketing activity does not obviously hit your exact target customer (or channel partner) profile in a cost-effective way, and doesn’t support one of your key strategies, then don’t do it.

  4. Following these three steps is something you can do easily to quickly put together a first draft marketing plan. So if this is something you have been procrastinating, then stop and take a little time to write down your business marketing strategies. You will find your business and your product sales will benefit from it.


    2. Sign Up for a Custom Software Marketing Strategy/Plan Review

    20% off for The Software Business Advisor newsletter subscribers! (Just reply to this newsletter indicating your interest in the fixed-price software marketing plan review service).

    Software Marketing Advisor can provide a review of your Software Marketing Strategy or Plan by email, with a detailed written critique, including tangible recommendations and suggestions delivered to optimize your marketing strategy and positioning. If all you have is a draft, or even just an outline or some initial ideas, that is OK too. ($199 US with 20% off for newsletter subscribers – reply to this newsletter email for more information).

    Click here for more information on Software_Marketing_Advisor.com consulting services.


    3. Book Review: "The Ultimate Marketing Toolkit" by Paula Peters

    If you’re running a small business, this book shows you how to create professional-looking promotional pieces without spending lots of money. I found it to be a useful resource for do-it-yourself marketing, providing easy step-by-step instructions for creating your business cards, a professional bio, letters, brochures, press releases, ads, web site content and newsletters.

    To see the full book review, and/or to order the book, click here.


    4. Coming Next Month: Business Marketing Strategies e-Class

    Just for The Software Business Advisor newsletter subscribers: Pre-register for free by being one of the first 10 individuals to sign up for the Software Business Marketing Strategies e-Class that Software_Marketing_Advisor.com will have available starting next month. If you sign up now, I’ll let you know when it is ready and you can take advantage of it for free.

    Click here to register!



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