Software Marketing Strategy for a Services-Oriented World

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Volume #2, December 2008

Included in this issue:

  1. Taking Advantage of the Holiday Season: It's Not Too Late!
  2. Software Marketing Planning for 2009
  3. The Top Software Vendors of 2008: What Made Them Successful?

1. Taking Advantage of the Holiday Season: It's Not Too Late!

Do you have a software promotion plan for your software for the holiday season, and are you implementing it?

Whether your customers are consumers or businesses, it is still crucial to have specific marketing strategies to deal with the holiday season.

For business ISV's, the holiday season can be a slow time as customers are caught up in the holidays and not engaging in new business. How do you maintain their mindshare?

Consumer vendors have the opposite problem: Customers are spending, so how do you make sure you get the biggest piece of the pie you can?

If you sell B2B software, or enterprise software services, it is possible to take advantage of the holiday season to benefit your business. How about a Holiday or New Year greeting mailing to your customers? Keep your product and brand visible to them, and they may be ready to re-engage faster after the holidays are over and they are back to business-as-usual. Does your marketing plan include strategies to take advantage of end-of-year spending that can occur as some customers need to "use or lose" their current budget? This can be a good time for email marketing if you can properly target it to an end-of-year need.

Of course, if your product is in the consumer space it is more critical to have a solid marketing plan for the holiday season. But even if you are the last-minute type, you can catch some last-minute shoppers or the after-Christmas sales fever with some properly targeted web marketing or online promotion. Stay laser focused on the key customer need/want that your product targets, and think about what strategies you can harness to reel in those final-hours present hunters. What types of keyword searches are they using? Where are they going online to look for a last-minute present for that special someone? How about a targeted e-mail marketing campaign?

2. Software Marketing Planning for 2009

Do you have a solid software marketing strategy for 2009? Even if you have an existing marketing plan, it is going to be important to re-strategize and refine it to address the changing economic climate as we move into the new year. 2009 is going to be a year of reduced budgets, decreased spending, and extra due diligence. It is more important than ever that your marketing clearly communicates the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and ROI of your software solution.

A marketing plan should define the Who, What, Where, and When of a product or service.

  • WHO: detailed target customer profile
  • WHAT: customer pain point: solution & value proposition
  • WHERE: where will customer obtain product or service/information?
  • WHEN: detailed marketing timeline/plan
  • HOW: communications points to customers; marketing tactics

The strategy must be thorough and unique, allowing you to differentiate your offering(s) from your competitors, and providing a solid plan to communicate and deliver that differentiated product to your target customer.

Developing the marketing plan should include the following seven steps:

  • Market Research: Describing target market & customer in detail
  • High level summary of competition
  • Define Unique Selling Proposition
  • Develop market requirements & checklist
  • Sales & pricing strategy
  • Marketing strategy: How do you find/create customers? How do you grow the business? What are distribution/deployment channels? How do you communicate with customers?
  • Marketing tactics: what is the best mix of marketing (email, online, direct, press releases, etc) and the timeline for the marketing plan.

For more tips, check out this article on developing your software marketing plan. At Software Marketing Advisor, we provide custom or fixed-price software marketing planning services. For a limited time for just $99 we will review your marketing plan and provide a detailed written critique and recommendations (this is 50% off our usual list price of $199!)

Just reply to this newsletter indicating your interest in the fixed-price software marketing plan review service, or send an email to

3. The Top Software Vendors of 2008: What Made Them Successful?

Who are the top enterprise software vendors of 2008? What can you learn from their success in the computer software industry?

Click here to take a look at this newest article on our website for a summary of recent surveys and our assessment of the top enterprise software growth areas for 2009.

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