Home > Articles > Positioning Your Application is Smart Software Marketing

Positioning Your Application is Smart Software Marketing

July 4th, 2011

software marketing and positioning for microISVsWhen you launch a new product, you may find that your buyers aren’t the people you thought would be your buyers.

In their book “What Were They Thinking? Marketing Lessons You Can Learn from Products That Flopped,” Robert M. McMath and Thom Forbes tell two stories about products that weren’t successful until marketers figured out how people were really using them.

Poor positioning leads to poor sales

Kleenex was launched as a cold cream remover. It didn’t sell. Research revealed that people liked the idea of having disposable paper handkerchiefs. So Kimberly-Clark repositioned Kleenex – and made a lot of money.

Liquid Downy was developed by Procter & Gamble as a way to soften diapers. People started using it to soften all of their washables. So P&G repositioned the product and sold quite a few bottles of Liquid Downy.

Software marketing means positioning your applications

The lesson applies to software, too. Find out how your customers are using your software. You might find that there’s an entirely new market that is a natural fit for your program. By tweaking the sales message on your website, you might sell a lot more units.

Your website can position your application in many different ways. You can present it to the buying public as the most affordable, the most expensive (and worth every dollar), the simplest to use, the fullest-featured, the best supported, the best documented, the fastest, or any combination of these and many other attributes.

Software tools versus software solutions

Many microISVs position their Windows utilities as neat toys. Many successful companies, on the other hand, position similar software as a business solution.

Business and home users won’t take the time to figure out how a software utility will improve their lives. Software developers need to paint them into a word picture in which they’re enjoying the benefits of your application. Paint a picture of a solution, not a tool.

Positioning is one of the most powerful software marketing tools that microISVs can use to increase software sales. Positioning should be the driving force behind the sales messages on your websites.

– Al Harberg, the Software Marketing Glossary guy from DP Directory, Inc.

Articles

  1. July 5th, 2011 at 04:10 | #1

    Smart Software Marketing is the name of my consulting firm, so I feel compelled to leave a comment :)

    I totally agree that customer research will often reveal interesting and unforeseen ways that customers use your product. And that if you see a strong pattern it can reveal new market opportunities. I believe cotton wool buds / Q-tips is another example.

    However, I would advise against a scattergun approach. Instead of picking several features from affordable, simplest, best supported, best documented, fastest… I would focus on the customer benefit, why should they care about using your software.

    Different customer segments will often share a benefit, but you may need to split your messaging if your customers are very different. For example, having separate editions for work and home use. The underlying software may be very similar, but you could use different licensing and messages to appeal to each.

    Either way, to paint a picture of a solution I think you need to:
    – Understand your target customers
    – Describe how your software will benefit them
    – Keep focused

    You should definitely keep testing your messages, learning about your customers, and fold the results back into your software marketing. But beware of just adding more and more. Keep your focus and if necessary, divide your audience into clear segments with software/messaging for each.

Comments are closed.