The average person has no idea of the countless hours of manpower and the giant amounts of money that can go into developing and maintaining even the smallest application or software. All they know is they want to be able to touch the icon, click the button or enter the prompt and have the application running smoothly and effortlessly.
Most Common Marketing Questions for Software Companies
On the other hand, many developers dedicate their lives to creating and perfecting their software, and it takes more than most people can imagine just to get the products off the ground.
With all that goes into developing and maintaining a quality app or piece of software, it would be nice to think this is all that is necessary for an independent developer or a software company to succeed in business.
But in addition to the creating, developing and building a great product, there are countless elements to success– outside of the technical aspects– software companies must engage in to have a successful business.
They must be able to build and maintain a healthy business model, develop and constantly evaluate responsible financial practices, hire and retain top-level professionals in every area that is necessary for a healthy company, and go through all of the same trials and everyday issues of any other modern small businesses.
In addition to this, they must also be able to effectively market their products, brand and business in a way that is efficient, cost-effective and geared at building sustainable growth.
This guide is designed to help small software companies and independent developers in this last crucial area of successful business. Although you are certainly an expert in the technical areas of your field, you may have little to no expertise in the practices that help are necessary to effectively market your product or services.
If this is the case, you should begin by asking a few simple questions about your company, your products and your marketing efforts.
1) What are the goals of my marketing efforts?
No matter the product or industry, any effective marketing strategy will begin with the setting realistic and specific goals. Obviously, you probably want to sell digital products and make more money, but you will need to be more specific than that to be able to set expectations and make adjustments. This includes defining which metrics will determine success in each area.
Even if you are not able to nail each goal down to a specific number or amount, you should at least develop some general guidelines that are as specific as possible.
For instance, your social media efforts may be geared at generating more sales leads; content marketing could be intended to improve conversion rates; email campaigns may help drive more website traffic and so forth.
2) Who is my target audience?
Targeting your marketing efforts towards specific demographics and markets will always be more effective than general shots towards the entire world population. Major software companies invest millions of dollars to better define their market and better understand their audience, but you may not have this option.
Fortunately, you likely have all the data you need to begin in your current customer base. The people who have already bought your products are the most likely to buy more, and they provide invaluable information on the type of persons that will be your customers in the future.
Utilize surveys, email questionnaires and other types of communication to try and understand your current customer base, which will in turn help you define the demographics that will be receptive to your marketing efforts.
3) How much should I invest in marketing?
This can be one of the most difficult questions to answer, as there are countless ways to invest your marketing budgets. You may need to invest in social media experts, writers, designers, SEO firms, PPC investments and countless others, depending on the size of your company and other factors.
It is also important to remember that there are other valuable investments, aside from just money. If you find yourself investing half of your time working on marketing and ignoring other crucial responsibilities, you will probably be better off hiring experts or firms who specialize in your marketing needs. 🙂