Marketing – the Key Ingredient of Every Software Organization’s Success Story21 Oct 2016, Posted by Technology marketing in
In the present era of constant breakthrough innovations, a majority of the software companies are facing serious challenges in marketing their products, which heavily influences their profits and growth prospects. The reasons are many:
- Organizations are increasingly focusing on creating a ripple in the market with their progressive ideas, without evaluating what their customers require
- Innovations seem to be driven by competitiveness irrespective of the market they need to target
- Software companies manage their marketing function ineffectively, more like an appendage rather than as a hard-core value generation process in their buyer’s mindset.
Overcoming this lack of focus is one of the major challenges that these organizations are facing.
What are the factors that contribute to this challenge?
Ineffective budget allocation: According to Gartner, one of the world’s leading market research groups, companies are allocating about 10 percent of their overall revenues for marketing. Although a significant increase from the past, the comparative statistics is still not looking good.
The often-quoted reason for the hesitant focus on marketing is that this function is still not part of their core business. Hence even a minor increase in investments comes with expectations of humungous returns as compared to other core business areas.
Inadequate means of identifying market requirements and tracking the changing needs of customers: Software companies often assume the needs of their customers or extrapolate the problem of a few customers to an entire population. A clear lack of detailed market research before launching a go-to-market campaign fails to identify the market needs and expectations. This failure often leads to ineffective campaigns.
Improper marketing strategy: In the previous decade of marketing, the strategies used were more of organizational centric involving inside-out thinking, but now every organizational function is customer centric – more of an outside-in thinking. However, many software companies are unable to adapt to this change in approach, leading to irreparable loss in campaigns, product non-performance, and heavy organizational loss.
Not finding the right people for the right job: The changing dynamics of employment – gig economy, multi-generation workforce, and anytime + anywhere access to workplaces – are challenging companies to transform their approach to match the current trends. Ineffectively applying the new rules for finding the right fit and the multitude of options available often lead to wrong sourcing decisions. As a result, organizations sometimes fail to identify the right persons for the right job or mismap a multitude of requirements to one role. For example, organizations might define market research as part of a sales associative’s role description. Similarly, a marketing campaign manager might be asked to create content.
Mismanaged customer relationship building: Software companies have adopted pull marketing, but the lack of a concerted effort on connecting with the customers often strains the value-based relationship. While their core focus is still on R&D, organizations are not building expertise in holding and managing effective content marketing and customer engagement programs at the desired rate.A recent survey by Hub Spot, a marketing consultant website, reveals that software companies are not prioritizing maintenance of a strong relationship with customers, causing them to often lose their market share and valuable customers.
So what are the action items that will help overcome this challenge?
Reviewing the return on investment: Reviewing the return on investment for marketing activities will help software companies separate the successful approaches from the detrimental ones. These reviews can be simplified by easily available automated marketing solutions such as Hub Spot, Marketo, or Makesbridge. Even a manual audit by a marketing consultant would deliver the desired results.
Outsourcing marketing: “Leave it to the experts” might be a safe idea of managing the marketing activities of your organization. Indeed, the best solution for small and medium software companies is to select a marketing company or consultant and outsource select areas such as content marketing, lead generation, funnel management and demand generation programs. These companies must focus on technology marketing, providing solutions and executing campaigns for marketing software products and services.
Mapping the right role to the right person for strategic marketing campaigns: Recruiting or associating with experienced strategic marketing associates will help organizations gain expertise, knowledge, and effective strategies to deliver strategic marketing campaigns.
Maintaining strong customer relations for software marketing: According to Forbes, about 62% of companies are outgrowing their competitors by using marketing automation tools. Hence investing on robust marketing approaches including social media marketing, analytics, and personalized customer interaction will certainly reap incredible benefits.
Software organizations indeed have their priorities sorted by retaining design and development of software as their core focus; however, connecting with and communicating with the desired audience deserves undeterred attention to ensure that the market is ready for their product or service.
Hence including customer relationship management, content marketing, and lead generation into their sphere of attention will help deliver immense benefits.