Positioning Your Application is Smart Software Marketing

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.