If you’re involved in marketing your B2B software company’s products, you’re likely very proud of all of those products’ bells and whistles. But what your customers (and potential customers) really want to know is the value that your software poses. So any B2B software marketing strategy should first begin with a strong answer to that query.
We recently asked several marketers their opinion on how to form better software marketing campaigns. Here’s what they told us:
What software companies are doing wrong
Showing too much info at once
Caroline Petersen, Founder and Creative Director of Gallery Design Studio, says clients need a clear-cut answer to the question, “how can this software help my company and team?”
“In their excitement about the product, software companies tend to show too much information at once when they should be giving it in bite size pieces so whoever they are presenting to are not intimidated by what they see,” Petersen says.
“This happens when companies do not invest enough in their marketing and content creation, and don’t have the experience to understand that you need to test the message and how it’s presented, which also takes time.”
Only talking about features
When you love your product, you tend to differentiate using your features and benefits, which isn’t a long-lasting strategy. If software companies shift their thinking to understand the human pain point they are solving for, they have a better place to start, says Fran Biderman Gross, Founder & CEO, Advantages https://www.advantages.net/.
“Organically, you will have far better results using your marketing efforts to build relationships with potential customers that are in pain that your product can solve. It is a shift, but there is a lot to learn from your customer,” Biderman Gross says.
“They also tend to value sales over marketing because of the ‘relationship value’ in play. Many companies think and act tactically, not strategically. There lies an important elephant in the room to address. Chasing tactics yields very little – they could yield short term wins, but the data and insights are underutilized for long term gains.”
Complicating the message
Oftentimes, the ‘techies’ are running the show, and according to Darlene Fiscus, President at Creative Access, the way they approach marketing is sometimes overcomplicated.
“Left-brained people have a tendency to be comprehensive in their answers and messaging, which does not work well in the business world. In their race to provide a complete picture of what their products can do, technical people often don’t stop to understand their audiences.”
“For me, it’s an educational process where I stress that if you are talking to the c-suite, you have about three minutes to get your message across. Technical people have been trained to pay attention to detail, which is entirely appropriate in the software-development world. But, in the business world, they need to focus on the customer and understand what their needs are, instead of providing exhaustive explanations of how their products work. In short, they need to listen more and talk less.”
Steps to improve your software marketing campaigns
Create easily-digestible content
Petersen suggests B2B software company websites should feature content that is quick to read and clearly explains the value of their software. Ashutosh Kumar, Founder & CEO, Clappia, adds that the content should also target different customer personas to give it long-term footing in a crowded field.
Review your company’s business objectives
Marketing has a job to do – contribute or complete the business objective. If you can’t measure marketing’s contribution, you are wasting your money, according to Biderman Gross.
“There are so many that hire a slew of specialists in this or that (SEO/PPC or Social to name a few), but there cannot be maximum benefit if they are not aligned to the Marketing Strategy, which can only be defined by the business objective.”
Actually talk to end users
Raj Goel, Owner of Brain Link International, says the value of actually interviewing end users is invaluable. Pay special attention to situations where a client has made a decision based on a piece of marketing.
For more in-depth reports on tech pros’ marketing preferences, be sure to follow our market research here.