One mistake that software marketers often make is to focus only on the facts. While facts are important, marketing material should never be boring or dry.
People love stories. They love stories because they use them to learn something about themselves. This is the case for any product you want to market, including B2B software solutions. So why is it so difficult for many software marketers to tell a compelling story around their product? Why is it that they so often fall into writing “marketing blah blah,” those fancy and vague statement about solution benefits that don’t mean anything to anyone? Why is it so difficult to find messaging that resonates with their target audience?
Part of the answer comes from a misunderstanding of the buyer persona a solution is targeting. When you get to know your potential customers as people with real-life needs, it becomes easier to understand what makes them tick, and what keeps them up at night. If you understand the pain points or challenges that your audience is facing and how your solution can help solve those issues, it is easier to create a persuasive argument around that. No-one other than the most highly sophisticated or technical audience will care about the technicalities of your product features. The rest of us all want to know the business impact the solution will have. How will it make my company better and in what ways? I also think that there are some (junior) marketers out there who don’t really understand this, which is why it is difficult for them to write copy to explain it. I have seen this very often when it comes to ISV-OEM marketing where the information I read (which should explain the benefits of such a partnership) is highly superficial. When I go onto a BlueChip software vendor’s website and I see a page entitled “What is OEM,” that proceeds with a Wikipedia definition about Original Equipment Manufacturers when in fact, the audience they are targeting (ISVs) already knows that, that worries me. It says to me that the marketing team doesn’t truly grasp the value proposition and cannot accurately convey that in the content they create.
It’s important to keep in mind that being authentic in marketing starts with being passionate about what you do. Because we are a mission-based organization, our passion comes from wanting to serve software vendors so that their innovations can revolutionize the world of tomorrow. As most of us already know, having a great product is no guarantee of success.
Innovation + Marketing is a better equation.
The false belief that many software developers have is that their products will sell themselves because of the advanced nature of the technology they have built. Nothing could be further from the truth. No product in the history of the universe ever sold itself. In fact, we go to great lengths to sell products every day and some are still not successful. What is an absolute fact is that without excellent marketing, a software solution will never make it off the ground. So how can you get excellent at marketing? Be authentic.
What does being authentic mean exactly? Being authentic means that you understand your product inside and out, you see how it is better than your competitors, you know who the product has been made to serve, and you are drawn to this in some way. You see the value yourself in marketing such a product because you believe in its worth. No-one with any ethical or moral code could ever market a product they did not believe in. That’s not to say that people don’t do this all the time, but they have somehow lost touch with what is most important: being true to yourself. Authenticity comes from being true to yourself and to the people you serve. Once you have been able to do this, you will find that your ability to market your product will become much easier.