Any marketing professional worth their salt knows that the rules of marketing differ from industry to industry. You cannot apply the same techniques over and over again, hoping that you can replicate your previous success without having to do anything new. The marketing strategy must be customized to the client. This is especially true when marketing a tech startup.
Tech startups are starting from zero. You have to create a marketing strategy that boosts brand awareness, generates leads, and improve sales performance. At the same time, resources are limited, and achieving the company’s goals may seem like a daunting task. Many of these startups don’t have a SaaS CMO, so you also have to work with little support.
But just because you don’t have a big budget doesn’t mean that you can’t raise the company’s profile and sell their products. Of course, you need to be realistic about what you can achieve with limited resources. But with the right plan, you can still develop a strategy and get the mileage you were hoping for.
A smart marketing strategy can go a long way in growing awareness and driving sales. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Know who to target
Marketing for tech startups isn’t as complicated as you think it is. Software programs are designed to solve a problem, so you need to connect the company with the users who have that problem. To do that, you need to create a campaign that established a need for the product and highlights its selling points. Sound simple enough? Well, we’ve barely scratched the surface.
Not all software programs are created the same. You can’t just target anyone with a computer. You also have to identify the product’s target audience. Some programs target the general public, while others are geared towards enterprise users. Things get a little tricky when marketing enterprise programs.
In the olden days, you only needed to target the people in the IT department. Just highlight the best and latest features and you are good to go. Today, however, executives have more of a say in the software procurement process. Now, you also need to justify the product’s value proposition. Executives care about the bottom line, so you’ll need a different approach as well.
Take advantage of experts
It may not seem like it, but tech is a very personality-driven industry. Just think of the famous businesspeople you know. Chances are, they made their mark in the tech industry. And when the big companies release their products, they always highlight the people who made them. This presents a unique opportunity when marketing new products.
You don’t need to hire a celebrity or an outside spokesperson to talk about the product. You already have access to a pool of people who knows the ins and outs of the software: the development team. Since you need to establish trust for the program, who better to talk about it than the creators. Taking advantage of the team helps boost the company’s profile and build authority within the industry.
Allows customers to sample the merchandise
Customers love samples. Whether it’s free food samples at the supermarket or a limited trial of your product, this marketing technique is one of the easiest ways to get the word out and solicit customer feedback.
Customers may be hesitant to sign up for a recurring subscription without testing the product first, and a product trial bridges that gap. And even if they decide against purchasing the product, you can still contact them in the future.
Make it a point to create a limited version of the software, whether by disabling certain features or locking it after a period. Don’t forget to highlight in your promotional material that a product trial is available for consumers. That way, they can test the software before making a decision.
Cultivate your brand’s profile
Tech-savvy people are some of the hardest to please. They have very discerning tastes, and it’s not easy to get them to try your product, let alone buy it. And even if you’ve developed an amazing program, you’ll find it difficult to get the word out if you’re a newcomer to the industry. People usually go for the familiar over an untested idea, and I can’t blame them. If you want your product to sell, you need to cultivate the company’s profile.
Start by attending important industry events and pitching your software to influential people within the industry, including the media. If you impress them enough, you might gain access to bigger and better events, which elevates your profile and gives people a reason to trust you.
The bottom line
These things will help you make your mark on the tech industry. Marketing a software-as-a-service startup can be challenging. Resources are limited, nobody knows who you are, and you have to compete with established companies.