If you’re thinking about marketing a new software product in a way that takes advantage of the latest tools and techniques, including social media, the choice of a service provider is one of your biggest decisions. This one is too important to make and random or leave to chance.
The starting point for thinking about modern marketing techniques and strategies is the realization that the basic principles of marketing will be unchanged for centuries. When one of Mark Twain’s knights put a sign on his back saying “Your Ad Here,” he was trying to make a few bucks by promoting beer or shaving crème. Knights riding in a file could form a co-op and work the Burma-Shave account.
Marketing theory teaches that every product is a bundle of psychological satisfactions. Therefore, a marketing message should convey to the viewer why the product is compelling:
- Description. The ad will provide information as to the nature of the product, but sometimes this will not be revealed until late in the message, in an effort to maintain the attention of the viewer as long as possible. In the 21st century, this becomes a bit more difficult, because attention spans can be very short. Sometimes ads will be on the screen for no more than a second, such a brief period that the ad becomes almost subliminal.
- Connection. An effort is made to evoke in the viewer an association with memories of satisfaction to be realized or tension to be avoided as a result of using the product. The viewer is going to kick back and enjoy an adult beverage or avoid being seen wearing clothes that are un-cool. In the 21st century, these messages can be tailored to the viewer much more precisely than ever before. For example, there is hardly any marketing campaign that cannot be improved by the simple addition of a cat, and anyone who has been viewing television and print advertising has seen evidence that marketers are taking this advice.
- Value. Whatever real or perceived need the product fulfills will be provided more cheaply than the competitors’ products, or if it is more expensive, it will convey the satisfaction of expressing the unique qualities of the product that make it worth more than other products.
In the 21st century, the defining change is the use of social media to bring immediacy to marketing. The art of identifying which media to employ to reach the target audience is constantly being refined. Therefore, the smart advertiser will choose a service that enables the clients to keep up with best practices and avoid making costly unforced errors. On the positive side, a smart marketing program will deliver value not only to the customer but to investors in the sponsoring company, so that it virtually pays for itself.