"The New Positioning - The Latest on the World's #1 Business Strategy" - A book by Jack Trout.
This book is a follow-up to the book which Jack Trout co-authored with Al Ries 15 years earlier - "Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind"
The first Ries and Trout book turned marketing on its head. Before the original Positioning book, marketing was about what you do to your product. After Positioning was accepted by the business community, the focus of marketing became the things that you do the mind of your prospects.
Software developers can learn a lot from this book. The book deals with the sale of consumer goods that people buy over and over, so the lessons have to be translated into the world of the software microISV. But it's a good read.
I originally reviewed this book for my newsletter, and that book review, along with dozens of others, is in the book review archive here on this site.
new product announcement
new product announcement - A cost-effective way to deliver a sales message about your software to prospects.
New product announcements are press releases. Learn more about my press release services in the right column of every page in this Glossary.
news release - The vehicle for telling magazine and newspaper readers about your software.
News releases are press releases. Check out the right column of every page in this Glossary for more information about my news release services.
newsletter - The most effective, least expensive way to implement permission marketing and sell more software.
Create a monthly newsletter that gives prospects information that makes their lives better, and not just a sales solicitation for the new releases of your software.
Get users' permission to email them your software newsletter
Seth Godin said, "(The) combined shortage of time and attention is unique to today's information age. Consumers are now willing to pay handsomely to save time, while marketers are eager to pay bundles to get attention." In his book "Permission Marketing", Godin explains why traditional marketing - Godin calls it "Interruption marketing" - no longer works.
Newsletters sell software
All of us in the software development industry know that the marketing effectiveness of adware and banner advertising is a tiny fraction of what it was in earlier days. According to Seth Godin, all interruption marketing has lost its effectiveness because people simply tune it out.
Getting your prospects' permission
To market your software applications effectively, you have to get your prospects' permission. For software marketers, this means building an email list of customers and prospects, and sending them well-targeted news.
Don't send prospects a newsletter that only contains sales pitches. They'll unsubscribe, or they'll blacklist your name in their spam filters.
Send software prospects valuable information
Instead, use your newsletter to give them information that they can't find elsewhere -
Research your subject matter, and tell them something new.
Do a survey, and publish the results.
Tell them new ways that they can use the software that they already bought from you, so that they can be more productive, save money, or learn something new.
Get help writing your software newsletter
Your customers, prospects, and other stakeholders will help you write your newsletter. Keep a list of the neat ideas that they email you. When they send you questions that are too involved to be just FAQ entries, turn your replies into thoughtful newsletter articles, and share your insights with your subscribers.
Benefits of a software newsletter
In addition to the articles providing usable information, your company's image will benefit from sending newsletters -
You'll demonstrate that you have an enthusiastic base of customers who are giving your application a workout.
You'll show prospects that you're supporting your software, and that they can expect you to consider their ideas.
You'll project the image of a software developer who is evaluating and enhancing the program, rather than the image of a merchandiser who is trying to sell additional copies of a static application.
Send newsletters, and sell more software appications
Give your prospects and customers vital information, and they'll look forward to reading your software marketing messages.
newsworthy - A newsworthy story is one that ties your software to a hot news story that the editors already know about.
Whenever possible, use your press release to tie your software to today's hottest news stories. If columnists and writers believe that your software is newsworthy, they'll be much more likely to cover it. Newsworthiness leads to editorial ink for your software. And that means increased software sales. It's good software marketing.
When deciding whether to print your software press release, the editors think about timing, impact, and location:
Press release timing is important
Yesterday's news is not going to capture the interest of editors, columnists, and bloggers. If you have a timely story, tell it now. Spread the word quickly if you want to get new coverage. Send your press release while the news is still hot.
High-impact press releases work
High-impact stories get more coverage than stories that impact only a few people. If your software is changing the lives of a lot of people, be sure to include that information in your press release.
Local stories are good for news releases
Perhaps there's a local "hook" to your story. If so, be sure to send your press releases to the editors in and near the city that is involved in the story. Include the local television and radio stations in your press release distribution. And don't forget the regional magazines and newspapers. While I rarely recommend that you include a cover letter with your press release, if your news release is tied to a particular locality, say so in a cover letter at the top of the press releases that you send to editors in that locality.
The InstaTodo press release
Here's how jProductivity, the InstaTodo company, tied their software to a compelling news story - and got some nice press coverage.
InstaTodo is a to-do list manager for iPhone and iPad that lets you create custom, reusable to-do list templates.
How did jProductivity get editors and bloggers interested in telling their readers about yet another to-do app? They sent a press release that talked about InstaTodo's built-in capabilities to manage an imminent emergency and one of the hottest US stories of 2011 - Hurricane Irene.
Hurricane Irene confronted millions of Americans with the need to prepare their homes and businesses for the impact of a major storm. InstaTodo users, however, were already prepared. And jProductivity's InstaTodo press release offered concrete ideas that would help people get ready for the storm.
jProductivity partnered with FEMA, the United States' Federal Emergency Management Agency. InstaTodo users had access to FEMA's Emergency To-Do lists, including FEMA's Emergency Supply Kit, First Aid Kit, Unique Family Needs, Emergency Food Supply, and Useful Government and Nonprofit Organization Links.
Irene, InstaTodo, and Ink
InstaTodo users didn't rush into stores, trying to estimate how many batteries to buy, or how much food and bottled water to bring home. With just a tap or two in InstaTodo, they had all of the data that they needed.
Thousands of editors and columnists were looking for a fresh approach - a newsworthy approach - to reporting on the fast-approaching Hurricane Irene, jProductivity sent them a news story that they could use.
The InstaTodo story was picked up by PC World's today@PCWorld blog.
ISVs and newsworthy press releases
Independent software vendors (ISVs) can use today's hottest news stories to help market their products or services. Think about how your software can benefit people in your target audience. For each group of prospects in your target market, create a benefits profile that describes how their day-to-day activities would be enhanced by using your software application.
Next, determine how your software can be tied to current news items. Can your application's users benefit from your program during a time of economic turbulence? How can your application help people find their next job? Will your software make people's leisure time more fulfilling? Can you tie your application to a particular holiday or celebration?
It's simple - Tie your software to a newsworthy event, tell the press about it, and sell more software. It's good software marketing.
NFR - not for resale
NFR - See "not for resale" below.
Nielsen, Jakob - Called "the world's leading expert on Web usability" by U.S. News & World Report.
Nielsen is the author of many books on web usability, including Designing Web Usability and Homepage Usability.
not for resale (NFR)
not for resale (NFR) - A courtesy copy of your software that can be given to editors, reporters, and reviewers.
NFR shelfware generally has stickers on the product box, user manual, and media that indicate that the software cannot be resold.
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