Attention software developers. . .and everybody else.  After all the tough sledding you’ve done to get the product where it is, your marketing needs to live up to it.  Your Marketing 2.0 does a disservice to your Software 8.0.

The reality: your marketing is indistinguishable from your product or service until the the demo is done.  If your marketing is a yawn, you’ll do fewer demos.  This is the simple physics.

And oh, attention everybody else.  Your marketing needs to live up to what you sell, because your marketing is  indistinguishable from your product or service until the demo is done.

Actually, your marketing IS your product until the demo is done.

So, here’s what I see, especially with the marketing from software developers.  The firm goes through hell developing a new version of their product.  Coders cranking out upgrades to interfaces and simplifying work flows while continuing to support users.  Having to fix the airplane while flying the airplane comes to mind.

Okay, how do we describe the upgrades; the new version?  Well, we made our interfaces more intuitive.  You can batch process more tasks, fewer clicks, and a simpler path to the reports you want.  It’s easier to use.  Okay, so we have more features, it’s more intuitive and easier to use.  Let’s see, how does this compare to what we said about our current version. . .not to mention how it compares to what everybody else says about their software?  Oh, yeah, jeez, it all sounds the same.

How can 8 months or 18 months or 28 months of work and some brilliant improvements to the software really sound the same?  And, as a result, land with a thud in the marketplace?  Because it all sounds the same!!!

How to Lift Up Your Marketing

Show, don’t tell.  Let people experience the difference — a version of the demo — earlier in the sales cycle.  Like, say, maybe, in the first 30 seconds they’re on your site or in your trade show booth?  That’s about as long as you have.  Oh, it’s brutal.  I manage search for a number of clients.  Average time spent on site and number of pages visited: three and three.  And that’s across some wildly diverse industries.  So buckle up.

Do a human-talking-to-you video that captures why you’re different in less than a minute.  Or do a screen-capture video that lets people experience the “more intuitive” part of your new interface in less than a minute.  And do one for each of the differences you present.  Get people in front of something like that, and you can get people on the first page.

None of that is easy.  It was too much for me with one client:  But all are worth going after because if you can hit on just one, it can change your business.  And what is it that they say, you learn more from your failures than your successes?  As one who has spent many a day on both sides of that equation, I am forced to agree.

But you have to learn from it and get back in the game.  Tough and confident as ever.  So, how did you get your software from 2.0 to 8.0?  Iterations.  Putting your best shot out there, letting users bang on it, taking feedback and chasing bugs, making improvements, introduce next version.  Repeat.

Ditto with your marketing.