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   .
Press Releases for Software Developers
from Al Harberg of DP Directory

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Software Marketing - Create customer expectations
that your competitors can't match

from Al Harberg's collection of software marketing articles, created to increase your software sales

Create in prospects' minds the expectation that all software in your category must have one or more features that are unique to your application. It's good software marketing.
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create high customer expectations

Creating business and consumer software expectations

To sell more software, you have to have features and benefits that your competitors don't have. But if you want to control your software category, you have to take it a step further. You have to create in prospects' minds the expectation that all software in your category must have one or more features that are unique to your application. It's good positioning, good differentiation, and good software marketing.

Automobile manufacturers are in the business of doing exactly this. They issue press releases and write advertisements that say that you should never put your spouse and children into a car that doesn't have passenger-side air bags, or anti-lock brakes. When these two new car safety features were initially introduced into the marketplace, the early adapters had a huge competitive advantage over businesses who didn't offer these features. Competitors were forced to include them as optional equipment and, eventually, as standard equipment.

microISVs need to create customer expectations

Your business must be genuine

Your application's unique features have to be genuine, or the buying public simply won't take you seriously.

An example in the press release business

For example, I emphasize to software developers that their press releases have to be well-written because editors won't take the time to fix their grammar, spelling, and syntax errors. If your press release feels like it was written by a native English-speaking business person, more editors of English language publications will print it. If your press release hasn't been checked out by a marketing professional, how will you ever know if it's your press release or your program that is keeping you from getting the publicity that you deserve?

By pointing this out, I'm not simply saying that I offer a benefit that my competitors can't match. I'm creating expectations in the software development community that any press release emailing service has to include free copy editing and "Americanization" by an experienced, accomplished marketer and writer, or it shouldn't be considered as a serious contender for developers' business. And in the process, I create a benefit that can't be matched by a competitor.

offer software buyers unique benefits

Features and benefits that other businesses can't offer

Your software has to have one or more features that your prospects can understand immediately, and value immediately as making a real difference in their lives.

A lot of developers try to define their uniqueness in the technical realm, and this approach often fails. Unless you're marketing to a highly technical audience, your prospects - home users or business users - don't care that your program has a tiny footprint, or that you don't call DLLs, or that you've programmed in one computer language versus another. You have to zero in on features that make a big difference in your program's usability and benefits, and make it clear that you offer this feature, and your competitors don't.

Some developers use feature bloat to try to achieve their unique feature mix. This usually leads to confusion in the marketplace. It's difficult to explain to the buyer of a print screen program that their life will be better because your screen capture app has a built-in WhoIs lookup as well as a popup blocker. The unique feature that you offer has to fit into the software that you're marketing.

software developers should promise to improve prospects' lives

Improve your prospects'
business and home life

Make your prospects understand that your program will improve their lives. Talk in terms of saving time, saving money, surpassing their competition, taking control of their lives, having fun, or doing something tomorrow that they can't do today.

Talk to your prospects and find out what's missing from your program, and from your competitors' offerings. Figure out how to include these seemingly-impossible expectations that your potential customers are surprisingly willing to pay for. Hire an expert, or license the technology that you need. Form a strategic alliance with somebody who is doing something similar in another field, and use their techniques in your application. The more difficult it is for you to develop your unique feature, the longer it will be before your competitors offer it, too.

How will other software companies respond?

How will your competitors respond to your unique feature? Most of them will do nothing for months, until their next major release. Some of them will try to copy your unique feature, and use it to gain a competitive edge. Your web site has to point out that you were the first company to offer this feature, and that your customers love it. Your application is rock-solid, stable, and offers this feature as part of its core functionality. Yours is the tried-and-true solution - the granddaddy application that has defined the category.

And then you have to come up with more features and benefits that define your software category, and that your competitors will have difficulty copying! Good software marketing is an ongoing process.


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Press releases create buzz about your software.
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You wouldn't assign your source coding tasks to a marketing guy who did programming as a side business.

Don't trust your press release distribution to a developer who maintains an editor list as a side business.

Trust a professional.

Contact Al Harberg at DP Directory today.

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