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Monday, 25 October 2010

Case Study - Industry Specific Software Marketing Plans

If you have developed some real kick-butt software for a specific industry then you need to explore other non-typical avenues in your sales and marketing programs. Let's say you are selling software for some unique type of mobile service and as an example let's use Mobile Auto Detailing and the mobile paint and dent removal industry sub-sector. I chose this because I was involved with it before my retirement.

If you want to get the industry use to using your software, first they have to know about it. Then they have to understand its value. Thus, you need an introduction and you need communication with the potential customers.

Next you need a sales force to meet these prospects, as traditional marketing probably will not work in this venue, although some industry trade shows make sense. In the automotive after market specialty industry sub-sector you might choose tradeshows such as SEMA, Mobile Tech Biz and others make sense and trade journal articles with only minimal advertising.

Find out which websites that the industry most frequently traffics. For instance in the auto detailing and paint and dent fixing markets folks and business owners most likely will go to these places:

www.mobileworks.com

http://www.detailersdigest.com/

Informational selling works best. If you look at other similar sub-sectors like mobile pressure-washing and ( www.dcs1.com [http://www.dcs1.com/] ), which also sells some really basic software for customers database, bidding, routing, etc. you can see the brilliance in this strategy.

Also realize that larger groups in PDR that are franchised already have their own proprietary software and unless yours is better, they are not interested and the franchisees have stipulations in their franchise agreements as to vendor approvals?

Or did your software research and development monies involve a franchisor who paid for them and now you are talking it and selling it to everyone else? If so, integrity issues there. It use to make me very angry when our vendors would receive custom orders from us, then turn around and offer it to our competition, good way to lose your best customers.

Why would you limit your software to only the paint and dent removal, bumper repair and auto detailing industry? What about all the others? Obviously there must be 100s of other perfectly suited niches, which would require only a small fraction of changes to work, certainly less than the "feature creep" that this mini-sub-sector will demand and where is the ROI considering all that?

There are many more mobile dog groomers, swimming pool guys and other mobile businesses than there are auto detailers. Well at least the ones making money to buy what you are offering. Why would you leave that kind of money on the table if your software was that good? Even if you wished to specialize, how much does it cost to set up a few extra websites and if you have regional sales reps it gives them more people to call on, making it more viable to have a happy sales force with more potential to commissions?

I hope you enjoyed this case study in industry specific software marketing and perhaps it will give you some ideas into how to approach the problem. Think on it.

"Lance Winslow" - Online Think Tank forum board. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/. Lance is an online writer in retirement.

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