How do I promote an innovative product on a shoestring budget?
We are a consulting company (ISV). We have about 8 products on Appexchange (Salesforce). Generally I do marketing for all the products and provide support for all of them. They also have been downloaded a decent amount of times. Remember, This is all unpaid marketing that I am doing, The only expense my company is doing on Marketing, is me.
Now there is a new product that we launched in February of this year, and we only have 1 download.
I do the marketing by myself, which in this case includes, LinkedIn, Facebook, Forums, and different Groups (I have already done all this), and I am still facing no demand for the product. This is a paid product and surely useful, and there is no competitor as well.
As I said, I already tried all the above mentioned things and there is no scope for any marketing budget for this product.
Any other suggestions from all the experts about this...?
Ok I'll start this one off. You need word-of-mouth (i.e. sharing) to hit it big with apps. Obviously with only one paying customer that will be difficult. So what I would do it to create a free "beta" version that is time-limited. I take it you can push notifications to your app? As the time limit expires, ask them to share it with their contact list, if 3 or 5 people download it then you will unlock their full access for free.
You can of course do the same with the second batch of people. It's not a quick fix, but you don't want to be sat here in 6 months with only one client as a competitor releases a similar app with a massive budget.
Your alternative would be to change your business model and instead of subscription, have it generating revenue through in-app advertising and give it away for free.
This would be an excellent time for all those SM gurus who say the only kind of marketing anyone needs is social media to step forward give you some very specific answers. And also tell you why all your SM efforts are coming up with nothing.
if you are doing the marketing yourself, then i assume that you have time to spend on marketing. if that is the case, then I would suggest that you do social media marketing. social media is great for viral, if you target the message to correct audience.
Identify what group of people would value your app. Try connecting with them by twitter or Facebook. Create infographics of your App, Distribute them on social Pages. Make sure clicks go to the landing pages for the app. Create free infographics at www.Canva.com or use www.piktochart.com
Also you can go to many review sites, pick few good ones who constantly review Salesforce apps and do a write up or submit the app for the review, if app is really good few good reviews will go great way. Publish those reviews to social media, again target your demographics. Other places you can earn some social capital is on the websites like answer.com.
If your app solves a particular problem, see how many other people are asking for that kind of application. Again steer them to the solution ( your landing page)
continue to answer questions.
This process does require some elbow grease, but you will be surprised how quickly you will get the traction. Provided, as you said there is no competition and you are solving a good problem in the industry with your app.
You can reach me if you need to discuss further.
Give it away for free. Make it a limited time offer. Invite those who download it into a special beta testers group where they can share their experiences, suggestions, critiques and you can engage with them in that conversation. Call it a Customer Advisory Board or a Super-User Group. At the least you'll learn more about the product from their perspective and that's the only perspective that counts when they're making a buying decision. Implement what they suggest. Roll it out on the same forums, championing how you enlisted their participation in its creation. They'll be a volunteer sales force for it, talking about it, their modifications, how it made it better. Good luck.
For sure, your company needs to recognise the important of Marketing. If you have the budget to develop 8 products, you definitely can invest in a decent digital marketing campaign.
Your hands are tied, you have to really think outside the box. My first thought is a really witty viral video with your product as a key part and a link at the end. Best of luck!
It sounds like the without having the budget for PR and marketing you are going to need to come around from the other end. With the info you gather here and provided you have contact information / contact engagement points, you'll want to connect with this narrowed audience via eMarketing, Newsletter, blog launch, user group announcements... etc.
Take the user's point of view and pinpoint what problem your downloadable product solves for them. Do some analyzing of the amount of time and money this product will save them. Get known users (possibly from beta users, as Dave Worrall mentioned in his proposal) and back that statement up. Your beta users will give you the perspective you need to focus the audience reach and specific message.
You should capitalize on the fact that there is no other product like yours. Use that innovation to further your brand promise. How does that resonate with other products you have released in the past? Present your category leadership as "smarts" that your customer will have as an advantage over their competition.
Testimonial statements/videos are going to support your findings and move you into a more shareable experience for the promotion of your product and ultimately brand. The "positive experience" is what turns potential into conversion. And sales!
Remember that nothing sells more than seeing the product or service working for previous customers. If those don't exist yet, I would agree with Dave Worrall in possibly moving to a time trial free option to get started.
Hope this helps and good luck!
Perhaps setup a website for the product. Identify your target market. Cold call them and get them on an email autoresponder list that uses prospect ranking (eg.: Office AutoPilot, InfusionSoft, or LeadOutcome). LeadOutcome is free for the first 30 days. Then build your relationship with your audience through emails. Prospect Ranking will tell you who is interested and Ready Willing and Able (RWA) to do business with you. Concentrate your efforts on those RWAs. Have an offer ready such as Dave Worrall suggested.
I would also suggest using social (Facebook) apps to help with a viral effect.
Hello: It will depend on the type of Product and who is your customer. Nothing wrong with you doing the marketing but you have to have a product that it is marketable and the product will have to provide benefits to the user. Since we do not what is the product, we can not make too many recommendations. It is possible that the products is not for your type of clients.
When all else fails and you have no money to spend on external marketing, do what thousands of others do...pick up the phone and call your existing list and any prospects you may have that would be a good fit.
10 Ways to Market Your Small Business on a Shoestring Budget:
There can be few reasons for not procuring demand of your products
1. You could not identify your target audience and you are randomly giving your sales call
2. Your sales approach could be weak
3. May be you need other form of market support than sticking to virtual Social sites.
Pl. remember, virtual social site may create awareness of product, but actual realization into demand are done only on realistic selling.
Akash: What is the product? If you have tried all the other media and they failed I would try to offer the product to one of the prospects for a trial period so they can see the benefits and then ask for a referral. good luck
In your case I would try ClickBank or ClickSure, take on a few affiliate marketers, and let them spread the word. You already have the basic information to market, so get out some affiliates and let them sell your product.
If you wanted to sell it someone...who would you sell it to? What would you say? How would you say it (tactical method-email, Facebook, Twitter, postcard, newspaper ad...etc)?
Why would somebody buy it....? What problem does it solve? What job does it do?
When somebody is thinking about the problem your THING solves what do they say? What words do they use?
Is it a big problem or a small one? Is it an expensive problem? How emotional is it for them? How often do they look for a solution to it? Where do they look? You say there is no competition, then it sounds like people don't see it as a problem.
Is it a problem lots of people have or only a few?
If you can answer these questions you'll know a lot better what you need to do to market, whatever it is.
I suggest you try to create a short product demo video. You can upload to YouTube and send links to prospective clients.
Could part of the struggle be because there is no competition? (Although I question that -- there is ALWAYS some form of competition, even if they don't have the same thing).
To be the "Lone Ranger" breaking new ground with a brand new product is an uphill battle, unless you're like Apple. There is no proven market.