Saturday, July 12, 2008

Software Channel Marketing (What are they?)

The entire software marketing business is fragmented with millions of products built by all sizes companies and people. Long gone are the days when there is a monopoly on any one software product or group. The common issue with all of the software publishers and the entire Internet market place is sales and distribution. Should is say LACK of sales and distribution. Why?

The Internet is massive and continues to grow at a rapid rate. Therefore, it gets increasingly complex and costly to market to the target groups so publishers need to leverage many channels.

Lets discuss the most common channels of marketing:
  1. Media: TV, Radio, Print: these are great mediums to mass market - but can be very expensive with limited results. Measuring ROI is complex and often returns are limited.
  2. Direct Marketing: Google / Yahoo /MSN keywords & content search marketing. This bag has decent results -- often just enough revenues to support ongoing expenditures and get a return on investments. However, there as the competition grows in any market segment the costs continue to go up and many products are left without an option to bring them to the market.
  3. Direct Marketing 2: E-mail Marketing, Snail Mail Direct Marketing - sure this types of marketing also works but often this requires investments and app. 1% will generate sales. Additionally, there is a constant need to conduct these activities, which requires additional resource to be assigned to such activities.
  4. Word of Mouth Marketing - Blogger World: This area is uncharted territory. Leveraging blogger in your space to write and comment on your products and services. How do you measure the cost vs. returns?
  5. Social Network Marketing: This is an evolving new medium for sharing information and marketing.
  6. RSS Feeds & Press Release Communications: This is a combination of formats and writing information which the readers will want to read.
  7. Retail & e-tailer, VAR: Existing channel retailers where customer flock and publishers would have to find a way to get into this channel and the retailer would need to configure the site and agree to see such products.
  8. Direct Sales Force: Hiring a sales team for internal and external sales activities works better for enterprise class products but also costs a lot to get this rolling.
These are the main marketing channels which come to mind immediately and each have challenges and rewards. The key here is what is the right mix of marketing for the publishers currently selling products online. This publisher group makes up 80% of the software retail/direct marketing group and is also growing at an astounding rate. Further more, they are all trying to find a way to get in front of more customers and trying everything possible.

LicenseDNA management team is debating which of these channels would bring in the fastest ROI for our publishers if we worked out the details to automate this process for them? Do, you have an insight or recommendation?

Anowar Shahjahan, CEO

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