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Marketing my software

Posted on 2008-10-07
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Last Modified: 2013-11-18
We are two programmers who created a software application and thinks it is a good idea. However, we don't have experience in marketing the software or creating proposals, business plans, or advertisements ...etc. What should we do? How can we locate marketers? The application is a news notifier (agent) but in a nice different way. Its target audience is any person who has a PC. Please provide us with any advice and/or marketing companies that is percentage based.
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Question by:nabehs
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I think you'll have a hard time coming up with a marketing agency that will do work for a percentage of sales.  It's kind of like getting a band a recording contract...the record companies want some solid evidence that the band is going to sell well before they commit their resources to promote it.  But unlike recording companies, marketing agencies rarely put their own time and money on the line.

And if sales eventually go through the roof, it's probably not a good idea to give away percentage points or additional 'partners' if you can avoid it.  If you're looking for investors to put some serious capital into fully developing the product, that's another story.

However, before you get into marketing, you should probably already be selling or distributing the product.  My focus would be on developing the distribution methods yourselves; secure digital downloads, customer login databases, customer receipts, sales tracking, and so on, or find a software package that can help with this.  

It also might be advantageous to hire a graphic designer to streamline your product and web site.

The best user / customer experience I've had with a small software developer and distributor is with a Flash application called SlideShowPro (http://slideshowpro.net/).  From start to finish, they've got a great presentation, great sales process, great documentation and great product.

After you've built these things, the 'marketing' part is relatively easy, but it's typically done by hiring an agency to produce ads and direct media-buys.  However, word-of-mouth is the best marketing, and if your product is outstanding, you probably won't have to do much marketing at all.

I hope this helps.
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