Thursday, October 18, 2012

Me-Too Marketing for microISVs

"Me-too marketing is the number one killer of new products." So say Robert M. McMath and Thom Forbes, the authors of "What Were They Thinking? Marketing Lessons You Can Learn from Products That Flopped."

The authors believe that new products succeed when "just about everything that needs to go right does go right." By examining some of the particularly bad things that have been done by large, established, well-funded companies, we can avoid making similar mistakes in our own businesses. Most of the authors' ideas apply nicely to the software development industry.

Clearly the release of thousands of copy-cat me-too applications in the software business has damaged our industry.

McMath and Forbes believe that the established product has a big-time advantage over copycat products. As examples, they cite soft drinks and food products.

Software is different, you might argue. But there is something to be said about being the first to open up a new market.

You can make money on a me-too product, McMath and Forbes believe, if you have a LOT of money to spend on advertising and promotion. But the authors believe that the only way to succeed with a me-too product is to make it "demonstrably better" than the product that you're copying. That's good software marketing advice.

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