Saturday, May 10, 2014

Differentiation for microISVs Step by Step

Logic should drive our strategy for differentiation. That's the opinion of Jack Trout, author of the book "Differentiate or Die - Survival in Our Era of Killer Competition."

To develop a successful differentiation strategy, it's not enough to be cute or clever. We have to be logical.

Trout believes that too many marketers try to sell by being creative. And most of them fail. If they had given prospects a logical reason to buy, Trout tells us, many more marketers might have succeeded.

Using Trout's experience, and applying it to the software development industry, here's how he might suggest that microISVs proceed. To create a logical argument for buying your software, you need to:

Understand your story's context.

Advertising does not take place in a vacuum. You have to understand your software niche. You need to understand how you're perceived by prospects and customers, and how your competitors are seen by this same audience.

Find an idea that will differentiate your product.

To differentiate your product from your competitors' offerings, your means of differentiation need not be related directly to your software. As an example, Trout cites a US college that refused to accept federal money. This enabled the school to say that they were free of government influence. And this notion has a lot of appeal to the people - both students and teachers - whom they're trying to attract to the college.

Build your credibility.

If you're going to say that your product is different, and that it's better than the competition, you have to be credible. Demonstrate and prove your claims of superiority.

Market your strengths.

Communicate with prospects so they'll know why you're different from the pack. Trout reminds us that better products don't win. Better products, along with excellent marketing, win.

To communicate your idea, it helps to have a lot of money in your advertising budget. Or you need to get financial backing. Or you need to take advantage of publicity, press, and other so-called "free" advertising.

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