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Thread: How do you shop around for your software?

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    Email problem Alta Murray's Avatar
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    How do you shop around for your software?

    Hi everyone,

    I am busy with a whole marketing plan for our software, and have come to the realization that having an unique strong product, is not enough. I need to get it out there, but I am not sure how people actually shop for their software unless it is by word of mouth or one-on-one meetings.

    Personally, I would not buy a software package from the Internet as I just feel that it is high risk. Perhaps I am just being old school?

    I would love to have your input on this. What channels do you follow? Are you off to the shop, do you surf, do you read mag's to catch up on the new trends out there, or do you want to phone a friend?

    Please help, I am a complete novice when it come to marketing, and thank you to all of you who have been assisting me in this so far.

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    Bronze Member Karenwhe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alta Murray View Post
    Hi everyone,
    Personally, I would not buy a software package from the Internet as I just feel that it is high risk. Perhaps I am just being old school?
    That is why a lot of people that know and believe their software can delivery on what they say it can do, give 100% money back guarantee for a period of time.

    This will enable people to buy the software without risk.

    The problem is that the software must really do what it says it can do.

    Then you have the option of demo, for people to try or trial versions.

    If they like they will buy. If they don't buy you may at least use forms to ask them to give you feedback what they liked what they didn't. This will give you real feedback from your market segment that will not only help you build better software but also better understand you client/customer/potential customer requirement. Imho, this is worth more than gold of money as you can build something that everyone will want to buy plus give you a base of people to talk to about your product that are interested [that is why the tried it in the first place].

    Maybe if you give us more details about what industry the software is in we can give more comments.

    Hope this helps.

    P.S. You say "unique strong product" who said that? If the company that developed it, you may find all bets are off. If a consumer/customer base said that you may just hit a home run with the product. Because it is not about a product or service to sells - it is about selling something that the people need and/or want and think it is great.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I suspect this is the business related software Alta discussed in the Changing Face of Marketing thread.

    My input on a business related product is pretty much laid out there, but I think getting people's comments across a broader range would be interesting too.
    How about Anti-virus programs?
    Graphics programs?
    Just the broader range.

    I know that I'm definitely influenced by what I read in subject matter related communities.

    For example, I use Smart FTP based on what I've read on various webmaster sites. Same goes for Anti-virus too, come to think of it. AVG or Kaspersky seems to be the products with "popular support" amongst folk whom you would assume would have a pretty good idea.

    Virtually everyone that reads this surely buys/acquires software. What influences your decision?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Bronze Member Karenwhe's Avatar
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    Thanks Dave, I didn't read that post.

    And now that I understand more. I have to say a lot less .

    The recommendations in that books have been brilliant, but if you are in IT, I hope you read

    Trout starting with: Jack Trout on Strategy (the rest of his books are also extremely good and valuable)

    Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore - an ABSOLUTE MUST to start with for ANYONE in IT.

    Inside the Tornado - by Geofrey Moore. also brilliant a lot to learn from it.

    And Tom Peters stuff (though some can't swallow his stuff he has some brilliant stuff if taken in context.

    And my favorite for SMBs: Getting Everything You Can Out of All You've Got: 21 Ways You Can Out-Think, Out-Perform, and Out-Earn the Competition by Jay Abraham - it has software case study.

    IMHO, your industry is not as easy as one may think. Actually much harder than most to grow to big levels.

    And from here I will just have to reserve my right to "remain silent" before someone will sue me, because I actually worked in this industry and someone may think I am giving away their strategies. So excuse me if I duck .

    But those books are highly and warmly recommended.

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    Platinum Member SilverNodashi's Avatar
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    Alta, I don't want to step on your toes, but it is a bit old school. What do you associate software with? Computers & internet. And where's the best place to get / try out new software? The internet.

    So, advertise on the internet, and expect PLENTY of sales

    One word of caution though, ENCRYPT the software, and if you want to give away a free trail license, use something like IonCube to set a 7 / 14 day trial period after which it expires. I find this method to work very well
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    Email problem Alta Murray's Avatar
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    Just remember -- your input is a 100% more than I had before I posted this threat, so rest assured every input helps! Thank you so much for taking the time to help out, every bit of information is digested and important.

    Laugh your head off, but on a UK Masters degree level they liken marketing with war strategy, and I have been very quick on the uptake! War strategy is something I understand and I am leaning strongly towards the old Chinese Masters.

    However, at this stage we don't have any competition, so I will leave my diabolical plans for the day that we do & concentrate on the recommended books.

    And don't worry, software is an easy hit, I admire what you do, that really looks hard!

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    Email problem Alta Murray's Avatar
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    Oh, your a life saver! Perhaps I should have mentioned the previous thread? Thanks again.

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    Email problem Alta Murray's Avatar
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    Tread softly on me toes SoftDux, yeah, after reading what you had to say, I do sound old school & the Internet and Software do go together like a horse and carriage, dont they. But I still feel strongly that I do represent other old schoolers out there, and might i just remind you I was the one standing in line at the Post Office way past the advent of Internet Payments and had a lot of company might i add. Also they were pensioners......

    Encryption is done, that poses no problem, even taken care of the fact that you can not install one demo on two PC's as that is a loop-hole in some cases.

    The major problem I have with free trails is that one can gain a bad rep rather quickly if you have end-users that are not on par. Particularly when it gets to the analytical and diagnostics system -- that has me worried. I get a visual of Audi giving away demo cars to people who can't drive and earning a bad rep! Or am I overly cautious?

    Do you think I can bridge said scenario with perhaps just an input screen where you enter data and then let the Failure Prediction Model spew forth a result?

    The business financial system is fine for demos though, so thank you for your input, that will really work. And seeing that it includes a full deck accounting package that is actually Vista ready and the price is cheap plus you can access your software from anywhere in the world, I do think we are going to get a lot of sales.

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    Email problem Alta Murray's Avatar
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    Dave, where is Chathead? I don't see him around at the usual places and I am getting worried, he is usually in the thick of things.

    I have a thought on marketing, but it is like an image that I can grasp and feel, and then it fades out again -- I am not really sure yet, but here goes:

    I know that I am a very good teacher and I love interacting with people and simplify abstract and advanced concepts, so why not use that in my marketing?

    What about a seminar on Financial and Business Management, using my software as an educational tool? To my thinking every business owner walks away with something and I get to do my marketing at the same time with no cost?

    Also the long term plan is to put out franchises across the country, haven't thought it completely through yet, but aren't you in Durban? Why can't you do this too once Gauteng is up and running? I can train you, you already know a lot and once you have finished your MBA book, the sky is the limit! and you don't have to buy into the franchise, we can work out something else.

    I knew my military strategy will come in handy! We shall fight them on the beaches....

    A franchise is just something that you do to make extra money out of supplying the franchise with anything from office furniture to stationary at a profit. Easy money if you have an unique product.

    Also I feel that we both are in business to really help and make a difference, business with a liberal humanitarian slant will be a first as well.

    You chew on that.....

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    Platinum Member SilverNodashi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alta Murray View Post
    Tread softly on me toes SoftDux, yeah, after reading what you had to say, I do sound old school & the Internet and Software do go together like a horse and carriage, dont they. But I still feel strongly that I do represent other old schoolers out there, and might i just remind you I was the one standing in line at the Post Office way past the advent of Internet Payments and had a lot of company might i add. Also they were pensioners......

    Encryption is done, that poses no problem, even taken care of the fact that you can not install one demo on two PC's as that is a loop-hole in some cases.

    The major problem I have with free trails is that one can gain a bad rep rather quickly if you have end-users that are not on par. Particularly when it gets to the analytical and diagnostics system -- that has me worried. I get a visual of Audi giving away demo cars to people who can't drive and earning a bad rep! Or am I overly cautious?

    Do you think I can bridge said scenario with perhaps just an input screen where you enter data and then let the Failure Prediction Model spew forth a result?
    I do think you're a bit over sensitive about it. Giving away a free demo doesn't mean your business / name / brand will get labeled poorly in anyway. Instead it will give clients a much better idea, and thus confidence in that the product can do what you say it can, and what they expect from it.

    Unless you're going to offer this in a shop, and go around businesses to demo it (Quickbooks does this), I recommend you look into the internet demo options. You could even have a limited version of it, it that helps at well.

    To get to the Audi example. You WILL get clients who are not computer literate and won't know know how to use it, whether you have a free demo or not. That's a different story, and something that you need to support either way. Even with paid hosting (we don't have a free hosting option), I see a LOT of client's who don't even know what the internet really is, but they want a website!
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