First, it should be stated that the software-marketing sector is regarded as very specific, and, it has its particularities associated with the issues of pricing, distribution and promotion. This paper aims to create a marketing plan for the innovative type of software product, which would clarify the potential segment of customers as well as the price point, a distribution channel, and a communication venue.
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The marketing plan itself should entail the following points:
- The Environment
- The Prospect
- The Product / Service
- The Competition
- Customer Services
The basis of any analysis, including the marketing plan, is the SWOT matrix, which would help define the main aspects of the company’s business activity. However, the SWOT matrix of the product itself would be narrower, and provide more relevant information for the plan. (Gabriel, 2009)
High level of accuracy
Extensive Research and Development
Low awareness within the potential customers
Contradictions of the product concept with the issues of privacy
High potential of the product due to its innovative approach
The high reputation of the company within the customers
Lack of clearly defined marketing plan
Possibility of industrial espionage
Originally, there is no need to penetrate the market, as the idea of defining the consuming habits of the consumers using the software tools is highly innovative and unique. Moreover, the extensive Research and Development process, united with the database analysis may be regarded as the innovative approach towards solving the issues of this type. Thus, the skimming pricing strategy will be the most suitable. However, the prices should not distract customers, as distraction would make them address competitors, who might offer the same product, but much cheaper. In this case, the comparable price strategy may be implemented for keeping the sales at high levels.
The represented product requires only a pull strategy, as the direct sales and the direct contacts with the end-user is the only possible way for selling this product. Specification of the elaborated software makes it useless for a wide user, while every particular consumer may require some particular options due to the specifications of the goods ended. The potential customers may range from online shops to international security organizations, who aim to know everything about the people they are chasing for. Consequently, personal approach should be applied to every potential customer. (Regan, 2007)
Distribution is generally regarded as the key element of relations with the customers. Depending on the aims of the company, and the customer care principles, the distribution strategy is selected. Taking into consideration the previously described notions and the specifications of the product, there is a strong necessity to emphasize that the most suitable distribution channel would be the on-premise sales method. Moreover, the customers should be offered an opportunity to regularly update the database and receiving of the patches and updates of the software.
Taking into consideration the fact that the company is engaged in the global business performance, it should be stated that the strategy should take into consideration the global business environment in general, and regional circumstances in particular for the successful marketing activity. Thus, if European and North American markets are easily accessible for the software developers, Asian market is filled with comparatively cheap Indian software products on the one hand, and poor IT development on the other hand. Depending on the regional priorities, the PEST analysis should be initiated before the promotional campaign. Depending on the results of this analysis, the details of the promotion will be defined.
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As the product is regarded to be the innovative approach towards the traditional market study sphere, the customers may be both new, and old. All the companies, who are engaged in the spheres of indirect sales, when they do not see or contact their customers directly, may be regarded as the target audience for this software tool. The original plan for market penetration presupposes whether the company will be dealing with the existing customers or will aim to find new clients.
The Product / Service
Originally, the aim of the product is to simplify and automatize the research process. The fact is that this service would essentially simplify the market research process in general and improve customer care policies in particular. This feature will offer companies the opportunity of reallocating the human and financial resources, making accent on some more important aspects of marketing activity.
The product itself is of high importance for any vendor and any company, which uses credit cards and works by written order.
It has been already emphasized that the product is innovative and original, and, there will be no competitors during the initial period of advertisement and positioning. Nevertheless, there is a strong necessity to take into consideration all the large software developers, who will be able to release a similar product within the nearest time after its representation by the analyzed company. As for the issues of competition and the relevant research, it should be emphasized that each of the company’s competitor’s experience, market position, strength, staying power as well as its predictability and freedom to abandon the market must be estimated and taken into consideration.
On the other hand, after the competition opportunities, threats and issues have been evaluated, the enterprise itself should be thoroughly researched, and compared with the other companies. The only honest and clear analysis will help define the marketing position adequately.
Taking into consideration the rules of the marketing, and the specification of the marketing segment, it is necessary to emphasize that constant development of the product is one of the most essential keys to success. In the light of the fact that competitors will be aiming to release a better product for a lower price, the issues of development appear to be very important. Originally, there is no essential need for steady development, nevertheless, the customers need to see the dynamics and the real ability to stay in the lead, when using the functions of the offered software. (Jussawalla, 2007).
The enterprise’s production organization, in the context of the effective product should be analyzed. Originally, this ability is regarded to be the key factor of a successful production plan, which is an integral part of a properly planned marketing strategy. The following factors need to be analyzed:
- The strength of production managing
- Technology and production experience
- The personnel skill level and the enterprise’s ability to hire or train qualified personnel.
Marketing and Sales
For the sales were not regarded as the weakest point of the company’s performance, there is strong necessity to take care of the marketing management sector in the allover activity of the company. Before launching the project, there will be a strong necessity to brainstorm on the matters of specifications of the product and how to adapt it to the realities of the market.
Originally, this aspect is not the most important in the marketing activity, nevertheless, it may become the determinant factor in the distribution of the product. For proper evaluation of this factor, the following points should be analyzed:
- The availability of technical support
- Accessibility of service outlets for the customer
- The reputation of the enterprise for customer service
Finally, it should be stated that the marketing plan for the new software product will require numerous points and factors to be taken into consideration. The fact is that the analyzed product is rather specific, consequently, the particularities of this tool should be represented as the benefits, which all the consumers will get. Taking into consideration the main aim of this paper, it should be emphasized that the results of the provided analysis may presuppose various ways of marketing representation of the product, however, the best combination of price point, distribution channel, communication (advertising) venue, the suggested consumer are offered, and recommended for the implementation. Nevertheless, these options will be effective only during the initial marketing activity, when the product is regarded as new. After the competitors appear on the market with the same product, the marketing strategy should be changed by the given recommendations.
Gabriel, R. P. 2009. Patterns of Software: Tales from the Software Community. New York: Oxford University Press.
Jussawalla, M. 2007. The Economics of Intellectual Property in a World without Frontiers: A Study of Computer Software. New York: Greenwood Press.
Regan, G., & Regan, T. 2007. Software Revenue Recognition on the Rise: Technology Boom Expands Relevance of SOP 97-2. Journal of Accountancy, 204(6), 50