How to Allocate Marketing Funds

Dec 24, 2008 | Branding, credibility, Education, Lead generation, Pricing, Strategy | 2 comments

Continuing that last post…

Of course you want to invest in lead gen. That goes without saying. But how much effort do you put into education and credibility?

It depends on what your biggest marketing problem is… Which of these statements is closest to your situation?

1. People don’t know their problem can be solved.

Put more money into education.

Focus on problem words in Google ads and search engine optimization. In other words, what everyday words do people use when they are describing the problem your software solves? Use those.

Get involved in discussion forums, blogs, online communities. Wherever prospects congregate, get involved and talk about the problem you solve and how you solve it.

Do webinars (and archive them) that show a day-in-the-life scenario of how people are doing things now and how they can solve them with your solution.

Get testimonials and quotes up on your site that say things like “I never knew this problem could be solved, but I have been amazed at the results we have achieved with this software.”

Do case studies that go into more detail talking about the problem and how it was solved. Talk about the cost, the results, the ROI.

Put information about your process on the website. The next thing people are going to want to know, once they realize that there is a solution to their problem, is how the solution works. So talk about your methodology, your strategy, how the whole thing works.

2. People know a solution exists, but they haven’t heard about your company.

Put more money into branding, which is a combination of lead gen and credibility.

How can you stand out and get attention? Look at what you can do to be different.

Given that you probably have a pretty small budget, how can you set yourself apart from the market? Can you inject a strong personality into your company? Can you stand for something?

If it’s a crowded market, there are probably already vendors that own the functionality, price and service positions. Can you be the green vendor? Can you be the giving back/force for good vendor? Can you be the wild and crazy vendor (that can afford to have fun because you totally have the process nailed)?

3. People are not willing to solve their problem the way your product/service works.

Put the money into education.

You need to teach prospects about the process you use and the value of doing things your way. Why is is better?

Or step back and ask if this is really the ideal market for you to be in. Can you find another market where the people are a more natural fit for the way you do things?

And look at where the bumps are in using your solution. Can they be smoothed with additional training (maybe chunking the training and offering it online so it is more easily digestible)? Would more support services or consulting help? Can you partner with other vendor or service provider to provide a more complete solution?

4. Your price is too high.

Here’s the truth… Your price is almost never your real problem.

Even if you took your price to zero, you would not solve your problem. Even a free product costs them time and effort, and requires changing the way they work. (And anyone who has ever tried to diet knows how hard it is to change old habits.)

So, either you haven’t educated them sufficiently about the value you provide or they don’t believe you can deliver a viable solution at this price.

Interestingly, if it is the last issue, you might solve it by raising your price.

So experiment with different pricing models and feature sets. Go both higher and lower.

And make sure you educate about why your price is set where it is. What they get for that price, where the value is, and why you can deliver a solid product at that price point.

Who else should read this? Please share!

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