Make Your Software Marketing Fly

Why Does 80% Of Software Marketing Fail to Deliver 

By Mark Edwards

People love to make things complicated. It can be a due to their need to express their intellect or their way of working hard to achieve success. However, in marketing, the reality is that SIMPLE is where you gain engagement and drive leads.

The need to fight complexity and confusion in marketing is the critical battleground. You must fight the desire to make things more complicated than they have to be - Especially, when selling the complex, you need to work hard to keep it simple.


Software entrepreneurs, in particular, have lively minds and strong work ethics. They will over-work and over-complicate.  Their approach is to try harder and work harder. And software tech is all doing the same thing, guided by the analysts in their desire to corral and categorise the software tech market for their purposes. They publish articles that add to the noise with an ever-growing list of unintelligible phrases, buzzwords and complex market diagrams.

The real art of marketing is to speak with a clear and frank voice on issues that concern your target audience. In a voice that does not need to shout. Like the cricket on a noisy street that is heard above the traffic, you need to stand out in what you say and how you communicate.

Not Differentiated

Note I am not just saying “differentiate” a much-repeated phrase - That is misunderstood and, even more often, misused, in the software tech sector. I have heard this word repeated so many times I no longer hear it. It has been passed in a game of executive “Chinese whispers” throughout the industry like a Utopian key to unlock the door to marketing riches.

The application of differentiating has been taken from the hands of the true ‘creatives’ and placed in the hands of the mathematicians. These academics don't trust the ‘fluffy creatives’ and don't want to get involved in such low brow and dubious activity. So, they spreadsheet it, creating marketing matrix tables that compare software features, one competitor against the other. They do so in the hunt for their unique feature. Enabling them to join the crowd as they too, futilely shout as loud as they can about their “unique feature”.  

A Shouting Contest to be Heard

In a noisy global software market, you need first to gain attention.  As the software sector has matured and many more players have joined the industry, it has predominantly become a shouting contest where those with the loudest voices (read: “budgets”) gain the most attention - and win. They all chant in unison the same technical clichés, acronyms and catchphrases.

Artificial Intelligence, ROI, RPA, Professional, Unrivalled Support, Platform, Framework, Efficiency, Machine Learning, API, Commitment, Excellence, Software Stack, Metadata.

Almost like a stream of consciousness, these phrases tumble from the mouths of the software marketeers, all taken from the same book of “Techy Marketing: For the Self Obsessed”. They explain away their ‘hard to interpret’ phrases, acronyms and techy talk with the excuse, that we have to market this way because we are technical and we talk to highly technical people.

WRONG! - On both Counts!

You are a sales and marketing company that uses technology to provide a solution for your client. You should be communicating with business leaders who may at some stage need the input of the pure techies. However, even these techies are human and don't want to be shouted at or bored to death.

Does the above have to be your story? No. It needn’t be this way for you, and you need not join this maddening crowd. Clients don't care most about how you work. They don't care if you’re a SAAS cloud developer, Artificial Intelligence Platform Provider or have the latest widget.

They don’t care if you are trained as a JAVA or .NET Developer, AGILE, Systems Integrator, Trapeze Artist or Juggler. These are minor details, not essential messages. Your client's PRIMARY concern is about the outcomes you can produce for them.

One Giant Shoal Moving as One

Clients want you to talk to them like one human being to another, in words that they understand without the need for them having to reach for the “Software Tech Dictionary”. Do they need their minds cluttered by yet more phrases dreamed up by the perpetually academic backroom boys?

The very same people who have power over the industry and make the software developers school, all swimming in the same direction in a coordinated manner, behaving like one giant shoal of fish. Each fish hardly distinguishable from the next.

Fish do this for safety.  Software companies do it and it harms them because they know no better!

For those of you who would like to compete without wasting your marketing budget, click here!