Home Forums Marketing mastery How to grow our User Base for a Software Product

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  • #1000442
    Scott Lindsay
    Member
    • Total posts: 6

    Hi I am looking for any advice or guidance the marketing experts in this forum might have to help use take one of our software products to the next level.

    We have developed over the past 5 years a customised software product that can be used by market traders to track and report on their portfolio profitability and exposure. We had hopes of > 1,000 users for the product in Australia. But despite all our efforts we have not yet exceeded 100 users for the product. We have developed a marketing plan and SEO for our site and that has not delivered on the goals to reach a greater number of users for the product.

    Looking at the work we continue to put into the product it is becoming clear that the effort to maintain and support the small number of users may not be worth the effort and it might make more sense to discontinue the support and marketing efforts we have underway.

    The product works and we would be keen to improve it further for our users, but we really need a larger user base to fund that development. We would also look to promote it into other markets once a solid user base in Australia was established.

    Looking for any advice or guidance from this group to get us back on track to the original goals for the product.

    #1224388
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,472

    The first thing you should be doing is finding out why people don’t want your product, it may give you an indication as to the future direction (expand or trash it)

    #1224389
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Moderator
    • Total posts: 3,127

    We had hopes of > 1,000 users for the product in Australia. But despite all our efforts we have not yet exceeded 100 users for the product.

    The biggest issue that a lot of product developers face is that they develop in the hope that somebody will want to buy an end product.

    When this can be done at minimal time and cost (MVP), it can work out really well but when substantial resources are committed as they often are, disaster.

    None of that helps of course but it is never too late to works out what people want and are willing to pay for.

    I recommend THIS BOOK

    Good luck.

    #1224390
    Dave – FS Concierge
    Moderator
    • Total posts: 2,526

    Hi [USER=12378]@Scott Lindsay[/USER],

    Your efforts to date have given you some important data, but it needs some digging out…

    • Audit your current users. Which audience segments are buying your product the most? Which ones are loving it the most? Complete novices? Experienced traders? Small-time traders? High-volume traders? Full-time traders? Part-time? If you can find the sweet spot, then you can focus your marketing efforts on your best segment (more targeted ads / campaigns / messaging).
    • Survey your current users. What do they love about it? Which ones love it and which tolerate it? What has changed for them since using it? Not only will you learn a lot, but you can take these comments and use them in your sales material. Talk to some in person or on the phone if possible. Offer incentives, because this info is really valuable to you.

    Once you have these answers, it will be easier to find more people in the sweet spot and do more targeted marketing.

    If you need ideas for that next step, let me know.
    Dave

    #1224391
    three brains
    Member
    • Total posts: 18

    Hi

    A couple of thoughts to help you diagnose why more people haven’t bought your product, which’ll help you find a way to solve the issue.

    1.Identify what the barrier to purchase is

    In general, the reason people don’t buy products usually falls into one of these five areas.

    * awareness – your audience don’t know who you are or what the product is
    * relevance – your audience don’t see a need for the product
    * superiority – someone else is doing it better
    * credibility – your audience doesn’t believe what you say about the product
    * negativity – your audience like the product, but something else in the marketing mix is putting them off

    Not possible to diagnose your barrier without knowing your product / category / marketing plan, but this might at least give you some ideas of what to look for?

    2. Research non-users

    Understanding why your current users chose you is a good start, but clearly the issue is with non-users. It’s not clear if you’ve carried out market research, or if you have an agency who can help you do so.

    If you did want to do some fast / cheap market research, Google Surveys (https://marketingplatform.google.com/about/surveys/compare/) might be worth checking out.

    Surveys costs between $0.10c and $2 per completed survey, so depending how many people you need to speak to, to get a decent sample size (you’d normally do at least 100), that might give you a quick bit of feedback. You’d ideally work out a sample size based on the total size of the market. (have your done any market research into this? Would help determine if your 1,000 target is reasonable)

    With Google Surveys, if you wanted to target people in your category specifically though, you’d probably need to reach out to Google, you can only run general population surveys on the base model.

    You could also look for a market research company to help with this. There’s a list of certified practitioners here : https://researchsociety.com.au/find-an-expert. They would give you a much higher quality answer than doing it yourself, but they’d obviously charge for the research project.

    Would suggest you look at an individual / freelancer rather than one of the bigger agencies, you’d get better value on this sort of project.

    3. Find a way to remove the barrier or remove the product from the market

    Most marketing activity usually focusses on trying to encourage people to do something. But, sometimes it’s more impactful to remove the barrier that’s stopping them. There was a great article in Marketing Week (UK) last week, which talked about this exact thing. It’s like a 2 minute read, and might help you think of some more lateral solutions. The “Texas litter” advertising example is a great little marketing story.

    https://www.marketingweek.com/marketers-should-think-more-about-handbrakes-than-accelerators/

    If whatever is stopping people buying the product isn’t fixable, then maybe the product doesn’t have a future. But, sure everyone on the forum is hoping to find a way to identify the problem and fix it. Everyone has the challenge of not getting as many customers as they’d like.

    Hope that all helps

    Best of luck

    #1224392
    eagleeye
    Member
    • Total posts: 31

    Software would have to be a very hard product to market. Over the last 5 years this seems to have exploded. I remember about 8 years ago it didn’t seem that saturated – but now there is software for absolutely everything and you can even get a lot of it free. Have you seen some of the programs on Envato you can get? It’s nuts. From complex project management to turning your lights on at home remotely.
    Maybe narrow your niche and provide software that is 1000% better than anyone else in your niche. (Massive effort) If you provide the absolute very best your customers will find you. Add SEO on top of that and you are in for the long haul.

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