How to Conquer Software Development
with a Proper Marketing Strategy
Many entrepreneurs want to participate in the rapidly growing software development market: its volume has already topped 40 billion U.S dollars, and it’s highly profitable as well. But how can you succeed there? Let’s try to find the right software development marketing strategy …
It seems like a simple business model: you hire software developers in a developing country for $5 to $10 an hour and then resell that CODE Power to the USA, Australia, Europe, or Canada for $40 to $150 per hour. ROI over 500%! Sure, there are additional expenses and taxes, but this article isn’t about creating a business plan.
Even if it may seem simple at first, achieving success on this market is not an easy task. Why? Because there is limited demand, a lack of human resources, and rising competition.
By reading this article, you will discover the way to eliminate those obstacles and develop the right marketing strategy to succeed in your software development business.
The Almighty Competition
Even if the above-mentioned business strategy has been proven to work in the past, it has become much harder to succeed nowadays on the market. The main problem is rising competition: apparently, you are not the only one who has chosen to work using that business model.
You look here and there, and all good spots on the “Software Development Market” are already taken by someone. Advertising costs a fortune, SEO is highly competitive, ratings unreachable, and freelance sites filled with people and companies who have 1000’s of good reviews, and of course every good specialist is taken by someone or prefers to work alone.
So you become the 8,112th software development company on the market. Greetings.
But everything isn’t as dark as it seems to be. All it takes nowadays is to add just a little twist to your marketing strategy to get your company to rise and shine.
Pick The Right Marketing Strategy
The good news is here: the market is so big, so rapidly growing, and has so many new technologies that everyone can find a free spot, and even the best companies can’t keep up with all demanded technologies.
It’s not just difficult for established companies to keep up, the market even works against them. Companies who position themselves as specialists in everything (one-stop-shop) simply can’t keep their quality as high as it used to be, because new technologies are popping up almost every month.
That opens up many doors to the top for newcomers and already established companies, but only if you know how to enter the new market right.
In my opinion: Marketing differentiation strategy works the best here, it’s not a new thing but it’s very easy and effective for outsourcing software development.
All you need to do is to pick the right niche (technology, service, industry, solutions) and become number one before everyone else. It doesn’t have to be new, hyped, or emerging technology, it just has to be a good enough niche to focus your efforts on.
We’ll talk further about picking the right niche, but first, let’s briefly observe the benefits of having one.
DIfferentiation: The “Niche №1 Strategy” Benefits
What are the benefits of having a niche, you may ask, and why should I bother picking something if I can try to get everything?
To make the explanation short, when you focus on something, eventually you achieve it; but if you focus on everything, you disperse your effort and achieve nothing. So when you focus on the right niche, you achieve expertise and the №1 position with a minimal effort to get the following benefits:
- Free publicity
Once you become an expert, people start asking for your advice, take an interview from your company, and invite you to conferences and meetups to hear your opinion on your topic.
- High-quality customers
You start attracting A-class companies who want to work with the best and clients who care about quality more than price.
Since you only need knowledge and skills in one technology or business niche, your hiring policy changes drastically. You don’t need to keep 100 developers with different skill sets, and your employees become interchangeable.
- Branding and high market share
The brand starts working for you once you achieve at least a 20% market share. It’s fairly easy to do in a specific small niche. Once you do it, you start getting orders, just because people want to work with your company.
- Ratings and Conferences
You get high places at your niche ratings and you’re being invited to niche related conferences.
- Advertising prices and opportunities
Ad prices go down significantly: you don’t need to buy an article on TechCrunch or Entrepreneurs to get media coverage. All you need now is to find niche-related news websites or popular blogs. There is a higher quality audience, and advertising is a lot cheaper.
Every mentioned benefit leads to decreased lead prices and increases customer quality, as well as the number of incoming orders. Your business becomes more profitable and risk redundant.
Now you know why finding a good place on the market is so important, and hopefully, you’re pumped to pick a niche for your business. Read further and learn the right way to do it …
Learn How to Choose the Right Niche
Even if picking a hype technology might sound like a good plan to enter the market, there might be not enough demand for it. What’s the point in being number one in technology no one going to use? There is no point.
You desired niche has to have high demand, be hard to master and have low competition. Let’s divide that process into three pieces and analyze all components independently:
- Evaluate demand
- Finding what you’re good at.
- Measuring competition.
Once you found a niche that fits all 3 criteria, that is a way to go.
- Look that big software development companies are offering. If they added a new service or technology to their catalog there are high chances customers asked about it a lot.
- Look for the Ratings and Lists of Companies in that niche. If they exist you can become number one there.
- Look at media buzz. Does media tend to write about that technology or service?
- Look at keyword search volume overall and for commercial keywords. For example- “machine learning companies” or “order machine learning development”. If people are searching, most likely they are also buying.
Finding what you’re good at
Ideally, you want to be in a niche that is hard to enter. That way, you can dominate the market with less care about new competitors. Surprisingly, those niches are hard to enter for you as well. That’s why I recommend starting from the niche you already have experience and knowledge in to smooth your transition process.
Remember, you are aiming to become №1 in that niche and make something better than what already exists, so if there are some advanced promotional materials like software development calculators, quizzes, or websites with 100+ articles about your niche and so on … that will be hard to overcome.
I prefer to evaluate competition by looking at competitors’ marketing efforts:
- Сheck if there are advertising opportunities, how many companies there are, and how aggressively they are promoting.
- Look for specific landing pages and websites, check their quality and how well they sell.
- Check competitors’ offline activities: conferences, meetups, presentations, and so on.
Imagine the software development market as a crowded downtown street, and you are a coffee house: there are a bunch of coffee shops (8,000), so how do you succeed there?
I think you want to be a regular coffee shop producing the best “mint caramel macchiato” in town. You won’t get a high percentage of the broader coffee market anyway, but the mint caramel macchiato market is all yours.
Handful Niche Map to Make It Simpler
Don’t know where to start? I’ve prepared a list of niches by analyzing the software development market. Feel free to use it as a starting point for your research.
Here are 4 types of niches, and each niche has its own appropriate marketing strategies. Do you market Salesforce Integration the same way as medical and healthcare mobile app development? Probably not.
Work Your Way and Become the Expert
Once you’ve picked a niche, you’ll start seeing everything in a different light. You are not a regular developer anymore: you are an industry or a niche expert. Now you start to see appropriate ways to market your company instantly. You move away from the strategy of “we are ready to do whatever, just give us your money”.
Let’s say you decide to become an expert in medical software development. What conferences should you try to participate in? What kind of articles should you write? What kind of ratings should you participate in? All the answers become obvious now.
And the best news: there is a moderate amount of ratings, conferences, articles, advertising opportunities, and questions asked on Quora so you can GET THEM ALL for an affordable price.
If you keep doing that for 3 to 6 months, people will start seeing your company as an expert, and you will be interviewed by journalists as they need an expert opinion on your topic. A-class companies may start consulting with you or offer you collaborations, you’ll get invited to speak at conferences for free, and of course, you’ll receive a lot of orders along the way.
Capitalize, Repeat, or Build on Your Success
Once you gain expertise and become №1 in your niche, you have a way to grow your company even further by developing a software product.
For example, develop an augmented reality SDK and sell it independently to other developers, or ready-to-deploy hospital management system if you focus on the healthcare industry. That product will be fairly easy to market and sell, because you already have the expertise, connections, and understand your client’s common pains.
With all that said, now you have the right mindset and software development marketing strategy to achieve success in the market.
If this article was useful for you, do not hesitate to leave your feedback or ask a question in the comment section.