What do we mean by marketing for the software industry?

Software – Operating systems like windows, Application software like SolidWorks, Programming tools for software and app developers and desktop applications such as itunes, adobe acrobat and photoshop are all examples of software that require marketing within the software industry.

Software for B2B – software is often sold on to other businesses to be used within their hardware to help them run their business.

An example of this is 3D design packages such as SolidWorks and AutoCad, these software  packages are sold to engineering and product design companies so that they can design products to be sold to other companies or directly to consumers.

Software for B2C – software can also be sold directly to consumers for their own personal uses such as school work, entertainment, hobbies and also personal protection, for example firewall and antivirus software.

What kind of marketing is required?

Marketing Software for B2B (Business to Business) tends to be less about big visual campaigns and more about detailed content that explains how the software can benefit the business. When businesses are seeking out a product from another business they require cost justification that the software will have the right functionality to fit their requirements and ultimately make them money.

Examples of Marketing in the B2B software industry include; whitepapers, case studies, cost calculation tools, webinars, demonstration videos and customer success stories. These methods are still delivered in the same way as many other industries marketing campaigns such as via the website, email and online advertising.

SEO practise is also useful to ensure that the website is visible for search terms relevant to their business.

Vertical Marketing is also very useful in B2B technologies, this means creating marketing materials about your product specific to individual industries in your market. For example a case study demonstrating how the software helped a improve automation and save money at a manufacturing business.

Marketing software in B2C (Business to Customer) isn’t completely dissimilar to B2B, there are still may different user requirements to take into accoutn when developing marketing campaigns. Individuals don’t require as in depth technical overview of the product but they still need to see that it will satisfy their requirements.

One of the most important factors in marketing software in B2C is price and accessibility. The market for apps and desktop applications is extremely competitive so advertising factors in high for promoting software to end users. If it is software required for study then many companies provide a discount for full time students to further incentivise them

Promotional selling features high in marketing B2C software and many companies will offer an instant downloadable 30-day trial so that users can experience it for free before purchasing. Good examples of this include photoshop elements and office 365.

Like many other industries now the market has been blown wide open by social media, this is great chance to connect directly with potential customers and get their feedback.

What skills are useful for the software industry?

Technical written skills are very useful for B2B software marketing. This is a specifically developed ability to write content that focuses on the technical specifications of the product and how they can be applied to different industries.

Experience or interest in IT is very useful, if you can understand how the software works then its easier to market it. The depth of knowledge required to market software in depth often see designers crossover into technical marketing roles.

In any software based role you need to have an awareness of past, current and emerging software and technologies that affect the industries you are selling to.

Its important to be tuned into digital marketing as this is the key platform used to communicate with customers, where better to promote software than on a digital platform.

I’m interested what now?

Depending on your level of experience you could transfer your existing skills into a marketing role in the technology industry, however if you don’t have enough experience then visit our guide to building experience through volunteering and work placements.

Make sure you do plenty of research, the best place to start is by looking at current roles available in software marketing so you can find out what skills and experience is required and you can start working on tailoring your CV and building up the experience and knowledge required.

Here are a few websites that may be useful to find out more information about careers in software:

Techno Jobs – Great website to research technical marketing roles, have a look at the job descriptions and the type of skills and experience requirements.

Guardian Careers – Filter down to Technology and apply a keyword search for ‘marketing’ or click here, there is usually a good selection of techy marketing roles that you can use to do some research.