5 Ways to Generate Demand for a Software Marketplace
Acquiring customers for software products is not exactly a walk in the park, especially in the SaaS field. According to Cisco, the competition is going to become even fiercer by 2020.
Software marketplaces make no exception from this cutthroat trend. If you are going to survive and, better yet, thrive, then you need to seriously up your demand generation game.
What Is Demand Generation?
Briefly put, demand generation means creating a need for the product or service in the minds of potential customers. It's a process that includes several steps: showing your prospects the challenge they may be facing and how it can be solved, acquainting them with the brand as a solution and illustrating the value of choosing your product over others.
In other words, demand generation is the key for new, innovative products like software marketplaces. And, if you think about it, it’s only normal. People know they need food. But how are they going to know they need a software marketplace if they never heard of one?
Let’s take a look at a few demand generation strategies that can work wonders for software marketplaces:
1. Pay Attention to Market Research
The most successful software products are those that fill a gap, a need that customers don’t even know they had or, at least, a need that no other product can fulfill at the time. This is where thorough market research comes into play.
You need to focus on figuring out what the consumer wants and needs through conducting surveys, paying attention to feedback on social media, as well as to the reviews left on your website. In case you notice issues that keep appearing, this is your gap, your vantage point.
2. Produce Stellar Content
If the marketplace has been recently started, you should promote its new software products and prove that it's solving a problem through educational and informative content. Content marketing is the best way to establish yourself as a thought leader and to give people exactly what they want: good informative content that helps them solve problems (much like your solution).
In fact, 47% of B2B buyers consume 3 to 5 pieces of content before even speaking to a sales rep. These pieces of content are literally generating demand. E-books, blogs, white papers, webinars and more are the perfect way for you to enlarge upon the problems your software marketplace can seamlessly solve.
3. Feature Customers’ Reviews
Potential customers are very likely to trust reviews from their peers. As soon as you get your first reviews or testimonials, make sure to feature them prominently on your website. Sometimes, social proof is all you need to reassure potential buyers that something is worth the investment!
4. Give New Customers a Deal They Can’t Refuse
Another measure you can take to increasing demand for your software marketplace is to offer special or discounted rates for new customers. Think about it this way: new customers may not know what your products have to offer. And they may not want to spend money to find out if the products are as good as you say they are.
But they may be willing to try something for free or at an excellent rate. Once customers have received their products and have found them beneficial, they are likely to purchase products from your marketplace at full price.
5. Create an Exclusive Club
Loyal customers deserve to be rewarded, don’t they? Create an exclusive club for them and make them feel like VIPs.
You should thank them for their loyalty by letting them be the first to find out about news and updates to your software marketplace, offering them unique discounts and promotions, as well as early access to the newest products in your marketplace.
Aside from keeping them happy, this will also help your demand generation efforts. Happy customers are the most valuable brand ambassadors you can think of, so you can count on them to spread the word about your marketplace among their peers.
Demand generation for software marketplaces is something that needs to be fine-tuned constantly. These 5 strategies are a great place to start, but as your marketplace evolves, you will have to come up with new ones.