Blogging your software company. As our developer continues to push forward with the back-end coding, I continue to refine the launch plan of the new startup. The primary issue that we're facing is that our service, while it adds a lot of value to an online advertising campaign, is going to require a fair amount of user education to be successful. For instance, as I use the service, each day I discover a new way that it adds benefit.
For example, today I was able to use it to discover all of my competitors and gauge how successful they are relative to me. Interesting, yes … but also valuable.
The designer who is skinning the site and putting together our marketing collateral is trying to decide on the right consumer “message”. We had conducted some informal interviews on Friday through which I discovered three potentially effective positioning messages. We were unsure of which of the three would be most effective. Of course, I had a strong gut feeling about one of them, but gut feelings are notorious for being wrong when it comes to marketing. This is a common problem with focus group research, and it is usually resolved through quantitative surveys, a process which is both time-consuming and expensive.
Once I had a list of the top 25 competitors however, I was able to investigate each of their landing pages. It turns out that the most successful ones (as predicted by our service) were using the positioning statement that we had guessed would be the most effective. It was this message that I directed the designer to run with.
I'm a small fish in a very large pond, and I know that many of our potential customers will be able to use the same technique to improve their online businesses. The question is, what is the best way to educate them? How does a company with a complex offering communicate the benefits to potential customers effectively?
One thought I had was to integrate a blog into our offering. The blog would have how-to articles, screenshots, and other sorts of “hands-on” material that would engage customers and potential customers alike. Done well, I think it can be a powerful way to build our customer base. [Startup Skills]