I get it. You’ve finally built a working product and now you’re ready to get it out into the market.
You want to crank out a press release, put up a website, offer a free trial, execute an email campaign, buy adwords, or do whatever else you can think of or afford.
Don’t do it. Or at least don’t do it yet.
If you rush headlong into programs and deliverables, you’ll end up spending a lot of time and maybe a lot of money… but not necessarily winning a lot of paying customers.
And finding and keeping paying customers -either directly or indirectly – is what marketing is usually all about.
But getting that done requires two essentials: a story and a plan. To be effective, you need both in place before you launch into any programs or create any deliverables.
You need a story
Your audience needs to know:
1. who your solution is for
2. what problem it solves, and
3. why they should buy it from you.
You need to be able to concisely and consistently convey this in every communication you have with prospective customers.
Without a compelling story (or “value proposition” if you want to get formal about it), everything you say about your solution on the website, in sales presentations, in emails, in papers and videos, or wherever else you’re pushing out your message will have little impact.
You need a roadmap
You need to have a roadmap to lead prospects through the entire evaluation and purchase process.
For many B2B solutions, the process will involve multiple steps and multiple decision-makers. And it will probably be interrupted along the way and may not always go into a straight-line.
You’ll need a roadmap that provides deliverables and programs at each step of the process from attracting initial visibility and leads through to winning paying customers. And don’t forget the “keeping customers” part of the process. It’s vital to SaaS success. (link)
Without a well-structured plan, you’ll probably end up with gaps and bottlenecks where prospects get stuck and you end up generating lots of visibility, but not collecting many qualified leads, or you collect lots of leads but don’t convert them into paying customers.
I know you’re eager to get out there and do stuff.
But before you launch headlong with a bunch of marketing tactics, first put two essentials in place: a story and a roadmap.