Best to market yourself based on technology, industry or system type?


3

In starting a small software consultancy and figuring out how to market and present ourselves to the world...

Does anyone have any experience as to whether it is best to market yourself based on:

  • the technology you have experience with e.g. .NET
  • the industries you have experience and knowledge of e.g. Finance, Insurance etc
  • or the type of systems you have experience building e.g. trading systems, ERP, CRM etc

Which is the more effective way to sell yourself as a development team?

Marketing Software Consulting

asked Jun 9 '11 at 15:48
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Terry B
121 points
Top agency to build award-winning mobile apps: Utility NYC

3 Answers


1

Software consultancy is a ridiculously competitive market; I don't want to scare you! but it's going to be tough.
The only reliable way to market and effectively present your company is to develop and advertise your USP (unique selling point), whatever it is.

I'm afraid it cannot be .NET development though; there are thousands of companies selling this expertise. However (I don't know the .NET environment) you can probably find niches inside the .NET market, for example you can advertise yourself as expert in the customisation of certain .NET-based products (lucene.net, umbraco f.i.).

As a general rule

  1. try to develop very specific skills (customisation of a product, adaption to a specific niche market, custom development of products for niche markets)
  2. advertise them as success stories
  3. profit!

I know it might sound simplistic (and it is), but the point I hope to communicate is that it is important to focus on a few specific things instead of being a generic software shop. That doesn't mean you must not take generic development contracts if you can, but when you advertise and pitch your company it is important to make very clear what you do and why you are a better choice compared to the other thousand of cheaper competitors.
answered Jun 9 '11 at 20:00
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Filippo Diotalevi
2,573 points

0

I would start from where it has worked for you first -- build off your existing customers and why they chose you. Leverage the existing proven connection and play from there.

You need to find a unique value proposition to present yourself to the customer. Such a value proposition is not developed from the "inside out" but from the "outside in" meaning don't start with the product -- start with the client problem it solves -- the solution. Don't start with the technology platform -- start with the advantage your knowledge of that technology passes on to the client.

Look at how your target customer makes it's decisions. Talk to them, or look at how your competitor positions themselves to the target customer.

Of the three you mention I think that you will find the most traction by positioning yourself as a solution expert in a specific market segmentation that leverages your experience and skill with specific systems to delivers those solutions.

answered Jun 10 '11 at 12:41
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Joseph Barisonzi
12,141 points

0

You should focus on the industries you have experience with. Think about it from the point of view of your customers.

They probably don't care what technology you use, might be slightly interested that you have built a similar type of system before but care a lot that you understand their industry and business.

Coders with technical skills are a dime a dozen. Coders who understand the business case and how to apply technology to serve the business are a lot rarer. THAT is something you can build a consultancy around.

answered Jun 10 '11 at 13:20
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Susan Jones
4,128 points

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