How to do marketing for generic software products?


I would like to know how to market products that are very flexible and are not attached to a particular business niche.

For example, Spreasheet software: You can do almost anything with it... balances, payroll and tax calculations, statistics, math graphics, catalog your mp3+dvd collection and even project planning.

In these kind of software (being like a hi-tech version of a paper notebook) the point is the flexibility of the product. So, if it is useful for almost anybody and in multiple scenarios, how they are/should be marketed?


Marketing Software

asked Jan 22 '10 at 04:47
Nestor Sanchez A
690 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll

4 Answers


In my experience (I have the scars), the more generic the product, the tougher it is to market. Especially if you are a small company with limited marketing resources. If it is does everything, it effectively does nothing. Even if the product is very generic, I recommend you pick out a particular feature and vertical market and concentrate on those. For example the first spreadsheet was sold to accountants as a way to add up columns of numbers.

answered Jan 22 '10 at 06:45
Andy Brice
336 points
  • +1 for "the more generic the product, the tougher it is to market". That is right on. You need to focus on benefits to customers. – Jarie Bolander 14 years ago


I have similar problem. My solution is to focus on 3-4 particular niches and create products that have similar base, but a little customization for each niche.
Customization can be: documentation, terminology used in web pages and marketing, custom interface specific for certain tasks, additional small functionalities specific to given niche.

Main point to remember is that clients do not want software, they want their problems solved. So you create solution for problem and they buy it.

answered Jan 22 '10 at 05:28
2,288 points
  • I see... maybe having a group of domains poiting to different landing pages, each about a particular area of application of the product (exposing ad-hoc samples of use cases), could work. – Nestor Sanchez A 14 years ago
  • Yes, this is exactly what i am doing. I have developed general forecasting engine but this is not what most customers want. So i create niche sites and products. They may be the same but with preselected set of parameters that are specific to the given industry. Also, make sure that terminology is the exact one (not generic) for particular niche. Client selling eggs does not want to call them Items or similar. Customizing the product for particular niche makes possible to remove a lot of options from interface and make it simple to use. – Ross 14 years ago


There's nothing stopping you taking that generic product and positioning and marketing it to specific verticals.

My home page, for instance, will describe the generic product, but quickly drive them off to an area of the site that focuses in on how the product applies to and delivers benefit to their specific industry.

answered Jan 22 '10 at 06:36
Benjamin Wootton
1,667 points


Take a look at StackExchange: they have for customers, for system administrators, for end-users and for businessmen. That can give an idea ;-)

answered Sep 29 '10 at 14:53
131 points

Your Answer

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • • Bullets
  • 1. Numbers
  • Quote
Not the answer you're looking for? Ask your own question or browse other questions in these topics:

Marketing Software