Outsourcing marketing


As a (soon to be) solo developer, I'm not an expert in marketing. Do companies exist who I could partner with to market my app, on a profit-sharing basis?

Marketing Outsourcing

asked Jan 6 '10 at 08:20
131 points
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4 Answers


It's a pithy response, but marketing & sales are your business - at least 50% of it and possibly more.

Having said that, deals like this do get done. Sometimes with individual rain-maker sales people, sometimes with companies already operating in your niche who are willing to sell and market your product into their customer base.

I'm not aware of any companies that specialise in this. Most deals would be done on an ad-hoc basis.

My feeling is your product will need to be something really special with high barriers to entry for this to work. I would also expect to have your heart broken by the percentage you would have to pay.

answered Jan 6 '10 at 11:28
Benjamin Wootton
1,667 points


I see affiliate marketing as a way to outsource marketing.

You set up an affiliate program, let the experts reach your target customers and give them a commission for every sale.

answered Jan 6 '10 at 09:12
Olivier Lalonde
2,753 points
  • Not something I have experience with, but conventional wisdom is that affiliate marketing doesn't perform well for software products. You'd also need the ability and collateral to close leads coming in from your affiliates. – Benjamin Wootton 14 years ago
  • I guess it boils down to who your customers are. It might not be effective for enterprise software, but it seems to be working other situations. For instance, http://www.dropbox.com's affiliate program seems to work. – Olivier Lalonde 14 years ago
  • I think it depends on the complexity of the sale. I.e., if you're selling an iPad app that lets your iPad act like a Level then there is almost zero complexity and it can work with Affiliate marketing. (Disclose: I have 17 years marketing experience but almost zero experience with Affiliate marketing: *our* product *is* too complex for affiliate marketing. – Clay Nichols 12 years ago


Don't do it! Echoing Benjamin, marketing IS your business. It's learnable like anything else. The best advice I can give is to study direct-response marketing. A good tactical marketing book would be one by Jay Abraham: http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Everything-You-Can-Youve/dp/0312204655. It's not necessarily written for the web per-se, but all of the principles apply in some way or another. Also, watch interviews with successful web entrepreneurs at Mixergy.com. You can learn a lot there.

answered Jan 7 '10 at 17:19
38 points


Since you are selling developer skills then maybe the place to go is elance It may seem counter intuitive, but building a better mouse trap will not lead to the world bating a path to your door. Without marketing the world won't know what you are offering - let alone start looking for your door. In my experience (I have set up a couple of companies one of which pays the mortgage) start with a customer (there must be at least one of them) and work back from there. At least with elance you can find people who may value your skills without having to do any conventional marketing .

answered Jan 7 '10 at 21:36
81 points

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