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Software company marketing plan outline

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Marketing plan template for B2B technology companies

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Software Company Marketing Plan Example

Executive summary.

Profile Gorilla is one of the cloud based software company that is engaged in providing software solutions for its clients in the field of enterprise resource management, customer relationship management, vendor or supplier, Human resource management, dunning management and the document management. The target customers of the company are small and medium size businesses. The current focus of the company is to generate $50K sales in the next quarter and add at least 5 new customers every month for the next three months (Gorillaict, 2017).

The company is placed in a highly competitive information technology industry that is engaged in the production of cloud based customer made or tailor-made ERP and CRM solutions for its business clients. The industry to which Profile Gorilla belongs is very dense and diversified and having the growth rate of 6.8% year on year basis and the industry size in US alone is up to the tune of $204.3 billion in 2016. Profile Gorilla is new entrant in the industry and is accompanied by some big names like IBM, Google, Microsoft etc., however they are not company’s direct competition. Company is directly challenged by SOHO, salesforce, capsule, sugar CRM and many more. Profile Gorilla is having a challenging time as the competitors are better placed, better priced, competitive support system, efficient software engineer etc.

However, the company has some of the marketing strategies to face and combat the competition. The first strategy is to launch very cheap application for android and iPhone users so that the prospective businesses can see the Profile Gorilla product and its features and try out some of its functionalities. The second strategy is to market the products through Google Adwords / CNET websites the company plans to make use of the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and offer limited edition free download through CNET. The company plans to spend through pay per click option and affiliate marketing. The third marketing strategy is to take help of the agents or service providers who would do push sales by installing the demo versions at customer’s site and take their feedback and push them for purchasing the same.

The company understands that the fierce competition can only be counter managed by mix of all three strategies and not one standalone strategy.

2. Company Description

Profile Gorilla was founded by Ed Baldwin in 2012 in Florida. The company offers a variety of software solutions majorly focusing on customer relationship management, employee management, vendor or supplier, and document or file management for a company. It has been established as a sole proprietorship and most of its business is concentrated in Florida region. The main product strategy of the company offers software solution that could make a small business organization to store information about its employees, clients, vendors, payment receipts, share documents, and access all this information from any location as it is based on cloud computing technology (Gorillaict, 2017).

A comprehensive enterprise-level solution such as ERP and CRM systems are quite expensive for many companies, making them beyond the reach of small-to-medium size companies. Profile Gorilla bridges this gap by selling a variety of software solutions to many small businesses through online and personalized marketing. The unique feature of Profile Gorilla’s products is that they can be accessed from any place as they are cloud based and can be customized also. The key product portfolio of the company is discussed below:

3. Strategic Focus and Plan

Bi. Marketing Objectives

Bii. Financial Objectives

4. Situation Analysis

A. industry analysis/market summary.

Profile Gorilla belongs to Information Technology industry as the company develops and sells a variety of CRM and ERP based software solutions. The NAICS code for this industry is 541511 and the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code is 7371 (SIC 7371). The broad category of products and services in this NAICS category have characteristics like Applications software programming services, Computer program or software development, Computer software analysis and design services, Software analysis and design services, custom computer and Web designing. This industry has been growing at 6.8% year on year, with an overall ranking of 27 across all industries in terms of annual growth rate. There are two major product categories in Information Technology industry as Software and hardware. Profile Gorilla belongs to Software category as it deals in programming, cloud based software services, SaaS etc. The overall size of US software industry comprises $204.3 billion in 2016.  It employs more than 1 million people in United States and the average salary in this sector is $85,600.

Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/184124/estimated-revenue-of-us-software-publishers-since-2005/


The major trends in the software industry focuses on Web analytics, Cloud Services, Business Intelligence Applications, Machine Learning and Data analytics. Profile Gorilla provides software solutions that are cloud based, and help to generate a rich data quickly getting stored in data warehouse on which data analytics could be applied and business intelligence reports could be created. The major industry leaders are Microsoft, Google, IBM, Cognizant Technology Solutions etc. which develop and implement a lot of software products. Moreover, small businesses (defined as businesses with fewer than 500 employees) account for 99.7% of all business in the US. America’s 3.7 million micro businesses made up 75.3 percent of all private-sector employers in 2013, and they provided 10.8 percent of the private-sector jobs. In 2015, businesses with less than $5 million in annual revenue experienced an average of 7.8 percent annual sales growth. These statistics showcase bright prospects for Profile Gorilla as well.

B.  Company Analysis

Swot analysis.



After providing the SWOT, write a 1-2 paragraphs highlighting your competitive advantage (What are your companies “strong suits”, what’s your sustainable advantage, what does your company do that cannot be easily duplicated?).  Then write 2-3 paragraphs discussing the major points from your SWOT analysis.  For example, you can discuss topics such as:

Unique Selling points

It can be stated that the key characteristics that differentiate Profile Gorilla with the competitors is the “small time to scale up for using the software after purchase” and “very good post sales service”. The company is offering many pre-built reports that help to get business summary in no time, and avoids the need of customizations or extra cost for report development. Third, the subscription cost is quite less ($19/month) as compared to other established software companies like ZoHo CRM and Sales Force which charge more than $50 or $100 per month.  So, company could leverage these aspects in improving its sales strategy, which seems quite weak specifically regarding online marketing. Profile Gorilla is not identified in many common websites that list CRM and ERP software sellers and development companies.

C.  Competitor Analysis

The comparison of different companies and their software products offered in the market are discussed below. These products compete directly with that of Profile Gorilla:

Direct Competitors – ERP Packages, CRM solutions, Zoho CRM, Salesforce, HubSpot, Pipedrive, Fresh sales, Insightly.

Indirect Competitors – Cloud hosting companies which provide file sharing, information storage facilities like Google docs, Dropbox, Amazon AWS, Rackspace, non-cloud based softwa re (Winston, Stevens, Sherwood, & Dunn, 2013).




Competitor’s Information & Strategy

Zoho CRM – This software provides lead gathering, contact management, workflow automation, analytics, social collaboration to the clients. It provides free access to 10 users without any subscription, which is quite good for a small company to validate if Zoho or any other CRM software is good for them or not.  It provides functionalities like multi user, 360 view, sales cycle, customer analytics, contact storage and their past sales etc.  It does not offer customizable and scalable solutions, and is good for small company only. It cannot provide complex business workflow management. It also provides Zoho People and Zoho HR as tools to manage employee information.

Salesforce –  It is all-in-one software which can be used for small and large businesses. It has a very good and easy to use interface. It can be used to manage the sales leads, customers, vendors in a very good manner. Information can be stored in Contacts, Accounts, Leads, Campaigns, Opportunities Forecasts and related files. It also provides a very good news feed work which can help to create alerts and share links very quickly. One can also access all this information by Mobile phones, and it can also be integrated with third party tools via SalesForce AppExchange. So, it can provide a real-time data, fast speed, sales performance management, and customer service very quickly. One of the major limitation of this software is its high pricing and complex navigation as it provides a very large variety of information storage placeholders (Ferrell & Hartline, 2013).

HubSpot – It is small software that can be used to store information about contacts, vendors, sales, customers etc. It also provides email notifications, alerts, document tracking, in-app calling etc. It provides a fully functional software solution to the new businesses for any number of users free. The dashboard is easy to use and customizable. One can create deals or notifications to share special information. It provides calling and call tracking, documents sharing, email templates and other functionalities. It has a large number of training videos also, but the free users cannot talk to customer care via phone, so it is the limitation for this software.

Google Docs – It is very common software and free of cost. One can share limited information on this, but can use this software effectively to store more information. It can quickly integrate with mobile phones, calendars and can store documents of any kind with very strong Gmail application. Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Gmail are a strong combination of documents which do not need a lot of training and is available free of cost so one can quickly start using it. But it does not provide a full-fledged software package solutions and functionalities as its limitation.


Comparison of Competitors from marketing perspective

Customers analysis  , customer trend analysis: small business customers growth trend.

Profile Gorilla is dealing with software packages which could be targeted for small business owners, vendors, and very limited retail customers. Therefore, it would be important to analyze the growth of small business companies in the USA. This analysis is conducted using secondary research sources, from SBA.org (Small Business Administration) and NSBA (National Small Business Administration). The data (as shown below) is collected from the annual research reports published by these institutions (Hembrough, 2017).

Trend 1 – As shown below, the number of small businesses and the employees hired by this business – are increasing in last 10 years. In 2014, small businesses added 1.4 million jobs. As the number of employees increases, there will be more requirement to store contacts, business data, and ensure availability of business data with on-field marketers (which Profile Gorilla software provides).

Trend 2 – As shown below, the number of new small businesses opening is higher than exits, showing more sales of Profile Gorilla software could be possible. In the second quarter of 2015, 234,000 establishments started up, generating 839,000 new jobs in the United States. Startups are counted when business establishments hire at least one employee for the first time.

Trend 3 – As shown below – Retail trade, Professional Services, Finance and Insurance – are 3 sectors where small business employment is increasing very high, with approx. employment share of 30-40%. These sectors require a lot of marketing, contact sharing, contract buildings and availability on the field – which Profile Gorilla software provides.


Trend 4 – The gross sales of less than $100,000 annually is highest. It means, these companies will look for cheaper cost software, and may avoid SAP, Zoho, and other costly software. So, Profile Gorilla can approach them with limited feature software versions, to start with.

Trend 5 – As shown below, in a survey conducted among small business users by NSBA, “advertising and marketing strategies” are being focused by most owners, and these strategies need marketing analytics, which a software could provide to profile customers, identify their purchase history and future trends etc. Profile Gorilla software can provide a lot of raw data for this analytics.


5. Product-Market Focus

Marketing and product objectives.

Current markets–Who does the company currently sell to?  Who are their current target markets?  Include customer data provided to you by the owner (if any).

New markets – Here is a good place to talk about the different segments you created in homework #4.  Are there any new segments you are considering?

Target Markets – discuss your specific target market or target markets here!!! Great place to provide the customer bio/persona from homework #4.  Who are you trying to reach with your programs or strategy!   Give details.

Branding – discuss and provide information about the company’s brand here.  Briefly discuss anyways you are considering modifying or enhancing your brand (Lake, 21).

Positioning: Provide a 1-2 sentence positioning statement.  You may also briefly discuss why you elected to take this position and any points of difference from your competitors that allow you to occupy this position (what makes you different?).  See homework and the slides that discuss “Differentiate or Die”.

Customer Value Propositions: A very brief statement (1-3 sentences at most) that includes what needs you satisfy and how do you satisfy them…

6. Marketing Mix

Product:   Profile Gorilla offers a variety of CRM and ERP based software products which can be customized, can be accessed from any place as they are cloud-based and provide the alert mechanism for various events/reminders as well. These products are targeted to a variety of customers to satisfy their needs, as well as provide them additional benefits to run their business smoothly. This has been summarized below:

Current Offerings Approach:

Product Levels for one of the above products:

Product = Record Management/Customer Relationship Management software

CORE product = Not tangible physical product, it is Benefit of product

Benefit = Convenience, that a user can access the contact information or contact record from any location as the software is based out of cloud computing. The software navigation is fast for the business users.

ACTUAL product = Tangible, physical product

Actual product = A user can add any kind of information, import excels files to bulk upload, add comments, headings, categorize information quickly on the record or contact management screen of the software.  He can retrieve this information quickly using search and filter options.

AUGMENTED product = Non-physical part providing “added value”

Added Value = A business user can customize the software screen layout, information placeholders, subscriptions, etc. as per the need of the business. He can get access to pre-built reports after purchasing applicable product plan, and can get updates on the software also or 24X7 support services based on the support package or added value proposition asked.

Market Levels: Profile Gorilla’s software products can be categorized for various market levels as shown below.

New/Modified Offering Strategy

The company should add mobile integration feature for all these products, with same or limited features, as many business owners use mobile platform for various business purposes. For example, the company provides “reminders” set by the customers on the pre-decided events, in Profile Gorilla software. So, a company should try to integrate it with the mobile phone, or email-configured applications, which create a reminder. A company can also try to integrate it with Google Calendars, so that customer can configure Gmail on his phone and get access to Google Calendars as well (Westwood, 2013).

Price:   Give a detailed summary of the pricing approach.

Current Pricing:

The company is selling products at various price levels, and adds the number of features as pricing increases as shown below:

New Pricing (if any):

N/A – as the company is already charging very low, and has also been offering 7-days free subscription.

Current Distribution Outlets:

The company sells this software through its website. As these are cloud-based, the customer needs to register at the company’s portal, make the payment, and accordingly he can login in his account to get access to the software, which automatically gets configured as per his subscription basis. The number of features gets added as per the price customers is paying.

New Distribution Outlets (if any):

N/A – as these are cloud-based software, so they cannot be downloaded from anywhere else.

Current Promotional Tactics:

The company has been focusing on personalized promotion, with very weak online marketing. Secondly, the company also focuses more on the word of mouth publicity from existing customers.

New Promotional Tactics:

The company can start using Google AdWords to promote the products. The initial expenditure for “per click” basis will be high, but it will quickly increase the marketing and visibility of products.

The company could publish advertisements in local business magazines for startups or entrepreneurs, or small businesses, where many prospective target customers read.

The company should also improve its retailing strategy selling product through-

Similarly, it can start focusing on wholesalers or distributors for large size orders. It should approach cloud providers like Amazon, Google, Microsoft (sharing revenue percentage with them; advertising on their website etc.)

It can also appoint few service providers (agents) like IBM, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Microsoft, Sapient, etc. who install software, ERP packages etc. for different companies. Working with them to sell/advertise ProfileGorilla products to the customers.

7.  Three (3) Suggested Marketing Programs

Program #1: Creating mobile app for record locators, for Android and iPhone users, publish it on App marketplace, at a very low price, so that business owners could start observing Profile Gorilla products

Product: Mobile App for Record Locator, Vendor management, HR Management etc.

Place: Mobile App Marketplace

Price: $2-$3 (so that customers could try the app, and focus should be on attracting these customers to use full services at the cloud by subscribing to the website)

Promotion: through mobile apps, ads on Google Play and iOS app marketplace

Program #2: Marketing of products through Google Adwords / CNET website

Product: All products currently offered by the company

Place: Online marketing on search engines / popular free software download website like CNET

Price: Select Pay per click, and minimum payment for weekly subscription basis. Could result in $5-$10 daily expenditure. Increase the expenditure, provide better pay per click rate, so Google shows Profile Gorilla software at the top. For CNET, it can be up to $1000/month (select high-frequency display).

Promotion: Using Google AdWords at Google Search Website where customers who search CRM software could see Profile Gorilla ad. For CNET- Many people visit CNET website to download free software or get a list of software, check reviews etc. and Profile Gorilla can display advertisements over there so that target customers could try this software, with a focus on 7-days free subscription.

Program #3: Selling through software development service providers/agents who install software at client locations and could promote or push client for purchasing Profile Gorilla software.

Product: CRM and Vendor Management modules

Place: Through custom software development companies and agents like Cognizant Technology, Sapient, etc.

Price: Profit sharing (like up to 30% profit shared) with agents and long-term contract of customizations on software only through them.

Promotion: The software companies go to client location and suggest what kind of software client should take, and they can suggest Profile Gorilla. As this is the personalized suggestion and out-of-box reporting facility (readymade samples, and could be shown right away during marketing pitch), it will be more effective (Purelybranded, 2017).

8.  Financial Data and Financial Projections

This section highlights the potential impact of each of your programs.  Start by highlighting the cost associated with each program (think VC, FC, and Total Cost).  After discussing the cost associated with each program, forecast your projected sales and revenue for each program (think sales to continued customers, sales to new customers, and sales of products not related to your core product).  Lastly, provide your projected ROI and Profit.  Provide all math/spreadsheets used to compute numbers in the Appendix.  The numbers used to project costs, sales, and ROI should be based on research and data.

Marketing Program #1: Mobile App development and selling

Projected Costs: The cost of mobile app development could be up to $3000-$5000. There will be the additional cost of up to $400-500/month in promoting it on Google Play or iOS marketplace.        

Projected Sales and Revenue: These sales will occur only on new customers. Assuming that company sells 100 customers every month, with a revenue of $3/customer, then it can result in $3*100 = 300. If 10% of these customers purchase the online subscription, seeing a large number of features, with average subscription level of $99 (Tier 2 package), then it will be additional $1000/month. In this way,

Projected Break Even, ROI, and Profit:

Outflow is = $5000 one time

Inflow per month = $1100/month

Breakeven = in 5-6 months.

Marketing Program #2: Promoting software through Google AdWords and CNET website

Projected Costs: Select Pay per click, and minimum payment for weekly subscription basis. Could result in $20-$30 daily expenditure. Increase the expenditure, provide better pay per click rate, so Google shows Profile Gorilla software at the top. For CNET, it can be up to $1000/month (select high-frequency display). There will bead design and development cost of almost $500 as well.

Projected Sales and Revenue: These sales will occur only on new customers. If the company sells 50 customers every month (combination of both AdWords and CNET), with a revenue of $99/customer, then it can result in $99*50 = $5000/month.

Outflow is = Upto $1000 for Google Adwords (including pay per click) + $1000 CNET ad display

Inflow per month = $5000/month

Marketing Program #3: Selling through Agents like software development service providers etc.

Projected Costs: The major cost will be in the personalized visit to these software companies, convincing them to do marketing of Profile Gorilla software products to new clients that ask these agents for software consultancy. The company would share up to 30% of profit with them. As Profile Gorilla has already developed the software on cloud, the incremental cost would be only for maintenance, which could be up to 60% of the subscription package.

Projected Sales and Revenue: These sales will occur only on new and existing customers of the agents. If agents sells software to 10 customers every month, with a revenue of $999/customer (up to 3) and $99/customer (up to 7) then it can result in $999*3 + 99*7 = $3700/month.

Outflow is = 3700 * 40% profit * 30% agent commission

Inflow per month = 3700 * 40% profit * 70% as profit

Breakeven = for every sale, starting from a 2-3 month, as initial collaboration with agent companies could take time.

9. Implementation Plan

 (How are you going to implement your new ideas?)

The company should implement the proposed marketing plans in below sequence:

The company should design the advertisements, as they will be same for Google AdWords and CNET. It should select high expenditure, high-frequency and display package from Google AdWords and CNET, as it would provide more visibility initially and company can check the effectiveness of it as well, and accordingly decide to continue or reduce the marketing expenditure. The company would internally design an add display ad content, and then Google AdWords could be started by just a subscription and right away. For CNET, the company would take few days to connect with CNET sales team and decide on expenditure.

For collaboration with software development service provider /agents, the company would need to identify a list of software companies who develop software for small businesses (SME) and startup companies (Miller, 2011). For this, Profile Gorilla will have to search the internet, online resources, to know which companies are prevalent in Florida region, so that a face-to-face visit could be made with them. Moreover, the company should also approach many such agents in Silicon Valley (California) market as there could be more chances of success over there (a large number of agents, more chances to make collaborations with at least few of them).

The company should develop the mobile app in the end, and publish it on the market place. As it will be done internally by the company’s own software developers, the cost of development will be low. It can publish it on the app-marketplace and monitor the ad frequency on monthly basis to improve effectiveness.

10. Evaluation and Control

Marketing Program #1 Evaluation – Advertisements on Google AdWords, and CNET

# of clicks taking place daily on Google AdWords and CNET

# of customers who visit the Profile Gorilla website form these ads and make purchase

# of customers who visit the Profile Gorilla website form these ads and do not make purchase

Size of each subscription and duration of subscription

Marketing Program #2 Evaluation – Collaboration with Agents – software development companies

# of prospective customers identified by agents, every month – so that in long-term only those agents could be worked with who are more effective

# of corporate deals successfully completed by agents who are ready to purchase Profile Gorilla software

# of customers who visit the Profile Gorilla website even after 3 months of initials talks, so that they could be categorized as “interested but hesitant” customers

Size of each subscription and duration of subscription by customers

Marketing Program #3 Evaluation – Mobile App Development and selling through App marketplace

# of subscribers purchasing the mobile app

# of subscribers actively using the mobile app after 1 month of use

# of subscribers uninstalling the mobile app after 2 months of use

# of customers who visit the Profile Gorilla website (after mobile app purchase), so that they could be categorized as “interested but hesitant” customers

# of customers who visit the Profile Gorilla website (after mobile app purchase), and make purchases of applicable subscription levels.

Metrics to Always Monitor

Total expenditure and Total Revenue analysis on monthly basis

Number of new customers getting added on monthly basis;

The number of customers re-visiting company’s website on monthly basis.


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paper cover thumbnail

A Study of Marketing Strategies of Software Firm: A Case of Syber Systems and Solutions

Profile image of Dr Surabhi  Singh

Marketing of software firm consists of creating value, delivering value and communicating value to customers. This requires constant analysis of customer needs and technology up gradation. Marketing of software products is different from the traditional product due to uniqueness inherent in the product. (Nigam, 2011). The paper identifies the marketing challenges faced by the small software firms during the growth process. It starts with the study of small software firm and the influence of marketing strategies on the growth of same. Marketing strategy is more important for software companies now than it has ever been. The strategy of a software firm truly determines the phases it will undergo. The computer software industry is undergoing some major changes which are making an impact on software vendor business models, as well as marketing and sales tactics. A successful marketing strategy can change the present and future of any software firm. In such a competitive scenario where every software company is competing with each other, strong strategy enables them to have a competitive advantage over others. This case illustrates the determining factors of the successful marketing strategy for the software firm and its impact on the future of the firm.

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