What works? Here are my top three…
- Search (SEO and SEM)
- Public relations
- Easy, online trial
IMHO, these three are the proven blocking and tackling marketing activities to get an on demand business off the ground. These three are fundamental and should be done first, because they all have marketing leverage beyond the individual activity. SEO/SEM works because your customers are already looking for you–online. You are just facilitating the buying process.
PR works, because it is fundamentally viral and cheap. And, I don’t mean just doing press releases or press relations, because the traditional online media world has blurred to such a degree with bloggers, social networks, etc. I define PR as simply having a strong story to tell, and finding viral free ways to tell it. Also, credibility is critical. In the end, most marketers don’t really do most of the marketing of their products. Ecstatic customers do it for them. And, opinion leaders reinforce your trend to put you over the top.
Finally, there is trial. Even if you don’t a have complete self-service on-demand offering up and running, trial will allow you to apply resources at the highest value stage of the purchase process—right before close. If you get them to trial, don’t let them get away. Then, use your experiences to learn what you need to do to automate the trial to close to deployment process.
In my next post on the topic, I’ll give my top three that don’t work.