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Why Skipping a Marketing Plan Can Doom Your New Solution


In the fast-paced world of business, the launch of a new software solution can be a thrilling journey, marked by innovation and potential success. However, the excitement often blinds many ISVs to a crucial aspect that can make or break the entire venture – the absence of a well-structured marketing plan.

Drawing on extensive experience collaborating with software vendors worldwide, a recurring challenge identified among numerous entities is the lack of a marketing plan when introducing a new software solution to the market. In this article, we delve into the key reasons why a strategic marketing plan should be an integral part of your planning process, not just as a post-development step once your solution is ready to launch.

Audience Awareness and Engagement

One of the foundational elements of a successful marketing plan is a deep understanding of your target audience. Without a clear grasp of who the solution is intended for and what problems it solves, marketing efforts may fall flat. This emphasizes the importance of comprehensive market research to identify the needs and desires of your target audience. Moreover, this insight allows businesses to execute targeted marketing, tailoring their messaging, positioning, and communication strategies to resonate effectively with potential customers. Ignoring this step can result in misaligned messaging that fails to capture the attention or interest of the target demographic.

Engagement is another critical aspect often overlooked in the absence of a marketing plan. How a brand interacts with its audience significantly impacts the success of a solution launch. A marketing plan that provides a framework for creating engaging content, building relationships, and fostering a sense of community around the new offering is recommended. Without a plan in place, your business risks inconsistent messaging, missed opportunities for customer interaction, and a lack of sustained interest in your software solution.

Moreover, developing a marketing plan before launching your solution not only creates awareness but also presents a unique opportunity to gather valuable customer feedback early on. Engaging customers in the pre-launch phase allows for a proactive approach in addressing potential concerns that might have been overlooked in the development process and empowers software vendors to fine-tune their offering. For instance, you can inquire about the ease of use of your solution, ensuring that it aligns with the user-friendliness expected by your intended target audience.

Integrating a customer-centric approach into your marketing plan helps establish a positive rapport with customers who feel their opinions are valued. This, in turn, contributes to building a more polished final product that not only meets but exceeds customer expectations, ultimately setting the stage for a more successful and well-received launch.

Competitive Differentiation

In the competitive landscape of the software industry, standing out from the crowd is imperative for success. Without a marketing plan that includes a robust competitive analysis, your business risks launching a solution that gets lost in the noise. Competitive differentiation involves identifying and communicating what sets your new solution apart from similar offerings in the market.

A marketing plan allows ISVs to carefully assess the strengths and weaknesses of competitors, identify market gaps, and position their solution as the superior choice.  Subsequently, it is important to not only understand the features and benefits of the product or service but also craft a compelling narrative that resonates with the intended target audience. Without this strategic approach, you may find yourself resorting to generic messaging that fails to articulate why your solution is the best option. In the absence of a plan, the competitive landscape becomes a daunting challenge rather than an opportunity for strategic positioning.

Optimized Resource Allocation

Launching a new software solution demands substantial resources, including time, money, and manpower. Without a marketing plan, ISVs risk inefficient resource allocation, leading to wasted efforts and missed opportunities. A well-structured plan provides a roadmap for allocating resources effectively, enabling your business to achieve the highest ROI.

Moreover, optimized resource allocation involves budgeting for various marketing channels, such as digital advertising, content marketing, public relations, and events. Subsequently, you can prioritize channels based on the preferences and behaviors of your specific target audience. For example, if the audience primarily engages with social media like LinkedIn, allocating resources to a robust social media campaign may yield better results than investing in traditional advertising channels.

Lastly, with a well-thought-out marketing plan in place, you can set realistic and measurable goals, enabling the success of your efforts to be tracked effectively. Without predefined metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs), it becomes challenging to evaluate the return on investment and make data-driven decisions for future marketing endeavors.


Launching a new software solution without a marketing plan is a critical mistake that can jeopardize the success of even the most innovative products. The three key aspects discussed – Audience Awareness and Engagement, Competitive Differentiation, and Optimized Resource Allocation – highlight the significance of adopting a strategic approach to marketing.

By investing time and effort in creating a comprehensive marketing plan from the early stages of development, your business can position itself for a successful solution launch, creating awareness and fostering loyalty among your target audience in a highly competitive ISV business landscape.

Liz Lemarchand

Liz Lemarchand is the Chief Operating Officer of MediaDev, a global IT marketing firm. She has 20 years of marketing experience and provides strategic counsel to software vendors both large and small.

Originally Appeared Here

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