If your company is in the digital signage software business, and your big pitch through this trade show season and beyond is all built around what you have being simple and easy to use, you’re a dead company walking.
Scores of companies say their content management system is some variation on simple, easy, friendly and affordable. Those are great attributes. They are great boxes for potential customers to mentally tick in their search. But they are in no way unique.
I am at ISE in Amsterdam next week, and will be walking the aisles of the RAI, wandering into the exhibit stands of all kinds of unfamiliar software companies. I fully expect that when I ask a sales person about the company’s product, “simple” and “easy” and “cloud-based” will be in there within 15 seconds, at many of those exhibits.
I know this because I go to a lot of trade shows, and as trade press, I get emails everyday from companies touting their product, and using those terms.
There are, conservatively, 100+ CMS solutions out there that are SaaS-based, so working off the cloud is no revelation. If there are 600 CMS options globally (and who knows how many there really are), at least 500 of them would be cloud-based.
Simple and easy are pretty much table stakes for anyone chasing the small to medium business market. Having something simple and easy to use is certainly an aspiration for first-time buyers, but if they do ANY shopping around, they’ll discover very quickly that damn near everything they look at touts being simple and easy.
Think about marketing less on the basis of how buyers might operate your software, and more about what it’s going to do for them.
Here’s a quick canvass of some mature companies in the space, and what they say, right out of the gate:
Scala: Our solutions increase sales, support consistent and compelling branding, provide an improved overall audience experience and support your business objectives.
Omnivex: Improve employee engagement, drive safety, reduce costs, build brand awareness, market growth and improve customer experience with visual communications.
Four Winds Interactive: Use our platform as a powerful tool to connect with employees, consumers, and data touch-points through any device in any setting.
Those aren’t endorsements. They’re not advertisers. And by a lot of measures, you’d probably not call any of them overly easy to use, or all that affordable. But they’re respected and doing well – at least in part because they’re talking more about outcomes than user interfaces.
Think about what you’re pitching to buyers. Is it the same thing the next three companies down the trade show aisle are also saying? There’s likely something unique about what you offer and do, or the vertical market you serve. Figure that out, and bring that to the front of your pitch. What it is that makes you different? Better? Appropriate?
Simple and easy and affordable are all great attributes. But they can’t be the sum of your pitch.
Or you’re dead.