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Marketing For Bootstrapping It Firm In India
2/12/2018 at 12:49 AM ET
I have just joined a bootstrapping IT firm as partner. Now the company provides a number of services like web development, app development, and ERPs etc and has many solutions like management softwares for School, Hospitals and Restaurants etc.
Basis profitability and competition points of view, I would like to focus on ERPs and the ready solutions and not on web/app development. Now the question is that with limited money, how do I run campaigns for awareness and lead generation for these individual services/solutions? This company is in Jaipur- a non-metro tier-1 city of India fyi.
As of now, my plan is to start with School Management system, generate leads from cold calling the decision makers(free of cost), pitch our solutions to them and get some money. Use that money to create visibility using FB and google ads (for other solutions too). Plus, some BTL stuff (standees, brochures in newspapers) in office/school areas. After that, we can start going to events which we can use to increase awareness about our brand as well as for networking. What do you experts think? What else I can do?
2/12/2018 at 8:44 AM
Focus narrowly on a niche, and become the expert on their types of needs. Then, leverage your niche expertise on another niche. Trying to do everything for everyone is a recipe for failure with limited resources.
2/12/2018 at 9:15 AM
As you focus on your niche, as Jay has recommended, if you are working hard and meeting lots of people, you will most likely turn up some opportunities outside of your focus. I would try to identify some similar but not competitive companies, companies currently focused on a similar but distinct niche or geography, so that you can refer opportunities to each other.
2/16/2018 at 12:38 AM
Thanks Jay and Telemoxie for taking our time to read my question and for your suggestions. I am now clear that I am right in focusing on one solution at a time. As mentioned in my post, I have decided to focus on school-related software first.
I was actually looking for your opinion on the marketing plan that I have chosen. We did cold calling but did not get a single appointment. I personally sent e-mails to principals, but those are hardly effective. So from next week, we will be doing walk-ins and meeting decision-makers in local schools without an appointment. This will be followed by FB, Google and then remarketing ads. Post that, more f2f meetings and maybe BTL.
2/16/2018 at 8:18 AM
Given you've tried to reach out to principals with zero response, I don't imagine that simply showing up will produce any better results for you. Instead, have you met with a group of principals to understand what their needs are, what their buying cycle is, and how/why they'd consider switching to an unknown system such as yours? These types of meetings are called "informational interviews" and the purpose isn't to sell (to talk), it's to learn (to listen). Once you know more about their timing needs and decision making, you can market in that timeframe. It may also be the case that you need to market to the school board, rather than the principal. FB may be appropriate for the school, but it may be better to use professional school journals/newsletters, etc.
2/17/2018 at 9:50 AM
If your outreach attempts so far have resulted in zero appointments, I would ask, "what is your offer?"
The most valuable thing people have is their time. You are asking them to give some to you. Once they give it to you, they can never get it back, it is gone.
What are you offering people in exchange for their time?
In my opinion, you should offer something free, which will be of value to those you meet with, whether they decide to do business with your company or not. In my opinion, a free offer should be something of such value which any reasonable person in your target market would accept if they had all the facts.
And if you are successful in getting appointments, you should be there to learn, not to teach. They are the experts, you are the student. They run the show, you are the servant and worker. The object of the appointment is not for you to impart some wisdom or knowledge, but for you to better and more fully understand the problems and opportunities from their point of view.
2/18/2018 at 1:21 AM
@Jay - Thanks for the ideas. Will surely work on those. This week we are going for walk-ins (without an appointment). In India, this still works better than cold calling. I talked to 3 entrepreneurs who are into school-related products and all vouch for that. The issue with cold calling is that you are an unknown face and the receptions act as a major barrier so the principals/ sr.teachers/admin/IT heads etc (relevant for decision making here) could never hear our proposition.
@telemoxie - We are offering a free demo of our system on their campus + free 60 days trial period. The problem is the people who will appreciate this offer are out of our reach as we could barely get past the doorkeepers.
2/18/2018 at 8:49 AM
In my humble opinion, the reason you cannot get past the gatekeepers is because you have a lousy offer.
In order to get appointments, you have to offer someone something they want, not something they don't want, not something they have no interest in, not something they will try to avoid.
Top executives hire gatekeepers to prevent people from doing demonstrations and telling about their software and offering free 90 day trials.
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