Marketing software problem
My product is ready for market and I'm researching marketing strategies. It turns conventional software marketing on its head. There are very good reasons, so bear with me as I explain.
My product is a total top-to-bottom rewrite and now requires high speed internet to access it. It runs on my server, I take full responsibility for maintenance, backup and service, thus relieving my end users the IT headaches they formerly had to shoulder. But the greater motivator for my end users is that they now get access from any location, any computer, 24/7 so long as they have a wide fast pipe to the net.
Because it's now a service, no longer a standalone product, I'm switching to a monthly service fee. The former flat fee structure is gone.
The product is a CRM for small biz, specifically small entrepreneurs (typically under 25 individuals associated with the company) where they need to work with their customers and prospects to mature a purchasing decision (sort through complex technical and/or financial factors). Therefore track customer discussions over a lengthy period, schedule follow up calls, assign tasks to colleagues on behalf of the customer, etc. And my users need to be able to do it from home, from a convention floor, an airport lounge, hotel, cyber café, etc. I'm sure almost everyone here knows this drill.
While developing this beast I've been assuming the most obvious way to find my target market has been through the internet. Hook onto those who are searching for a product like mine. I'm sure they're out there. There always are.
Going into this project I recognized it would be pointless to research the technical details of doing this before writing the code. The net is constantly changing, and radically. What was true six months ago is less so now, and much much less a year or two years ago.
The principle remains -- find those who themselves are seeking this solution, especially those who are urgent to find a solution. Who tend to be small, seat-of-the-pants entrepreneurs whose existing solution is either non-existent or wildly inadequate or badly broken. Therefore they're actively searching the net for someone like me.
Of course I recognize there's lots of CRMs out there already, including the hosted kind like mine. But the bulk of them are big and expensive bruisers really designed for much larger markets than mine.
Google AdWords would appear to be the most likely tool. But the big boys have already soaked up (or at least appear to have) the best keywords at $3 to $12.50 per click.
Anyone here have knowledge and/or experience useful in this quest? Your thoughts?