What is SaaS Marketing
For many companies, it is still unclear what is SaaS marketing, which causes them to miss out on lots of potential benefits. Specialists are not entirely sure, either. They may not be exactly sure how to market this kind of product or measure the effectiveness of the campaign, but they know that SaaS marketing exists and can help generate sales.
What is Saas Marketing? Saas or software as a service, has now become the preferred model for delivering technology solutions to businesses. This model employs SaaS marketing which takes many forms.
SaaS marketing is your customer acquisition strategy, which will incorporate both inbound and outbound marketing. It’s an effective approach to making sure that you’re able to drive qualified traffic through to your landing page so that they can convert. SaaS marketing also involves distribution, retargeting, content marketing, email marketing and lead nurturing.
What is SaaS Marketing
Software as a service (SaaS) is a model for software where the client obtains access to the software electronically rather than physically installing it on their local computer. Instead of downloading and installing the software, they log into a website that provides the software.
SaaS is attractive to businesses because it saves them money and space by eliminating the need for large, expensive data centers and software that need to be installed locally. Clients access the software via the Internet.
SaaS software usually requires less maintenance than software installed locally, since upgrades, patches, and new versions are all handled automatically by the provider.
There are advantages and disadvantages to SaaS.
- Easy to upgrade
- No software to download or install
- Automatic updates
- No backups to worry about
- Some businesses need more control over the software they use
- Some businesses need the software installed locally
- Harder to track usage and manage licenses
- Some businesses may be unwilling to give up local installs of software
Therefore, the answer to the question “what is SaaS marketing?” lies in the way it differs from conventional marketing. The marketing of software as a service (SaaS) is different from other kinds of software marketing. For one thing, it’s no longer just about selling the software itself. You sell a service, and a successful SaaS offering is a service people can use, not just another piece of software.
Thus SaaS marketing is the strategy a SaaS company employs in order to market their services/products to their potential clients.
What is the goal of SaaS marketing
Selling software is a complicated business. The software itself has to be good enough; it has to provide a solution to a problem, and it has to be easy to use. But by itself, the software is just a tool. To sell the software, you have to convince other people that they need it, and convince them to buy it from you. What is it that you are offering that others in the market aren’t?
Selling software is tricky because, although most people know they need help with computer problems, most have no idea what kind of help they need. The trouble, of course, is that most SaaS companies don’t advertise. They are either too small or too young or too new to be interested in advertising to people. So they rely on word of mouth.
But word of mouth is unreliable. With rare exceptions, if a friend tells you about a piece of software, it’s because he likes it. If he doesn’t, he won’t tell you about it. And since friends don’t all like the same software and don’t always tell about the software they like, you can’t be sure which software your friends like. This is a serious problem. You can’t sell software just by word of mouth.
But it is even worse than that. Word of mouth doesn’t work for software because the software doesn’t sell itself. The software market is dominated by a small number of big companies: Microsoft, Apple, Google, Intuit, Adobe, and so on. The problem is not that these companies control the market; they control the market because most people don’t know enough to realize that anyone else exists.
The software market is dominated by a handful of big companies because smaller software companies have few ways of reaching potential customers. SaaS companies can’t use extensive advertising. They can’t use trade shows and conventions. They can’t use direct mail. They are too small or too young or too new for any of these. And they can’t use websites. Web sites are expensive to maintain.
The panacea to all these issues with budding, new, young, or small software businesses is to use SaaS marketing. Using it, you will be able to sell your software to a large number of people and reach more of your client base, than with word-of-mouth.
The key to successful SaaS Marketing
Now that we understand what is SaaS marketing, let’s move on to its other aspects. A company selling SaaS software has a number of advantages over a company selling packaged software. But the most important one is that its software is always changing. So in order to properly understand what is SaaS marketing, and to truly succeed in it, one needs to understand that SaaS entails:
- No packaged software changes: it changes only when a new version comes out. But most SaaS software changes all the time because it keeps getting new features or fixing bugs. This constant change means that marketing for SaaS is harder, and has to be more and more targeted.
- At its best, marketing for SaaS is genuinely personalized: A customer gets an email about new features or bug fixes based on their actual use. It tells them things that the company knows that the customer wants to know. Even though there are high chances that customer is unaware that the company already knows about the issues faced by the customers.
The personalized nature of SaaS marketing means that companies need better data so that they can keep getting better. The best SaaS companies are using data they collect on every customer to turn themselves into marketing geniuses.
One way companies learn from data is when they collect it. They pay people to fill out surveys, visit a website, or try out a free trial. When they do this, they are giving away data, and companies are learning more and more about their customers.
Another way to use data is to analyze it. Companies are starting to use statistical software that lets them find patterns in data. For example, somebody could ask, “How many customers who signed up for a trial are still customers?” and software could then find patterns in that data that lead to an answer.
A third way to use data is to try to get it from third-party providers. This is harder than using data already collected, but it’s the only way to get data that can’t be collected voluntarily. Companies are starting to buy data about their customers. For example, if a company knows who its customers are, it can contact other companies that specialize in data collection and buy data about their customers from them.
Growing SaaS Marketing business
Now that we are well aware of what is SaaS marketing and its advantages, disadvantages, etc. the next logical step is how to grow it and sustain the SaaS marketing business.
As SaaS businesses grow, they need to get bigger and bigger customers, which they can do more easily if they build better relationships with existing customers. But the relationships that are hardest to build are those with business customers. Business customers tend to be big, and big customers do not like to be bothered by small suppliers. So SaaS businesses need to find ways of selling to business customers without bothering them.
The easiest way is to sell to business customers is through their smaller partners. If you can manage to market yourself and build a relationship with these partners, they will recommend you to these big business customers. So building trust with business customers is dependent on building trust with partners. This works well if the partner is not competing with the SaaS business and you can be of great service to them.
As a SaaS business grows, it gains more trust and more potential partners, and so it becomes more capable to compete with big software companies. The SaaS business’s clients become its partners, increasing the number of potential partners. It is a chain that has to be nurtured and grown using appropriate SaaS marketing techniques.
Main aspects of SaaS Marketing
There are 4 parts that work together to make SaaS Marketing successful:
1. The features of your product are compelling
2. The features are well implemented
3. The features are well integrated
4. The features have an intuitive user experience
The problem with any SaaS company is that it’s very difficult to make money, especially early on. After all, getting customers is the easy part. It’s dealing with their payments, getting them set up, getting them using the software, and keeping them happy that is the hard part.
So any SaaS marketer has to be willing to put up with a lot of pain. But the pain is worth it. You can convince customers that you can help them if they pay you money. And if you can convince them to pay you money repeatedly, then you can help them a lot. The last step is to prove to them that if they pay you more money, you can help them make more money in return.
In simpler words, you have to deploy SaaS marketing in a manner that lets your potential clients know that if they pay you regularly and also increase their business with you, you will help increase their business in return. The SaaS marketing strategy has to be such that they can see the benefits of building a long-term partnership with you.
So here’s the basic formula of SaaS marketing:
1. Find a problem your customers have
2. Find a way to solve it better
3. Charge them money for it
4. Help them make more money
5. Rinse and repeat
The best way to market your Saas Product
Now that we have the answer to what is SaaS marketing, we dive into how to do it. The best way to market your Saas product is to make sure it works. There are a bunch of ways to evaluate if your Saas product is any good. Do your beta testers like it? Do they find it useful? Does it help them do their jobs? Can they explain it to their colleagues?
The answers you get from beta testers are not necessarily the best answers, but it is the best you’ve got when it comes to checking if your product is working or not. Beta testers might want to tell their friends about your product or service if they like it. The information provided by the beta testers might not be the most reliable information when it comes to growing your business. Thus you will have to use SaaS marketing.
Sometimes marketing is artful, and sometimes it isn’t. If a friend tells you about a product or service that proves useful and that’s only a little bit expensive, you might be tempted to buy it. If a friend tells you about a product or service that is a little bit expensive, but that’s very useful, you might buy it. But, if a friend tells you about a product or service that is a little bit expensive, and that’s kind of useless, you might not even consider looking at that software, let alone buy it.
Marketing is all about making the right first impression. Marketing is the art of presenting your Saas product in a way that convinces people to try it. To make a decision about whether to buy it. And to decide whether or not to tell your friends about it. If you market your Saas product well, your friends will tell their friends about it. If your marketing is not artful, your friends might not tell their friends about it.
SaaS Marketing Metrics
SAAS marketing metrics, (or service metrics), are a set of metrics that measure key performance indicators (KPIs) of software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies. These KPIs are used to measure the company’s performance, and to compare its performance to its competitors.
There are two key performance indicators/metrics that SaaS companies monitor:
1. Monthly recurring revenue (MRR): Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) is a key indicator of growth for SaaS companies. It indicates how much money is coming in each month. For growth-stage companies, the aim is to increase MRR every month and reduce customer churn month over month.
2. Customer churn: Customer churn is the measurement of customers who have stopped using your product.
Other than these two metrics, the next most important SaaS marketing metric is acquiring paying customers. Not users. Not trialists. Not subscribers. Paying customers. Other SaaS marketing metrics are important, too. For instance, traffic, page views, and time on site are important. But, in almost all cases, it is far more important to attract paying users than it is to attract non-paying users.
The importance of paying customers is why SaaS metrics are sometimes called “monetization” metrics. For SaaS companies that want to build a sustainable business, customer acquisition and retention must become the most important metrics. Every other metric can be compared to customer acquisition and retention.
Thus, using these metrics over time, any SaaS marketing company can analyze what marketing strategies have worked and generated a higher MRR. Likewise, they can also analyze the marketing strategies that have proven effective in reducing customer churn. Understanding these SaaS marketing metrics is as important as understanding what is SaaS marketing.
The mistakes to avoid in SaaS marketing
In 2017, the research firm CB Insights published a report “Don’t Do These 68 Things in Your SaaS Company” which asked SaaS CEOs about their biggest mistakes. The most common answers:
- Not pricing right
- Not marketing enough
- Not integrating their sales and marketing
- Not focusing on the customer
- Not understanding their business model
- Not executing their business plan
- Not being customer-centric
- Not hiring the right people
- Not keeping the team happy
- Not having a strong CEO
- Not having a clear and proven business model
- Not having a strong board of directors
Now that you are well aware of What is SaaS marketing and the ways in which to grow your SaaS business, the common mistakes to avoid, and the best strategies to use. It would seem like your SaaS business is ready for take-off. SaaS marketing is still in its nascent stage, and as the world moves online with every passing year. The opportunities are going to grow by leaps and bounds.