January 16, 2017
Should I build my marketing team in-house, or ship it out to a designated SaaS marketing agency? A question pretty much all SaaS business owners come up against when starting the journey of getting their offer in front of the right audience.
And it’s probably why you’re here right now.
Am I right?
Look, there are many different, yet valid reasons to outsource your software-as-a-service (SaaS) business to a highly skilled, performance driven SaaS marketing agency.
When it comes to scaling, it’s a tricky issue that can become damaging to even the strongest of SaaS companies if done incorrectly.
In a nutshell, building SaaS product is cheaper than ever today: From hardware to software.
The rising market demand of software, preferably, mobile solutions makes it easier than ever to get initial traction.
The Elephant in the room, however, is the realisation that your product was first and foremost probably focused to solve a problem for a relatively small share of the addressable market.
Therefore, your product must be either so good that the virality levels are well above the norm resulting in an as-close-to-zero acquisition cost - or you do your due diligence and find the right agency to help strategize and support your growth.
The following 4 questions are all things we ask the SaaS businesses we work with to identify whether or not we can help them scale.
I hope you’ll find them useful.
I can’t stress this enough.
Strategy was, is, and will always be the cornerstone of any successful business.
So let’s assume you want to scale your SaaS but you don’t have a clearly defined, long-term strategy that your whole team believe and are ready to go the extra mile to deliver...
At Clickverta, we start by defining the perfect customer for your SaaS by diving deep into filtering their most prominent needs.
The best way to ensure your scale-up campaigns have the best chance of success, is to develop a Buyer Persona that represents your ideal customer.
In fact, HubSpot has an interactive way to build one for yourself.
By developing the right personas we can effectively align our marketing plan with all ongoing activities and all resources to invest into people that actually fit your SaaS profile.
You simply can’t scale your SaaS if you haven’t figured out which segments of the market are ready to pay for it.
Peter Drucker said it best when he said: “What gets measured improves.”
For a successful SaaS business that wants to scale you need S.M.A.R.T. goals. If you’re unfamiliar with S.M.A.R.T. goals, they’re defined as:
So what’s your focus? Is it low churn, or low CPA?
Maybe you’ve been calculating CAC incorrectly from the very beginning?
While all parts are crucial to set goals successfully, for SaaS business, “Measurability” is the most important aspect of focus.
Being able to correctly measure specific metrics can either make or break a campaign - and it’s most often the cause of a campaign destined for good things to be switched off and binned prematurely.
The chances are, your current in-house marketing team might not have the bandwidth or expertise to calculate and improve your overall ROMI (Return-Of-Marketing-Investment).
The SaaS industry space is fierce, highly competitive and is the perfect definition of the famous red bloody ocean described in the best-selling Blue Ocean Strategy.
BTW: If you’re strategy guy, and you’ve not read Blue Ocean Strategy, I highly recommend you order a copy today. It’s by far one of the best books on business management and strategy for SaaS businesses - and EVERY SaaS marketing agency should have a copy on their office book shelf!
In the SaaS space, in order to become highly relevant and get your message to the right customer, you need to create a competitive advantage for yourself that’s unique to you and your product only.
From there you can then niche down to find target audiences that respond best to that unique selling point. Scalability then comes from duplicating these campaigns into new niches.
Before you know it, you’ll have a handful of highly targeted campaigns running that are super relevant to your target audience.
Like the sound of that?
Additionally, one particular feature, integration or compatibility bonus could be the one big thing you leverage to make it a no-brainer for customers to jump ship.
In other words, strive to be “the only one that does _____” rather than “one of many that do ____”. Essentially, this is about creating a highly compelling Value Proposition.
This is where a highly skilled SaaS marketing agency can come in and help define and elevate your offering to the next level.
Just think about that for a second...
If your SaaS has the best feature in the world but it’s hidden among 19 other average features that nobody's getting excited about, how will your prospects ever know about it?
You’re just the same - and then it comes down to price (which of course you should avoid at all cost)!
So you have to tell them. In the most effective way.
Most recently we’ve all seen the buzzwords and strategies that SaaS could supposedly benefit from.
But remember - that’s all they are! Buzzwords, and more often than not, rehashed strategies that have been around for decades.
That doesn’t mean they’re not useful though. I just think it’s important that you recognise them for what they are.
Take your content marketing strategy. You could implement SEM, SEO, paid media, just to name a few.
The challenge is, while new methods such as growth hacking, pop-ups, downsells, upsells (don’t even get me started on Snapchat and Instagram stories), on an almost monthly basis, your resources usually remain the same.
Furthermore, one-size never fits all. So which one to choose? The answer - you couldn’t possibly know - at least not for sure.
A team of professional, performance driven marketers run a set of structured experiments based on Buyer Personas. Learn from the data to find the best performers, and deliver your message that’s now optimised for the most rewarding channel.
From then on your business can continue to optimise that one channel (but make sure it’s a big one), just like Neil Patel does.