Whilst 2020 was overwhelmingly defined by one thing, there was a silver lining for many SaaS businesses with many commentators speculating that SaaS adoption was brought forwards by years in just a couple of months, as a lot of the world went into lockdown last Spring.
2021 has started in the same way for many people, with vaccines starting to be rolled out, we can start to look forwards with a bit more certainty.
Here are 10 predictions we see for SaaS marketing in 2021:
The big winners in 2020 were Zoom and Slack, both who have PLG/freemium packages. As other vendors like HubSpot continue to add more to their free offerings, this is fast becoming a key marketing strategy for SaaS vendors selling to small, SME and medium sized businesses.
With SaaS getting ever more commoditised, standing out and staying modern and competitive is critical. Whilst you may have been the first SaaS product to target a sector, as competitors catch up it’s important to have an up-to-date value proposition.
Many SaaS products pivoted to adapt their product to people working from home or needing to come back to work safely. With this trend here to stay expect this to continue and increase in 2021. Marketing needs to follow with relevant campaigns, messaging and content.
No longer do people need to live or commute into central hubs like London or San Francisco. No longer do you need to employ local people. This isn’t new to some SaaS businesses (our first SaaS client in 2009 was virtual) but for everyone else it is now clear how this can work and how it’s effective. Expect Zoom and collaboration tools to remain the norm. For your marketing department – your team, agencies and partners can also be distributed.
The no-code movement is growing quickly. It’s easier than even to launch and test a SaaS product with an MVP. Marketing still needs to be thought through and targeted as this blog on marketing when launching a new product explores.
The business world adapted quickly to virtual events in 2020 and they are here to stay. Whilst in-person events are likely to slowly make a comeback in the second half of 2021, expect virtual events to stay around and hybrid events (a mixture of in-person and virtual) to become common.
More competitors, clients needing to cut costs, CAC increasing, jitters from a recession. All this means the longer you keep your current customers the better. Don’t just let customers renew every month and that’s it – look after them, delight them and keep them happy!
A constant in this set of predictions is SaaS is getting more competitive. We are seeing in our experience SaaS businesses targeting niches more – this may mean certain industries, types of business or locations targeted.
Despite what naysayers say content marketing is not dead. Written content still has its place, as long as it is high quality and fills a purpose, videos are still popular, and podcasts continue to grow in popularity. Interactive content may become the new big thing in 2021. This includes content like quizzes, ROI calculators and interactive infographics.
Many SaaS businesses needed to be more flexible with pricing in 2020. Whether this was monthly/annual prices, payment terms, adding elements in for free or more negotiations. Expect this to continue in 2021 as many customers will remain price conscious. Haven’t reviewed your pricing strategy for a while? Put that on your to do list for this year.
Xander Marketing has helped over 150 B2B SaaS businesses grow revenue, sales and leads with outsourced marketing since 2009.
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