SaaS Marketing Blog

Marketing lessons from SaaStock17


26th September 2017

I had the pleasure of attending SaaStock17 in Dublin last week alongside 1,500 other members of the SaaS community. In between the Guinness, networking and parties there were a number of insights and lessoned I learnt from a marketing perspective:

  • There are three typical stages of a SaaS business, and marketing tactics and a marketing team is different at each stage:
    • Product/market fit
    • Search of repeatable and profitable growth
    • Scale the business
  • Product/market fit
    • Pick one target market/single use case
    • Positioning and messaging is essential:
      • Messaging should be clear, simple, short and explain why it is different
      • Use a comparable statement to well known brands where you can
    • Consider very tiny niches
    • Ask are you solving a big or small problem? And do you need to convince people of the problem or not?
    • What is your differentiable feature?
  • Retention!
    • Most of the sales and marketing focus in a SaaS business is in acquiring leads and customers and there is not enough focus on retaining customers. Whilst having a great product is a good start retention programmes should be considered and how marketing, sales and customer support/success teams can support that
  • David Skok is one of the big believers in a 3:1 LTV to CAC ratio. He’s typically said you should recover CAC (customer acquisition cost) within 12 months, however is now seeing 18 months as being more realistic
    • On that point a general comment from speakers is CAC is getting higher
  • Think of the buyer journey and decisions/thought process each person is making in detail and what content there can be at each point:
    • A buyer is likely to be looking at a few competitors at the same time, so have a competitor matrix
    • ROI will be a question people ask so have an ROI calculator
    • And so on
  • In the early days of SaaS most businesses had 2 marketing channels, now there are 10+, however this is starting to steady off
  • Net promotor score is very important
  • Content marketing
    • This is a very successful tactic when done right. Intercom mentioned this as its best marketing channel, and this was echoed by other speakers
    • Think about highly engaging, unique content. This may be cheat sheets, longer content, analytical studies etc.
    • Consider series like a weekly blog/newsletter (think MOZ and Whiteboard Friday) or a regular interview series, in the same format
    • Imagine content marketing as a big wheel – it takes a lot of time to get going but when it does it can get great results
  • Some tips for marketing SaaS products to SMEs
    • Look to get a viral loop (like with Dropbox)
    • Freemium is still viable
    • Cross sell new products when you can
    • Build a channel
    • Offer great customer support
    • It takes time! Look at the big SaaS companies selling to SMEs – they weren’t overnight successes!
  • Consider payments as another revenue stream
  • Outbound email marketing is still highly relevant (ignore the naysayers saying email marketing is dead)
    • Personalised emails with one CTA and then follow ups work best
    • GDPR will/may change this in the EU (but that doesn’t stop you emailing in the US or other non-EU centuries)
  • There was an interesting talk by Drift on personalising marketing. There are a lot of new tools that if integrated together can personalise the whole marketing funnel, for example:
    • Pre-target people before they receive an email from you
    • Use a visitor’s IP address to predict better prospects and personalise your website to them
    • Score leads when you just have an email address to personalise the lead nurturing flow
  • Stay true to your positioning throughout your journey!

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