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?
- 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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