Smart Idea 2: Create Differentiation
9th February 2016
Our recently published white paper: 7 Smart Ideas to Grow your SaaS Business contains leading edge information on how to grow your SaaS business. Here we look at one of the ideas:
Smart Idea 2 : Create Differentiation
Whichever metric you select, growing your business means acquiring new customers and this rests on standing out in a crowded marketplace. As obvious as it may sound, the world of SaaS is usually populated with many similar products – and their features are easy to copy.
To maximise market share, your business needs to have its own unique differentiator. There are a number of USPs that you can aspire to, however some have their drawbacks:
- BE THE BIGGEST – Fairly self-explanatory, but there can only be one biggest SaaS company in the market (great news if that’s you!) and there tends to be a lot of financial investment involved in becoming that company
- BE THE CHEAPEST – Again, not necessarily the best metric to select, as this approach tends to devalue your product and creates price wars that drive down your profit margin. Also, as with the biggest, there can only be one cheapest provider on the market
- HAVE THE BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE – This is a very powerful metric but great customer service must be an ongoing experience to reap the full long-term benefits. There are marketing materials you can use to support this journey such as customer case studies, testimonials and real user reviews, which all demonstrate your credentials
- BE THE MOST INNOVATIVE – Another powerful metric, but a demanding one also. Staying at the forefront means always pushing the boundaries, being the first to release new features and driving up service standards – which can be time and resource intensive
- FOCUS ON KEY BENEFITS – Standing out doesn’t have to mean your entire package is the best on the market. Your software may be the easiest to get started, the fastest, or the most complex; the key is to identify what USP attracts customers to your business and build a product, sales and marketing strategy around it
- HAVE THE BEST MARKETING – Even if you’ve identified another key differentiator, investment in marketing is key to raising your profile and increasing lead generation. There are a number of ways you can achieve marketing success such as creating and distributing content that establishes yourself as a thought leader, optimising your website to secure the best conversion rate, or spending the most on Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising
- FOCUS ON A NICHE – Focus on a niche – being original is not solely about your business
output. There’s a great opportunity for you to specialise in a specific market. For example there are a number of online booking platforms on the market, but you could niche this to an industry for example yoga instructors, photographers or another popular community with a strong web presence
Be aware though, that the differentiator you select will dictate where activity is focused across your business. So, for example if you choose a product USP, the product team will take centre stage. If it’s customer service, that becomes a company-wide initiative. If you choose marketing, ultimately focus will be on the marketing department.