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SaaS Marketing Playbook_ What’s Worked (and what hasn’t)

SaaS Marketing Playbook: What’s Worked (and What hasn’t)

When it comes to SaaS marketing, there is no “right” answer. Even though many people will say there is.

In a world full of fluff and content overload, we wanted to shine a light on some of our strategies and tactics. Now just because they have worked for us, doesn’t mean they will necessarily work for you. Before you implement anything, always do more research and add your own spin to it.

The best part about marketing is that many people can have the same idea, but they will execute it differently!

Reminder, these are targeted toward smaller SaaS companies. However, the strategy behind it can be applied to any company regardless of size.

 

First Major Step = Sales + Marketing

Before you can make any progress on the marketing strategy, you need to ensure your sales and marketing teams are on the same page. It doesn’t matter how good your SaaS marketing playbook is, it will still have issues if your sales team isn’t on board.

Here is where we started:
  • Quarterly/monthly brainstorming & strategy meetings
  • CRM contact and company process
  • Lead scoring & handoff process
  • Email coordination and differentiating a sales vs. marketing email
  • A/B test any tactics that we disagreed on
  • Communicated ideas and unique content we’ve seen through slack,

Of course, nothing is perfect. But if you learn to establish trust and be there to assist each other – it makes teamwork much easier. If your sales team cold calls and they use any call intelligence tools, you’ll find out right away if your teams align or not.

A marketer and a salesperson are more similar than they realize. When you put your resources together, it will produce more revenue. And that is always the end goal for any company.

 

What’s Worked in SaaS Marketing

This is a reminder that this is what has worked for our company and we hope it can help you.

Forums/Organic Social/Podcasts

This is absolutely the first thing we would do regardless of if you know the market you’re selling towards or not.

Understand what people are talking about. What are the pain points? What are people trying to solve?

Create a document and keep track of what trends you are seeing.

This will help create a better path forward when it comes to your SaaS marketing strategy.

Who are your competitors and how is your product different?

This is where Google Sheets or Excel come in very handy. Start capturing as much information as possible. Understanding the marketplace and how your product is changing the current ecosystem will be an immediate win.

A side note on this – see how your product language differs from the competition and you can even build off this with your prospect research.

For example, we were calling a part of our software “Frameworks”. This is great, but then we realized “Playbooks” was used much more often and we made a change to make it easier to understand from the consumer perspective.

What are you offering?

So simple right? You have a price point and this is what you get.

Wrong.

Can you offer a faster time to value than your competition? What is the benefit of someone choosing your product today?

Your offer needs to reflect that. Make their time to value and sacrifice as close to zero as possible.

Do things that aren’t scalable

Write personalized emails.

Create personalized videos asking for reviews.

Design niche audience ads and test which work.

Host meetings with new people to get to them even if there is nothing in it for you.

Don’t be afraid to try something different with your SaaS marketing – you can always worry about scaling it later. The most important thing is that you get it to work first.

Create content often

Starting your content journey early will have more benefits than just a Google search. It gives your company thought leadership around topics.

Write about what you know and how it applies to your company. Teach people through your content and give them valuable resources to reference.

Then distribute it. Don’t just post once. Call out different takeaways and refresh the content every so often.

 

What Hasn’t Worked in SaaS Marketing

We’ve all been there. Had this great idea and then face plant. Nothing. All that money is spent trying to create demand, but it fails. Hopefully, we can help you after learning about our mistakes.

Pivoting too often

While we would love to say that we know exactly when to pivot and when to stay, no one does. But we can tell you that pivoting too fast is a real thing. Changing your message every week is NOT good. Changing your design every week is NOT good. Your prospects have to see your company multiple times to even start subconsciously recognizing you.

While you might say, duh we know this. But when you’re in the startup world selling call intelligence and call coaching software like us, every day you spend money and don’t see a return is not a good feeling. Your runway becomes shorter and you’re one day closer to having to find a new job.

But with that in mind, you have to be patient. Slight tweaks every few weeks have done much better for us in terms of a return on ad spend.

Watch, but don’t follow your competition

It’s always important to know what’s happening on the marketing front with your competitors. Especially for us in the call intelligence and call coaching world, technology develops so fast.

However, just because they do something doesn’t mean you need to do it too. Every company is unique and embrace that!

For example, we saw this brilliant ad from a competitor on LinkedIn. And we immediately said, “we need to do something like that”. Well, guess what… it didn’t work at all for us.

Why? Because we had no brand recognition around that messaging, we didn’t do any content generation and created no demand around that. Lesson learned.

Unfocused drip campaign

Writing emails can be a pain in the a**. We can’t be the only ones that think so?!?

Not taking the time to create segmented drip campaigns created no return from our email campaigns. So all of the work we did went down the drain because we didn’t spend that extra couple of hours segmenting our data and message better.

Be cautious of influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is great and can be super helpful when it comes to B2B SaaS marketing. But it can also bite you in the a**. Only align with people that truly believe in what you’re doing and there is a mutual connection.

Some people will promote anything for money and you will get nothing in return for that.

Plus it’s so common nowadays that most people don’t buy into it anymore. People can tell when someone truly loves a product vs. when they are getting paid to promote it.

 

What’s your SaaS marketing playbook look like?

We hope this helped and inspired you to write about your own successes and failures. Marketing (and sales) is definitely not easy. Create demand by being truthful and focused on solving problems for those who can benefit from your software the most.

So whether you’re one of our competitors in the call intelligence or call coaching space or in a completely different SaaS focus, go out there and try something new. You either learn or earn.

Author

Clare Dobson - VP of Marketing

With experience from SaaS to home services to non-profits, Clare has built proven marketing strategies for various customers. She is passionate about the customer’s success as well as empowering those around her each and everyday.