Marketing a SaaS offering is unique – so we’ve compiled the top 5 SaaS marketing mistakes to avoid. Most of these mistakes can be avoided by getting stakeholders in the right mindset – approaching marketing much like they do software development.
All SaaS companies are inherently “tech” companies. With teams of coders planning, building, releasing and scaling software solutions and marketers charged with selling these solutions to others to make their lives, jobs, or workflows smarter, easier, more efficient and profitable.
So, why is it that some SaaS companies don’t apply the same rigor to their digital marketing efforts? Think about it, if these companies would plan their digital, build the tests, release them and then scale those that work – they’d hone in on the combination of platforms, strategies, messaging and creative to drive the elusive results they’re looking for, faster.
Here are the top 5 SaaS marketing mistakes to avoid:
1. Poor Understanding of Your Buyer
The very best way to drive results is by understanding who your buyer is. Spend the time developing your buyer personas, try to identify:
- where they go for their news and information
- what social media they consume
- who they view as thought leaders
- what influences them
If you’ve been marketing for a while, you’ve probably got some great first party data that could really help you. Jump into your CRM and figure out who’s bought from you, take that data and import it into publishers to create lookalike audiences. Look at your web analytics and create audiences based on user behavior. You’ve got a much better chance of closing a website visitor who went to your website and viewed a solution page along with the pricing page, then you do chasing net new prospects all the time.
2. Content Creation Based on Intuition
Relying on what you intuitively know about your buyer and guessing at what content you believe will be most interesting to users will only get you so far. Sophisticated content creators map out their prospects’ online customer journey and research search trends to uncover the topics and questions that prospects are actually asking via search and have significant volumes of searches behind them.
By matching these search queries to the customer journey and understanding what content is currently ranking and being rewarded by Google in the top positions, you now have a recipe for content marketing that is data-driven and ensures you’re answering the right questions in the most favorable way possible.
3. Not Using an Insights Mindset
One of the biggest mistakes to avoid is to solely grade your digital program on KPIs, instead of KPIs + insights. The way to get the most out of your digital marketing program is to have a dual lens. One lens needs to track hard KPIs like number of leads, demos, trials and closed won deals – whatever that series of KPIs is that builds towards revenue.
But, judging your digital program by KPIs alone is where SaaS companies depart from their “tech” company DNA. Much like users can help a product improve by making suggestions, or finding bugs – the most overlooked value of a digital marketing program is the insights that can be gained from tactics, strategies, platforms and combinations of messaging, pricing and creative that didn’t work as expected.
Switching to an insights mindset allows:
- learning and insights to come from plans that work and those that don’t work
- for testing and experimentation to happen in an agreed upon framework
- a marketer to use 10-20% of the budget to try new platforms, campaign and ad types, messaging, landing page UX and pricing models
With an insights mindset you’ll begin to hone in on what prospects most want to see, hear and see as well as what platforms can deliver the best ROI. That is why this shift in mindset makes our top 5 SaaS marketing mistakes to avoid.
4. Under Leveraging Automation
You’d think SaaS companies would be adopting and leveraging all the automation tools and software available to help them grow and drive results, right? Wrong, when most marketers think of automation, they’re thinking of platforms like:
These are high-powered tools, but many times only 25% of the total feature set is ever actually used. So, if you’re going with these platforms, make the investment of people and time to get the most out of them.
However, marketers must begin to expand their definition of automation beyond these major platforms. Many believe the future of automation can be found in no-code tools and integrations. Think Zapier or Typform. Fluency with these new tools allows you to completely customize and automate tasks and jobs for:
- targeted outreach
- list building
- email address acquisition
- lead nurturing
All of these automations can lead to improved sales performance and enhanced productivity.
5. Marketing Data That Stops At The Lead
The reality is that most marketers haven’t completely closed the loop on their data. Many can tell you how many leads, or demos, or trials they’re driving with their efforts. However, very few have actually connected their website data all the way through to their CRM. This is called Closed Loop Analytics, and what it allows you to do is take actual closed won deals and import them back into Google Analytics so you can see where the actual revenue comes from and you can begin justifying campaign strategies and budgets because you’ve got proof of what led to the actual sale and how much that sale is worth.
Imagine being able to say our Spring 2020 Facebook campaign cost us $50,000 – but was directly responsible for over $1,500,000 in revenue. There isn’t a CEO that wouldn’t double down on that type of ROI. But, until you’ve got Closed Loop Analytics providing the data you need to have those conversations – you’re left to defend your leads, form fills, calls, demos and trials.
Ok, there you have it. The top 5 SaaS marketing mistakes to avoid. By turning your digital marketing into a tech focused powerhouse, where you’re building audiences and creating content based on data, where you’re looking beyond KPIs and are deriving insights from a testing methodology and mindset, where you’re leveraging automation to improve performance and productivity and finally closing the loop on your data – you’ll be sure to drive the elusive results you’re looking for, faster.
Do you have a mistake that you believe belongs in the Top 5 SaaS Marketing Mistakes To Avoid? Contact us and let’s chat about it.