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Account-based marketing simply means smarter, more efficient, more effective marketing. This happens through data-driven targeting, personalized marketing tactics across multiple channels, measuring success, and continuously optimizing.
SaaS Marketing Challenges
There are a lot of challenges being revealed by 2020. Many businesses are pulling back on their budgets. Companies are freezing their hiring — and foregoing any significant changes in their infrastructure. But that doesn’t mean that SaaS marketers don’t have some opportunities, too. In fact, the opportunities presented by 2020 could outnumber the SaaS marketing challenges that are being seen.
B2B SaaS is affordable almost by definition. B2B SaaS products are almost always replacing heavier weight, more expensive on-premise solutions. The B2B SaaS definition is a managed, as-a-service product at a low subscription cost — many of which operate under a “pay as you need” or “pay as you use” model. Because these are tiered services, companies are able to reduce their budgets and improve the predictability of their expenses.
Companies need to know that B2B SaaS startups can save them money. It’s the goal of the B2B SaaS market to provide companies with better solutions, which is something they need when their budgets are shrinking and prospects are low. SaaS marketing needs to show companies that they can do more with their dollars; that they are able to reach forward and reduce their costs while still building their revenue.
2020 is only some of the challenges of SaaS companies, however. SaaS challenges also include the fact that the market has become very competitive. Some SaaS growth challenges include having to compete with other SaaS companies, having to prove value (when ROI may be unclear), and having to sell during difficult economic times. These are the most significant three reasons for SaaS struggles and challenges today.
SaaS Marketing Strategy
What’s today’s SaaS marketing strategy? The B2B SaaS business model used to be spray and pray. It was so cost-effective to simply connect with 10,000 leads and see who contacted you back that you really didn’t need to do more. But the number of leads is no longer as important as the quality of leads.
Because “spray and pray” worked for so long, people became inundated with contacts. People today get 20 B2B emails a day and start to ignore most of them. The SaaS marketing strategy template needs to change because people are increasingly ignoring advertising. But the new, smarter, targeted, efficient marketing strategies run counter to this. With the right SaaS strategic plan, marketers can instead target individuals who are genuinely interested in products.
By tapping into those who are interested in products, marketers can vastly reduce the amount of effort they need to put in, and focus on the clients that are going to bring the company the most money. As with the Pareto principle (80/20 rule), 80 percent of sales generally come from the top 20 percent. This is just a general rule that states that there are always big buyers and that’s especially true in B2B markets. Securing and keeping these big buyers is what people are focused on today.
But again, the SaaS market strategy is meeting some challenges as spending is cut back and companies try to streamline and optimize their operations. Companies today are hesitating before expansion, which further means that they need help — they don’t want to invest, they want to reduce. By focusing on this need for cost reduction, SaaS marketers can help companies finetune their own operations and give them the products and solutions they need.
A benefit is that many customers are already primed to understand that cloud services and SaaS strategies are less expensive than their on-premise or traditional, legacy solutions. Rather, they just need help making the leap to new technology and need to feel as though they will be supported in doing so. SaaS marketers need to be able to secure these sales by showing them an easy path toward adoption that will not be unduly disruptive during an already difficult time.
Saas Marketing 2020
B2B SaaS companies have seen their marketing strategies changed forever. Budgets have been slashed, there are no in-person events, no field marketing events, and so on. This will impact 2021 marketing strategies. Many assumed that 2021 would be better, but there have actually been a proliferation of SaaS companies in addition to SaaS concerns and SaaS company struggles. The effects of SaaS marketing 2020 and marketing vertical SaaS 2019 are still yet to be seen.
How many SaaS companies are there 2019 compared to 2020? In 2020, there were SaaS startups because so many companies were operating remote. Some SaaS companies did expand, but spending has been down almost universally for companies. So, while companies are increasingly switching to SaaS, they are also pulling back on spending overall. Companies need to be able to promote the aspects of SaaS that will help companies survive.
But because there aren’t conferences, seminars, and one-on-one events, marketers of SaaS products are also beholden to digital, cloud-based SaaS marketing products. Marketing is happening through Zoom calls, instant messaging, email, and online chat. Companies need to be able to pivot toward this direction if they are going to survive — and it’s something that not all companies have been able to do successfully.
SaaS companies are, luckily, some of the best-suited companies to adapt to a digital-centric world. Nevertheless, not all have been able to completely update their marketing strategies to something that is digital first. They will need to do so if they are going to be able to survive in an arena of enhanced competition, startups, and continued innovation. 2021 is likely to see even more SaaS startups.
SaaS Marketing Examples
When strategizing, companies should look toward other SaaS marketing examples first. B2B SaaS examples and B2B SaaS success stories show companies what works for other businesses, while SaaS failure stories show companies what they should avoid. Here are some examples of things that will help marketing teams in 2021:
- Virtual chat and meetings. Many current SaaS examples involve virtual chats and meetings as a method of keeping up communication with potential clients even in a post-pandemic world. SaaS companies are often operating geographically distant to a client and thus there’s an increased emphasis on communicating effectively within the digital world.
- Personalization. Account-based marketing is in the lead as it ensures that marketers are connecting with pre-scored leads and communicating with them on a personalized level. Account-based marketing means that companies are able to collect large volumes of information on each client and interact with them based on their previous engagements.
- Hosting virtual events. If real-life events don’t work, virtual events are more important. Large virtual events such as live events and stories can be held to make clients feel as though they are more familiar with the business.
As mentioned, spray and pray techniques no longer work. SaaS marketing, to be effective, has to be personalized and digital. Companies need to be able to streamline their operations by focusing on the customers most likely to make purchases.
SaaS Marketing Plan
How does a company develop an SaaS marketing plan, especially during unprecedented times? An SaaS marketing agency or SaaS marketing course can help. With an SaaS marketing agency, companies can get professional help developing their marketing strategies, as well as a growth plan for the future. With SaaS marketing classes, companies can learn how to plan for SaaS business model risks and how to manage their challenges.
But because these challenges are new, companies need to be especially conscientious about using strategies that may have worked in the past. Today, strategies are changing, and many companies are experimenting. Depending on industry, the SaaS company may need to practice different strategies and tactics and find what works best with their customers.
A SaaS marketing plan today is a multi-channel endeavor that includes many social media accounts, paid advertising, content marketing, and more. Blogs, case studies, courses, and workshops can all be used to bolster these parts of the buyer journey, but the company must never forget that customers are now interacting with brands in new ways. Companies need to endeavor to create unique, personalized, one-on-one relationships with customers, and to collect enough information that they can properly score customers and predict their purchasing habits. Through this, companies are able to better prepare themselves for an uncertain future.
SaaS Marketing Channels
Companies today need to utilize and invest in multiple marketing channels. What are the most important SaaS marketing channels? Marketing channels include targeted advertising, chat, email signature marketing, web personalization, and more. Many SaaS problems or SaaS profitability issues can be countered through the use of these channels, many of which are affordable and have very high ROI.
But there’s also SaaS saturation to contend with. Consider a marketing channel such as Twitter, through which there may be dozens of SaaS marketing companies vying for the attention of a single business at once. During web search, companies may find dozens of SaaS companies that meet their needs, and may not know which company is going to provide the features they want.
Because of this, companies need to foremost bolster all their SaaS marketing channels at once — creating a strong brand presence and increasing the chances that customers will interact with a company across multiple channels. This builds trust and familiarity. SaaS companies need to remain active, producing and promoting useful content consistently. Consistency is key — the more consistent the company is, the more likely it is to be noticed.
These SaaS marketing channels also need to work in tandem with each other. For many companies, this is an onerous task. But having the right marketing platform can help companies consolidate and automate many parts of their marketing and content.