How to Determine the Right Marketing Strategy for Growing Your SaaS Business
I’ve worked with dozens of start-ups and established Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies and the central question for many of them is: How do I develop a marketing strategy to grow my business? My answer usually is: It depends on your strategy, product and pricing model. The truth is there is no “one size fits all” for SaaS companies. The high-transaction, free trial approach is not applicable to all companies. Joel York outlined three basic SaaS models: Customer Self-Service, Transactional Sales, and Enterprise Sales. Price and complexity of the software are the key elements in defining this SaaS spectrum.
Customer Self-Service companies usually have low price points, low complexity of their software and high volumes. Marketing usually has full revenue responsibility and drives the entire purchase process from awareness to close.
Transactional companies demand more engagement with the customer before the purchase and usually have higher price points and complexity than Customer Self-Service companies. Finding and nurturing high qualified leads to the sales team via content and marketing automation are the hallmarks of transactional SaaS companies.
Enterprise companies typically have the most complex software and need for consultative selling and support engagement. These types of SaaS companies need high-end sales tools, broader brand awareness, relationship-building marketing that is fused tightly to the sales process.
The right marketing approach is highly dependent on your product and pricing, as well as your customer’s need for information before the final sale. Before a marketing plan is developed, it is often a worthwhile effort to reflect on the customer journey and decision-making process. Create personas of various types of customers, their perspectives and informational/educational needs. Then map those needs to content and tools to establish a foundation for a more efficient marketing strategy that transforms prospects into customers.