A successful marketing strategy requires leveraging online messaging, creating a frictionless (or relatively smooth) customer journey, and the utilization of data and automation to quickly and efficiently cater to your customer base and grow. This is especially true for SaaS, where your online marketing can directly relate to your product offering. Add in the B2B angle, with the longer sales cycles, multitudes of decision makers, and a need for educating the user, a marketing strategy becomes all the more necessary. Let’s explore some aspects to a successful strategy so you can create an effective plan for growth.
Understanding the Basics of a B2B SaaS Marketing Strategy
With B2B not targeting a specific consumer but a type of job title, industry, or data management need, it means that there is an additional layer of complexity when crafting a marketing message that appeals to decision makers within organizations. Decisions take time and have to be done in a committee, and that sales cycle requires constant reinforcement.
Because of the long sales cycle, personas and customer segmentation plays an important part in the B2B marketing strategy. Marketers need to tailor their message to their audience’s needs and align their offerings with the unique segment or industry of their consumers.
This typically involves 4 steps:
- Identify Your Audience
- Tailor Your Messaging to that Audience
- Create an Engaging Customer Experience
- Test for Improvements or New Audiences
Identifying Your Target Audience
What is Your Audience Looking for?
One of the most important steps in creating a successful B2B SaaS marketing strategy is understanding your target audience. You need to know who your customers are and what they want from your product or service. What problem does your solution help solve? What would someone type into search to find a solution to their problem? Find what people are doing to educate themselves on this issue, then you can create content and advertising to enter their view.
What Do You Need from Your Audience?
It also helps to identify what you need from a customer. Is your product complex and requires time for onboarding and set up? Then you’ll need larger businesses and more specific personas. Is it a turn-key solution? Then you can focus on broader audiences.
What Can You Achieve?
Finally, you need to be realistic about what you can do.
Is your industry saturated with solutions and highly competitive? Then you might need a budget for advertising to keep up. Do you have a limited budget and your audience is highly technical and knowledgeable? Then you might work on thought-leadership tactics, and less on advertising.
You need to be realistic about what you can achieve with the resources available to you. It’s important that these goals are attainable and measurable so that progress can be tracked effectively. This will help you ensure that all of your efforts are focused on outcomes that drive business results.
Once you have identified both your target market and set clear expectations, it’s time to focus on which channels will be used for advertising, content creation, lead generation campaigns, etc. Knowing which channels will be most effective in reaching potential customers based on their interests is essential for delivering on your strategy.
Consider budget and platform usage, along with targeting. Lower budgets on broad targeting can leave a lot of chances to show up on the table (as well as bring in unqualified users). Expand deliberately, reaching your core audience first and growing with data to back it up.
Tailoring Your Message to Your Target Audience
When crafting messaging, it is important to tailor it specifically to the needs and interests of the target audience. Features are nice, but benefits are nicer (thanks to my Marketing 101 course for that nugget). You are giving people a way to make their work better, easier, etc.
You have to also consider what it takes to convince a user to engage with your product. Even if it is the answer, they need to BELIEVE you. Content (paid or otherwise) needs to impart a level of trust and belief. Your strategy should consider developing that throughout the marketing funnel.
Consider Obility’s own M:PACT Strategy for our Clients
- State Your Ideal Market
- Address Pain
- Establish Affinity
- Build Credibility
- Develop Trust
It’s not enough to just show up, consider how that messaging will resonate throughout their journey, and what kinds of messaging you need to instill that information.
Optimizing Customer Experience to Improve Retention
Once you gain that customer, the marketing does not stop. You need to be tuned into their experience and reach out with support to get them to continue using your product and ideally becoming an advocate for your solution. Retention is always cheaper than acquisition, so including strategies on customer experience in your SaaS product is vital to your overall marketing strategy.
Here are some of the key steps to take to improve customer experience and ensure retention:
Identifying Key Customer Touchpoints:
Where do customers reach out or give information? Do you have Surveys or other feedback channels? How do they contact you for support or information on using your product? Knowing when a customer reaches out and logging that data can be critical to maintaining a positive customer experience.
Developing Strategies to Foster Loyalty:
Developing loyalty programs and incentives that reward current customers for their continued patronage is an effective way to foster retention.
Utilizing Data Analysis:
Utilizing data analysis tools like heat maps and user flow diagrams can provide invaluable insight into how users interact with your website or product. This information can then be used to identify areas for improvement in order to create a more seamless user experience, which will ultimately lead to increased retention rates.
Building Relationships Through Personalized Communications:
Reach out with email newsletters, surveys, and targeted offers to help establish trust between companies and your customers while also increasing brand recognition among potential new users. Taking the extra step of offering personalization shows that you value each individual customer’s needs and makes them feel appreciated by your company.
Testing, Evaluating, Optimizing for Revenue
To ensure success in B2B SaaS marketing, one must always be testing, evaluating and optimizing.
Tracking KPIs, A/B testing, data analysis and regularly tweaking strategies based on performance metrics are to improve the ROI of your B2B marketing strategies.
Obility’s revenue attribution model ensures that our subject matter experts in paid search, paid social, and SEO will adjust and iterate campaigns based on pipeline and closed-won revenue. As we gather data and run tests, the team will maximize the campaigns driving the most efficient revenue. Over time, your digital marketing campaigns will generate more and more pipeline, allowing your company to reallocate budget back into marketing – creating even more revenue.
By understanding your complete buyers’ journey, Obility can highlight strategies for your marketing efforts with information from all your marketing channels. These flexible solutions allow you to build attribution models that will give you the insight on how and where to invest your marketing efforts to drive revenue efficiently and effectively.