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Getting your SaaS Marketing Strategy Right

04.01.2013
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Stop and think for a minute about your SaaS marketing strategy. You surely know it’s an important, nay, vital part of success in any industry, especially SaaS. Surely you know this, but do you know how important it is? Well, you probably do, but it can’t be overemphasized in its significance in the big picture.

saas marketing strategy

I mean, think about it for a minute. With SaaS, you have this somewhat novel, in the eyes of the public, new way to produce software and interact with it. Novel things are often greeted with friendliness with the technophiles of this modern age, but … at the same time, businesses aren’t people, they’re just made of them. In truth, in SaaS, businesses are going to be the big enchilada when it comes to your overarching demographic. Business and gaming are the industries in which large scale new computing technologies see their first private sector uses. Well, medicine too in some cases now, but not often enough yet to worry about. So, since SaaS is a new application on a real scale, business is what will use it first in any profitable way. It shows, considering most SaaS is business oriented, especially CRM and data cloud systems. So, your SaaS marketing strategy needs to be business centric in order to work, and marketing to businesses is not the same animal as marketing to the people.

So, let’s think about that for a minute. It’s hard to market to people, because people are very opinionated, very emotionally-driven creatures with their own self-centric worldview. You have to use aesthetic polish and flair and fireworks to dazzle them, and draw them into your fold. This goes beyond marketing, their continued patronage will be expected to have a continuous positive shock and awe campaign attached to it, to hold their attention. Savings and pricing equity for them is very immediate gratification, rather than large-timescale fiscal result.

Businesses are machines. Granted, a business is made of people, so some of that emotion and animalism does bubble to the surface, but in very permutated ways that yield the odd atmosphere that is corporate business. However, given the Boolean nature by which business tries to operate, your marketing strategy isn’t going to work with the same obstacles. It’s actually a lot easier, but it’s also easy to screw up at the same time.

You don’t have to set off blazing red rockets in the sky to impress a business, you have to show them cold hard assets. Show them why your software works better than other SaaS in its niche (unless it’s something absurdly new). Following this, show them how your SaaS is better than traditional on-disc software they may have already, to solve their needs. Following this, show them how safe and secure you are. They fear over-net overt operation due to these perceived security threats movies have shown them. Dissuade these fears. Don’t pander nor condescend, state in professional though non-tech terms why SaaS is safe. Now, move directly to price point. This isn’t just competing with other SaaS, this goes on a grander scale. Demonstrate to them the fiscal savings versus classic software purchases, and then cite the savings from other SaaS. If you’re pricier than their current software, perhaps cite why your software is worth the larger amount of money. Your list of features should sell itself in that regard, but it never hurts to be thorough.

This is how to do an SaaS marketing strategy, more or less. Sell to business. Don’t shock and wow, show the facts. Of course, putting a bit of aesthetic polish around these core values never hurts.

Published at DZone with permission of Omri Erel, author and DZone MVB. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)