In our recent webinar, Quick wins for fast growing software vendors, we identified five quick marketing wins and shared our process on how and where to start. Here are the key points discussed.
Current challenges for software vendors
Software vendors face a lot of challenges when it comes to taking a product to market. These are six of the challenges we most commonly encounter:
Challenge #1: A very competitive market
Over the past three years there has been a surge in SaaS companies hitting the market. This boom is set to continue with SaaS forecasted to reach $5.7bn in Australia by the end of 2021. Even if your software doesn’t have a direct competitor, there is a lot of noise coming from other SaaS companies vying for the attention of your audience.
Challenge #2: Making it stick
With a new product, it is hard to know exactly how customers will use it, regardless of how you think they should use it. This can impact the longevity of your customer relationships.
Challenge #3: Cracking the value proposition
How does your product help customers? The answer in your mind is probably quite technical but that’s not necessarily what your customers think.
Challenge #4: Choosing when to go to market
Most software is iterative, meaning products are constant works in progress that rapidly evolve, and it’s very, very hard for marketing to keep up. As most SaaS companies are run by tech people, they can continue to develop constantly without their product ever getting to market!
Challenge #5: Building & maintaining a sales & marketing engine
Building the product was the easy part. Marketing and sales is a completely different skill set that you suddenly must be an expert at. Or, if you hire, you’re not guaranteed a return. So where do you invest?
Challenge #6: Loss of live demos, events & conferences
The Australian market is so relationship-focused, and because there aren’t conferences, seminars, and one-on-one events, companies need to be able to pivot toward digital to continue to build trust with targets.
Get started with the quick marketing wins
When taking your product to market, you first need to have a good hard think about your buyer journey. Where in the journey is your target market sitting? This is the Mogrify Buyer RACER™.
Quick marketing win #1: Identify clear target markets & buyer personas
Firstly, sit down and robustly discuss your primary target market. Some questions to ask when deciding your go to market strategy include:
- Is there a specific horizonal or vertical that your product would work best in? Be really clear on this and focus in on one so you don’t spread yourselves too thinly.
- Who are your buyer personas?
- What are the pains and challenges these people face and how do you solve them?
You must articulate this in the language they understand. Focus on the value and benefit of the product rather than on the tech.
So your number one quick win, if you have struggled to do this in the past, is get your people in a room and stay there until you have agreed who your target market and buyer personas are and then how you need to prioritise them.
Quick marketing win #2: Map out the buyer journey
A quick win here is to think through what your buyers are thinking and doing at each stage of their buying journey. The most important thing to acknowledge is that buyers do go on a (sometimes complicated) buying journey and you are unlikely to hear about them until they have done a fair bit of research.
In SaaS, the dream is that your buyers are 100% of the way through their buying journey before you know they exist! That’s something you need to really appreciate. How do you break down the different parts of the journey your buyers go on and how can you be visible at each stage?
Quick marketing win #3: Create a unique value proposition
Another quick win is to create a unique value prop or value statement which is easy to understand. It needs to relate to the audience you are targeting, whether that’s vertical or horizonal.
If it saves money tell them! SaaS products are almost always replacing heavier weight, more expensive on-premise solutions and processes, and many of your products operate under a “pay as you need” or “pay as you use” model. Your marketing needs to show customers can do more with their dollars; or reduce their costs.
Quick marketing win #4: Watch customers use your product
People who build tech products/platforms are (usually) really good at problem solving and equally bad at understanding the relative importance of those problems to the customer. It’s likely your tech team will be working with customers and watching how they use your product, doing interviews etc. However, this is also a great opportunity for your sales and marketing teams for the following reasons:
- Watching real world customer experiences can help with inspiration for messaging
- It can also help to find out what the most useful features are within the product, rather than the most technically interesting
- While plenty of software vendors might know a problem that needs to be solved and have the data to prove it, none of that guarantees they actually understand why the problem occurs in the first place.
If you want your marketing to hit the mark, you need to articulate that you understand the problems by watching actual people use your product.
Quick marketing win #5: Nurture to build trust & familiarity
There is a lot of tech marketing out there! It’s important to create a strong brand presence and increase the chances that customers will interact with you across multiple channels. SaaS companies need to remain active, producing and promoting useful content consistently. Nurture is key. Just because they didn’t buy today, doesn’t mean they won’t buy in a week or a month. The absolute best way to do this is a sales & marketing automation platform and it’s so critical for bringing down your cost of sale.
Also, think about what you can offer them for free without having to make a purchase. Pilots, demos, and easy-to-understand explainer videos can all be useful in convincing people to buy your product.
If you are ready to address more than just your quick marketing wins, or need help with marketing strategy or execution, Mogrify can help. Book a discovery call today.