The SaaS model has redefined the B2B software market, allowing companies to fulfill consumer needs in a highly scalable fashion. For every business problem, there are a dozen digital solutions. Unfortunately, that means that competition is fierce, and even excellent products sometimes fail to meet their target audience. Marketing your custom software becomes a critical battle to stand out in a saturated field. Here are three main considerations for your SaaS marketing strategy.
A Strong Story Should Drive Your Marketing
We hear about story-driven marketing all the time, but it bears repeating: before your launch, your company needs to locate its story and figure out how it resonates with your prospective customers. Many startup entrepreneurs and business owners get “founder’s disease,” as fractional CMO Josh Webb puts it. They’re constantly coming up with ideas, but they lack a way to narrow them down into an engaging brand promise.
The key to overcoming this disease, says Webb, is to define the problem facing your customers — and therefore the solution. Branding is all about the feeling that people have about your product: both the promise it offers and the objections it raises. Your marketing should be cued into a careful branding strategy, and that’s especially true for custom software solutions. At a certain point, there’s nothing new under the sun, and you’ve got a dozen competitors with a similar product. What will help you stand out is marketing that delivers the right message.
How can you ensure that this happens? Start thinking about your messaging right at the beginning of product development and fundraising. Ask yourself what clever stories you can tell about the problem and how your product solves those problems.
Solutions, Not Sales Pitches
One problem with an oversaturated market is that any promotional content seems like too much. Consumers are so accustomed to seeing sales pitches that they’ve learned to tune them out. That’s even more true for software solutions. If you’re not careful, you may inadvertently lump yourself in with every other SaaS company pushing people to buy a subscription.
To fix this, avoid constantly putting out a call-to-action. Provide solutions, not sales pitches. On that note, don’t pretend to know an audience’s needs before you’ve done your homework. When marketing custom software, your personas revolve around your target audience’s digital needs and challenges. Join groups where your prospective customers hand out, and listen to their questions and concerns to learn how to provide value through your product. Then, develop your messaging around those points.
Direct Relationship Between Spending and Results
Marketers who spend more tend to make more money. It’s a natural side effect of a broader reach and a bigger presence in users’ minds. With that said, it’s quite possible to succeed with a smaller advertising budget. However, the less you spend, the more clever you have to be. In the SaaS space, this often entails homing in on the pain points that your custom software uniquely addresses, rather than simply extolling your product’s features.
With digital advertising, you get real data on how many people are reading and engaging with your message, unlike with radio and TV advertising. So there’s no excuse for continuing to run ads that you know aren’t converting customers. Take advantage of the robust analytics you have in digital marketing to further refine your message and reach your target audience.
To effectively market custom software, you must take the “custom” part of that phrase to heart. Highlight your company’s unique solution to a pain point that no other SaaS product has tackled. Blend this value proposition with a compelling story that goes beyond technical features and captures your company’s mission. The key to standing out in a crowded SaaS market is to know your customers’ problem extremely well, and use that to guide your overall product development and brand messaging.