5 Ways SaaS Marketing Is Different From Traditional Marketing
SaaS marketing is very intricate. There are plenty of views and opinions out there about how to do things better, but in a nutshell, it is simply an action to advertise or sell a product. In SaaS marketing, you are selling something that is intangible, unlike promoting a real product, like a washing machine or a cell phone. And that makes perfect sense, you can speak on how great the car is, how good a couch is, how good a computer performs, and so on. But it gets a tad more complex when you assume the B2B SaaS!
When you compare SaaS marketing to traditional marketing, you are likely to encounter some key differences. It is not just that you are selling an intangible product, but the purchasing process as well is totally different. You sell products to a statistically small, highly targeted market. It's possible to run an effective SaaS marketing campaign, but it'll require you to develop a completely different approach than your usual plan in conventional marketing. Let's take a look at some of the interesting marketing elements that demonstrate how SaaS is different from traditional marketing:
The Give-Away or Free Trial Strategy
Perhaps this is the key distinction between SaaS and conventional marketing. You might give away a small sample of your product in traditional marketing, but you would never give out your whole product for free. But the bread and butter for enterprises are free trials. It is very critical that SaaS customers actually use your product and experience how it works to check whether it will benefit their organization or not.
Certainly, giving away your product flies in the face of conventional marketing tactics. But it's an important move for SaaS marketing which will either enable success and failure in the future.
Customer Retention Is The Priority
Customer retention is a more crucial aspect for SaaS businesses than customer acquisition. Yes, acquisition definitely has its own importance. But the major part of the revenue is generated by the existing clientele for SaaS firms. This means you'll want to find ways to appeal to existing customers with your marketing campaign to keep them updated on new advanced features in your product to show them the benefits of upgrading service subscriptions, etc.
Strong coordination between customer service and marketing is crucial because of the growing importance of customer retention in SaaS.
The Buyer Behavior
The way buyers arrive at making purchases of a product is completely different in SaaS sales cycle. The reason behind this is the subscription-based model that SaaS service providers largely follow.
If a prospect pursues to purchase any physical product, such as a mountain bike, they can read reviews, compare features, and if they want to see it in person, step into a store and speak to salesmen to get more information. But prior to this, the prospect will seek information until they’re satisfied enough to make the purchase because they will not be able to use the product in the real world until they have actually made the purchase.
However, it is not the same in the case of SaaS marketing. Even if you are not offering a free trial for your SaaS product, prospects may be willing to pay and try it out for a single month. It enables consumers to experience the performance of the product before making a permanent financial investment with the product.
The Subscription-based Pricing Approach
SaaS products usually operate through various levels, each of which is limited to a particular set of features. These levels are availed on the basis of subscription the clients opt for and will be charged the respective amount with access to the features available in that stage.
For example, you may have a few different buyer personas in a few industries, such as some companies, for its leave management software counts law firms and construction companies among its client base. Not all of these firms want the same line of features and not everyone wants to spend the same amount. So SaaS offers various pricing options for them to decide which suits them the best.
The Diverse Customer Base
Although SaaS products consist of both B2C(business-to-consumer) and B2B(business-to-business), most of them fall under the B2B category. Hence, the SaaS marketing strategies are more inclined towards B2B communication.
You can target a wider segment of customers in regular B2C marketing without having to take much account of who you are interacting with as the decision-maker can be anyone in this scenario. In SaaS marketing, on the other hand, the strategy needs to be conveyed pertinently to the decision-maker(s) within your target business.
As you've seen, there are a few significant differences between traditional marketing and SaaS marketing. SaaS marketing requires unique strategies that most marketers presumably don't find compelling. But eventually, SaaS marketers need to remember that it's not just about the quality product you sell, but also about the excellent service you offer to your clients!