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We’ve talked to a small degree before about the fact that SaaS product marketing is a little bit of a different animal from traditional software or other product marketing scenarios. SaaS requires a new way of viewing not only the web, but how software works and its very identity as a concept as well. It’s only natural, with that in mind, that marketing it would require a bit of a fresh perspective too. Now, that’s not to say that it’s absolutely a different thing altogether, because at its core, marketing is marketing, and people are people, and those two factors mean that some constants never have and never will change much. So, where do the changes begin and the constants remain? It’s probably better to try not to look at it that way, in all honesty. In stead, let’s just look at this as it is, and appreciate the obvious consistency and differences in SaaS product marketing as we go. #1 – Customers set Value Like in all things, you’re only as valuable as a customer decides you are. You can set any price you want, but nobody will buy your service or product if they aren’t willing to pay the price. After a point, then, setting your own prices accomplishes nothing. So, bear that in mind. Your customers make you who you are, and you’re only worth a price if they are willing to pay it! #2 – Benefits, not Features Features are nice, but they’re not what’s going to sell SaaS. Features, customers are already used to, within the niche you’re targeting, because traditional software has paved this road. Sure, you may have a few new features only SaaS can do, but you’re selling migration to this from an older methodology, more than features of a design. So, you need to sell your customers on the benefits of you SaaS over the traditional clunker they’re using, and that of competitors out to undercut you. #3 – Publish or Perish … Humbly Don’t brag, it’ll get you nowhere. Customers want real data on what your software can do for them. They don’t care how unique it is, how pretty it is, or what your certifications or accomplishments as a company are. Hang all that nonsense. No, what you want to do is publish white papers, journals and hard data on the benefits of the system, because that’s what they listen to. #4 – Customers aren’t Vulcans Customers are emotionally-driven creatures, no matter how much logic or professionalism is at stake here. That means that you need to pull their heart strings, not just appeal to their wallet or their sense of practicality. Empathize with them, guide their emotional states like any good marketing campaign does. Remember, too, that using fear as a motivator isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes, fear of loss of efficiency or falling behind the times, or obsolescence is a good motivator to sell software and technology. #5 – Simplicity is Bliss While it’s always a good idea to not condescend to anyone, it’s best to not be overly complex and technical in your explanations, or publications mentioned above. Make it simple, but not insulting, so that anyone can understand what it is, how it works, and why it works so well. Avoid computer and business terms, even if your demographic is savvy in such things. #6 – Test and Optimize, Test and Optimize … Yeah, should I even need to point out how important this is? You need to put your design through the wringer, and I mean a lot. Make sure that only the most obscure, unpredictable bugs make it past, and if you see, even at the eleventh hour, a practical way to make things work more efficiently and more simply … do it.



James Mello
James is the Lead Author & Editor Product2Market of Blog. James writes for the Product2Market blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Product Marketing.