marketing best practices b2b saas

SaaS Marketing Best Practices: 4 Red Flags

Bonnie Walker
Oct 28, 2020

Though the B2B SaaS world is incredibly varied, it’s marketing pitfalls remain common. If the issues explored below continue to exist, they’ll manifest as expensive mistakes and stymied growth potential. Whether you’ve just dipped your toes into the marketing waters or have a full team at your disposal, these four foundational red flags demand immediate attention to adhere to SaaS marketing best practices:

Red Flag Number One: Product-Palooza

You’ve poured your blood, sweat and tears into your SaaS offering, and your efforts are finally bearing fruit. It’s time to share with the world what you’ve brought forth! Surely the masses will be eager to learn of every feature, every nuance, of this labor of love? Unfortunately, not.

While you might have the expertise to appreciate the results of your organization’s many unique bells and whistles, the same can’t be said for your prospects. Think about it, with time a hot commodity and one that many can't afford, a bulk of your prospects may not have the opportunity to translate your features into the benefits it can truly deliver. Nor should they! Among many other responsibilities, your marketing team’s role is to transform your offering’s features or capabilities into a promise that resonates with your most eager prospective customers. 

Take a look at your website, content portfolio and your social media feed. Is your customer at the front and center, or is it your product or service? If it’s the latter, then you’ve hit red flag number one. 

The Kalungi Way

Your content marketing needs to build off the foundation of your go-to-market strategy. When it comes to your GTM strategy and how you use content to support it, you need to consider who your customers are, what your company value proposition is, and how your competitors are positioning themselves in the industry [ more]

- Jordan Stokes, Content Marketing Specialist

Red Flag Number Two: The Mysterious Customer

It's easy to fall into the trap of talking to your prospects about yourself in a language they may not understand, especially if you don’t truly know much about them. Worst of all, they might not even be your ideal match. If this sounds familiar then you’ve bumped headlong into Red Flag Number Two. 

Your best customers are out there, waiting for you, but there’s some hard work that needs to be done first. Do you know your customer’s hopes? Fears? Day-to-day challenges? Do you know what they ate for breakfast this morning? Okay perhaps the last one is a bit too far but the point is you cannot rectify Red Flag Number One without also addressing Red Flag Number Two. It will be nearly impossible to shape your content and messaging in a way that resonates with the folks that most need your help if you cannot easily pinpoint your Total Addressable Market, Serviceable Addressable Marketing, and Serviceable Obtainable Market (TAM/SAM/SOM). From there you’ll develop a solid Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and then use it to fuel research into a solid persona set

The Kalungi Way

The first step is to establish yourself as someone they want to engage with. You need to ‘meet them where they are’. Use their language. Use words that are used in their industry, or reflect how they would describe their needs. Be careful when you start talking about yourself that it’s still at the core of their needs. [ more]

- Stijn Hendrikse, Co-Founder & CMO

Red Flag Number Three: The Sound... of Silence

A decade ago it was enough to hang your sign and let the search engine algorithms do their work. Now a prospect’s attention is being vied for like never before, and they’re protecting themselves. For today’s average buyer, you will need to earn their time by providing valuable content that directly addresses their problems. If you take a peek into your content vault and find mothballs, or even worse, content that doesn’t educate/inform/address the hopes and fears of your most valued prospects then... what’s that? Is that Red Flag Number Three waving?

Deciding the format of your content is as specific as your SaaS product and will be shaped by your audience’s preferences. Whether it’s an educational blog, a webinar series or a short video, your marketing team will face the challenge of matching the content subject matter, content format and timing of delivery that attracts your best customers. 

The Kalungi Way

According to Demand Gen Report’s 2020 Content Preferences Study, buyers are not only leaning even harder on content to educate themselves, but they are also demanding and expecting richer content experiences. In fact, 67% say they rely more on content now than ever before, making it a tactic B2B SaaS companies just can’t ignore….[read more]

- Jordan Stokes, Content Marketing Specialist

Red Flag Number Four: Spam! It’s Not Just for Luaus 

Oftentime, not knowing much about your prospects, will result in unintentionally obnoxious marketing practices. Today’s consumer has a finely tuned authenticity barometer (otherwise known as a bull**** detector). If outreach efforts don’t succeed in meeting them where they are AND with what they need to hear, then Red Flag Number Four has shown itself. 

There are more marketing channels and tactics than ever before. We can choose amongst an enormous array of options, but this means that a mismatch is also more likely. At best, precious funds are wasted on deaf ears, but at worst, there are severe repercussions on brand reputation and domain health. Account Based Marketing (ABM) is the solution to overcome these woes: think of it as a specific outbound campaign that piggybacks on all the hard work you’ve done by addressing pesky Red Flags Number One, Two and Three. 

The Kalungi Way

“When you don’t define an ideal customer, it tells your marketing and sales teams to operate with a “spray and pray” mentality, trying to force product-market fit somewhere within your TAM. That’s really inefficient, especially when you have limited money and time to get results. When you go after the wrong companies, write the wrong messages, promote the wrong value-props, and create the wrong content for too long, you run out of time to get results. [ more]”

- Mike Northfield, Associate CMO

Don't fall into these SaaS marketing traps

Congratulations - you’ve made it through the minefield! But the four listed above by no means represent all of the issues that can arise. Just as product developers need a concrete timeline and structured initiatives, so do marketing—ones that take into account the specifics of SaaS marketing best practices. Taking the time to create this framework and investing in the necessary work that it entails will pay dividends toward your future sustained growth.

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