Marketing Leadership

4 Red Flags in SaaS Marketing

Though the B2B SaaS world is incredibly varied, its 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 help you adhere to SaaS marketing best practices:

Red flag number one: Only talking about yourself

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, that’s not always the case.

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: a bulk of your prospects may not have the time or opportunity to translate your features into the benefits. Nor should they have to invest that much time to see the benefits! 

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. They should know what they are getting themselves into and know what they will have to gain by buying your product. In SaaS, no one likes a mystery. 

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. It’s time to re-frame how you present yourself. 

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 [...read 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 you need to do first. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • 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:

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. [...read more]

- Stijn Hendrikse, Co-Founder & CMO

Red flag number three: Silent prospects

A decade ago it was enough to hang your sign and let the search engine algorithms do their work. Now, your 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, or address the hopes and fears of your most valued prospects then you’ve just found Red Flag Number Three.

Receiving any feedback means that your prospects are listening. However, if you meet silence then it’s time to re-evaluate your content.

The format 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 your content’s subject and format to the right delivery avenue. All in order to attract 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: The wrong timing  

Oftentimes, not knowing much about your prospects will result in unintentionally obnoxious marketing practices. Today’s consumer has a finely tuned authenticity barometer. If your outreach efforts don’t succeed in meeting them where they are, at the right time, and with the right message, then Red Flag Number Four has shown itself.

Suddenly, what was meant as a well-intentioned message becomes spam, and prospects are not shy when it comes to raising the alarm. Therefore, you have to be careful with your resources.

There are more marketing channels and tactics than ever before. We can choose from an enormous array of options, but this means you are more likely to encounter an audience/messaging mismatch. 

At best, your 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. [...read more]”

- Mike Northfield, Associate CMO

Avoid these SaaS marketing traps by paying attention

Congratulations—you’ve made it through the minefield! But the four red flags listed above by no means represent all of the issues you’ll face in SaaS marketing. 

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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