b2b saas marketing playbook

The Ultimate B2B SaaS Marketing Campaign Playbook

Kaia D'Albora
Mar 8, 2021

Most marketing campaigns are doomed to fail. 

They’re complex and demanding and can cause gray hairs, but it doesn’t have to be that way with the right methodology.

That being said, marketing campaigns are critical for your organization and even more critical to get right. Whether you’re fresh into your marketing career or looking to improve your marketing function, developing campaigns to build awareness and drive conversions is a necessity for achieving your business goals.

Developing a B2B SaaS marketing campaign can be daunting. I know, I’ve been there. There are so many facets to use and deciding which to use can be difficult.

We’re here to help.

At Kalungi, we’ve developed hundreds of campaigns for our clients ranging in size from smaller nurture campaigns to larger, full-service campaigns complete with ABM, paid search, display ads –– you name it. 

Our methodology is simple: Always ask why. 

Different campaigns require different strategies and tactics to meet your audience where they are. You need to have a deep understanding of your target audience’s pain before developing a campaign around that pain. The more focused, the better.

For example, a pain like siloed departments and poor cross-department communication that a specific enterprise organization might have would require a very targeted ABM email campaign with incredibly personalized messaging that speaks to those pains. With something more general like targeting users of a competitor, hitting anywhere those users might be - email, socials, paid ads, LinkedIn - will help you achieve your marketing goals.

Listen to your audience and then dig a little deeper. 

3 key steps to start building a successful B2B SaaS marketing campaign

At a quick glance, here are the first 3 steps (and a few suggestions) to building a successful B2B SaaS marketing campaign.

  1. Research to develop a deep understanding of your audience. Who are you targeting? 
  2. Pre-campaign prep to determine your goals and KPIs. Where do you want to end up?
  3. A campaign blueprint to hone in your approach. Is this relevant to your audience?

1. Research your ICP

Before you solidify your goals and begin to plan a successful B2B SaaS campaign, you need to do your research. A solid understanding as to who your target audience is, what pains you can solve for, and what benefit you can bring to their life is crucial. 

Remember, it’s all about them. Not about you.

Start with asking why. Why are you running a campaign? Who is your target audience? It should be pretty simple, focus on your ICP and Buyer Personas. How targeted is this campaign? Users of a specific competitor? Is it a one-to-one targeted ABM campaign, just focusing on Personas at a specific company? Or is it more broad?

Once the target is acquired, then comes the fun part: research! You may think you know your target audience but you can always know and understand them a little better. Understand your target audience’s pains. Why should they change?

Talk to the sales team. Gather their findings in talking to prospects similar to the ones you’re targeting in this campaign. If you’re feeling gutsy, mystery shop - but be careful not to blow your cover. Another good place to get the voice of the audience is online forums - Reddit and Quora are sites that allow users to be more casual and potentially more honest than they would be in another situation. 

Understanding the pains of your audience is crucial to any campaign. But to make sure your messaging is well rounded, you need to flush out why anyone in your target audience would choose you. What are your company’s claims? What does your solution bring to the table that they’re missing in whatever they use (or don’t use) now? These can be anything from product specific to service specific.

So you know how to get your audience to change and to choose you. That’s great. But what if they’re not ready to convert? To complete your research, you need to answer the question, “Why now?” What does the audience member gain by choosing you? What will make their life easier immediately by switching to your solution?

A helpful tip: once all of the pains, claims and gains are finalized, put them into a comparison table and list out the pains and link them to the complementary gains and claims. If you're targeting multiple personas, it also helps attach the pains to each specific persona and match specific gains and/or claims. This will help when building out messaging as well as prioritizing what to put on the landing page.

2. Pre-campaign preparation

Establish clear goals and marketing KPIs. Knowing what your audience wants will help you define your goals and accurate performance indicators that can define success. They should be challenging but attainable. Nothing too comfortable. Being able to track the success of your campaign is key especially when needing buy-in from the leadership team. 

Marketing goals frequently revolve around Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs). Building KPIs around the amount of MQLs is a good start but in order to truly measure success, measuring bounce rate, open rate, traffic to site, etc. are all important numbers to track as well. Learn how to build and manage effective KPIs here.

3. Develop your campaign blueprint

When planning a campaign, start at a high level. List out all of the possible outlets you want to use. What functions do you have? How much (wo)man power are you willing to put to work to create and own a campaign?

A SaaS marketing campaign at Kalungi typically includes:

  • ABM emails
  • ABM LinkedIn outreach
  • Inbound prospect nurturing
  • Paid search (PPC)
  • LinkedIn paid ads 
  • Content to surround your ICP's fears and dreams 
    • Blogs
    • eBooks
    • Other options: Battlecards, infographics, product videos
  • Organic social posts
    • Typically revolving around content
  • Landing pages 
    • Communication with a salesperson CTA
    • Relevant content download to nurture

Depending on the campaign, it can require more than the options listed above or less. For example, you could need to develop a new video for a product release to add to nurturing, paid ads and landing page content. Or you could do very specific ABM targeting that only requires an Outbound email sequence.

It may seem obvious, but understanding what’s needed at a high level helps you prioritize. Blockers you may run into include budget, (wo)man power, and time. Listing out resources, timelines and potential roadblocks will allow for a clearer strategy and ultimately help you achieve your KPIs.

To dive deeper into the meat and bones of a campaign, download this ebook.

b2b saas marketing campaign playbook

Download the full marketing campaign playbook to: 

  • Plan and create inbound and outbound nurture strategies
  • Track your campaign's success with KPIs 

Set your SaaS marketing campaign up for success

Yes, building out and successfully running campaigns can be daunting. But it’s a huge part of how you achieve your marketing goals and level up your business. 

  1. Do your research. Truly understand the “why” and the target audience’s pain.
  2. Develop solid goals that push your team to achieve more
  3. Develop a blueprint that hones in what’s relevant to the audience 
  4. Use your research to build effective messaging in emails, content, landing pages and more.

Remember, you have to meet your audience where they are. The messaging should accurately reflect where they are in their buyer’s journey, and always ask why.

And with that, godspeed!

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