5 Key Marketing Strategies for Technology (SaaS) Companies
Way back in 1989 I started a software development company. We were very focused on the insurance market niche and we had a revolutionary way of capturing sales activity and projecting revenue based on various key metrics.
Life insurance companies loved it.
But as anyone who’s developed software will know, it’s never really finished.
And as any marketer will know, marketing should never be confused with delivery. In other words you sell the darn thing and then you make sure you can deliver. It’s really the other way around.
So, in my early years as both a developer of software and marketer of software (in small business you tend to be the jack of all trades) I was the living embodiment of the previous two paragraphs.
I would often market the heck out of our software, set up a series of demonstrations in various capital cities in the head offices of life insurance companies, and then I’d rush back to my tiny development team and tell that we had to have certain features ready by such and such a date.
They were typically express horror but somehow, we always made the deadline.
In fact, I can remember one such occasion whereas I was driving to the airport to catch the flight to get to a demonstration with one of the other software developers finishing the coding in the passenger seat. That’s cutting things fine!
Once we were established we tried all sorts of advertising and marketing methods and we rapidly came to one very important conclusion which was that any time we spent money on advertising we would have been better off by taking half of it and flushing it down the toilet and then going are spending the other half pizzas and beer are whatever else our hearts and stomachs desired.
In other words, spending money on advertising was generally a waste of time and money. The bottom line was that the best way to market most complex tech products and SaaS products is by way of a demonstration. This is still the case.
Pay Per Click and SEO has changed that a bit but not a lot.
Follow marketing including PPC and SEO definitely have a place in marketing software and related services, but their best place is when those advertisements lead people to register for a demonstration.
The demonstration is as close to marketing magic as I’ve ever experienced in my 39 years as a full-time professional marketer (and part-time software developer!).
People love attending a demonstration. They don’t love attending training session so much. They don’t love reading through long sales pages or landing pages so much. They don’t particularly like you try to sell them something. But they mostly do love a demonstration.
Think about the psychology of the demonstration. They get to sit back while you strut your stuff. There’s very little risk for them but they perceive that you have a lot of risk.
The are probably even privately hoping that it will all go wrong like Tesla’s launch of their new truck featuring super strengthened safety glass window which unfortunately smashed immediately during the demonstration when a large pebble was struck against them. Oops.
But I digress.
The other thing that’s changed with the Internet, which did not publicly exist in 1989 when I started developing a marketing software, was that now the demonstrations can be online.
You no longer have to fly and drive and park and locate the office and sit in the reception area and drink appalling lukewarm coffee.
These days the commute to any demonstrations that I conduct involves walking from the espresso machine in my kitchen down the hallway to my office.
All my demonstrations are online. We use large webinars for moderately priced products and small zoom conference style webcams-on meetings for premium priced services where we are laser-targeting enterprise prospects.
Either way there is still a special magic about demonstrations even when they are online.
The above reveals the number one marketing medium which is online meetings.
And if you have any doubt about the fact that online meetings are the number one marketing medium for software and related services consider what is the oldest most effective marketing methods in the world.
The answer is speaking to groups of people. Proof of that is to be found in the billions of “clients” that follow Christ border and Mohammed. And all those three guys did was speak to groups of people. None of them every wrote even one word.
Just talking to groups of people.
So, what I’m suggesting is that combine that oldest most proven marketing method in the world with the newest marketing medium in the world, which is the Internet. Do that and what you end up with is online meetings.
Now that I’ve established that online meetings are the best medium through which to conduct your demonstration, and assuming you have an effective demo, that only remaining missing piece of the puzzle is where to find audiences from.
Having a super duper demonstration is all very well but it’s going to be a little bit like a billboard in the middle of the Sahara desert an issue got people who can attend your demonstrations.
Because I have a limited number of words available for this post I am going to oversimplify the solution for finding audiences however it’s still going to be a step in the right direction for you.
I find my audiences on LinkedIn by hiring a specialist LinkedIn contractor from the view www.upwork.com and giving them the profile of my ideal client. They use their own LinkedIn account to connect with those people and as soon as the connection is accepted my contractor then invites that person to attend a demonstration including a registration link that takes them to our landing page that in turn features the benefits of attending.
I have limited real estate in this post but I go into a lot more detail in my latest book and you can get part one for free so you can dip your toes in the water of my marketing methods without cost.