No one would have dared predict that a global pandemic of such proportions would appear at least a year ago. Never before has a tragedy occurred that could affect all aspects, sectors, and people in our hyper-globalized planet. Many have had to experience working from home, while others had to suffer the complete closure of their industries, thus generating a globally significant unemployment rate.
This forced pause in the labor aspect has generated essential changes in the cultivation of lead and pipes for SaaS businesses. Being surrounded by such an uncertain environment, it’s imperative to ask whether the prospect will continue in the market for the time necessary to buy.
Also, notice that B2B network channels, such as industry events and people networks, have been closed. This situation has caused many marketers to either pause their advertising campaigns or shift spending planning to a later date, assuming everything is back to normal.
But the problem is that it’s not known for sure if it’ll be possible to return to that supposed normality. Also, it would be potentially risky to sit idly by and wait for everything to get back to normal.
Nevertheless, compared to other industries, SaaS companies are proving their resilience during this pandemic. This report found that many SaaS providers have experienced growth or a limited impact on their subscription rates.
But the same report has also shown that customer upsells, and renovations slowed down since companies will be more selective with software vendors and restrictive in spending.
More than ever, it’s necessary to have a solid SaaS marketing strategy in place to help us navigate through uncertainty. In a recent interview, Ewan McIntyre (VP Analyst at Gartner) stated that:
“An important part of the recovery plan is understanding the environment and building plans aligned to the new economic, social, and business realities that emerge over the next 18 to 24 months.”
Following his advice, I’ve spent the last few months on countless meetings with marketers and sales managers, offering whatever help I can and gathering insights to be prepared now and for what will happen in the “new normality.” So, here are five SaaS marketing strategies and COVID-proof recommendations.
Reconsider your narrative and cut through the noise
Despite all the budget limitations, marketers expect to fuel growth by targeting existing customers and boosting brand strength. Therefore, your marketing team must think carefully, as many times as necessary, what’s the best approach to follow.
The brand positioning, the products, and services used in the new modality of “work from home” must be taken into account. It’ll be necessary to investigate new sales channels, how revenue flows are maintained, or try to find new audiences. When it comes to rethinking investment, medium, and message, you’ll surely need different ways to reach your target audience.
Here are some tactics that have worked for me:
- Keep your communications simple and straightforward. Be helpful.
- Run regular online seminars to stay close to your audience.
- Educate your prospects on how your product would improve their day to day work/life.
- Set this mantra in stone: “Companies buy when they see a clear return on their investment.”
Prioritise what matters
Something that would certainly be a great SaaS marketing strategy is giving customers much more than they need right now. Since it isn’t just about injecting a product to the market, some brands focus more on humanitarianism, the community, and collaborative work to overcome the current crisis.
To cite an example, MailChimp has started facilitating free custom domains for five years to collaborate with physical companies so that you can make the transition to online style.
Team up with the right stakeholders
“Call that partner, it’s time to get some work done.” In this time of uncertainty, it’s necessary not to limit yourself to your own SaaS product to satisfy your customer’s needs.
Create and maintain a partnership with key stakeholders (such as agencies, resellers, industry leaders, SaaS companies, or the Public Administration). They will undoubtedly continue to be essential to achieve your growth targets.
Being more tactical, remember that we are in a perfect moment to focus on co-marketing initiatives, but keep in mind that creativity is necessary when you target people who still “work from home.” Your audience may feel overwhelmed if you focus only on direct sales. By contrast, giving advice or suggestions is the most effective way to go.
Keep it virtual
It’s a reality that there are working groups that still rely heavily on monthly lunches, quarterly meetings, and marketing events, but in person. So, they must begin the transition to this new virtual age that has already reached everyone.
It’s undeniable that before the pandemic, the conference method was the most effective way to generate the most massive leads. But the time has come for companies to operate virtually both now and in the future.
Here are some tactics:
- Scheduling virtual calls with prospects and current clients to sign up, share a virtual lunch, or comment on the experience of working from home can be an effective way to stay in touch.
- It’s advisable to have an organizational approach. You can start webinars or virtual summits that replace face-to-face events. It will even give them the ideal occasion to review all the professional development achieved, which is beneficial for all parties involved.
- Focus on Content Marketing: this is the best way to communicate with potential customers and leverage the benefits of using your SaaS. You can also create and update the website or blog with quality content and carry out web positioning campaigns. The most successful SaaS companies rely heavily on their Content Marketing Strategies, such as Hubspot or Intercom.
- Lastly, you can work email marketing, sending personalized emails to the contact you want, informing them of news of products and services, or automating marketing to carry out optimized and effective campaigns. Build nurture flows to keep the conversation going even when you are off-office.
Your SaaS Marketing Strategies should be honest and transparent
Set realistic goals and expectations as this will be key to achieving important things after the pandemic. Maintain close communication and collaboration with internal and external parties regarding changes to be made and find the best way to help customers and employees get through this current period of uncertainty.
The truth is that there’s no way of knowing how things will end after the current situation that we all live. Marketing specialists will be very busy trying to come up with strategies to overcome the current crisis.
But what’s certain is that if they’re already intelligently implemented, and SaaS marketing strategies are in place, your organization will be more than capable of overcoming the storm that the world is suffering today.