It always pays to be proactive rather than reactive, so when looking to the latest SaaS marketing trends, why not try to identify those that will continue to grow for many years to come? At the start of a new decade, it’s always tempting to focus on what’s going on right now, this very instant, in 2020. But I say, you’re bound to be more successful if you take a big picture perspective.
With that in mind, using today’s trends as a foundation on which to build, let’s look at some expected SaaS marketing trends for 2030.
Focus on customer service
From a SaaS marketing perspective, arguable the most important takeaway from this last year’s Web Summit 2019 was this: customer retention is the new acquisition. Focusing on cultivating customers who are loyal to your service and brand is, frankly, a SaaS company’s only option if they want to thrive in the dynamic, cutthroat market of the next decade.
A recent study of growing and stagnant companies revealed that 70% of growing companies had executives who said that “making the company’s customers successful” was “very important”, compared with just 49% of companies whose revenue was stagnant or decreasing. This is easily explained—if your customers don’t feel that you are taking care of them, why would they stick around and pay next month’s subscription renewal?
Having a well-defined brand that is consistent, clearly communicated and connects with people is one way to make existing customers more loyal while also capturing new customers. All the latest trends show that having a satisfying “brand experience” is becoming increasingly important to consumers, and we have every reason to expect this to continue into 2030 and beyond.
So, how do you build the kind of brand experience that customers want? First of all, you need to be clear on your business’s values and always stay true to them; consumers crave authenticity. While maintaining this authenticity, seek to connect with current and future customers on an emotional level.
One of the most effective ways to do that is with video content. People love video as a medium, and that’s not going to change any time soon. Studies have shown that consumers are more likely to remember a company after seeing video from them compared to other types of content, and one survey reported that 82% of people wanted to take some action to engage with a business after watching video. Not only does video engage multiple senses, it is also something that people associate with fun and free time.
More generally, you should be sure you are making use of distinctive and attractive visuals that communicate your brand image. And, importantly, these should run through every element of your SaaS company’s sales and marketing efforts: website, digital content, ads, everything.
A satisfying brand experience is authentic and cohesive for consumers.
Price strategy in SaaS marketing trends
I’ve said before that using price as your main differentiating factor is not an effective marketing strategy. Why not? Easy, because the moment someone else comes in with a comparable product at a lower price, your whole strategy falls apart. However, there are certain things related to price that SaaS companies have been using differently in recent years, and these trends will likely catch on and carry the industry into the next decade.
One such strategy is not a new concept at all, but it is gaining popularity as businesses begin to fully comprehend the importance of customer care in SaaS. The so-called “freemium” model is a great way to get customers to fall in love with your product in a way that feels low risk to them.
Broadly speaking, there are two ways you can approach this. First, you can offer a free version of your software that is limited in terms of the capabilities it provides. Customers are, in theory, encouraged to shell out for the full version so that they can make full use of everything your service can do.
The other option is to offer a free trial version of your service that gives customers access to all features. This gives you a 30-, 60-, 90-day or longer window for you to get them hooked on your service. Once they have integrated it into their life, they are much more likely to pay to continue using it.
Vertical SaaS: depth > scope
The old business model said you needed to give your product generic appeal and utility to reach as wide a customer base as possible. This sort of “horizontal SaaS” is dying out quickly, or will at least be left to the biggest and most powerful companies. Now, the winds are blowing towards a “vertical” model, where your product is precisely tailored to the needs of a smaller base.
The benefit of this, especially for small startup businesses, is it requires fewer resources to get to know potential customers and reach them. Furthermore, there are plenty of market niches that are still up for grabs that will be heavily targeted in the coming decade. If you find a niche with unmet needs, and you know how to fulfill them, success is practically guaranteed.
Another decade of SaaS marketing trends
All of the above SaaS marketing trends represent the direction that I see the SaaS industry moving as we travel through this decade and into 2030. They are based on what’s going on in the present, of course, but always with an eye to the future.