The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is one of the most profitable sectors with enormous potential. However, this relatively new and highly competitive realm has been dominated by big enterprises, with massive marketing budgets.
A good number of small and medium size companies that already exist have to squeeze every last drop of their creativity to come up with something exceptional that can make them stand out from the crowd. However, it doesn’t mean they don’t stand a chance.
The industry has witnessed some rags to riches stories with a small company skyrocketing in growth and profit with smart execution of just one innovative idea. Some of these success stories are a huge inspiration for mid and small-sized SaaS providers to compete against the bigger brands.
As sustainability is the key, here are some of the strategic and marketing tips that can help small-time SaaS firms to remain in the contention while competing against the established players.
Be it a B2B offering, or a product for individual customers, it’s important for small-time SaaS providers to chart out the precise details of their target audience. It’s because several companies and even individuals are constantly looking for a software solution that can cater to their particular need.
Having the detailed description of your potential customer(s) makes it easier to target the right prospects and cater to their niche demographics and specific concerns, which is sure to get them interested in your product. Moreover, it can also help you to position your product correctly. Eventually, you’d find out that there are a considerable number of niche consumers who’d liked to give a try to your offering.
A new product with limited features may find it difficult to stand out from the oversaturated SaaS market. From information gathering modules to online file organizing tools, consumers are spoilt for options. Keeping your product distinctive is the key to getting the consumers’ attention, but if they are finding it difficult to distinguish your product, as it is too similar to the ones offered by the competitors, then it’s time reevaluate your strategy.
Fortunately, there are many ways to achieve differentiation, but the ultimate objective of a SaaS product shouldn’t be lost once it has been modified. Usually, a slight adjustment to your product can be enough to open some new lucrative business opportunities.
As in the case of the product, it’s important to make your brand stick out from the crowd. Marketers at SaaS startups responsible for the branding exercises, such as creating slogans and logos, should be careful about using these discourses belonging to the competitors.
Though every new SaaS company wants to be identified as innovative and customer-centric, using these monotonous clichés can only make a brand appear deficient of ideas.
To ensure their brand stand out, marketers must try creating a brand a personality with impressive traits. By focusing on the demographics of the target audience, they can come with unique brand characteristics that can evoke emotional appeal among them.
A cleverly crafted marketing strategy that celebrates the company’s ideals and values with richly designed and creativity conceived branding initiatives can make the SaaS product get easily noticed by the prospects.
Logically, demonstrating the value proposition is the next step after differentiation. While stand-out features of your product can help in catching the attention of your target audience, it may not necessarily convert them to customers.
Even though most decisions by the consumers are driven by an instinct that can be described as a combination of logic and emotion, most SaaS purchases usually drift towards the logical side of the spectrum. In such situation, the product’s overall value can be critical and usually end up as the sole difference between a deal and a denial.
Moreover, as SaaS product cannot be practically acquired by the customers, as they are mostly available as subscriptions, it’s necessary for them to deliver a feeling of instant satisfaction. Also, being typically B2B-oriented, additional benefit(s) that can amplify the value of the SaaS product can make it much more sellable.
Measuring the abstract propositions through quantifiable figures is the key to obtaining relevant insights. For this reason, expressing the claims in numbers can give a SaaS company a much better chance of convincing their clients.
Consider an example where a SaaS tool claims bring down the time of doing an accounting task by 20 hours. The tool costs $40, which means, it cost $2 for every man-hour saved. By quantifying the increased productivity in terms of comprehensible figures can give the company an edge over its competitors that have only wage performance indicators to show.
The primary challenge in such scenario is about the quantifying the claim, such as the assertion of ‘saving 20 hours’, in the above example. The clients are sure to inquire on the method used to reach such a concrete number.
A SaaS firm with many customers can back its claims through the data it receives from its clients, but for a startup, it would have to rely on third-party metrics, which might not sound convincing to the new customers. However, with each new client it acquires, the company can go on to build a pool of accurate data that can stand as evidence for its assertion, and promote them with conviction to the prospects in the future.
While differentiation and better branding activities are always necessary, a growing SaaS firm should also focus on continually improving its customer service initiatives. Being always approachable is the key to achieving high customer satisfaction, which can also go a long way in reducing the churn rate. Also, a simple yet effective marketing approach that aims at improving the online presence through social syndication can help in keeping the customers engaged. A skillful mix of these ideas can together form a successful strategy that can help even small and growing SaaS firms to compete with the established players.
- The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), a relatively young industry with enormous potential, has witnessed some inspiring stories of small companies making it big with smart execution of just one innovative idea.
- Though sustainability is the key, a couple of effective strategic and marketing tips can help small-time SaaS firms to compete with the established players.