How Do I Create a SaaS Marketing Plan?
Making plans is hard to do. And no, we don’t mean getting your entire friend group to finally align schedules for brunch, though dang, isn’t it hard? We mean business planning, and specifically, marketing planning.
Every marketing plan starts with an objective, the goal the business wants to achieve. In the case of SaaS companies, common goals include increasing the quality of leads, the volume of leads, building brand awareness, and winning user loyalty. In fact, a robust SaaS marketing plan probably needs to be achieving all these at once.
From each objective, planners work backwards to identify the processes and steps taken in the journey to achievement, as well as the false assumptions, risks, and competitors that could limit growth. This is where planning really becomes a challenge, because it’s not humanly possible to predict every variable. That’s why Statwax wants to share our B2B SaaS marketing perspective with you, so you can create enough structure to drive growth without over-planning to the extent you can’t adapt. Plus, at the end we have a link to some B2B SaaS marketing plan template options to help you plan.
What are the Elements of a Marketing Plan?
Every marketing plan must include market research, user personas, brand positioning, competitive analysis, strategic ideas, budget, and success metrics.
Don’t worry, there won’t be a test later… and even if there were, we’re about to break each one down.
- Market Research
Market research is necessary to challenge or confirm the company’s assumptions about consumer buying habits, market size, current trends, and the growth and/or stagnation of opportunity. UX/UI researchers and developers on a SaaS team may have already done some market research, but the SaaS marketing team should also conduct their own exploration, especially on the digital channels you are targeting.
- User Personas
User personas help marketers stay focused on their ideal customers. These may start with user demographics like company size and geographic area, but should also extend to the buyer’s needs, motivations, frustrations, company values, and goals. It is our mission at Statwax to help our partners develop user personas that inform and justify the rest of the elements in the marketing plan, including ad targeting and spending.
- Brand Positioning
A marketing plan should also include the key value propositions and market differentiators of the SaaS platform. Many teams take notes on the way they want to come across emotionally, whether it’s friendly, professional, disruptive, or anywhere in between. The SaaS company style guide may be a separate document but pulling relevant information into the marketing plan can also be helpful to have everything in one place.
- Competitive Analysis
It’s an important part of any marketing plan to understand who you are marketing against. This includes researching the strategies, value propositions, and marketing channels that competitors are using to reach their audiences. And before you worry too much about what the competition is doing, investigate how well those approaches are winning them results. If their ads aren’t getting clicks and their website isn’t getting traffic, that means more opportunity for you. Unsure how to get these insights or how they should inform your strategy? Statwax can help you get insight into the competition, and win against them!
- Strategic Ideas
The meat and potatoes of the marketing plan are the ideas for doing the marketing. This means not just the type of content being created—banner ads, landing pages, eBooks, webinars, and the like—but also how it will be promoted. A full-funnel paid search strategy is a good place for SaaS platforms to start. Often, the goal is not just to drive more lead volume, but also higher lead quality. As your strategies enter into execution, it’s essential to constantly track buyers’ behaviors and reactions to adapt these approaches.
The B2B SaaS marketing budget is different for each company and needs to be closely considered in the planning stages. This is where calling on an outside authority to lend perspective and more technology to the mix can be worth the spend. And yes, we do mean ourselves. We’ve supported the success stories of platforms that need to grow revenue year-over-year while the marketing budget stays the same. (In fact, we even wrote one down.) Statwax deploys predictive modeling to show our partners how changes to their strategies will impact both costs and revenue before they are implemented. This lets SaaS companies grow profit through small, constant improvements, without worrying they have busted the budget.
- Success Metrics
Lastly, the marketing plan should clearly describe how the ROI of marketing will be measured. More revenue is an obvious one, but it can be hard to delineate where the work of marketing ends and sales begins. That’s why other metrics like number of leads through the website, number of clicks and shares, time spent on page, and search ranking can be equally valuable. Learn how we helped one SaaS client scale digital advertising at the same time they improved marketing attribution tracking.
We know this direction is helpful at a high level, but it might also be useful to see an example of a marketing plan. Coschedule has compiled a list of 40 marketing plan templates for you to explore and adapt for your use.
How Do I Create a Marketing Plan for SaaS? Call On Statwax!
Filling out a SaaS marketing plan template will put thoughts on paper (or a screen) but marketers are still often unsure if their personas are sound, if their strategies are innovative, and if their spending is being optimized to deliver the most value. Working with Statwax means partnering with an extension of your team that is committed to your potential. Our data-driven approach provides information so the humans behind the data can make more informed decisions about their marketing plan and strategies. If your SaaS marketing strategy for 2022 is to win more qualified leads without exponentially increasing spending, we can help you achieve it.
Recommended For You
Demand Generation vs Lead Generation
Demand generation vs lead generation, what’s the difference? Is there any? If you ask your local digital marketing aficionado, there’s a good chance that they’ll use the terms interchangeably. But, they shouldn’t. Demand generation and lead generation occupy specific and important slots...
How Is Lead Quality Defined?
You may have finally reached a point where the leads are flowing in for your SaaS company. Maybe you’ve invested in LinkedIn ads, paid search marketing, diligent A/B testing, or other common lead campaigns. Perhaps you’ve implemented alternative methods that are leading to a steady stream of le...
What Are the Best Ways to Do B2B Lead Generation?
Over 60% of marketers consider lead generation to be their greatest challenge, and 53% of marketers throw over half of their budget behind generating leads. That’s a lot of resources–and frustration–tied up into one aspect of marketing strategy. The good news for B2B software as a serv...