How to Choose the Right SaaS Marketing Agency
Are you on the lookout for a new SaaS marketing agency? Maybe you’ve had some decent results, but you’re curious about what else is out there and how to develop a better SaaS marketing strategy. And any quick internet search will show you that there are thousands of options for marketing, from product marketing to content marketing to social media and more. Every agency has a niche, but it can feel pretty overwhelming to sort through the options and find the right company for your campaign.
If you’re a SaaS company looking to boost customer acquisition efforts, you need a SaaS agency that understands the ins and outs of selling a service and how to find better leads. This blog explores what a SaaS marketing agency is, what they do, and how to find the right agency to help take your company to the next level.
Why is SaaS Marketing So Different?
Of course, every SaaS company is unique. But most of them have a few things in common that make marketing their products a whole different beast than other kinds of products. Before we dive into what a SaaS marketing agency is and why you might need or want to work with one, let’s explore these differences.
SaaS products don’t require additional hardware.
SaaS products are, in their simplest form, basically web applications. They don’t require additional hardware, which means they’re intangible—and selling an idea or something you can’t hold can be difficult.
SaaS companies typically offer subscription-based services.
Most SaaS products are subscription-based, so users sign up for monthly or yearly subscriptions. This means that sales aren’t one and done, and sales and customer success need to consistently ensure that today’s customers are tomorrow’s renewals.
SaaS companies are different internally from other companies.
SaaS companies tend to be filled with technically-minded people who are curious and data-obsessed. Why does that matter? The ins and outs of the marketing strategy, the ROI, and every piece of data are important. Working with a SaaS marketing agency that truly gets it just makes sense.
To make a long story short: Marketing for SaaS is unique, and SaaS companies deserve a marketing agency that gets their industry, their pain points, and their challenges.
What Does a SaaS Marketing Agency Do?
With all that in mind, a SaaS marketing agency is a marketing company that specializes in marketing SaaS products and platforms. In its simplest definition, SaaS agencies help SaaS companies develop and implement short- and long-term, multi-channel marketing strategies to boost customer acquisition and drive company-wide growth for their clients. That’s a pretty tall order, but with the right marketing agency for SaaS, it’s more than achievable.
So how do SaaS marketing agencies help their clients get there? From B2B SaaS marketing to B2C SaaS marketing, the best agencies focus on the following strategies:
- Paid digital strategies, including paid search and paid social media
- Predictive customer acquisition modeling to better forecast how many new customers you can expect to acquire thanks to full-funnel marketing efforts
- Customer journey mapping and analysis to truly understand your target audience’s buyer journey
- CRM and platform integrations to better sync company data with marketing campaigns
- Data visualizations and dashboarding to provide you with real-time updates on efforts
- Lead scoring and performance projecting to forecast the number of leads and how much you’ll pay for each lead
- Search engine optimization (SEO) efforts to improve the organic search presence and technical side of clients’ websites
- Landing page development and optimization to test and build out high-performing, full-scale landing pages for campaign efforts
- Analytics cleanup, tagging, and analysis to give you the best information possible
How Do Marketing Agencies Create Strategies for SaaS Brands?
Now, you might wonder how to achieve your goals and get killer results that’ll impress your bosses, board, or stakeholders; it all starts with a SaaS marketing strategy. Essentially, a SaaS marketing strategy is a big-picture game plan that defines the target audience, how best to reach that audience, and how to convert them into leads and customers. A SaaS marketing agency can help you develop a solid marketing strategy to meet your goals.
At Statwax, we’ve developed a three-step approach to creating winning SaaS marketing strategies, and it all starts with understanding that data should guide every single decision. Here’s a brief overview.
Step One: Do Research
You can’t get data without research, so we believe this first step is vital to any good marketing strategy. So what kind of data and research are we talking about? Two primary kinds.
First, it’s important to analyze any internal data. Not sure what data you have? Well, if you have customers, you have data. Here’s what to look for:
- What information do you have about past leads, including demographic information, job titles, geography, and any other relevant details? This information can help to form buyer personas.
- What information do you have about seasonality? Are your leads coming in during a certain time of the year? Were there specific marketing efforts during that time that may have been particularly successful?
- What web data do you have available? Google Analytics and other tools offer a wealth of data, like where your leads are coming from, how long they’re spending on your website, and their journey.
Second, market data is just as important as internal data. Your internal data is great. But information about your industry and your competitors is vital. Consider data points like:
- Who are your main competitors? What kinds of services do they offer? And, how do your services differ?
- What new products are in the pipeline? The SaaS industry is booming, so new tools are coming out regularly. You’ve got to keep up with innovative products and tools to compete.
- What’s the market like in your industry? What does average pricing look like? What kinds of features are consumers looking for?
If this sounds like a lot, it’s because it is. What is one of the primary benefits of using a SaaS marketing agency like Statwax? We’re data experts and employ folks who love data and its power to deliver results. We dive into data daily, so you don’t have to.
Step Two: Ask Questions
This might sound an awful lot like step one. And it is, in a way. This step is all about listening to your sales, product, and customer success teams. They work with your customers daily, which means they have a wealth of knowledge about your products, customer pain points, reasons for customer churn, and the overall journey your average customer takes. All this information is available at your fingertips if you ask the right questions.
So how do you go about doing this? Informal surveys or meetings are a great place to start. Propose questions and give your teams the space and encouragement to answer openly and honestly. Worried they may not be completely transparent if their boss is in the room? Marketing agencies are adept at interviewing, and the right agency can come in and ask your team these questions themselves. This creates a lower-stakes environment for some folks, and the answers come more easily.
Step Three: Find the Right Approach
That multi-channel approach we talked about that’s so important to SaaS marketing? It’s an art, not a science. You have to identify the channels that work for your SaaS product, which means finding the channels your customers are likely to visit when they’re looking for answers.
For SaaS, it’s usually a mix of LinkedIn and paid search. But SaaS products may do well on other social media forms, like Facebook or Twitter. But the right mix? It’s nuanced and depends on your buyer’s personas and data. And this is where a SaaS marketing agency can provide value. Anyone can get a Google Ads certification or place an ad on social. But the right team knows how to identify the right keywords and leverage other efforts, like remarketing and organic SEO-driven content, to build a funnel.
One hitch? Your marketing channels are going to change. So it’s important to have someone on your side who will consistently analyze your ads and efforts to see what’s working (and what’s not.) Finding the right approach means trying out new things and refocusing efforts to keep up with new digital trends and your audience.
What Kind of Fees Should I Expect From A Marketing Agency?
All of this might (hopefully) sound good, but you’re probably wondering how much it’s going to cost you and how much you should be spending on marketing. And the truth is, it’s complex and varies on a company-by-company basis.
Advertising Agency Fee Structure Categories
First, let’s explore the typical fee structures you may encounter when working with a marketing agency. Most agencies, including SaaS agencies, use one or more of the following pay structures.
- Hourly rate: Hourly rate fee structures are pretty straightforward. Clients are charged by the number of hours worked, and they may be quoted about how many hours the work will take. This is an old-school method for marketing agencies, and it’s not super common in modern agencies.
- Project-based: Sometimes called fixed-based, this type of fee structure charges by the project or campaign. Before the work begins, the agency will provide a price quote that accounts for the amount of time and effort it will take to run the campaign, in addition to ad spending and other costs. Project-based fee structures are somewhat common, especially for short-term projects.
- Retainer model: In a retainer model, clients pay a set amount of money—typically monthly or quarterly—to an agency to manage marketing campaigns. For example, a client may pay for 20 hours per month of marketing efforts. Retainer models are most commonly used when the agency and client have a working relationship.
- Customized, per-service: Finally, some agencies take a more customizable approach to their fees. For example, they may charge per service, charging a certain amount for work on social media versus work on web design.
How Much Should a SaaS Startup Spend on a Marketing Budget?
So how much should you be paying for your marketing? Well, it depends on who you ask. Most companies cite a somewhat outdated 2013 US Small Business Association article, which says that small businesses with under $5 million in revenue should allocate about 7-8% of their revenue to marketing. Now, keep in mind that’s for all marketing. Fast forward to 2021, and even during the pandemic, the average marketing spend for B2B companies was between 9.4 and 11.4% of the overall company budget. This may be a good figure to start from when considering marketing strategies.
Something to remember: the right marketing company will work with you to help you understand how far your money will go, no matter your budget. And, as is true with most things in life, you get what you pay for. We’re all about bargain shopping (regarding tortilla chips and laundry detergent), but the right marketing agency is worth their weight, and they’ll deliver the ROI and results to prove it.
How Do I Start SaaS Marketing for My Company?
The easiest way to start SaaS marketing for your company is to find a SaaS marketing agency that can partner with you to get you the best results possible. But how do you sift through the myriad of SaaS marketing agencies out there? We think these three characteristics are mission-critical.
- Data-Driven Techniques: We talk about data as much as we can, and that’s because it’s so vital to SaaS marketing. We recommend finding an agency that excels in market research, predictive modeling, and customer journey mapping. The right agency will dive into your internal data and supplement it with external data to truly understand how to build a marketing funnel that works.
- A Multi-Channel Approach: It’s not enough to market on Google, LinkedIn, or whatever new marketing platform takes the world by storm. The right agency understands the importance of multiple touchpoints for SaaS marketing. Find an agency that recommends a mix of SaaS marketing channels, including paid ads, paid search, and organic efforts.
- An ROI to Brag About: Marketers love talking about their results. SaaS marketers are no different. But you want to find a SaaS agency that’s bragging about the right metric. While unique users and other vanity metrics might look impressive, look for companies that are bragging about actionable metrics. Did we mention that at Statwax, 100% of our clients hit their acquisition goals in 2020? We think that’s something worth talking about.
Statwax: Your Partner in Customer Acquisition
At Statwax, we’re experts in SaaS marketing and the strategies and tactics it takes to drive more leads and better quality leads. Because at the end of the day, better leads are what get you more customers, more revenue, and more company growth. We pride ourselves on being a driven and hard-working partner who works with our clients daily to deliver the best results.
Ready to find out more? Connect with us.
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