4 Lessons Learned from 30 SaaS Company Digital Marketing Strategies

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At Careful Feet Digital, we have put together over 30 digital marketing strategies for early and growth stage SaaS companies including Floreo, Phoebe, Fresh Tri, YutyAI, Patientory, Spokin and Agile Health. All came to us with the goal of acquiring new users and retaining these users.

We’re excited that all of these companies have grown since we have built out their digital strategy. Each of these companies is very different; we’ve put together a list of things we’ve learned that we believe all companies should consider when building their strategic approach for acquisition and retention.

  1. There’s a difference between go-to-market (GTM) and marketing strategy. Many early stage companies focus on building out their product, only to be flummoxed when it comes to getting it into the hands of their intended users. Further, they tend to conflate marketing campaigns and initiatives with their initial go-to-market strategy, which can confused and commingle efforts and effect business strategy and financial planning. A GTM strategy is broader than just marketing; it encompasses sales, distribution, pricing, and customer experience. It’s about the “how” of getting your product or service into the customer’s hands. Marketing, on the other hand, concentrates on how to attract and engage customers through various marketing channels and techniques. It involves the continuous process of promoting the product or service, and the company as a whole (where relevant). Conflating the two can mean that companies spend too much time on an initiative that isn’t relevant for their stage of business, or focuses on channels or strategies that won’t give them the results they need.
  2. There are growth levers, and then there are on-going, scalable initiatives. Going from 0 to 1 is extremely difficult. While you’ll want to figure out ways to get your products and services into the hands of users in a scalable fashion long term, to start, it likely won’t be all that easy. Baking sales into the product – for example, Dropbox requires all users to sign up to share and download files – is one way in which to do this. Beyond that, looking at unscalable first steps – leveraging your networks, speaking at conferences, being a podcast guest, hosting events and engaging in physical activations are all ways to grow awareness and get initial users. Only once you’ve reached product market fit, which you can usually tell from organic demand and adoption, should you can start testing out scalable initiatives, such as paid channels or SEO.
  3. Launches tend to see spikes around which you want to capitalize. But plan for what comes after. Product launches are exciting times when, if done well, the marketing gods align and all eyes are on your product. That’ll mean a spike in interest and all the metrics that tell you your marketing is working well. But what comes after? Make sure that you have solid lead gen frameworks set up to capture the interest while it lasts – you can retarget potential users with ads, grow your email list, increase your social media following and grow brand awareness around these peaks and use that as a catapult post-launch.
  4. Balance and define the guardrails between sales, marketing and product. In most modern companies, there are significant grey areas between sales, marketing and product teams. These three all tend to work together on go-to-market, product strategy, customer success and sales. Defining what teams will be responsible for which metrics is a good place to start – but keeping the flow of communication open is essential, since each team can learn from one another as you’re building and growing.


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