SaaS Marketing

How to Build an Unstoppable B2B SaaS Marketing Team

Perry Steward
May 8, 2023
How to Build an Unstoppable B2B SaaS Marketing Team

In a category that is always evolving and highly competitive, like SaaS, the marketing team handles a plethora of tasks and activities. 

With so much to do - creating website content, deploying PPC campaigns, generating leads and creating retention campaigns - you need a SaaS marketing team with various skill sets, capabilities and expertise.

But how do you build such a team? As a SaaS SEO agency that works on SaaS marketing, we’ve learned the best strategies to build an unstoppable SaaS marketing team. In this one-stop guide, we've shared everything you need to know. 

What We'll Cover:

Decoding the 4 SaaS Marketing Spheres

Marketing roles in your team fall into 4 SaaS marketing spheres. While these spheres may have commonalities, it’s important that your marketing strategy focuses on all four of them.

1. Growth Marketing

Growth marketing is the process of driving up a company’s revenue or other key metrics by creating marketing campaigns and strategies backed by data.

With SaaS growth marketing, the focus is on user engagement and retention as much as it is on user acquisition and aims to generate as many leads as possible while decreasing the CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost).

This department is heavily involved with data and analytics. They use marketing metrics, past data, analytics and insights from various marketing channels to understand user behavior and identify important actions for driving growth.

The five important components of growth marketing are:

  • Data-driven plan
  • A/B testing
  • Customer feedback
  • Constant experimentation
  • Multi-channel marketing efforts

2. Product Marketing

Product marketing involves understanding the target audience of your product and using strategic positioning and messaging to boost demand and revenue from the product.

This function involves various tasks. For example, performing competitive product analysis to ensure the product's features and value are communicated to the salespeople and customers. Another example is understanding different customer personas to create targeted advertisements and messaging.

The goal of this department is to ensure that potential customers know what the product can do and cultivate this knowledge in every business process, like marketing, sales, and support.

Product marketers also use case studies, success stories, and use cases to create in-app messaging and find opportunities in the app to upsell or cross-sell various plans or features.

3. Content Marketing

Content marketing is one department that almost all SaaS businesses focus on. It refers to the practice of creating content, and it’s a great way to educate your audience, build trust and credibility, and generate new leads for your business.

It includes understanding your audience, creating valuable and effective content, distributing and promoting it, and ultimately analyzing it to understand the type of content that is getting the most traction.

Content marketing isn’t restricted to blogs anymore. It includes social media marketing, email marketing, video marketing, podcast marketing, etc.

Content marketing wheel of topics

Many SaaS companies like HubSpot and Buffer have used content marketing strategically to reach where they are.

4. Brand Marketing

Brand marketing is an umbrella term for various marketing methods like PR, events and community engagement, partnership marketing strategy, brand graphic design, brand storytelling, etc.

It helps create brand associations in the minds of consumers. For this, brand marketers work closely with product designers and salespeople to ensure products and messaging have a consistent brand identity.

This consistency is followed across channels and marketing messages. This also influences customer experience to a certain extent.

There are various levels of brand marketing. Here’s how you can get started with it.

Levels of brand marketing

While brand marketing may have some similarities with product marketing, brand marketers deal less with the product and more with making the brand visible through the product.

What are the roles within a SaaS Marketing Team?

Now that we know the different facets of the SaaS marketing function, here are the different roles each SaaS marketing function has.

1. Growth Marketing Roles

These roles could be:

  • Marketing Operations Manager
  • Performance Marketer
  • Growth Hacker
  • Demand Generation Specialist
  • SEO Specialist
  • Inbound Marketing Manager
  • Email Specialist
  • Paid Acquisition Manager

These roles might have different responsibilities depending on the job profile and business requirements, but here are some common responsibilities:

  • Define target audience and buyer personas.
  • Identify new lead generation and customer acquisition channels.
  • Start and maintain marketing campaigns.
  • Work with marketing data, analyze it, and refine strategies iteratively.
  • Improve user engagement by optimizing customer journeys.
  • Implement measures to increase customer satisfaction, CSAT, and thus retention.
  • Deal with marketing automation and find ways to streamline various marketing processes.
  • Continually experiment with different strategies and keep optimizing them.

2. Product Marketing Roles

These roles could be:

  • Product Marketing Manager
  • Sales Enablement
  • Product Owner
  • UX Writer
  • Portfolio Marketing Manager
  • Solutions Marketing Manager
  • Service Marketing Manager

The general responsibilities in this domain are:

  • Create awareness and interest in your product
  • Responsible for the product’s positioning and ensuring product-market fit.
  • Ensure product messaging and other marketing campaigns are accurately describing the product’s USP, value, and benefits.
  • Work with developers on product ideation/new feature additions and development.
  • Work with your sales team to identify the most relevant features to highlight in the sales process for different segments.
  • Write the microcopy in products/apps with the aim of improving user experience.

3. Content Marketing Roles

These roles could be:

  • Content Marketing Manager
  • Content Marketing Strategist
  • Copywriter
  • Content Writer
  • Social Media Marketing Manager
  • PR Manager
  • Video Specialist
  • Creative Manager
  • SEO Specialist
  • Content Editor

The general responsibilities in this domain are:

  • Research the target audience and the kind of content that appeals the most to them.
  • Perform keyword research to find ranking opportunities for the content.
  • Create high-quality content for blogs, videos, social posts, infographics, podcasts, etc.
  • Edit and proofread the content to ensure it aligns with your brand’s style and tone.
  • Promote the content on different channels.
  • Optimize existing content and web pages so they better rank on search engines like Google.
  • Monitor the content’s performance and improve the strategies if needed.

4. Brand Marketing Roles

These roles could be:

  • Brand Strategist
  • Brand Activation Manager
  • Creative Director
  • Event Planner
  • Brand Marketing Manager

The general responsibilities in this domain are:

  • Conduct PR, events, and other activities that build or maintain the brand’s image.
  • Develop and execute marketing campaigns that promote the organization’s brand, products, or services.
  • Create a cohesive brand message to engage customers through various channels.
  • Create a cohesive marketing strategy consistent with the brand voice.
  • Form and maintain positive relationships between the brand and its customers.

How are Successful B2B SaaS Marketing Teams Structured?

The B2B SaaS marketing team structure will differ depending on whether you opt for a small, medium, or large-sized marketing team. Let’s look at the structure for each of them.

1. Small-Sized SaaS Marketing Team

Smaller companies have limited budgets and fewer resources so a small-sized SaaS marketing team becomes the best option.

This marketing department can look like this.

Small-sized SaaS marketing team flow chart

The marketing director/Chief Marketing Officer typically will need to be a true generalist to manage the entire team better. Their responsibilities would be developing marketing plans and strategies, estimating budgets, taking care of the hiring decisions within the marketing domain, and managing the relationships with different heads.

While you can make do with a single-tier structure for all departments like growth marketing manager, product marketing manager, brand marketing manager, and designer, you’ll need to hire copywriters under the content marketing team. Because you’ll need content for all the stages of the SaaS funnel, you’ll need expert copywriters who can produce well-researched and well-written content.

Note: You don’t need a design head as the senior designer will not be doing the strategizing bit; he/she will be creating designs on behalf of the other departments.

2. Medium-Sized SaaS Marketing Team

This is when your SaaS business starts to scale, and you need a medium-sized SaaS team to take things to the next level.

The marketing department at this stage can look like this:

Medium-sized SaaS marketing team flow chart

The major change here is the addition of the marketing operations department. The marketing operations manager manages all the daily activities and remains in touch with the CMO to refine existing strategies based on data analysis.

While you still wouldn’t want to hire multiple people for the same role, you can recruit specialists under different departments, like editor and SEO specialist under the content marketing domain.

These roles will change depending on your business’s requirements and niche. 

3. Large-Sized SaaS Marketing Team

Once your SaaS business becomes a large enterprise, you'd want to spend significantly on improving and recruiting more people for your marketing team.

Your marketing department would look like this:

Large-sized SaaS marketing team flow chart

You’d likely add more roles to each of these departments. While this image limits itself to manager positions in certain domains, you will likely have a team under those managers as well.

For example, a social media marketer under the social media manager role.

At this stage, the focus is on building more organized and seamless processes to bring a new level of awareness to your brand and product.

You will also have to set communication and collaboration guidelines at this stage so these departments and sub-departments do not work in silos.

How to Build an Unstoppable B2B SaaS Marketing Team?

To build an unstoppable marketing team for your SaaS company, here are eight steps you can follow.

1. Define Your Target Audience and Understand the Market Trends

Define your target audience and understand the market trends list of items

Your target audience will determine the marketing initiatives you’ll have to focus on. Depending on these activities, you can get an idea of the roles you’ll need on your team.

This will also depend on the market trends to a large extent. For example, with the advent of reels on Instagram, many SaaS businesses like Canva and Hootsuite have adopted those in their marketing strategy.

Here are some questions you can ask to gain more clarity:

  • On which channels are my users most active?
  • Which kind of content do they engage with the most?
  • What kind of market trends are my competitors taking advantage of?
  • What are some common behavioral traits in my users? Can we tie them successfully to some marketing strategies?
  • What motivates them to purchase a product? What is their purchasing behavior like?

2. Develop a Comprehensive Marketing Plan

Once you have defined your target audience and the market trends you wish to capitalize on, the next step is to create a marketing plan.

Without a marketing plan, you may hire the wrong people or set the wrong budgets and salary expectations. 

To create a detailed marketing plan, here are some steps you can follow:

  • Perform competitor research to find the strategies, keywords, positioning, and channels that are bringing in the best results.
  • Define your marketing goals and OKRs so that you can track your progress over time and set realistic goals for your marketing team.
  • Choose the various strategies and distribution channels. You can even prioritize them. 
  • Set an overall budget and then break it down for each strategy depending on the priorities you set.

3. Identify Essential Roles and Responsibilities

Once your marketing plan is set, you can understand the roles you’ll need in your marketing team structure.

For each strategy you have included in your marketing plan, jot down the kind of people that will work on it. For example, for content strategy, you will require a content marketing manager and content writers.

You can even wish to hire SEO specialists and editors if you have the budget and growth to support it.

At the start, you can even hire generalists who take care of everything. For example, you can hire content marketers to take care of keyword research, SEO, and other responsibilities besides writing instead of hiring content writers. 

Once the roles are defined, jot down the responsibilities for each role. This will ensure no two roles have the same responsibilities and there is no overlap or duplication of effort.

4. Recruit Top Marketing Talent

You can use the roles and responsibilities you have set to recruit top talent in your niche. For this, you must determine whether you want to hire full-time employees or make do with freelancers.

For example, you may hire the marketing manager full-time but opt to hire freelance content writers.

Depending on this, you can select the platforms for hiring, like LinkedIn or Upwork for freelance profiles.

Here are some points you can note when you create these job advertisements.

Best practices for optimizing your job advertisements and related topics

5. Leverage Technology and Data

Once you have the right team in place, you need to equip your team with the right technology and data.

This means providing them with the necessary tools to excel at their jobs. For example, marketing automation tools, SEO ROI tools, keyword research tools, etc.

Before selecting the tools, ensure you check all the necessary details, like if it provides integrations with other tools, if it has all the required features your team needs, if you can easily upgrade versions while ensuring it fits the budget, etc.

This tool stack, along with the required data, can help your team spend time on value-adding activities instead of working on manual tasks.

6. Adopt a Multi-Channel Approach

If you take inspiration from established SaaS businesses, you’ll realize they don’t rely on one channel to bring leads or boost awareness. They adopt a multi-channel approach to build a presence on all channels where the target audience is active.

Take Canva which has built an audience of 1.4 million on Instagram.

A screenshot of Canva's Instagram profile

Image source

Not only Instagram but the brand is also active on other social media platforms, and it consistently publishes blogs and other content in the form of tutorials, courses, and webinars.

You can even adopt email and video marketing to expand your SaaS business’s reach and meet customers on their preferred channel.

If you’re a startup, you may not have the bandwidth or resources to stay active on all platforms. In such a scenario, consider initially starting with the best channels and then expanding as you get results.

7. Continuously Test and Refine Your Strategies

Even when you have done adequate research and crafted the perfect marketing plan, you need to keep optimizing your strategies.

To analyze your marketing strategies, you can use tools that help you get the relevant metrics. You can even set metrics your team needs to keep track of regularly. This way, you never lose sight of the big picture and tie your strategies with relevant goals and metrics.

You can even refine your strategies by studying the market trends and adopting them in your strategies. For example, if your audience gravitates towards reels instead of normal posts on Instagram, you can start experimenting with the new format.

8. Foster a Culture of Innovation and Collaboration

If you want to stay ahead of your competition, you must inculcate a culture of innovation and collaboration in your team.

Here are four ways you can do that:

  1. Instead of having fixed processes, let your team figure out “how” to do something. You might discover creative ways of doing the same thing.
  2. Provide a safe space for ideas. This could be a channel in Slack where your team could share tweets, inspirational posts, or polls.
  3. Bridge silos between groups. When teams interact with each other, they can share different perspectives and find unique ideas. You can do that by holding team meets every weekend or creating a collaborative culture where people feel free to share their ideas with other teams
  4. Get your team involved in decision-making.

How to Hire My First SaaS Marketing Rockstar?

For your first marketing hire, you can hire someone with multi-faceted experience in 3-4 key marketing domains, mid-level experience, or management/leadership experience.

This person can then start working on a marketing strategy for you while you hire for key roles needed to deploy this strategy.

To find this key person, you can go to those platforms where they are present. For example, while designers may be present more on Instagram or platforms with job boards, senior roles will be more active on LinkedIn.

Final Thoughts

Building a SaaS marketing team can take time, but once you have the right team, your business will be fully equipped to jump to the next level.

Before hiring team members, ensure you finalize your team’s structure. While there is no right or wrong, consider your product type and growth stage before deciding. Then, decide on the hierarchy of positions and your different roles to recruit.

Your marketing team will likely undergo many changes as your business and growth stage change. Don’t shy away from these changes. If you’re a SaaS company that doesn’t want to risk recruiting an entire team right away, get in touch with MADX to find out how we can help you with your marketing requirements.

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