SaaS Marketing

What is SaaS Product Marketing: The Definitive Guide

Toni Koraza
July 19, 2023
What is SaaS Product Marketing: The Definitive Guide

SaaS is a complex domain because it’s not a product you sell once; consumers question their subscriptions every time a recurring payment is due. 

The result is high churn rates. 

To keep a flow of customers onboarding, you need to adopt product marketing strategies or, if resources permit, build a product marketing team. 

As a full-service SaaS SEO agency, we help our clients incorporate these strategies. In this guide, we’ll share everything we know about product marketing and how you can instill these strategies in your SaaS business. 

What We'll Cover:

What is SaaS Product Marketing? 

SaaS product marketing involves generating demand for your product and driving adoption at all stages of the customer funnel.

It involves many tasks like

  • developing product messaging,
  • finalizing the positioning,
  • helping the sales and marketing team understand the product and bringing them on the same page.

In short, it’s the ongoing process to establish your SaaS brand in the industry, bring on new customers, and keep them subscribed. 

What is the Difference Between Product Marketing and SaaS Product Marketing? 

The main difference between a product marketer and a SaaS product marketer is the activities that happen after a purchase. 

For the general product marketer, their goal is to drive the user to make the purchase. A SaaS product marketer continues providing important content and value to retain these newly onboarded users. 

SaaS product marketers focus on more than flashy promos or great deals. They help the customers understand the product and how to get the most value from adopting it.  

How Does SaaS Product Marketing Fit Within Your Company? 

SaaS product marketing handles many activities like

  • demand generation,
  • user onboarding,
  • activation journey,
  • account expansion,
  • communicating the new features,
  • UI changes.

Among these, the four key roles of a SaaS product marketer are:

Onboard Users Continuously  

Product marketers use their knowledge of the product to create messaging and content that drives conversions at each stage of the funnel. This continuous onboarding ensures that the SaaS business keeps growing and you keep replacing those customers that leave or shift their business. 

Increase User Adoption 

Your user signed up for the free trial. Congratulations. But product marketers don't stop there - they now engage users and increase adoption. For example, they may draw users’ attention to features particularly helpful to their niche or role, which hooks the user to the product.

Reduce Churn 

Product marketers pay attention to the customer journey to ensure customers succeed with the product and renew their subscriptions. Product marketers are also skilled at understanding their audience’s requirements and providing relevant solutions at each stage. This helps fight customer churn and ensures that the business maintains a steady flow of revenue. 

Identify Opportunities to Drive Account Expansion 

Upselling and cross-selling are great ways to move your customers toward higher-tiered pricing plans. Product marketing teams identify the correct opportunities where they can drive account expansion. This could be when a customer creates a certain number of projects or tries to utilize limited-time features. 

What Should Your SaaS Product Marketing Team Look Like? 

Your SaaS product marketing team will depend on several factors, including

  • the kind of SaaS tool you have,
  • the customer growth journey in your niche,
  • the competitors you have,
  • the customer acquisition approach you follow.

As a starting point, here’s what a general SaaS product marketing team looks like: 

Product Marketing Manager 

The product marketing manager is the head of the team. They are responsible for strategizing and developing unique insights and analytics that guide your team. Their daily activities involve developing roadmaps for the product, creating budgets for different campaigns or strategies, building customer engagement, etc. 

Growth Product Marketer 

Growth product marketers have a solid understanding of digital marketing initiatives that can attract, convert and retain marketing-qualified leads. Their daily responsibilities involve planning and optimizing paid ads and online campaigns, managing social acquisition channels, devising referral programs, extracting key data from previous campaigns, etc. 

Head of Content Marketing 

The head of content marketing is responsible for planning, developing, and implementing a content strategy that achieves business goals. Their daily responsibilities involve planning an editorial calendar, generating content ideas, prioritizing different content mediums and platforms, managing writers and editors, updating old content, etc. 

SEO Marketer 

SEO marketer handles all the activities that help your SaaS website rank higher and get more traffic. Their day-to-day activities involve keyword research, auditing websites for technical optimizations, taking care of link building, finding content gaps, conducting competitor research, monitoring and learning about algorithm changes, etc. 

What are the Best SaaS Product Marketing Strategies? 

Here are eight product marketing strategies to help you bring more leads and growth to your SaaS company. 

1. Research Your Target Audience and Market 

Conducting thorough market research can provide four main benefits:

  • It helps you understand the target segments that will find your product most helpful.
  • You can create the right buyer personas and tailor your SaaS marketing strategy for each persona.
  • It helps you identify the gaps and how your product fills them. These insights will be useful to give you a competitive advantage.
  • You can find out what works and doesn’t work for your product and optimize it.

If you already have a rich customer database, drawing insights from them to create your buyer personas or target audience is easy.

If you’re just starting, you can look at the customers your competitors are targeting or create a basic questionnaire that your product team and initial customers can answer. Here are some questions to get you started: 

buyer persona information

2. Product Targeting and Positioning 

Before you launch your product, you should be clear on how you plan to target your product and position it for different buyer personas.

One way to do that is by taking the earlier step of market and audience research as your guide. You can ask the following questions for each buyer persona to get started:

  • How does this product solve their problem?
  • What are the most important features for them?
  • How much can they afford to spend on this product?
  • Are there any other SaaS companies they can switch to?

Depending on these answers, you can create targeted messaging that is highly relevant. 

For example, look at how ClickUp provides different use cases for its product and targets the tool’s different features for different teams. This ensures they can target different teams by positioning their product’s features in various ways. 

Clickup Finance tab illustration of features

Image source 

3. Club Sales and Marketing 

While sales and marketing teams often work in silos, when they are aligned, they can bring more growth to your SaaS business. 

HubSpot highlighted some of the biggest benefits, including increasing revenue and improving the customer experience. 

bar chart stat report of benefits of sales and marketing teams being aligned

Image source 

While sales and marketing have unique roles to fill, you can bring these teams together to unlock insights and create more effective strategies. 

For example, sales teams work with customers daily, so they have a great idea of what they want and how they make purchasing decisions. These insights can help the marketing team create more relevant campaigns that draw qualified leads that the sales team can easily convert.  

On the other hand, the marketing team can provide insights about buyer personas and different segments to the sales team so they can close deals faster. 

4. Inverted Funnel Thinking 

The traditional funnel works like this – you get more visitors to your website or business and try to nudge them toward the bottom, where less than half of people convert and subscribe to your tool. 

The inverted funnel thinking talks about how to start from the bottom – chase your customers instead of those who don’t even know about you.  

This diagram from Buffer describes it the best. 

illustration of why should you love your customers

Image source 

Some ways to do that are: 

  • Build a community: Make your customers feel like they are a part of something.
  • Provide value: Delight your customers by providing them value at each stage. Instead of thinking, “What’s in it for me?” turn the tables around. Give them more for free. This could be content, tips and tricks they can use, reports, etc. This generosity can go a long way in retention and referrals.
  • Put your customers in the limelight: Make them feel important by showcasing their successes through customer stories on your blog.

5. Content Marketing 

There's an abundance of case studies about the importance of content marketing and how it has helped SaaS businesses garner steady traffic and leads. 

Take Moosend. Instead of creating more content, the team decided to evaluate and optimize current content. They analyzed everything from which content pieces were most valuable, those that were not necessary, which could be optimized with more information and relevant keywords, etc. 

They used various off-page strategies to promote their optimized content and nearly saw 10X organic traffic in under a year. 

organic traffic report of all countries

To get similar results for your business, create a content strategy backed by data, set SMART goals, conduct competitor content research, and determine the content topics and formats you should prioritize. 

6. Email Marketing 

Email marketing is a great way to shorten the time to move leads through the funnel and engage existing users. 

You can run many email campaigns like onboarding, product updates, promotional emails, newsletters, subscription reminder emails, offers, etc. 

While creating an email strategy, ensure you set proper goals and create campaigns for each stage of the funnel.  

Here are some best practices you can adhere to. 

illustration of 7 email marketing best practice

Other things you can pay attention to are the CTA placement in emails, personalization elements to make the email more engaging, incorporation of visuals, color themes you use, mobile-friendly email formats, subject lines, persuasive copy, etc.

Here’s how Grammarly creates engaging emails by using GIFs that catch attention. 

total words analyzed by grammarly, and there's a cat with rainbow on the left

7. Adopting SaaS Marketing Automation Tools 

Creating strategies and implementing daily tasks can take a lot of your time. Instead of doing everything manually, smart marketing teams rely on automation tools to share half of their burden. 

Whether automating drip email campaigns or automating parts of your workflow, there are many tools that can get the job done for you.  

Here’s an example of how drip email automation works. 

flow chart of how drip email automation works

While choosing these automation tools, ask yourself these questions: 

  • How will this automation tool help me?
  • Is the tool scalable based on my changing requirements?
  • Does it have all the features that I need?
  • What kind of ROI will I gain by subscribing to this tool?

Some tools that you can get started with are Zapier, HubSpot, and Drift.  

8. Measure Your Performance and Take Corrective Action 

Your marketing campaign is only amazing if it generates results. 

The only way to determine whether these campaigns are successful is to measure them regularly. One way is by setting KPIs for each strategy or campaign you adopt. For example, here’s a list of SEO KPIs you should measure. 

table list of SEO KPIs to track

Create this list for every product marketing strategy. This helps your team measure campaign results effectively and determine what’s working and what you should optimize. 

Here are some questions our SaaS clients often ask for each campaign: 

  • What results did we generate?
  • Did we meet the goals that we had set?
  • What parts of the campaign worked well? Can we replicate those for other campaigns?
  • What parts of the campaign failed? How can we ensure it doesn't happen in the future?

Based on these answers, you can take relevant corrective actions. 

Build Your SaaS Product Marketing Strategy 

With so many similar products competing for customers’ attention in the SaaS field, product marketers must develop unique strategies to capture the market. 

First, you need to understand your target audience. Then, you can go one step deeper, developing different strategies, features, and content to target your various customer segments. Once you have them onboard, you can step up your product marketing efforts to turn them into loyal users. 

If you need guidance in working out your SaaS product marketing plan, contact our experts at MADX. We have years of experience working with SaaS clients and helping them nail their strategies. 

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