Learn about the essential marketing strategies for B2B SaaS companies to accelerate growth in 2024. Discover the importance of demand generation, lead generation, and referral automation, and how to effectively educate the market, convert leads into customers, and generate referrals. Explore a coaching program to develop your ideal customer profile and implement these strategies.
In the video, the speaker discusses the importance of marketing for SaaS businesses, especially in the early stages. He emphasizes the need for three key areas of marketing: demand generation, lead generation, and referral automation. These strategies are crucial for educating the market about the problem, turning leads into customers, and getting referrals from satisfied customers. The speaker also offers a coaching program to help SaaS businesses develop their ideal customer profile and implement these marketing strategies effectively.
- If your SaaS business is sales-led,
then you need marketing.
If your SaaS business is product-led,
then you need 10X the amount of marketing.
Here's one thing I've realized working
with over 250 SaaS founders
and even just working in this community,
founders, and I made the same mistake
when I was first starting out,
don't quite know exactly what type of marketing
moves the needle for SaaS businesses.
Marketing is a broad body of knowledge
and in order to actually drive growth,
especially in the early stages of your SaaS business,
you actually need to focus on three key areas of marketing.
So in this episode, I'm gonna walk you through
the three marketing strategies that are the most impactful
when working to drive growth for your SaaS business.
And when you follow these three principles
and focus on these three specific types of marketing,
you will be able to accelerate your path
to that next stage of growth for your SaaS business.
(urgent, percussive music)
What's up, everybody? Welcome to Unstoppable.
I'm TK, and this channel I help SaaS founders like you
grow your sass business faster with an unstoppable strategy.
Now if you're new to this channel, welcome.
I drop an episode every single Sunday
with actionable strategies and tactics from the trenches
on how to grow your SaaS business faster.
So be sure to hit that subscribe button and that bell icon,
that way you'll get notified
every single time I drop an episode with the TK energy.
Now, if you're already part of this community,
if you're part of my SaaS go-to-market coaching programs,
my people, welcome back.
It's really awesome to see you over here.
So having been in SaaS for the last 15 years,
having taken my last SaaS company Tout App,
which pioneered the sales engagement space
to over a hundred thousand users,
having sold it to Marketo,
having worked on Marketo as SV VP of Strategy and Alliances
as part of the executive team
working in the forefront of B2B marketing at Marketo,
here are the three principles that I know actually work
to drive growth for your SaaS businesses.
And when you follow these
three very specific forms of marketing and ignore the rest
you too will be able to accelerate
your path to that next stage growth.
So if you're excited to get into principle number one,
go ahead and smash that like button
for the YouTube algorithm,
it really likes it when you do that,
and let's dig right into it.
Now, lemme just orient you over here
in terms of these three marketing strategies.
They all align into this core funnel that exists.
And anyone that's trying to tell you that a funnel is dead,
is trying to sell you something, is probably a guru,
doesn't actually own pipeline at a SaaS company
so they're trying to teach you all this stuff.
But in reality, the funnel is still very much alive.
And the way it works is you have your ideal customers.
They're a specific set of customers
that follow a specific profile
that are most likely to buy from you
as you're going from your current revenue stage
to that next stage of growth.
And I've worked with companies anywhere from
a few million in ARR all the way up to 500 million in ARR
and they all use an ideal customer profile
to get to that next stage of growth.
So you have your ideal customers
and they don't know about you yet,
and in order to get them to buy from you
and use your solution at some point
they are going to have to become a lead,
or a trial if you're product-led.
And then they actually have to say,
"You know what? These guys are for real."
They would actually have to use your product,
activate in the product if you're product-led,
or become an opportunity in your sales process
and talk to a sales rep.
And having gone through that process
through the twists and turns in the road,
they will then convert to revenue.
And then because we're SaaS businesses,
it's recurring revenue,
they'll actually convert to even more revenue,
actually expand that booked business.
And that's the whole point of a go-to-market strategy
to actually pull this off.
Now, if you are saying, "All right, TK, got it.
Now I need marketing
because not enough people know about us.
We don't have enough pipeline, we don't have enough leads,
therefore my salespeople are going hungry
or my product-led experience is so beautiful
but no one's converting
because there's not enough people in it."
This is when marketing comes in.
There's three key types of marketing
that actually move the needle.
And I remember when I was first starting out,
I hired the wrong type of marketers
and focused on the wrong type of marketing
and spent money in the wrong areas,
and it didn't yield actual pipelines, it was useless.
So the first form of marketing that is the most important
for you to embrace as a SaaS company
is demand generation. (marker brushing)
Now, the second form,
I'm gonna give you principle number two right here
just so I can show you the difference between the two.
The second form of marketing is lead generation.
Now the reason I'm giving you both,
which is kind of breaking my rule
because I always give it one at a time
is because these are phrases you probably have heard
and you probably know about
but I bet even for half the people you're interviewing
if you were to ask them what is the difference
or the agency owner or
that fractional CMO who can't keep a normal CMO job
so they're doing this fractional thing,
if you were to ask 'em, "Hey, what's the difference
between demand generation and lead generation?"
Even if you asked yourself,
you probably wouldn't really know the difference.
And this is where the importance is
between these two marketing strategies
because they both matter,
but they both require different ways of implementation.
Let's talk about the first one.
Demand generation is about
making the market aware of a problem that exists
and the fact that it has a solution.
On the other hand, lead generation is
going to your customers who already know the problem exists
are already looking for a type of solution
and you are trying to just engage them in the buying process
and have them become a lead.
There's a subtle difference here.
And the reason you need both
and you need to think about the two differently.
One, because they are done differently,
and two, as startups, we tend to be
in spaces that are relatively new.
And because of that, before you can start generating leads
when you go up around and people and say,
"Hey, I'm XYZ company and we do this,"
and they're like, "I don't know what you're talking about."
You have to educate them on
why this problem you're solving is important,
and then comes the solution.
And so this is why demand generation is more important
for startups before lead generation comes in.
So before you hire that agency
that's gonna run a thousand ads
or hire the two SDRs
that's gonna send out a thousand emails,
you first need to focus on demand generation,
and the art of demand generation is to
go to your ideal customers and educate them on
the actual problem you are solving
and the fact that a solution exists for it.
On the other hand, if for example
you are in a space that is well-defined,
you are creating the billionth CRM on Planet Earth
except now it has AI
then you don't have to do as much demand generation
because the demand for CRM is already built.
There's already a billion companies
that have built the demand for CRMs.
So what you need to focus on then is lead generation.
And with lead generation, you go into the market
and you try to position yourself differently
saying, "Hey, you're probably looking for a CRM.
Here's why you should go with us."
You see the difference here?
One is about educating the market about
the problem that exists, and that's important.
And the second is actually
once they've been educated on the problem
getting them into your sales process as a lead or a trial.
That's the difference,
and that's principle one and principle number two.
Now, a lot of times people don't even focus on these two,
let alone understand the distinction of it.
This is where I lost months if not years
on products that never went anywhere
because I didn't know this.
And once I finally learned this,
and the reason I learned it is because I actually read
the original books by the founders of Marketo,
the founders of Pardot, of the founders of Eloqua,
and that helped me understand
"Oh, this is what demand generation is,"
which is different from just straight-out lead generation
versus just sending a bunch of random emails
and running ads.
Now that you know the difference,
you're gonna be able to say,
"Okay, I probably don't need brand."
You don't need to spend money on doing brand marketing.
Why? Because if you're doing brand and you're not clear on
how you're educating the market what the problem is,
you're not teaching about the market,
the brand no one's gonna care about.
Now, should you do brand marketing later on?
Absolutely, you should do it when
all these pieces are nailed, including the third piece
which I'm gonna tell you about in a second.
But before I keep going
let me just pause here for a second.
Are you starting to see the power in this?
The power in this is to understand
where you are in the space you're playing in.
If you're solving a problem that people already know about,
that ideal customers already know about
and there is already a de facto solution for it
but you have somehow a better mouse trap,
then you wanna focus on lead generation.
They're already in the market,
they're already looking for this kind of thing.
You need to find out
what they're doing to look for this kind of thing,
get in front of them and say,
"Hey, you should give us a shot too."
But, and this is the case where
9 times out of 10 companies that are building something
uniquely new for their SaaS offering,
before customers even know to look for it,
you must first educate them about the problem.
That is the art of demand generation.
You're creating that need,
you're educating them on the problem
and then saying, "Hey, a solution exists."
And then you are getting them
into your lead generation process.
That is the distinction.
And once I got this, once I understood this
everything changed for me
on how I approach go-to-market for a SaaS business.
And if you're starting to see the power in this,
can I just get a "yes" and the comments below?
That way I know you're with me.
And also the YouTube algorithm
loves it when you comment below.
You can also ask questions, just it's just awesome.
And also smash that like button,
especially for that YouTube algorithm.
Just loves it when you do that, and so do we.
Also, if you're in this stage where
you're operating a SaaS company,
whether you're in your founder-led journey
or you're already starting to think about hiring
or you have some people that are not quite delivering
and want help in really crafting together
your go-to-market strategy so you can figure out
your demand generation model and your lead generation model
and how you're gonna position yourself,
this is exactly why I run
my SaaS go-to-market coaching program.
I'll tell you more about it at the end of this episode.
I'll link to it below.
Don't go anywhere right now.
But let's go into principle number three
which really brings us together.
It's the third marketing strategy
that will help you drive growth for your SaaS business.
Okay, so you have demand, you're educating the market.
As you're educating the market,
they're more aware of the problem
and then they become a lead
because you have your lead generation process
and they're coming through this process.
Whether you're product-led or sales-led,
you still need to do these things
so they discover your product
or discover your salespeople and your solution,
then they become opportunities
or they're activating the product,
and then they convert to revenue and then you renew them.
That's the model, that's the SaaS business model.
Now, there's a third one, third marketing strategy
that gets overlooked but is turning into a secret weapon
for so many SaaS companies,
and that is referral automation.
The power of referral automation is
here's the thing, these ideal customers
that you're educating about your problem
and then turning into leads because of your lead generation
and they're buying from you and they're happy customers
and they're buying more from you,
they already know more of your future customers.
That's pretty cool.
And you're doing all this stuff, as you should,
because that's what gets the flywheel going.
But your best customers already know
more of your ideal customers.
And so if you approach them and do
a whole programmatic referral marketing process on them
and say, "Hey, do you know other people
that are in your role that would get value from our product?
Can you introduce us?"
And you do that in an automated way, in a programmatic way,
and you have that scale,
these three things become
the growth engine for your business.
And once these three things are working,
you essentially get a flywheel going.
And that's the cool part about this
because the more leads that you get,
the more they convert to opportunities
or they activate in the product or talk to sales,
the more they convert to revenue.
The more they convert to revenue, the more you renew.
The more you renew, the more you ask for referrals,
the more leads that you get.
And all of these things,
whether it's demand, lead gen, or referral automation,
all three of these things start to power this flywheel
and starts to go faster and faster and faster
to drive the revenue and the growth for your SaaS business.
And this is regardless of
whether you're product-led or sales-lead,
you have to do marketing,
otherwise people won't find your product
or they won't find your salespeople.
It's as simple as that.
And when you do these three things, you are going to be able
to accelerate the growth of your SaaS business.
So to recap, the first great marketing strategy
is demand generation, where you're educating the market
in terms of the problem you're solving.
Number two is lead generation where you're then saying,
"Hey, if you are interested in a solution to this problem,
you should talk to us," and you turn them into leads.
And then as you convert them to customers,
as you renew them, you get the flywheel going
where you do programmatic referrals and referral automation.
So more and more of your customers introduce you to
more of your ideal customer profile.
They do the demand generation for you, and they become leads
and they convert, and the flywheel goes faster
and faster and faster and faster.
It goes so much faster, I'm gonna put this in green
because that's how powerful this is.
Now you know the three key types of marketing strategies
that move the needle for your SaaS business.
What you may not know is
"Hey TK, how do I get demand generation going?
How do I get lead generation going?
How do I get referral automation going?
How do I put these three pieces into play?"
You may be in your founder-led journey
where you're trying to figure these pieces out
or you have junior marketers
or a marketing leader that's not delivering.
We work with companies of all stages and sizes
and this is why I run my SaaS go-to market coaching program.
Inside of this program,
we help you develop your ideal customer profile,
then we help develop your manifesto.
Your manifesto really articulates the problem you're solving
and the solution you're delivering
and helps you turn it into a lead generation machine
while you're doing the demand generation.
And the way you do that is
you run a consistent set of marketing activities
called "the Broadway show"
that consistently creates pipeline for you
using these three marketing strategies.
It's an incredible program.
We've had so many success stories inside of that program.
So if you wanna work together
just go to tkkader.com/gtm, tkkader.com/gtm
and you'll get all the details about how this program works.
And if it looks like you wanna work together,
just fill out little form, we'll get on a call,
and we'll make sure that you're the right fit.
The better the fit, the better the results.
And there are tremendous results
we've had through this program.
This is my third year running it.
We've worked with over 250 companies
across my go-to-market programs.
So just go to tkkader.com/gtm.
Also, if you got values from this video,
please smash that like button for the YouTube algorithm
that just loves it when you do that and so do we.
We put a lot of love into these videos.
If you have a fellow founder or team member,
if you are part of a Slack group or WhatsApp group
of founders that will get value from this video,
please share this video with them,
it would just mean the world to us.
Also, I drop an episode every single Sunday
with actionable strategies and tactics from the trenches
on how to grow your SaaS business faster.
So be sure to hit that subscribe button
and that bell icon where you'll get notified
every single time I drop an episode.
And lastly, remember, everyone needs a strategy
for their life and their business.
When you are with us, yours, it's gonna be unstoppable.
I'm TK and I'll see you the next episode
or inside the SaaS go-to-market coaching program.
Take care everybody.
(exciting, uplifting music)
All right, let's do the thing.
(hand clapping) Whoo!
Hopped up on my chai.
If your SaaS business is sales-led, then you need marketing. If your SaaS business is product-led, then you need 10X the amount of marketing. In this episode, we'll walk you through the three marketing strategies that are the most impactful when working to drive growth for your SaaS business.
Demand generation is about making the market aware of a problem that exists and the fact that it has a solution. Before you can start generating leads, you must first educate your ideal customers about the problem you are solving and that a solution exists for it.
Lead generation is about engaging customers who already know the problem exists and are actively looking for a solution. Once they are aware of the problem and the solution, you can turn them into leads and guide them through the buying process.
Referral automation is often overlooked but is a secret weapon for many SaaS companies. Your best customers already know more of your ideal customers, and by implementing a programmatic referral marketing process, you can tap into this network to drive growth.
By focusing on demand generation, lead generation, and referral automation, you can create a powerful flywheel that drives revenue and growth for your SaaS business. If you need help implementing these strategies, consider joining our SaaS go-to-market coaching program for personalized guidance.
The video discusses 2021 marketing trends, emphasizing social media, influencer marketing, and personalized approaches to targeting specific audience segments. The speaker also highlights the importance of mastering specific channels to generate quality leads.
Effective lead generation tactics for SaaS businesses include content on social media, content plus ads, content plus SEO, and outbound email or calling. Prioritizing the right tactic is key for success. Referrals, partnerships, direct mail, and events are also valuable strategies for generating quality leads and pipeline. Understanding the ideal customer and messaging is essential for effective lead generation.
Inbound marketing is rapidly changing with a focus on SEO, social media, and leveraging omnichannel strategies. AI and organic reach on platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are highlighted. Effective social media marketing strategies include lead generation, nurture, and conversion. Embracing AI for business growth is recommended.
B2B marketing strategies focus on longer sales cycles, targeting informational terms for SEO, leveraging social media for emotional connections, using entertaining video content, and providing valuable content through blogs and knowledge bases to attract and educate potential customers. These strategies aim to engage and build relationships with the target audience, ultimately leading to conversions.
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