Learn the significance of product marketing in the SaaS industry and how it can bring massive ROI. Discover the differences between brand marketing, product marketing, and demand generation marketing, and gain insights into effective strategies for success. Join our SaaS Go-To-Market Coaching Program to develop your go-to-market strategy.
The video discusses the latest marketing trends and strategies for businesses. It also covers the importance of social media marketing and the impact of influencer marketing on consumer behavior. Additionally, the video highlights the significance of personalized marketing and the use of data analytics to target the right audience.
- When it comes to SaaS marketing,
there are three key pillars.
There's brand marketing, product marketing,
and then there's demand generation marketing.
These three pillars all are important
as you are running a scaled SaaS business or a B2B business,
but if you're in the early stages,
brand is actually the least important
and product marketing is the most important,
and this is one thing that most people just ignore
and they don't quite understand.
They think of marketing as this wide body of knowledge
and you need to think about all of those,
but they don't understand how they break down
into core pillars.
Here's the big question though,
why is product marketing so important,
and also, what is product marketing?
Like, what are the critical components to product marketing
and what do you need to know
to be dangerous enough as a founder,
and what do you need to know in order to actually get
that initial traction and drive that initial scale,
and who do you need to hire so they can actually take it
to that next level?
In this episode, we're gonna walk you through
the three principles you absolutely need to know
about SaaS product marketing,
and when you know these principles and you apply them,
you'll be able to accelerate the growth
of your SaaS business.
(clapping) What's up, everybody? Welcome to Unstoppable.
I'm TK, and on this channel,
I help SaaS founders like you grow your SaaS business faster
with an unstoppable strategy.
Now, if you're new to this channel,
I drop an episode every single Sunday
with actionable strategies and tactics from the trenches
on how to actually grow your SaaS business faster.
So be sure to hit
that subscribe button (button clicking)
and that bell icon,
that way you'll get notified (bell ringing)
every single time I drop an episode
(fingers snapping) with the TK energy.
Now, if you're already part of this channel,
if you're part of this community,
if you're part of my go-to-market coaching programs,
my people, welcome back.
Really awesome to see you over here.
Now, back when I was baby TK,
this was 10 years ago, 12 years ago now,
I was starting a company called ToutApp.
We pioneered the sales engagement space,
and when it came time to do sales and marketing,
I stepped out of my engineering hat as a founder and said,
"Cool, we need to embrace go-to-market. How do we do this?"
I started reading a whole bunch
of sales and marketing books,
and when I first approached it, I'll admit I was like,
"Sales and marketing, how hard can it be?
It's important, otherwise the products I build,
no one cares about, so I need to do go-to-market.
I need to do sales. I need to do marketing."
But when I started to dig into
a lot of my favorite books on marketing,
I started to understand that marketing is a very broad term
and there's specific disciplines in marketing
that I needed to understand the differences between
and understand specific disciplines
that would actually make a difference
in the early stage of my company.
That's where I learned about brand marketing,
demand generation, and even product marketing.
Now, on this episode, I'm gonna walk you through
exactly what the differences are between those three things
and I'm gonna give you the three most important principles
you need to know about product marketing,
which is arguably, I believe,
the most important discipline of marketing
when it comes to early stage SaaS.
So if you're excited to dig in,
go ahead and smash that like button
for the YouTube algorithm (button squeaking)
and let's jump right into it. (button clicking)
Now I'm starting from a blank piece of paper here
because I really wanna flesh this out.
So principle number one is understanding
that there is brand,
there is product marketing,
and then there is
demand generation marketing,
and this is one of those things
where if you are getting into this for the first time,
you may even be a marketer, in the beginnings,
like, you just don't realize that they're different ones.
Let me first explain the differences
between these three things.
Brand is what the look and feel is,
the look and feel of your company,
the logo, the website, the colors.
That's really brand marketing.
That's all that you can really do in the early stages
because no one knows you yet.
Now, if you are a Coca-Cola or you are an Amazon
or you are a series B company going into series C,
you already have a mini brand,
meaning people know you, there's customers,
so there's a lot of effort you can put on brand marketing,
but until you actually get to those later stages
where you have lots of customers
and there's lots of word of mouth, lots of buzz,
people are writing about you
because you are actually creating value in the market,
there's really no brand marketing to do.
No one cares.
There is one SaaS company that tried
to build a big brand with no product.
They were called Fast
and they completely failed very publicly.
They had a brand, they had hoodies,
but no one actually bought their product
after raising millions of dollars.
That's the difference between brand and everything else.
So that's brand.
The second one is product marketing,
and in the second principle,
I'll actually walk you through what product marketing is.
Product marketing is really about how do you communicate
what you guys do in the market,
the actual act of communicating it.
Like, what does that look like?
What do you do? What's your value prop?
So we'll get into that,
and then the third pillar of marketing
is how do you actually take that stuff
and actually generate leads, users or pipeline,
the activity generation, the demand generation.
That's the third pillar.
So there's brand, there's product and there's demand gen,
and all three pillars are very different.
The biggest thing to understand is,
in the early stages, brand is useless.
If you are starting the company
or you're in the early stages,
literally use Canva for a logo,
buy a $99 template for your website
and put it all on some sort of WordPress theme, right?
Because all that stuff doesn't really matter
because you don't know exactly
if there's a big enough market and big enough traction,
big enough product market fit for what you're doing yet,
and if you're like, "You know what?
People will go to the website.
It's not gonna be slick enough," here's the thing.
Your early customers, the early adopters,
all the way up to, like, a million in revenue,
maybe even three million,
they don't care about that as much.
What they really care about is is the messaging
and the value that you're providing and your product,
is it any good?
And it's gonna be very unscalable ways of delivering that.
It's not gonna be from glossy brochures
or your website or anything like that.
So the biggest thing you wanna understand
is brand marketing, completely useless in the early stages.
You actually just want to get a, use Canva for your designs.
Design your logo off of that. Use a $99 website template.
Put it on WordPress and just don't think about it anymore.
Like, don't waste time on it.
Don't hire a fancy agency to do brand.
It's just a complete waste of time.
That's principle number one, okay,
the three pillars and which ones to avoid.
One quick thing, if you wanna think about
which one do I prioritize, this is priority number one
and this is priority number two,
meaning without product marketing,
you can't do demand generation marketing.
You have to first do product marketing work
and then demand generation marketing works.
If you actually do demand generation marketing
without the product marketing,
you're basically gonna be spending a lot of money on ads,
doing a lot of content, but no one will actually care.
It will not resonate with the market.
You'll burn a lotta calories,
but nothing will actually yield, and if you're,
right now, you're like, "You know what?
I'm spending thousands of dollars on an agency.
They're running ads, but nothing's converting,"
or, "I did all these blog posts
or these social posts and I'm building in public,
but no one cares about what I'm doing,"
chances are you're doing a bunch of demand gen work
without doing the product work.
So that's the prioritization,
and then this is, like, literally later.
I'm not even gonna put a number three on that.
So that's principle number one, okay, lay of the land,
and baby TK didn't quite know
that there's these three disciplines, right?
And so I didn't even know how to hire for it,
how to prioritize it, what to focus on.
So now you know and hopefully that'll save you months
of wasting time on the fancy website
that no one cares about.
Number two, principle number two is
you wanna start with product marketing,
and when it comes to product marketing, you're like,
"Okay, what does that mean? What does that look like?"
There's some key components
that you actually need to flesh out.
The first thing you need to flesh out
under product marketing, this is all product marketing work,
is you need to flesh out your positioning.
Part of this is ICP work, ideal customer profile.
We talk a lot about that on this channel,
and part of this is also just,
how do you actually put this product
compared to all the competitive dynamics
in the market, right?
How do you position it?
That's what positioning really is,
and so you really wanna figure out,
given our ideal customers and the target market
and the segment we're going after,
which is a lot of ICP work, how do we place ourselves?
Are we mid-market? Are we SMB?
Are we enterprise?
How do we compete with the other players in the market?
How do we differentiate ourselves, right?
So that's a lotta positioning work.
Related to that, you also have to flesh out
your messaging, right?
And a lotta times we refer to this as your value prop.
That's one of the components of it.
Your messaging is essentially, like, what do you guys do?
What's the value you deliver?
What are the benefits of the product?
What are the features that customers actually care about,
and how do you package that up
so it's concise and easy to communicate,
not just for you but for others in the company
and easy for customers to understand,
and how do you do it in a way where you are differentiated
from the other competitors in the product?
So for example, my messaging could be,
"We build a platform,
we build a SaaS platform for salespeople
to track their deals."
Pretty good, right?
It's got positioning, it's got messaging,
but it's shitty because you're like,
"You mean like Salesforce or HubSpot or Pipedrive?"
and the list goes on.
This is the challenge in product marketing,
where you have to look at the competitive dynamics and say,
"Cool, given 1,000 CRM products out there,
how do we position ourselves
and how do we message our unique value proposition
compared to everyone else that's there?"
This is the power of product marketing,
and the last piece that I think
is super important for product marketing
is beyond your positioning and your messaging
and your value proposition,
you also wanna think about your strategic narrative,
and I like to think of this as your manifesto.
This is essentially the story
you tell to the market to really encapsulate,
"Hey, here's what's going on in your life.
We understand your problem and here's the big transformation
we're bringing to you using our software platform
to help you achieve what you desire."
That's packaging up all the core work
that you do in product marketing.
Without these three things,
you are not gonna be able to actually drive demand.
So this is why a lot of times,
people waste time on the brand,
it looks shiny but doesn't speak to the customer,
or they spend a whole bunch of money on ads
and they spend a whole bunch of money on blog posts
and social posts and content,
but none of it works because they haven't done the work
around product marketing.
So that's principle number two.
So principle number, this is number one,
and this is principle number two, what is product marketing?
There's a principle number three which is,
how do you mobilize product marketing?
Like, what is the tangible effects of, like,
how does this feed into demand gen and everything else?
Now, before I go into that, let me pause here for a second.
Are you starting to see the power in this?
Are you starting to see the power
of how important product marketing is
in the grand scheme of things of SaaS marketing?
Are you starting to see the power
of how important product marketing is
in the grand scheme of go-to-market
or even growing your SaaS business?
If you're starting to see the power there,
can I just get a yes
in the comments below? (keyboard clacking)
And also, smash that like button
for the YouTube algorithm. (button squeaking)
It really likes it (button clicking)
when you do that.
Now, if you're in this stage
where you're trying to figure out, well,
"How do we actually get a go-to-market strategy together?
How do we flesh out positioning, messaging,
strategic narrative, product marketing?
I don't have time to learn all this stuff
and we can't hire a $300,000 a year VP of marketing,"
then I encourage you to check out
my SaaS Go-To-Market Program.
This is specifically for founders and CEOs
in the early stage to get scale going
and to accelerate their path to that next stage of growth.
You don't have to go anywhere right now.
I'll link to it below.
I'll tell you about it at the end of this video,
but let's go to the third principle, okay?
Are you guys ready for the third principle?
If you're ready for it, smash that like button
if you haven't already for the YouTube algorithm.
It really likes it.
Now, third principle is this is actually the job
of product marketing.
The job of product marketing is now to take these pieces
and to enable sales and marketing.
What this means is under demand, under demand generation,
you're gonna be running certain activities, right?
Maybe you're gonna be running ads, right?
Maybe you're gonna be doing social posts.
Maybe you're gonna be doing outbound,
and ultimately, through these things,
you will generate pipeline,
and then you're gonna actually be running a sales process.
Now, if you are product led, you're like,
"But TK, I am product led. I don't need to do any of this.
The product will sell itself. We're product led."
You still need to do product marketing,
meaning you have to define what your product says
to the customer on the landing page,
on the homepage and inside of the product,
and then you have to run them
through a PLG conversion process
to actually drive to revenues,
which means that, guess what?
You may not need to hire salespeople under product led,
but you still need to actually do marketing,
'cause otherwise people won't know about you
and they won't care once they do know about you
because none of it will make sense to them.
So principle number three is
once you have these pieces down,
then you have to actually go in and enable
the sales and marketing side of things.
So typically in a larger company,
you'll have product marketing
fleshing out all these things, doing the market research,
and then a demand gen marketing person
will take those pieces and say,
"Cool, I'm gonna take this positioning
and feed it into the ads.
I'm gonna put this messaging into the ads.
I'm going to place in the strategic narrative
into our sales process or our customer journey,
so as customers discover us,
they know exactly what we're trying to do.
As they go deeper down the journey,
they start to understand what transformation we're doing,
and as they're going through the sales process,
we remind them of all these things and drive to a sale."
Principle number three is product marketing
enables demand gen and sales, both,
and that's the pillar of demand generation marketing,
and typically what we see is
when founders are skipping product marketing,
this founder-led stage or in the early stage,
maybe you have a junior team member
that's not a VP of marketing,
they skip product marketing, or you hire an agency, right?
They just go into demand gen
and they start running all these plays all over the place,
but nothing works.
The reason it doesn't work is
because they haven't fleshed out their positioning,
their messaging, their strategic narrative,
and they haven't fed that into these plays
that they're running in terms of ads,
social, outbound, whatever it may be,
whether it's your sales development team,
or yourself, you're doing outbound emails,
or your marketing agency that's running these ads,
or you're posting on social.
None of these will be aligned,
and so that's really principle number three.
So principle number one is understand
that there's a difference between brand marketing
and product marketing and demand gen marketing.
In the early stages, brand marketing does not matter.
Product marketing is the most important
because that's what really defines the strategy around
how you're gonna go into market.
Once you have the strategy, then you can execute on it
through demand gen marketing and mobilize the messaging,
the positioning and the narrative,
all of which you developed in the product marketing,
to actually drive demand and close deals.
So those are the three principles I had for you
on why product marketing is the most important discipline
to understand in the early stages of a SaaS company.
When you master product marketing,
you then have a go-to-market strategy.
You then take that strategy and then you start
to execute on that through demand gen marketing
through all of these key channels
and that's when you start to get traction,
generate pipeline, generate users and drive conversions.
When you're able to do that,
then you earn the right to raise that next round
or you take the profits, if you're bootstrapped,
and you can take the proceeds of that
and hire VPs of marketing, VPs of sales,
and all those other people that can own
each of these disciplines and take it to that next level,
and that can only happen if you embrace marketing
in the right way for your SaaS business.
So to recap, number one, there's brand marketing,
product marketing and demand gen marketing.
Ignore brand. Just buy the templates.
Just put it in play. Don't worry about it.
As long as it looks, you'd be amazed how good
a $99 template looks and Canva make you look.
You would be amazed, and then first get your strategy right
with your product marketing, positioning,
messaging, strategic narrative.
Once you have that,
then feed it into your demand gen marketing activities
and actually start to run the plays to generate pipeline
and close deals, whether it's sales led or product led.
You do these things, then you'll be able
to establish a go-to-market strategy
and actually drive growth and accelerate your path
to that next stage of growth.
Now you know exactly how to think about product marketing
and the other branches of SaaS marketing.
What you may not know is,
"Well, TK, how do I actually do this?"
Meaning, how do I actually get down my go-to market strategy
and then how do I execute on it?
This is exactly why I built
my SaaS go-to market coaching program.
It's specifically designed for early stage SaaS companies,
and when you join the program,
we're gonna help you do three things.
One, we're gonna help you establish
your ideal customer profile,
then we're gonna help you develop your manifesto,
and then we're gonna take your manifesto
and we're gonna teach you how to deliver that to your ICP
on a consistent basis over and over
so that it can generate pipeline
and accelerate your path to that next stage of growth.
What we do in this program, really,
is we take all this complexity
around all these different disciplines of marketing
and put it in a simple to follow step for founders like you
so that you can get dangerous enough
and get the momentum going,
and then we'll teach you exactly who to hire,
how to get leverage, what metrics to look at
so that you know you can go raise that next round
or you can generate profits and you can build out that team
so they can each take this to that next level.
So if you are in that stage
where you're looking to accelerate your path
and you need a proper go-to-market strategy
and you wanna embrace these pieces,
I encourage you to apply to join.
Just go to tkkader.com/gtm. (keyboard clacking)
When you go there, you'll get all the details
about the program.
You'll be able to fill out a link to actually apply to join
and then we'll get on a call.
We'll make sure that we actually understand
what's holding you back and what you need help with
and whether we can help.
If we can help, then we'll get you in
and we're off to the races and we'll make sure
that you're set up for success.
All you need to do is just go to tkkader.com/GTM.
So that's all I had for you today.
If you got value from this video,
please smash that like button
for the YouTube algorithm. (button squeaking)
I also bring you an episode (button clicking)
every single Sunday with actionable strategies and tactics
on how to grow your SaaS business faster.
So if you haven't already, be sure to hit
that subscribe button (button clicking)
and that bell icon.
You'll get notified (bell ringing)
every single time I drop an episode.
Lastly, if you have a fellow team member
or co-founder that will get value from this video,
if you're planning on joining the program
and you know your co-founder has to sign off on this,
show him this video, show her this video.
That way everyone knows exactly what this is all about
and what goes into growing a SaaS company
and establishing a go-to-market strategy
in that founder-led stage, and that way,
it'll also help us help as many SaaS founders as possible.
So if you're part of a Slack group, a WhatsApp group,
please share it with them.
It'll mean the world to us.
My team and I put a lotta love into these videos.
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. I'll see in the next episode.
As a marketing specialist, it's important to constantly refine and improve your marketing strategy. Whether it's through targeted advertising, social media engagement, or content creation, there are always new techniques and trends to consider. Keeping up with the latest developments in the industry and staying ahead of the competition is crucial for success.
When it comes to marketing for a global audience, localization is key. Understanding the cultural nuances and preferences of different regions can greatly impact the success of your marketing efforts. By tailoring your content and messaging to specific locations, you can better connect with potential customers and improve engagement.
Effective marketing can also have a significant impact on customer support. When your marketing strategy is well-targeted and resonates with your audience, it can lead to an increase in customer inquiries and interactions. Ensuring that your customer support team is equipped to handle this influx of communication is essential for maintaining a positive customer experience.
Discover the power of first-party data and machine learning in digital marketing. Identify your best customers and deliver personalized ads based on their needs and interests. Reach customers where they are in their journeys and use automation for better engagement and results.
Native advertising seamlessly integrates advertisements into websites or platforms, appearing as organic content. Examples include Spotify and Stranger Things partnering for a unique playlist and sponsored posts on news websites like the NY Times.
Small businesses should focus on using AI tools to assist with tasks rather than fully integrating AI. It is important to review and personalize the content generated by AI. Avoid relying too heavily on AI's capabilities and consider other aspects of marketing. The integration of AI into daily lives is in its early stages, with room for improvement.
Implementing the Net Promoter Score improves performance management. Call routing and AI tools enhance customer satisfaction and digital marketing. The channel mix plan maximizes reach and effectiveness for target audiences.
We appreciate your recent sign up for a LiveAgent.
A message will be sent to your email address containing login details, right after your account is installed.
We’re available on multiple dates