The 40 Functions of a SaaS & Cloud B2B Marketing Organization

Today’s B2B Marketing organizations require an unusually diverse range of talent.  Marketing operations teams need highly technical staff to build out martech stacks for the website and lead management.  Corporate Marketing teams need strong creative teams to design e-books, infographics, and video content.  Demand Generation teams need highly organized campaign managers to orchestrate webinars, ad campaigns, and account-based marketing programs.

Below is a list of 40 functions that most SaaS or Cloud B2B Marketing organizations will require as they scale and grow.  This list is helpful for long-term organizational design strategy. Review the list to determine which functions to determine which ones are most appropriate for your organization.  Then you will need to develop a staffing and resourcing plan:

  • Internal versus External Talent – Which functions do you want to staff in-house?  Which functions do you want to outsource to external agencies, freelancers, or consultants?  Which functions do you want to use a hybrid strategy mixing internal and external talent?
  • Centralized versus Distributed – Which functions should be centralized at headquarters versus distributed geographically in each international region?  Which functions should be organized by product line versus which should be corporate functions?  Which functions should be aligned to specific sales teams (or partners) versus which should support all distribution channels?

Brand Development

Branding – Defines the brand promise, brand personality, and brand voice.  Owns the visual identity (logos, typography, and colors).  Manages brand architecture including sub-brands and product names.  Measures the level of awareness and strength of reputation amongst customers, partners, analysts, and investors.  Owns relationships with outside branding agencies.

Graphic Design – Performs design, layout, and file production for brochures, white papers, and sales tools.  Designs creative assets such as illustrations, iconography, and infographics.  Recording, editing, and file production of podcasts, screencasts, and live video interviews.  Digital asset management of licensed audio, video, illustrations, and photography stock.

Public Relations – Pitches journalists at national publications (Wall Street Journal, Fast Company), industry trade publications (Industry Dive, STORES), and regional media (Boston Globe, LA Times).  Includes functions such as issuing press releases, submitting award applications, and planning crisis communications.

Social Media – Manages corporate Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, and SnapChat accounts. Key activities include sharing news, growing followers, and engaging influencers.  Also, works with finance to jointly manage profiles on Pitchbook, Crunchbase, and other investor brand sites.  Collaborates with human resources to jointly manage profiles on Glassdoor, CareerBliss, and other employer brand sites. 

Analyst Relations – Manages relationships with Tier 1 industry analysts such as Gartner, Forrester, and IDC as well as Tier 2 analysts such as Frost & Sullivan, 451 Research, and CBInsights. Conducts regular briefings to obtain coverage in research notes and rank favorably in vendor comparisons such as the Gartner Magic Quadrant, Forrester Wave, and IDC Marketscape.

Influencer Relations – Influences management consultants, systems integrators, and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firms that advise target customers on technology purchasing decisions.  Conducts regular updates to share news about product features, future roadmap, customer wins, and technology innovations.

Website – Leads design, development, and maintenance of the corporate website and any microsites. Responsible for maintaining the content under the products, resources, and company sections of the menu. Manages technology including hosting provider, disaster recovery, and health monitoring of the site.

Internal Marketing – Acts as internal agency to support the functions within the business.  Develops recruiting brochures, overview presentations, and social media content for the human resources team.  Supports sales kickoff, president’s club, and new hire boot camps with promotional giveaways, presentation materials, and event management.  Enables the executive team with graphic design, copy writing, and video production services.

Demand Generation

Note: That some of the functions listed in demand generation could also be put in the brand development section depending upon how your organization thinks about them. Examples might include Advertising, Events and Tradeshows.

Webinars – Schedules live online presentations designed to generate new qualified leads or accelerate deals in the pipeline.  Responsible for sending email invitations, creating website registration pages, and developing the presentation content.  Follows up after the event to share the presentation replay with registrants.

Email Marketing – Sends emails to prospects and customers to generate new qualified leads. Emails might be a link to download a new white paper, an invitation to an event/webinar, or a mix of different content packaged into a newsletter. Activities include creating the copy, defining the distribution list, and monitoring the open/clickthrough rates.

Direct Mail – Ships attention-getting packages to target buyers via FedEx or UPS. Examples include creative metaphors such as puzzles or hourglasses as well as more traditional items such as handwritten notes and printed collateral. Activities include identifying a concept, defining the target list, shipping the packages, and tracking receipt confirmations.

Search Engine Optimization – Boosts ranking for keyword searches on Google and Bing as well as for sites like YouTube, Amazon, and Quora. Involves writing content with a goal of ranking on the first page of search results in featured snippets, knowledge graphs, or site listings. Key activities include keyword research, on-page and off-page optimization strategies. 

Events and Tradeshows – Sponsors industry tradeshows focusing on technology (CES, SXSW, TechCrunch Disrupt), vertical industries (NRF, HIMSS, Mobile World Congress), or vendor communities (Hubspot Inbound, Salesforce Dreamforce, SAP Sapphire).  Includes designing exhibit space, managing floorshow logistics, and coordinating booth staffing.  Determines strategies to create engagement with event attendees such as swag/giveaways, raffles/contests, and speaking engagements.

Advertising – Manages digital advertising campaigns on search engines (Google, Bing, YouTube), within social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter), and online media sites (CNN, Forbes, Wired).  Additionally, includes advertising through traditional print, radio, TV, and Out-of-Home placements.  Key activities include developing the creative and messaging as well as media buying and measurement of results.

Content Marketing – Develops suite of content to engage new prospects, nurture existing leads, and accelerate the velocity of deals moving through the sales pipeline.  Creates original content assets such as e-books, white papers, infographics, videos, podcasts, case studies, buyer’s guides, and research studies.  Expands portfolio with licensed content from analyst firms and curated content compiled from news sources.

Campaign Management – Manages on-going series of campaigns to drive leads into the top of the sales funnel.  Defines the campaign target segments, pipeline goals, programs budget and calendar of activities.  Executes the various marketing activities such as email distributions, webinar production, and digital ad placements.  Measures and reports on the effectiveness of the campaign.

Account Based Marketing – Executes a series high-touch campaigns targeted at a select group of accounts with high revenue potential.  Orchestrates the cadence of activities performed by marketing managers, sales development representatives, account executives, and customer success managers.  Develops personalized website pages, email communications, solution proposals, and direct mail programs to increase conversion rates.  Measures engagement of key stakeholders at each account.

Marketing Operations

Technology Stack – Leads vendor selection, on-going maintenance, and optimization of the MarTech stack, which typically includes Marketing Automation Platforms (Hubspot, Marketo) and ABM suites (6Sense, Terminus). Performs configuration of new technologies, day-to-day administration of existing apps, and integration with other platforms such as CRM (SalesTech).

Data Operations – Grows the marketing database that supports email, direct mail, advertising, and other lead gen programs. Defines strategy to maximize first-party data collection on behaviors and interests. Sources third-party data such as account-level firmographic and technographic details and contact-level demographic and psychographic information.

KPIs & Metrics – Tracks performance of lead generation campaigns with metrics such as cost per lead or Marketing Customer Acquisition Cost (MCAC).  Monitors the volume of MALs, MQLs, SALs, and SQLs generated by marketing as well as conversion rates between phases. Quantifies marketing’s contribution to the business with data about pipeline sourced, ACV booked, and revenue contributed.

Budget – Centrally manages the marketing programs budget across the various regions, product lines, and marketing functions.  Approves vendor contracts and invoices. Tracks variance to plan and forecasting expenses for the current and upcoming quarters.  Calculates the ROI from campaign spend and performance against expectations.

Marketing Policies – Ensures compliance with data privacy regulations such as GDPR, CCPA, CASL, CAN SPAM with proper use of unsubscribes and opt-ins. Defines policies and controls for systems to minimize cybersecurity risks as well as approvals and authorizations for vendors to mitigate potential fraud or non-performance.

Lead Gen Processes – Defines lead management processes including routing and nurturing. Establishes qualification criteria for lead stages such as inquiry, MAL, and MQL. Manages lead attribution and lead scoring algorithm logic.  Builds service level agreements between marketing and sales teams for pipeline quotas and response timeframes.

Product Marketing

Market Analysis – Sizes market for category with models for Total Addressable Market (TAM), Serviceable Addressable Market (SAM), and growth rates.  Studies market dynamics within vertical industries, geographic segments, and sales channels.  Tracks estimated market share of competitors.

Customer Segmentation – Analyzes firmographics and technographics of customers.  Develops ideal customer profile and buyer personas.  Maps the customer journey including compelling events, purchasing drivers, and key influencers.  Conducts win/loss analysis to understand purchasing behaviors and buyer psychographics.

Competitive Analysis – Develops list of known competitors including niche SaaS/cloud players, technology mega-vendor solutions, as well as managed services and outsourcing alternatives.  Tracks competitor partner relationships, investment activity, mergers and acquisitions. Prepares sales tools such as vendor lumascapes and competitive battlecards.

Product Launch – Collaborates with product management to launch new releases.  Champions internal activities such as sales training, configure, price, and quote documentation, and CRM system updates.  Spearheads external communications to customers, partners, analysts, media, and investors.  Nurtures customer beta programs, lead generation campaigns, and sales incentive programs.

Messaging and Positioning – Tells the company story starting with mission and vision.  Enumerate product features, expected benefits, and competitive differentiators.  Shares other highlights such as technology innovation, cybersecurity posture, and customer experience.  Defines market leadership claims using analyst rankings, market share statistics, or geographic footprint.

Sales Tools – Develops library of tools that map to each phase of the sales cycle from initial discovery and demo to the final differentiation and close.  Creates product brochures and targeted solution briefs for different buyer personas and use cases.  Builds library of presentation slides, RFP answers, and recorded demo videos.  Supports value engineering programs with business case templates, ROI models, and TCO calculators.

Industry Marketing – Identifies target industries with highest product-market fit and potential spend such as financial services, healthcare, or public sector. Develops messaging that targets unique business problems of specific industries.  Documents positioning in industry solution brochures, sales presentation materials, and representative case studies.

Customer Marketing

Annual Conference – Manages the annual user conference.  Promotes the event, drives registration, and attracts sponsors. Develops event agenda, solicits speakers, and creates content.  Manages event website, mobile application, and the virtual experience.

Online Reviews – Manages online reputation on software review sites (G2, TrustRadius, Software Advice), app marketplaces (AWS, Azure, Salesforce), and search engines (Google, Bing).  Solicits online reviews from happy customers.  Maintains profiles to boost organic search rankings and utilizes paid search to boost conversion rates.

Customer Community – Designs user groups, online communities, and advisory boards that drive higher levels of loyalty, growth, and advocacy from the customer base.  Recruits customers, encourages participation, and boosts engagement among members. Catalyzes discussions using internal and external subject matter experts to generate discussions about best practices, industry trends, or new product requirements.

Communications – Maps communications to customer journey including on-boarding, implementation, anniversaries, and renewals.  Distributes regular cadence of communications via webinars, email newsletters, and direct mail.  Creates event-driven content about new releases, product roadmap, and customer support.

Growth Campaigns – Manages upsell and cross-sell campaigns to increase recurring revenue and customer lifetime value.  Utilizes campaign strategies such as webinars, email, and content marketing to identify new opportunities.  Arms customer success with tools to accelerate sales cycle, differentiate solution, and win deals.

Partner Marketing

Target Partner Identification – Identifies list of potential partners including software vendors, systems integrators, business process outsourcers, and other niche consultants.  Defines the firmographics and psychographics of the ideal partner profile.

New Partner Acquisition – Defines value proposition related to faster revenue growth, higher customer satisfaction, or increased win rate.  Builds presentation materials, brochures, and growth calculators for use in recruitment process.  Defines multiple tiers of partner programs with varying levels of revenue commitments and benefits.

Joint Awareness – Collaborates with partner’s marketing team to promote the joint solution.  Issue joint press releases and bylined articles to generate media coverage.  Delivers joint briefings with analysts to gain exposure in research notes.  Jointly sponsors and presents at industry tradeshows to create market buzz.

Joint Lead Generation – Collaborates with partner’s marketing team on joint campaigns.  Execute joint webinars, email, content, and event strategies to build pipeline.  Manages Marketing Development Funds program to partially fund campaign efforts.

Joint Sales Tools – Enables partners with library of tools that map to each phase of the sales cycle from initial discovery and demo to the final differentiation and close.  Creates jointly branded product brochures and targeted solution briefs for vertical industries, use cases, and customer segments.  Shares library of presentation slides, RFP answers, and recorded demo videos.

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