Create a Buzz in the Marketplace
Best-in-class companies are able to create a buzz around themselves in the marketplace. The leading SaaS/Cloud providers are talent magnets attracting the best and brightest college grads and execs. Users beg their leadership to adopt their technology and CIOs quickly embrace as them as the right choice for forward-thinking organizations. They become analyst darlings that are showered with accolades and awards from respected media publications. They don’t need to hire investment bankers to help raise capital, because investors are cold calling them with unsolicited proposals.
A strong brand drives inbound leads, boosts win rates, and leads to a higher valuation.
Building a Marketing Moat
Most people don’t think about marketing when they think about competitive advantage. Sustainable differentiation typically is associated with areas such as creating unique product features, tapping large distribution channels, or launching innovative business models.
But marketing can be a corporate differentiator as well especially if the organization can establish a high level of brand awareness or a highly efficient demand generation model. Ideally, you want marketing to build a competitive moat around the business that is impenetrable by competitors seeking to attack your leadership position.
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Most people don’t think about marketing when they think about competitive advantage. Sustainable differentiation typically is associated with areas such as creating unique product features.
Analysts can be highly influential in purchasing decisions, acting as trusted advisors to software buyers at all size companies. Gartner, Forrester, and IDC are the best known and largest. However, there are dozens of “tier 2 and 3” firms that provide more in-depth research in specific industries or technology sectors. SaaS marketing organizations invest time in:
- Market Research – Monitoring new research published to understand the analyst’s perspective as well as to gather insights about competitive strategies, market trends, and emerging technologies.
- Vendor Rankings – Responding to surveys and securing customer references as inputs to the evaluation process for the Gartner Magic Quadrant, Forrester Wave, and IDC Marketscape.
- Analyst Briefings – Conducting regular updates to share the company’s latest product roadmap, new customer wins, strategic partnerships, and technology innovations.
- Influencer Spend – Invest marketing budget to gain additional time, access, and grow mindshare. Examples include custom research projects, webinar speaking engagements, and on-site analyst days.
Getting free press is a great way to build brand awareness. Being quoted in an article by a major news publication such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, or Financial Times brings instant credibility. However, there may be greater ROI from being featured in a industry trade publication that is more closely read by your target audience. PR professionals in SaaS marketing organizations focus on strategies such as:
- Media Coverage – Securing live interviews for corporate spokespersons with reporters. The ideal outcome is a feature story about the company, but often the reporter is simply looking for comment on a major news story.
- Contributed Articles – Thought leaders in the organization author bylined articles about market trends or emerging technologies. If accepted, the article is placed side-by-side next to the work of the in-house reporters.
- Award Submissions – Competing for recognition in lists ranking the fastest-growing or most innovative organization in high profile awards programs such as the Inc 5000, Deloitte Fast 500, and the CNBC Disruptor 50.
Latest Thinking on Brand Awareness
Building an Awesome Website
An awesome website is one of the most important factors in winning with digital marketing. The definition of “awesome” is subjective, but it shouldn’t be. There’s a well-established set of best practices for SaaS and cloud web design that all the industry leaders follow. However, the challenge for marketing teams is that these best practices are not written down anywhere, and lots of time is wasted trying to determine what they are. We’re going to change that.