When their roof leaks, they call a contractor. When the car breaks down, they call their favorite mechanic. In these scenarios there are obvious connections between the customer's immediate problem and a solution. That's not always the case with software marketing.
SaaS marketing is already a challenge because services are always trickier to market than products are. Then there's the fact that your product/service might solve a unique or niche problem, or it might be a problem that customers don't even know they have until they've seen your services in action.
They Need to Know There's a Problem
It's your job to let prospects know they have a problem or an efficiency issue and then show off your solution—but who? And how?
The following steps will help you move beyond the confines of your current market so you can grow the market base your business's future depends on.
Use Current Clients to Find Future Prospects and Leads
There are a few different ways you can learn from current sales contacts.
Audit and review. First, do an audit of your current network of clients and qualified leads. Based on this information, rethink your buyer personas. Are they adequately developed? Did you nail their preferences, attitudes, and preferred content tone? You may find current target personas are underdeveloped, which will severely impede your ability to develop engaging inbound marketing content. If this rings true, round personas out as far as you can. This one exercise can yield more segmented, targeted and "Amen!" style content than you've ever produced before.
Identify the gaps. Second, identify the gaps in your clientele. Now that you know who is finding you, there may be notable gaps indicating who isn't. Are there certain age brackets that would benefit from your services? Are there business niches you know would profit from them? If so, hone in on those gaps and develop marketing campaigns targeted directly to them.
Evaluate prospects that aren't biting. If you have prospects that aren't converting, it's time to get more curious. Why aren't they? What are they not understanding about the product? What keeps them from becoming more qualified leads or sales conversions? Where are they getting stuck? You may discover your marketing approach has been too vague, rounding up a bunch of prospects who will never convert. Or you may find you're neglecting to nurture leads after they've made it into the narrower neck of the funnel—meaning you need to round out content targeted towards the mid-stage of the sales cycle.
Seriously Connect With Current Clients
For this step, we recommend getting up close and personal so you can ask clients what's up—or what has been up—for them. Forget about social media at this point. Ditch the emails and online surveys. If your software marketing team is having trouble developing the action-worthy inbound marketing content, it's time to talk to people in person. It's time to bring on the round table!
Send personal invites to several dozen of your best customers—and a handful of lagging customers as well. Connect with them in person by inviting them to a round table of sorts. If face-to-face isn't possible, host a Google Hangout and start a nitty-gritty conversation.
Have detailed questions ready about how they found you, what they found, what they wished they had found, what they liked and what you could do better. The more they talk, the more you glean invaluable tips about the nuanced software marketing strategies that will lead you to your next generation of qualified leads.