What are SaaS companies?
Software as a service (SaaS) companies are no doubt the dominant of the business environment, both in their respective local economies and at the global level. Several statistics are supporting the fact that the SaaS business segment is fast-growing and the largest market segment since 2019. For example, Gartner research estimated that the SaaS market segment will be worth 104.7 billion USD by the end of 2020.
The growth of the SaaS business segment is largely supported by the significant development experienced in globalization and the incorporation of advanced technologies into business operations. Hence, companies spend heavily on the use of software to push out their products and services to a large market, both within and outside their resident countries.
As a SaaS company, your business strategy may either be B2C or B2B. For B2C SaaS companies, the products and service offerings are targeted at individual customers. Most B2C SaaS organizations focus on the personal finance and entertainment industry, among others. These companies include Netflix, Udemy, YouTube, Google, LinkedIn, and Shopify.
B2B SaaS companies address meeting business needs. In short, their products and services are largely targeted at supporting businesses and management teams. Most common B2B SaaS companies include Microsoft, Hubspot, Survey Monkey, MailChimp, Zoo, and Google cloud platforms.
Is SaaS the future?
The business environment has evolved significantly, moving from the conventional way of business operations to the adoption of technology. As such, SaaS companies have greater chances to remain relevant due to the importance of their product offerings as they enhance efficiency and productivity at the workplace. Other advantages of SaaS product offerings include:
Simple and seamless payment methods for users
Most SaaS companies incorporate their payment platforms in their software applications. As such, renewing subscriptions or initiating a new service becomes easy for customers. Flexibility in the payment options also enables customers to choose the payment model they consider more comfortable.
Availability of updates
From their comfort zones, customers update their software applications without needing the services of an IT expert. Hence, businesses do not need to spend much time or resources upgrading their applications.
In a world where cyber crimes have increased significantly, security becomes a major concern for businesses and individuals. Meanwhile, SaaS companies have developed an advanced security system that safeguards information provided by customers. Therefore, breaches and system failures do not affect data security.
Increased work relationship
Through the adoption of technology solutions provided by SaaS companies, collaboration at work has increased, thereby supporting teamwork and improving company culture. As such, quality and timely job delivery become easier.
The advantages mentioned above are expected to support the growth of the SaaS business segment, B2N and B2C inclusive. In this regard, several reports have hinted that the SaaS industry will sustain its robust growth trend in the mid to near term. For instance, Bloomberg reported that the SaaS market will grow by $60.4 billion USD, representing a CAGR of 9% between 2020 and 2023. In another report, Better Buys forecasted that the SaaS industry in the United States will reach a total value of $55 billion USD by the end of 2026. This data reinforces the fact that the SaaS business segment has strong growth potential, making it a good investment opportunity for existing and potential SaaS companies.
Effective Growth Strategy for B2B SaaS Companies
The SaaS market is highly competitive as there are several players in the industry. Hence, new and existing players in the industry should have an effective growth strategy that can reinforce their brand presence. As a SaaS company, your business strategy should cut across the three business development phases. These development phases are:
This stage is the product design and development stage, the initial stage of setting up a SaaS company. During this period of time, your focus should be on developing a product that solves a problem in the business environment. It can also be targeted at addressing the needs of your clients. The first step is to identify your target market, what they need, or the challenges they are facing as a business. After identifying the problem you intend to help them solve, the next step is to develop a good marketing plan and sales strategy. You should define how you intend to reach your target market and how to make your products appealing to them. Other product features such as customer support, user interface, and pricing and payment methods should also be determined at this stage.
After developing a product and identifying the means to launch it, the focus of the business should be on expansion. Strategies here should include customer attraction and retention, increasing market penetration, and cost-effectiveness. As a SaaS company, you should identify ways to improve your product and services because businesses appreciate technological solutions that will ease their business operations. A good means of achieving this is by getting feedback from customers and investing time and resources in research and development. As such, you can expand your customer base. Also, having a customer loyalty scheme you will be able to help in retaining a higher percentage of your real customers.
During this phase, cost-effectiveness and profitability become the major focus. SaaS companies have large overhead costs. Therefore, key strategic actions should focus on identifying opportunities to be cost-efficient and more profitable.
Our recommendation is that the marketing department in your B2B SaaS company adopts the following growth strategies:
- Promote your social media visibility by participating in large online community discussions
- Implement an affiliate marketing strategy in which you give incentives to clients that refer your business
- Partner with other platforms by integrating your software solution with other similar SaaS products
- Portray your business as an industry leader by creating useful and educational content and resources that are beneficial to your customers
- Connect with your target audience through social media platforms
What You Need to Know to Build a B2B SaaS Brand
Building a good business brand is one of the most difficult parts of establishing a SaaS company. It takes a lot of resources and consistent efforts to come up with a compelling brand. To initiate your brand activities, there are three fundamental elements to start with:
Your brand activities should begin with a clear identification of your unique value proposition. Take an objective look at your product or service to articulate what differentiates your products from that of your competitors. This will help you set the tone for your brand exercise.
After identifying the unique value of your product offering, you should also define your target audience. For instance, if you have a product that supports quick online payments, you should target e-commerce businesses. Understanding your audience will enable you to craft a compelling brand story and create real demand generation for your product.
The business environment consists of several market players competing to survive. As a result, as a B2B SaaS company, you should factor in your competitors and the market as a whole. This helps you to reinforce your brand image to remain relevant in the face of a highly competitive environment.
Constant interactions with your customers will help you get relevant information about the three elements highlighted above. Customers can provide you with a holistic description of your products, features they appreciate about them, their defects, and areas of improvement. You can get this information by directly engaging with your customers (new and existing), and organizing customer service teams. These insights will help you build a brand and spot new opportunities in the market, expanding your brand's reach and increasing your entire funnel.
What Are Brand Guidelines?
For an effective branding exercise, you should consider having a comprehensive branding guide that clearly highlights your brand characteristics. This should have the following features:
Every company has its own unique story that should be effectively communicated to the public. In this section, you should explain the market you operate in and the key role you play in the industry. Such insights should include the customer pain points you solve, the unique features of your products, product type, and your target audience.
Vision, mission and positioning statement
Your brand document should also tell the public about the bigger picture. You should articulate your short-term and long-term goals and how these objectives will positively impact the business environment and the world at large. Also, include a mission statement that presents what you stand for, as well as a positioning statement that includes your target goals.
Target market and competitive positioning
Your brand guide should also highlight the target audience. You should define the businesses you intend to sell your products to and their industries, as well as your stakeholders and partners. This section should also educate others about your marketing decisions and strategy (how you intend to reach your target audience, customer attraction, and retention, etc).
You may need to partner with a brand expert who can help you refine your brand document. Brand experts will help you develop the right logo and color tunes that align with your brand message. Also, you need to have a strong marketing budget and campaign to push out the brand when you are done working on it.
More importantly, the perception of the public, especially your ideal customer, defines your brand as a SaaS company. Therefore, you should not only work on developing a good brand guide, but you should also work on increasing both retention and customer lifetime value.
Here are some tips on how to strengthen your brand identity:
Have a good brand design
The first thing people notice about your company is the brand design. Many new buyers and active users are attracted to companies with good brand designs. An effective marketing approach is to have a nice brand design that is crafted by an experienced and creative brand designer who can constantly help in improving your brand identity to match current developments.
Brand content and marketing strategies
Beyond having a compelling brand design, your top-of-the-funnel content such as blog posts, case studies, fact sheets, and videos. Using the right words will significantly influence how your audience feels about your company, the reason why B2B businesses adopt the use of content writing to push out a brand image. You should hire a full-time content writer who can help you develop captivating content to explain your product vision and push out your products.
Give a bigger impression of your brand
Competing as a small SaaS company can be quite challenging due to the pronounced presence of larger companies. However, as a startup, you can recreate your audience’s perception of your brand identity. One example of an important marketing tool is the use of billboards. Many of the giant SaaS companies use billboards for their marketing campaigns. As such, frequent usage of the billboards can make the public perceive you as a large and influential company.
One of the growth strategies of leading B2B SaaS companies is that they are trusted vendors. When your potential customers trust your business, attracting and retaining them become easier. To build a trusted brand, you should ensure that business operations, products, and service delivery align with your brand promise. Also, share the feedback of your customers in your content marketing efforts like publishing social media and blog posts and encouraging key influencers to promote your products using captivating content.
The Importance of Brand Guidelines
Branding is very crucial in business development as it helps you communicate your brand message to the right audience and rightly positions you ahead of your competitors. Also, branding has nothing to do with your company size; rather, it is an essential part of business operations. Below are the reasons why you should consider pushing for a stronger brand identity to ensure customer success:
Fostering brand identity
A good brand exercise helps you to stand out among competitors and other business owners. It also establishes your footprint in the industry, empowering you to reach a larger market.
Supporting your market strategy
Branding goes beyond creating an image for your company; it entails being consistent with your brand message. When you have a good brand, the B2B SaaS marketing approach becomes more effective as potential and current customers can easily identify your company in the marketing space.
Increasing the visibility of your company
As a B2B SaaS company, you should work on gaining market recognition as this helps you unlock the growth potential of your business. When you become visible among other B2B companies, your audience will recognize your brand presence. In addition, branding will also add value to your company, thereby creating a positive impression about your company and enhancing the overall customer experience.
Grow your B2B SaaS Brand with Insivia
Since 2002, Insivia has been helping SaaS companies grow and acquire and retain users. We've helped new and established SaaS platforms redefine how they talk about their solution. It's time to scale your SaaS business. Let's talk today.