Marketing a product or service in general can get pretty hectic but Saas product can be even more complicated. Learning about marketing and selling Action Card has been an education and we thought we’d share some takeaways. Saas stands for Software as a Service. This is a relatively newer model for offering software to clients that solves a very specific need and that is paid for as they use it, not purchased one time as a legacy system. There may be some parallels for non-technology companies. We knew we wanted to show people this great product and had to learn the best way to get it on front of the people who might need it the most. After reading up on a few articles, I found a one by Saas guru Lincoln Murphy that nails the process.
The Five steps
1.) Know your customer. Attracting the right audience is a blend of art and science. This is probably the hardest part. We all want our product to be for everyone because lets be honest that’s how we see it. Reality check, not every organization sees the immediate relevance. Lincoln Murphy says that you need to know whom you are targeting and to formulate your advertising and promotion towards them. You need to figure out who would benefit the most from your product. Learning about your customer will help you understand the best way to talk about your product and as you grow, develop it more to the specifications of your clients’. At Action Card we currently have two active vertical markets; the wireless retail industry and franchise companies who utilize our app in the field to automate store visits, inspections and brand standards reviews.
2.) Drive Customers to your site. You need to get people to your site if you want to sell any product. Be active on all social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and blogging) make people notice how relevant you are. If you are holding an event or if you are going to be speaking at an event advertise it on social media.
3.) Get them to the demo. They found your website but now you want them to sign up. Make sure this process is simple. Murphy suggests that you be honest with them and to eliminate barrier. If you require a Credit Card number let them know. Don’t blind-side them. Action Card has a free 30-day trial in which no credit card information is needed. We keep the process as simple as we can we only require a name and an email address then they are free to mess around with the app they can customize reviews add other people and actually start using it.
4.) Convert from demo to trial account. Two different scenarios can take place while in the demo period. The customer can be really active on the demo and actually be using it or the customer is not involved at all. It is important to keep track of all of this information. Make sure to keep interacting with the customer whether they are using it or not and more importantly if they aren’t using them try and find out why. If they need some more training on it or if it just isn’t something they need. This is your opportunity to show clients your product and the support around it. At Action Card some of our trial clients try out the product for a smaller test region or group of locations before scaling up for the whole organization.
5.) Convert from trial to customer. When the time has come and you finally get a customer to sign up for the trial it is a big congrats moment to you but the work is far from over. Now is the time to be even more interactive with your clients. They need to know that you are there to help whenever they need it. At Action Card we try and make our app easy to use. We provide training as needed and if something isn’t working the right way our customers know that we are just one phone call away or an email away. Also make sure to keep track of the quiet customers they could be the ones who didn’t like your product or don’t really know what they are doing so let them know that you are there to help them. Keep your customers involved.
It is important to keep in mind the words of Lincoln Murphy “Marketing is the most important thing to your success… but marketing isn’t advertising, it isn’t a fancy slogan… it’s really everything that you put out from your business to your customers which includes your product.”.