Usually before presenting an interview, I give a few words of introduction towards the participant and company in question. When it comes to Facebook, I find it hard to believe that there is anyone reading this article who is not familiar with such an online Titan.
It is not every day that I receive the privilege to deliver my questions towards such a source of vast ability and performance.
On this note, I would like to thank Durgesh Kaushik, Marketing Manager at Facebook, for this great opportunity and for being a great sport.
Interview with Durgesh Kaushik Marketing Manager at Facebook:
Limitations of SaaS
There is much room for improvement on SaaS as new ideas are received daily and internet capabilities continue to expand. Since transition is still on-going, there are bound to be some hitches that limit the efficiency of SaaS models.
Here are a few:
• Security – there are concerns of the security of user data which is stored and retained by APS in the ‘cloud’. Since the user doesn’t actually own the software, data misuse or loss are not to be over-sighted. There are however set regulations that govern data use and security.
saasaddict.walkme.com/strong> – SaaS relies on web to provide their services and companies may suffer losses related with low global internet speeds even if their own local networking is fast.
• Compatibility – some application are not compatible with software and hardware configurations of the clients’ browsers and computers.
• Licensing – emergence of counterfeit software or imposers presents significant need to worry.
The latest advancement in SaaS programming includes data escrow and SIP.
Data escrow – this is where users are allowed to back up and insure all SaaS application data with other independent third party servers in case of loss or vendor bankruptcy.
SaaS Integration Platform (SIP) – this is the latest trend that allows users to access many SaaS applications on a single platform. This creates an opportunity for developers to quickly create and deploy new applications.
SaaS programming has overtaken traditional software services offered as products with high up-front costs and comprised of applications not required by the user.
With the number of options available to users today, SaaS vendors need to focus on developing crisp and to the point value propositions that will resonate with their users immediately. They need to test various permutations and combinations of UI elements, value proposition, call to actions, sign-up process etc. on their websites and closely measure the effectiveness of each before finalizing the landing pages and going for a full scale launch. Marketing automation tools can help in this process of testing and continuous optimization while maintaining the target ROI.
Also, many SaaS based companies are increasingly using global login services like Facebook connect to simplify the sign-up process, which is a great way to get instant conversions.
Once the customers are into your eco-system, the next step is to understand, connect and engage with them. Traditionally, emails follow-ups have been great for reaching these users, but social technologies like Facebook’s Custom Audiences tool have created new possibilities of engaging with users and their friends in unprecedented ways. Not only do these technologies help you precisely target and engage your existing user-base, but also help in boosting acquisitions by influencing their friends.
Hence, the best strategy for SaaS vendors to introduce their services is to develop a crisp value proposition, test and iterate to optimize it, simplify the sign-up process and engage with their customers through social mediaץ
How should B2B SaaS vendors position themselves to best to compete in crowded markets?
B2B SaaS vendors face a bigger challenge compared to B2C SaaS vendors because of longer sales cycles and oftentimes, very niche market segments. From my experience of developing the go-to-market strategy for a SaaS based B2B tool, QMetry, the most frequently asked questions during the sales cycle were centered on the safety and privacy of data. To build trust, we decided to focus on positioning QMetry as a thought leader in the industry. We produced high quality content in the form of whitepapers, case studies, webinars, video tutorials, and blogs and aggressively promoted it through different online channels including social media, SEO, SEM, technology forums, PR etc. This helped us quickly position QMetry as one of the top SaaS based test management tool in a highly crowded market.
Based on my experience, I believe the best marketing strategy for a B2B SaaS vendor is to focus on building thought leadership and content marketing, which will help them create a strong brand image and will naturally drive trust and a loyal customer base.
If you had only one marketing tip for young SaaS startups, what would it be?
Focus on developing trust by being transparent in marketing communications, developing thought leadership and utilizing new social technologies to connect with your customers.