We all know that it takes a lot of time and energy to develop and maintain a marketing campaign that not only promotes and grows your business but also improves your brand recognition among people.
Remember when Apple introduced the iPod - it wasn't the first mp3 player - but the right amount of marketing and the right strategies helped the device become an icon forever.
As for online marketing, getting people to like you and buy from you is probably the hardest yet easiest thing a business can do.
Of course, with the right tools, plan, and resources you can achieve the service part but getting people to like you is also inevitable. Which can only be done through the right marketing strategy!
So what is the marketing strategy for that?
Let’s find out!
How Is Online Marketing Different?
Because selling something online is a lot more difficult and being a SaaS one, makes it's even harder.
Your consumers cannot physically see the product. And even better, if you are providing a service online that doesn't even have a physical presence, is restricted to a small number of consumers and a new phenomenon to average people!
Since more than 4 billion people are online now and the number keeps growing, selling your business online is absolutely essential and extremely competitive. According to Chris Dixon, today 10 million is equivalent of 1 million when it comes to online users of your service.
In the offline world, you know your audience, you know your competition and you know how your regular customers.
But doing business solely online is different - you don't know what you are getting into and how much longer will it take you to be relevant to the people and when you will get to know what your targeted audience is.
It takes a lot of fo testing and trials until finally, you achieve some recognition among internet audience and that's when marketing strategy begins!
What is Hyper-Growth?
According to Harvard Business Review, Hyper Growth is the term used for:
As per the World Economic Forum, on the other hand, hyper-growth does not happen accidentally - neither it results from a bunch of bright ideas of people or positive market forces randomly happening at the right time.
Hyper growth is actually a result of deliberate attempts of companies that are focused to grow exponentially. To put it into simpler words, hyper-growth can be created.
Example of SaaS in Hyper Growth
There are successful businesses currently in their Hyper Growth stage that started off from 0 at some point. While it is not as easy as it may sound but nothing really is impossible.
Let’s find out how our e-mail marketing go-to company - MailChimp achieved hyper growth.
MailChimp - The Journey From 2 Customers to 14K Customers Per Day
MailChimp is said to be the pioneers of the SaaS Industry and achieved hyper growth over a short period of time.
Talking About Numbers...
Considering the fact that the company had 85,000 users in 2009 and in a matter of just one year, it grew to 450,000 users - converting the numbers into growth, MailChimp had jumped to a whopping 430% growth in just one year!
The same year, this e-mail marketing solution was successfully getting 30,000 free and 4,000 paid users every month!
Apart from the company’s revenue, the profit generation also increased up to 650% within a year!
2.5 years later, MailChimp took another leap from a 450,000 user base to 1,200,000 - which easily translates to 167% growth since 2010.
Let's get to the real question - How?
MailChimp is known to set the bar for excellent branding with a soft, fun and easy tone delivered to the customers and general audiences as well.
You may not be a MailChimp user but you enjoy seeing their content or receiving an email created with the tool - every SaaS company should opt for similar branding approaches once in a while.
However, after looking into the hyper-growth stages of several companies, it seems like there really is just one key ingredient to achieve it.
What is the Marketing Strategy Behind MailChimp’s Hyper-Growth?
MailChimp is the brainchild of Ben Chestnut and Dan Kurzius, started alongside a web design company called Rocket Science Group back in 2001.
While their web design service catered to big names only, they decided to launch an email marketing service for smaller firms, and that how MailChimp came into existence!
Both the founders had a background of family businesses on a smaller scale thus, had an idea of how to enable such businesses with an optimization tool to fasten up their processes and generate more review.
To a point where they decided to shut down their web design service completely in 2007 and run MailChimp exclusively for these small firms.
While talking to Inc., Co-founder Ben Chestnut told the secret behind their success was the fact that they offered their customers with the proximity that their competitors couldn't.
MailChimp not only relates to small businesses but understands what they needed, thus offered them with a cheaper, customizable and constantly upgrading marketing tool that fits right into the budget and needs of smaller firms.
That's the key ingredient you were looking for; focusing on your customers’ needs!
Not only MailChimp, but we also studied several other businesses in their hyper growth stage - asking ‘what is the marketing strategy that took you here?’ and the answer was one way or the other - to be customer-driven.
But its easier to suggest becoming a customer-driven company than actually doing it!
According to Drift Founder and CEO David Cancel’s book on Hyper Growth, almost every company believes and tells you that their business model is customer-driven.
They not lying or deceiving their customers, they are actually delivering the message across their departments as well.
But what is missing here is the fact that they are not implementing the idea of being customer-driven to their actual decision making.
So, How Do You Transform Your Business To Be Customer-Driven?
Now that you have learned what is the marketing strategy behind a company’s online hyper growth. Its time to put together the key ways to help you achieve that.
Let’s dive right into these:
5 Ways To Build Your Customer-Driven Marketing Strategy That Leads To Hyper-Growth
Talking about online businesses and specifically SaaS companies, we have heard tons of strategies for rapid growth and over-night Lead Generation but none of them were practically customer-driver but more or less about generating business.
You may also like: 10 Tools for SaaS Startups to Generate more Leads
Let’s talk about real stuff here!
1. Make Your Customers Stay
Did you know?
And according to a Harvard Business School research, retaining just 5% of customers can increase your business profitability by 75%.
What does this mean?
Your current customers are generating most of your revenue which means their retention is absolutely necessary in order to achieve hyper-growth stage with a SaaS. and for that, It is recommended to learn and understand your customer retention rate as well as the lifetime value.
Once you are able to put that information in a table and start analyzing it, the actual worth of customer retention will be much clearer to you.
2. Selling a Service is Different
‘Software as a Service’ has two aspects to it - one is, of course, the software. Let’s discuss that first.
Your software must be flawless, innovative, valuable and different. As long as you are providing your customers with what they need, keep upgrading the features as per their requirements, provide customization instead of a one-shoe-fits-all strategy, you are doing it right!
As for the Service part - your emphasis must always be there. Why? Because you are actually selling that, not a product.
So, your entire marketing plan should always revolve around delivering service the right way and to do that, you must make sure all the aspects of your business model are glued to this one agenda no matter what.
This is the reason why you need to shift away from the almighty programmers and developers once in a while and focus on the support team, sales, bloggers/content marketers, etc. since they are the true front-facing components that make up the ‘service’ in SaaS.
So what do we learn here?
A. Sell your SaaS while you market your service!
B. Keep your existing customers satisfied and keep that as a paramount in your strategies.
C. Keep a one-on-one touch with your customers, show them that you care - not just with words, but with your actions as well.
3. Give Free Stuff Away
Selling a product is a lot different than selling a service. You would have to think twice before giving away something for free to every customer that walks into your store.
After all, the cost matters. You would rather opt for a sample or maybe a discount or promo but you wouldn't just give away an entire product just like that!
But selling SaaS is different!
You are providing a service so giving away a free chunk or the entire thing for a limited time, is not that big a deal. In fact, it's going to be the selling point for your actual subscription.
Every software online is giving a free trial one way or another. Some require payment information, some dont. Some offer a 10-day free trial and some a 3 months long.
But the strategy is always acquiring new customers and onboarding!
That is what makes it possible for the customers to actually sign-up to your ‘Free Trial’ is the word free itself. It works like fuel - enough to get them started and if they liked the ride, they will come back as needed.
4. Keep Them Engaged
Customers love quality content - make sure to keep them engaged with fun and engaging content through social media, email marketing and even through chat support.
A. Keep your social media accounts alive and updated so that your customers can reach out to you whenever they want.
B. Keep your website blog section filled with relevant and valuable content for your customers.
C. MailChimp - that's all for email marketing.
D. Botsify offers customized chatbots that can make your customer-bot interaction fun and engaging while helping them out with their queries.
Our chatbots can send multimedia as a response to your customers instead of boring them with plain text messages.
5. Make Your SaaS Sell Itself
As SaaS marketers have complicated their own lives, what they don’t know is an excellent software is capable of selling itself.
I am not saying you don’t need to worry about the marketing strategy - it is of great importance as well.
But dedicating your entire brain to just reaching out to customers is not good enough. You need to convert them into your customers and then you need to make them stay with you for long.
And to make all that happen you really only need to focus on just 2 things:
1. Flawless Software
2. Killer Support
If you make these 2 things possible your business is good enough to sell itself. If your software is top-notch and your service is as good as delivering a home baked cake, you are ready to take your leap towards your hyper-growth mode!