Last updated 05 January, 2022.
At Advance B2B, we love lists. In fact, if you’re also a lover of lists, check out this blog post we wrote on aligning marketing and customer success. It includes many lists.
But back to today’s topic. This time, our customer Miira Leinonen, an expert on marketing SaaS products, is here to list her top five B2B marketing principles to focus on. 😍
Back in late 2021, Miira wrote another guest post for the Advance B2B growth blog. In that post, she went through the ‘strategy phase’ with Advance B2B from her perspective as the customer. Check that one out as well!
Ready? Let’s get to it, then!
1. Combine long-term brand building and short-term sales activation
Marketing is not — and should not be treated as — just a support function. It is so much more than that. It’s an enabler.
In fact, I see marketing as a combination of long-term brand building and short-term sales activation.
On a higher level, SaaS marketing has two key objectives. Firstly, marketing exists to create a distinctive and attractive brand, and secondly, to generate qualified leads that eventually convert into paying customers.
The importance of branding should never be neglected. I truly believe in building thought leadership around the brand and creating innovative, educational, and credible content. Storytelling is at the heart of marketing.
And, naturally, standing out in the market is crucial.
🔥 Interested in why brand-building is one of the most important ingredients in B2B SaaS growth? Check out this article we wrote about it.
2. Cliché alert: Break the silos by aligning your marketing and sales
Marketing and sales need to be aligned to make your SaaS business work — there’s really no way around it.
I have done a fair share of B2B sales myself while working as a CMO, and it has been one of the best ways to grow as a marketing leader.
I have learned to better understand both the customers’ needs and the sales processes — which also helps me in my job as a marketer.
Marketing and sales can truly help each other.
For example, a sales team can contribute enormously to marketing activities by acting as brand ambassadors, sharing valuable ideas, and passing the information they hear at sales meetings to marketing.
That, in turn, will quickly turn into great customer service and a great customer experience, more qualified leads, and higher conversion rates.
3. Be driven by the right KPIs
I see value in setting OKRs and measuring marketing data to be able to evolve constantly. As long as the KPIs are the right ones.
So, what are the right KPIs then? They are those metrics that are derived from your business strategy and marketing plan — and that bring you closer to your vision.
It’s really important that the KPIs you choose are relevant to your overall business strategy and high-level goals, as well as your short-term goals.
And the most important thing regarding KPIs is to focus on what actually matters and makes sense: Instead of just counting every website visitor that hangs around on your site, think about how many of them actually start a free trial, request a demo, or become paying customers.
🔥 But how do you do it? Well, to make proper decisions based on your data, you need to have a concrete goal in mind, have adequate metrics to track and read your data correctly to draw foolproof conclusions. Read what we wrote about the topic here.
4. Get to know your customers — and put them first
I wish all B2B SaaS companies would get to know their customers and target market on a deeper level.
Why do they buy your product or service? What do they love about your product, brand, and company? And, while you’re at it, it’s just as important to understand why some companies do not buy from you.
Not all companies are the right customers for you. With customer research, you can identify your ICPs (ideal customer profiles.) Advance B2B does this very well and can also help you out with this.
It cannot be highlighted enough how crucial it is to put the right target group first. With this, you can ensure all the content you create (from case studies to social media posts) is actually relevant and interesting for the people you want to reach.
For example, it does not matter if some new marketing channel is trending now if your target group is not and will never be there.
By getting to know your customers, you’ll understand where they spend their time and what kind of content they want to consume.
Small note: Customers may not yet know what they want or will want in the future. Thus, you need to stay one step ahead.
🔥 Want to know how Advance B2B does customer research? Here’s a step-by-step guide. And psst: We also do customer research projects in case you need one.
5. Work in sprints and stay agile
Long gone are the days when you would try to plan everything for one year in advance.
It was fun while it lasted, but it just doesn’t make sense to run marathons all the time when you should also run sprints.
In the fast-paced B2B SaaS world, sprints make so much more sense.
Certainly, you need to have long-term goals as well, but day-to-day activities work the best in 3 to 5-week sprints.
They help you to stay agile and make faster changes as needed. You can also plan your growth marketing activities around the sprints to test, learn, and alter quickly.
TalentAdore is a Finnish HR tech company on a mission to bring the human touch to recruitment.
Miira Leinonen is the Chief Marketing Officer at TalentAdore. She is a marketing enthusiast, people person, and creative mind. She loves writing and creating compelling stories, visuals, and brands.
Miira loves all sports and plays everything from floorball to badminton. Her other passion is ice cream, and she even writes ice cream reviews on Instagram and TikTok (@jaatelokesa) — go check it out!