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THINKING RADICALLY: How to Be More than Just a “Product” Company SaaS is quickly evolving, with over a million startups further saturating the market every year. This, coupled with the market’s forecasted growth from $8 billion in 2017 to $55 billion in 2026, has resulted in a market flooded with brands who struggle to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Winning in SaaS Through Thought Leadership How do you improve your odds of capturing this market and gain ground over your competitors? Through the strategic use of thought leadership programs, SaaS providers can succeeded in differentiating their services from competitors, driving growth, improving their brand and increasing market share in emerging technologies. Thought leadership enables enterprises to be perceived as “novel thinkers” – not just another SaaS company. A type of content marketing that taps into a business’ talent, expertise and passion, thought leadership answers customers’ biggest questions while gaining their loyalty and trust. For SaaS providers, thought leadership (1) supports the differentiation of your core business over competitors with similar software solutions by raising awareness, (2) increases success rate and cadence of new customer acquisition campaigns, (3) aids with upsell, and (4) reduces subscription churn when targeted to key segments. A well-executed thought leadership program not only attracts new customers and paves the way for new partnerships, but also reinforces your brand’s key differentiators and consequently reduces costly churn.

A Holistic Thought Leadership Program

Outcomes

Actions

Market Identification • • •

• •

Identify target audience Determine key buyer issues and challenges Determine sources of trust and loyalty

Segment client profiles Establish key trends, client issues, and future pain points

Platform Development • • •

• •

Audience Engagement

Craft differentiated POV Align content with buyer issues Develop thought leadership platform to launch content

Showcase unique industry content and insights Demonstrate respected industry point of view

• •

Impact Assessment

Map content needs to segmentations Engage audience across digital and traditional channels Manage release frequency

• •

Realign sales and marketing processes Increase trust from current and prospective clients

© Market Strategy Group 2017

Assess business impact Revise program or reinvest in the current platform Determine KPIs

Develop KPI tracking processes Maintain alignment of thought leadership with client needs MSG Insights – April 2017 www. mkt-strat.com


Market Strategy Group supported an auto-retail SaaS provider in developing its thought leadership platform as part of a broader integrated market strategy. Market Strategy Group developed a holistic program to streamline the value proposition of the solutions to address the client’s top concerns and the most nuanced market trends. At the heart of the a thought leadership is to develop a clear hierarchy of benefits, as depicted below. The hierarchy of benefits explains to users both the big “so what” as well as features and corresponding proof points. These benefits were designed into the air war and ground war marketing plans, and the new messaging platform was fluidly integrated across its channels, partners and content.

Hierarchy of Benefits

MACRO BENEFITS

MICRO BENEFITS

As a result of this market and customer-based thought leadership program, the company’s number of highly qualified sales accepted leads increased by over 800% in just one month, and they saw continual 100% MOM growth for the duration of the program. Market Strategy Group not only optimized the company’s market presence by improving its brand and reputation, but also helped drive revenue by improving conversion of existing sales opportunities.

FEATURES

PROOF POINTS

An Illustrative Campaign Platform Developing a campaign platform requires first defining the above hierarchy benefits and then narrowing down on target segments, the buyer journey and supporting messaging. Market Research Combined with Strategic Priorities & Messaging Platform Drive Campaign Prioritization

Critical Personae: CEO, CMO

Market Research Determines Personae and Segments Focus Areas

Loosen Status Quo

Touchpoints Leverage Multiple Channels Generation of Sales Lead or Follow Up Action Based on Level of Interest

Nurture/Drip Tracks

Messaging Follows Buyer Journeys

Macro Benefit

Feature 1

Feature 2

Feature 3

Critical Segments: All

Justify the Decision

Explore Solutions

Make the Selection

Proof Point 1

Proof Point 2

Proof Point 3

Proof Point 1

Proof Point 1

Proof Point 2

Proof Point 3

Proof Point 2

Proof Point 3

While the development of a well executed thought leadership program can appear to be a daunting and complicated task, the resulting increased sales leads and decreased customer churn can prove invaluable in an increasingly crowded market. Start simple. Think about the big “so what?” and drill down from there. What do you know better than anyone else? About Market Strategy Group Market Strategy Group sees business differently. To us, winning isn't about going from Point A to Point B. It's about aligning three distinct dimensions — business direction, people & process, and markets & customers — to drive growth. Getting this right is critical to your bottom line. And it’s not a siloed challenge – it requires multiple departments to work cohesively. We have helped organizations get to an answer custom to your unique situation. We should chat if this is an issue. Joel Krauss (joel.krauss@mkt-strat.com) or Alex Kruzel (alex.kruzel@mkt-strat.com).

© Market Strategy Group 2017

http://mkt-strat.com/

MSG Insights – April 2017 www. mkt-strat.com

Thinking Radically: How to Be More than Just a "Product" Company  

SaaS is quickly evolving, with over a million startups further saturating the market every year. This, coupled with the market’s forecasted...

Thinking Radically: How to Be More than Just a "Product" Company  

SaaS is quickly evolving, with over a million startups further saturating the market every year. This, coupled with the market’s forecasted...