Since the inception of Powered by Search, there is a scenario that has played out numerous times that depicts how our agency came to be horizontally focused, serving a variety of different verticals from real estate, to the financial services industry, to the SaaS and technology industry.
Here’s an example of the scenario: we’d be working with a client in the real estate industry achieving great results for them. After several years, a new CMO would come in and our point of contact would decide to jump ship to a new company in the hotel business. After 90 days at their new gig, they’d have a sense of the marketing problems that needed to be solved there, reach out to us, and before we knew it we’d have a new client in the hotel business.
In the early years, the verticals we ended up serving happened almost by accident through referrals like these. So when it came to our positioning as an agency, the most common thing we saw was that we were continually solving complex and expensive problems around SEO and PPC, specifically helping our clients get more traffic and convert it into leads and sales.
Over the last couple of years, however, we’ve been considering making a move to hone our focus to a single vertical. And here are the 3 primary reasons why we’ve landed on the SaaS and technology industry:
- We’ve developed a deep understanding of the common marketing problems that SaaS businesses face.
- We’ve accumulated a series of demonstrable and repeatable results for our SaaS clients.
- We’ve seen how focusing on serving SaaS companies has led to expertise that compounds on itself.
We think furthering this compounding learning curve is a win-win for our clients and for us. In this post, we lay out some of the reasons why and share how our approach to working with SaaS companies differs from most other agencies out there.
Looking to work with a SaaS focused marketing agency? We have a team of SEO and PPC experts that would be happy to talk with you. Head over to our Work With Us page to start a conversation.
The Reasons We Landed on Becoming a B2B SaaS Marketing Agency
In our past experiences working with B2B SaaS companies, we’ve learned that many of them deal with similar marketing problems.
For starters, many of our initial conversations start out with the founder or VP of Marketing saying, “We hired an agency and they burned us” — an indicator that even with all of the agencies out there, there is still a lot left to be desired on the SaaS marketing services front.
This is one of several themes we’ve come to understand as the common marketing problems that SaaS businesses face, which brings us to reason #1.
Reason #1: We’ve Developed a Deep Understanding of the Common Marketing Problems That SaaS Businesses Face
In our conversations with SaaS companies, there are a number of common roadblocks that come up all the time. For example:
- Google Adwords isn’t working for us
- Organic search takes too long
- CPC rates are way too expensive
- Our content marketing isn’t converting like we want it to
- We haven’t been able to leverage remarketing properly
- We don’t know which blog posts being published lead to demos or trials
These are examples of common tactical problems. But the biggest problem we see these companies face in their marketing (that’s not always clear to them) is that they have goals and tactics, but they lack a cohesive SaaS marketing strategy to ensure their tactics actually accomplish their goals. And it’s often just due to the way companies are structured.
In a larger company, for example, you have VP’s setting goals for their direct marketing teams (eg. a copywriter, designer, and product marketer) to achieve. And the direct marketing team spends their time deploying the tactics that are meant to achieve those goals, but there is a crucial missing part of the equation which is someone with expertise in building a strategy to make it all work.
For smaller companies (including startups in say, a Series A funding round), it’s often just a tiny team whose expertise is in SaaS product development and not marketing.
SaaS companies too often focus on what’s urgent and important in the short term, without seeing the bigger picture of how it all fits into a longer term strategy — one that will get more leads and demos for their sales teams, and increase their monthly recurring revenue.
Results bring us to the second reason we’ve transitioned to a SaaS focused agency.
Reason #2: We’ve Accumulated a Series of Demonstrable and Repeatable Results for Our SaaS Clients
The greatest desires of our clients are generally the same.
They want to understand how they can improve their current marketing efforts. They want to improve the results of their efforts fast. And they want to know that the resources they’re spending on marketing are going to pay off.
One of our main attractions to serving SaaS companies is that we’ve been able to consistently achieve this for our SaaS clients.
To demonstrate this, we’ve written a number of in-depth case studies on our work:
The problem that led TouchBistro to reach out was that they’d reached a plateau in traffic and conversions through Facebook (their primary channel for lead generation), and they were getting fewer qualified leads than they needed based on their ad spend.
In the full case study, we share the specifics of how we approached solving this including:
- How we pinpointed why their traffic and conversions had been low
- The shift we made to their Facebook Ads strategy that generated 135 leads in a single month
- Examples of the landing page optimizations we recommended they make to their key product pages to increase engagement and conversion rates
When Structure Studios first approached us, they’d been experiencing difficulty with acquiring new customers through paid and organic channels, and also with their ability to manage lead quality.
- The specific challenges they came to us with (only some of which they were aware of)
- The technical SEO and content updates we made that led to a position 1 Google ranking for their highest value keyword (they continue to sit at the top of search results)
- How we revamped their paid search and social ads to reach a wider audience, implement attribution, and improve lead quality
While their in-house team was talented in their own right, Hurdlr felt that based on their performance there was opportunity for improvements through these channels. In particular:
- They wanted to increase conversions through their inbound marketing efforts
- They wanted to improve their rankings for some of their highest value keywords
- They wanted to increase the proportion of site visitors who were closer to the purchase stage
Over the course of a year, we worked with Hurdlr and were able to make substantial gains through blogging and SEO:
We increased their first page Google rankings by 2-3X (blue line) and their position 1-3 rankings by 4X (yellow line).
In addition, we saw a 70% increase in average position for the keywords we targeted for them — with 9 of their target keywords having page 1 or page 2 rankings.
- How the work we did with Hurdlr ties into our agency’s SaaS marketing strategy
- The blog pages we created to get position 1 rankings for keywords like ‘1099 paycheck calculator’ and ‘Uber tax calculator’
- The product pages we created to get rankings for core business keywords like ‘mileage and expense tracker’
These are the best articles to read if you want to see how our Predictable Growth strategy works in practice.
And the final reason that we’ve decided to focus exclusively on serving technology and SaaS companies is that our expertise has been compounding on itself.
Reason #3: We’ve Seen How Focusing on Serving SaaS Companies Has Led to Expertise That Compounds on Itself
Our experiences over the last decade have given us insight into key marketing questions SaaS companies have to answer.
For example, what should a demo cost (in acquisition costs) for an enterprise SaaS company? Or, for mid-sized SaaS companies working with SMB’s, when should you focus on trials versus demos?
We’ve seen how the recurring revenue based model lends itself to forecasting and predictability that is more challenging to achieve in other industries. We can look at current growth next to churn rate, see how many months of revenue you have in the future, and make marketing decisions based on the context of those metrics.
With the knowledge base we’ve developed, we can confidently and consistently work with our established processes to reduce customer acquisition costs while increasing quality leads and conversion rates — which brings us to our approach and what separates us from other agencies.
How Our Approach Differs from Other SaaS Marketing Agencies
There are two primary things that we believe separate Powered by Search from the average B2B SaaS marketing agency:
- We have a structured, Predictable Growth Methodology (that’s documented and free to access).
- We’ve identified 7 additional types of fit (beyond product-market fit) that help us see your SaaS marketing operation from many different angles and identify areas where we can improve results.
Let’s look at these a bit closer.
1. We Have a Structured, Predictable Growth Methodology and Process
We have outlined and fully mapped out our marketing principles and our entire process from a high level to a granular one.
Want to know what it’s like to work with us? Read through our methodology and you can see the exact steps we take in our piloting and onboarding process.
It may come as a surprise that we would share this much detail about our process openly, but we are firm believers in transparency, and we see that sharing insight into the way we think and approach SaaS marketing allows us to earn and hold the trust of our clients.
The other part of our approach that we think differentiates us from other agencies we see is that we’ve identified 7 types of fit beyond product-market fit that guide us and provide many different angles from which we can test and improve your marketing efforts.
2. We’ve Identified 7 Additional Types of Fit to Solve SaaS Growth Problems (Beyond Product-Market Fit)
We discussed this in depth in a recent article, but essentially we’ve conceptualized a handful of lesser-known and under-discussed types of fit that SaaS companies are rarely considering in their marketing strategy.
While everyone is well aware of the concept of product-market fit (and sometimes aware of customer-content fit), there are these other types of fit that can help you see where you’re going wrong and where you have room to test and improve results.
In total, here are the 8 types of fit we work on:
- Product-market fit
- Message-market fit
- Customer-channel fit
- Customer-content fit
- Journey-offer fit
- Funding-velocity fit
- Customer-offer fit
- Talent-trajectory fit
Remember above how we mentioned that the common theme we’ve seen in our positioning over the years has been that we’ve been solving complex and expensive problems for companies around SEO and PPC?
It’s our predictable growth methodology and this ability to look at marketing programs from many different angles that has allowed us to consistently solve these complex problems. So if you’ve been encountering complex digital marketing problems in your own SaaS business, we’d like to encourage you to reach out to us to see if we can help you solve them.
If You’re Interested in Our Services, Get in Touch to See If We’re a Good Fit
We make this process simple:
- You contact us, letting us know what you need.
- We’ll analyze your site to identify whether we’re a good fit for each other.
- If we feel that we’re a good fit, we’ll discuss how we’ll grow your business.
Just head over to work with us page to fill out a short form and we can begin the conversation.