If you own a SaaS business, at some point you’re going to need a SaaS product marketing consultant. This professional will guide you into creating and managing a product successfully. But why do you need this consultant more than a simple SaaS marketing consultant and what can they do to increase your ROI (return on investment)? In this article, we’ll explain what is product marketing, and why do you need it for your SaaS product.
1. What is product marketing?
Product marketing is essential for tech companies to develop their business. A SaaS product marketing consultant will give you all that you need to create a strategy for your product.
First of all, you need to create your marketing personas. Who does your product appeal to? What do all your customers have in common? That’s how you draw a persona, the profile of your ideal customer according to demographics, job position, location, anything you can think of that will bring detail to this persona.
Your SaaS product marketing consultant will also create sales and marketing materials, according to the persona you built and showcasing the advantages of your product. After all, there’s no use in creating a product no one needs. You need to research your niche, find what is missing in it for your personas and how you can help them.
In order to build your ideal product, you need to conduct market analysis. It’s in this analysis that you’ll find the right starting point to build a product that users need and want. What kind of products are there in your niche? What could you build that would help your users achieve something they are after? This all belongs to the field of product marketing.
There is also the need to create product launch documentation. Your product marketing consultant will be able to develop all the documentation for a successful launch, including promotion, product details and features, and onboarding.
Other than that, once you have developed your SaaS product, you’ll need to position yourself in the market. Where do you stand among your competitors? Which features do you offer that other products in the market do not provide? How do you distinguish yourself? What is your end goal? All this is needed for market positioning.
Finally, your consultant should be able to create content with the right messages: content that will reach your target audience and show what is your proposition, what can users do with your product, and much more. Creating content is more than just advertising. You should have tutorials, comparison articles showing how you stack up against the competition, ebooks, white papers, and many other educational materials that will show what your brand does for your customers.
2. What is the difference between product marketing and general marketing?
When it comes to product marketing, there is a stark difference between a SaaS product marketing consultant and a general marketing consultant.
A general marketing consultant focuses on communicating clearly what you are and what you do as a company. They will bring it out in the form of collaterals that show your users what you’re really about. A general marketing consultant will also find ways to get your target users in your sales pipeline, whether it is by creating content, or plain and simple advertising that gets them to your website.
These consultants will be able to get users to know your brand, and what you stand for. However, SaaS needs product advising more than just advertising. SaaS is all about the product, which is why we recommend getting a product marketing consultant. In the following section, you’ll see what a product consultant does that differs from a general marketeer.
A SaaS product marketing consultant will know everything about your product, which gives them the ability to know exactly what makes you different and what makes you better than your competition.
They will also be able to predict industry trends. This seems difficult, but it is possible with the right sets of data. The SaaS landscape is constantly changing; you need someone who stays up to the challenge of constantly iterating your product using user feedback and industry data.
A true SaaS product marketing consultant is your best evangelist. They know your strengths, and they know how to improve your product in order to fix your weaknesses. It might take a while to find the right professional for your product marketing, but once you do, you’ll be able to enhance your product and predict which features do you need to implement. Product marketing is essential in the SaaS environment.
3. How do you implement product marketing in your company?
Product marketing is more than sales, it is more than marketing and more than PR. It is a role that requires all those skills, and more. So, you need to know how to fit your product marketing consultant on your team.
The right professional will be able to advise you on all the areas we mentioned while being an essential force in making the right decisions product-wise. Product marketing values development, sales, marketing, and all the other functions you need in your company. Your consultant’s vision helps you implement all the features you need to crush competition while staying true to your company’s goals. However, there are things you need to know to make sure your consultant stays focused.
Focus On The Middle to Bottom Funnel
Usually, your product marketing consultant will be seen performing tasks that are in the middle to bottom of your sales funnel. What does this mean? Well, it means that you have to leave top-funnel tasks to your sales team, and let your product marketeer nurture those leads you already have. If you find your product marketing consultant focusing on all the parts of the sales funnel, you’re going to have a frustrated professional. So, make sure that all bases are covered to keep your product marketing consultant away from burnout.
Lead nurturing makes sure that there are no wasted leads. At the same time, your product marketing consultant will also manage your relationship with your users after they’ve purchased your product.
It is essential to nurture this relationship between your brand and your users well after they decided to purchase or to subscribe. SaaS has a long sales process, which makes it important to never let your users down. Onboarding is especially important, but customer support will also have their role in keeping your users with you.
Your SaaS product marketing consultant will make sure that all phases of the sales process work smoothly, from the first touchpoint with your brand to making sure your customers are happy with your product and want to renew their subscription. Renewals are essential to keep a SaaS business rolling: unlike other products in the market, SaaS is all about keeping users from leaving.
It should also be noted that in the SaaS sales funnel, it’s a lot easier to keep your current users happy than to get new customers at the top of the funnel. Educational materials make sure that users know what to do with your product, and creating those materials is part of your product marketing consultant’s job, as we mentioned previously.
Understanding your personas
We’ve mentioned personas before in this article, but we need to clarify a few things. First of all, most of the time your buyers and your end users are not the same. CEOs and business owners buy your product, but it’s their employees that are going to use it often, sometimes every day, depending on what your product is about.
This creates two different personas: your buyers and your users. It is important to satisfy both because even though buyers decide on the purchase, it’s your users’ opinion that is going to make sure those subscriptions stay active.
So, you need to know how to talk to both. Buyers and users demand a different discourse, and your product marketing consultant should be able to talk to both in terms that they understand and which apply to their roles.
Making sure your users and your buyers are happy with your product is a long term task. You need to involve customer support in your product marketing practices, and your whole team needs to be aligned in order to create the perfect user experience. Long term users get you the ROI you need, while leads can become buyers or just fall through the cracks. It is your SaaS product marketing consultant role to make sure no users fall behind.
4. Factors to look into when choosing a SaaS product marketing consultant
Now that you know what a product marketing consultant does for your SaaS business, we need to establish the professional profile you should be after. Not all marketing consultants are able to act as product marketing consultants, simply because the right professional for this role needs to have a deeper understanding of what composes your product and what needs to be done to keep users and buyers happy. These are a few factors you should look into when hiring your SaaS product marketing consultant.
Make sure that consulting is their primary service
First and foremost, you need to know if your product marketing consultant does consulting as their primary service. This is essential for the simple reason that you cannot cover all bases when it comes to expertise. You want someone who focuses on consulting for a living, not a regular marketer that does consulting on the side.
An expert consultant will be able to provide counseling in improving your product, keeping customers happy, and developing all the collaterals including white papers, tutorials… As we mentioned previously, these collaterals are essential documents to guide your users along the whole product lifecycle. From convincing buyers to onboarding and support, the right consultant will be able to produce all documentation themselves and provide the guidelines for action in all matters that relate to your product.
Someone who does consulting as a side gig will not be able to provide you such an in-depth view of your SaaS product simply because they’re not experts in product marketing.
Check their client portfolio
One thing you can’t miss while hunting for a SaaS product marketing consultant is their portfolio. Can they provide proof of previous results? Were any of their previous clients SaaS businesses?
Proof of results is mandatory. You cannot work with someone who makes all sorts of claims about their work if they cannot provide figures that show how they achieved those results.
However, when it comes to their previous clients, you might do with someone who hasn’t had many SaaS clients. In that case, look for product marketing consultants that have comprehensive experience, i.e. that worked with many different industries.
A professional with experience in different products will be able to research everything you need in order to improve your product and engage users. It’s always better to get someone with SaaS experience, but if that’s not possible, a professional who is good at researching for different jobs can help you too.
In their portfolio, look for product marketing gigs. If they have facts in their portfolio that ensure their performance, you’re good to go. Nonetheless, pay attention to gaps in result reporting. You need to know who you’re working with.
Understand your customers and your market better
The right SaaS product marketing consultant will have a great understanding of your customers and your market, providing you with insights you couldn’t get anywhere else. It is their job to predict changes in your industry that might affect your product, and tell you what do you need to improve in order to grow your business.
This knowledge about your customers and your market must come from research, but it is mainly the result of great analytical skills. In order to predict the future, you must understand the past.
It is never easy to hire a professional that is going to be so important for your business. A product marketing consultant can make or break your product strategy, so we recommend that you research thoroughly before hiring anyone. In this article, we gave you a few guidelines that help you make that decision.
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