Lots of things about software-as-a-service (SaaS) are new: the business model, the delivery model, the development model.
But that doesn't always mean that the marketing tactics need to be new too. You're not obligated to use only the latest tools and techniques. Sometimes the "old" tactics will work just fine.
Not everyone lives on Facebook
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media are certainly more glamorous than print media. Marketers even brag about how many "followers" and "friends" they've attracted.
But print media can be very effective. If that's where your prospective customers are, you should be there, too.
Coverage in "Modern Bee Keeper" magazine may not sound cutting edge, but if you want to get your solution in front of bee keepers, it just might do the job.
Tradeshows are very much alive
heard people say "tradeshows are dead." They figure that nobody has
time or budget to spend time at an event, and everything can be found on the web anyway.
Not so fast. Big shows
like the Consumer Electronics Show and the Detroit Auto Show are
thriving, and small regional shows are "must attend" events for certain
audiences. School bus fleet managers in North Carolina regularly attend
events hosted by the "North Carolina Pupil Transportation
Association." If that's who you sell to, that's where you can find
Direct mail can still work
But don't dismiss it out of hand. After all, I counted more than 20 promotional solicitations in my USPS mail box last week, and I know that the people who manage direct mail campaigns carefully track results. This tactic, which has probably been around since the Pony Express, must be working for somebody.
Spend to win customers, even if it's old school
SaaS companies need to be especially careful about where they spend their marketing money. Sales and marketing costs will likely be one of their largest expenses, and spending on things that doesn't actually attract customers... that's a recipe for going out of business. (See "SaaS customer acquisition; Feed it or starve it")
But while you're thinking about how to spend wisely, don't rule out certain marketing tactics just because they're not new or your hip marketing brethren shun them.
Frankly, it doesn't really matter what other marketers are doing; what matters is what your prospective customers are doing.
This work by Peter Cohen, SaaS Marketing Strategy Advisors is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Images obtained via iCLIPART.com.