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Peter Cohen, has more than 25 years’ experience developing and implementing successful customer acquisition strategies for technology companies, including IBM, Lotus, Constant Contact, Buildium and Progress. He specializes in the unique challenges of marketing SaaS and cloud solutions. He publishes a blog and newsletter entitled “Practical Advice on SaaS Marketing.” Peter is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 11 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

"Old" Tactics Can Still Work for SaaS Marketing

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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

I've 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 them.

Direct mail can still work

Direct mail seems so dated in the age of email, websites, and social media.

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.


Published at DZone with permission of Peter Cohen, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Will Soprano replied on Thu, 2013/02/14 - 10:04am

 Awesome article! Thanks for the perspective, Peter

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