What To Expect From A SaaS Product Marketing Manager
Launching a new SaaS startup or product is one of the most challenging things to do.
Sure, the market may be growing exponentially as the world becomes more and more dependent on the internet. But that also means more SaaS companies are popping out left and right to grab the new opportunities that the growing market brings.
The market is getting more saturated and the competition is only growing fiercer.
That’s why your new SaaS product has to bring something new to the playing field. If you want to stand out amongst a sea of competitors, your product should reflect a new perspective on solving a particular problem in your target market.
But aside from having a revolutionary product, you also need a solid plan on how to communicate what it does and what value it can give to your users.
That’s where product marketing comes in.
What Is Product Marketing?
Product marketing is a strategic process that encompasses your product, marketing, and sales teams. It involves capturing the value of your SaaS product and enabling your marketing and sales teams to clearly communicate that value.
Product marketing is essential for a fledgling SaaS company. After all, it’s not enough to have a great product. You also need to know how to market and sell it effectively.
What’s more, product marketing prepares the way for your future marketing and sales endeavors.
Once you have a standard way of communicating your product, that would be the basis of your other campaigns. Whether it’s content marketing, email marketing, or in your sales talks, product marketing provides the foundation for it.
And this is not an easy job. Needless to say, the product marketing manager, the person in charge of all of this, has to be up to the task.
So, what should you expect from a SaaS product marketing manager? Here are some of the main responsibilities you need to entrust to them.
- Gathering Reliable Market Intelligence
- Developing Your Market Positioning
- Crafting Your Product Messaging
- Understanding Your Competitors
- Marketing And Sales Enablement
- Developing The Go-To-Market Strategy
- Educating All Stakeholders On The Product Benefits
- Coming Up With Actionable Insights On Product Marketing Performance
Let’s talk about them one by one.
1) Gathering Reliable Market Intelligence
A SaaS product marketing manager’s primary responsibility is to understand the market. This means knowing your target audience, understanding their needs and wants, and having a clear grasp of what will catch and keep their attention.
This research will be the basis of all your marketing efforts. After all, you need to know to whom you’re selling to and what they want before you can start selling them anything.
Your SaaS product marketing manager should also have their finger on the pulse of the market. They need to know what’s happening in the industry as a whole as well as in your specific target market.
This way, they’ll be able to anticipate changes and adjust your product marketing strategy accordingly.
Only then can they develop strategies that will put your product in a favorable light.
2) Developing Your Market Positioning
Once your SaaS product marketing manager understands the market, they can start developing your product’s market positioning. This is essentially how you want your SaaS product to be seen in the market.
Basically, market positioning is all about setting a context for your SaaS solution. What does it do? Who is it for? What can customers expect from it? How much does it cost?
This is also where you can frame your SaaS product in comparison to your competitors. What makes it different and why should customers choose it over other similar solutions?
Your product marketing manager will be in charge of developing this positioning.
They need to be able to take all the information they’ve gathered about your product, the market, and the competition. Then from these, they should be able to craft a compelling message that will grab your target audience’s attention and convert leads into customers.
Speaking of creating a message…
3) Crafting Your Product Messaging
Your SaaS product marketing manager should also be able to craft a clear and concise message about your product. This is what you’ll use in your marketing campaigns as well as in your sales talks.
It needs to be able to grab attention and communicate the value of your SaaS product quickly and effectively.
Keep in mind that people’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. You need to make an impact as fast as you can. You need to pique their interest before they decide to move on to something else.
Ideally, this message should also be aligned with your market positioning. After all, it needs to reinforce the context you’ve set for your SaaS solution.
For this role, your product marketing manager should be able to produce at least three types of messaging statements: the value proposition, the unique selling proposition, and the tagline.
The value proposition is a statement that communicates what your SaaS product does and how it solves your target customer’s problem.
It needs to be clear, concise, and to the point. Ideally, it should also be able to stand on its own without needing too much explanation.
Let’s have some examples from a few popular SaaS brands:
Pipedrive: “The all-in-one sales platform for growing revenue”
Slack: “Transform the way you work with one place for everyone and everything you need to get stuff done”
Xero: “Accounting software to do your to-do”
As you can see, each value proposition is able to quickly and effectively communicate what the product does as well as how it can help users.
Unique Selling Proposition
The unique selling proposition (USP) is a statement that communicates what makes your SaaS product different from your competitors. It should be able to highlight the features and benefits that are most important to your target customers.
It needs to be clear and concise as well. And like the value proposition, it should also be able to stand on its own.
Ideally, the USP should be something that’s not easily replicated by your competitors. This way, you can really capitalize on what makes your SaaS product unique.
Again, let’s have some examples of USP statements from SaaS brands we’ve talked about earlier:
Pipedrive: “Pipedrive is the first CRM platform made for salespeople, by salespeople”
Slack: “All your communication in one place, integrating with the tools and services you use every day”
Xero: “Beautiful cloud accounting”
As you can see, each USP statement is able to quickly and effectively communicate the product’s characteristics that make it different from its competitors.
The tagline is a short and catchy phrase that communicates the overall benefits of your SaaS product. It should be able to grab attention and leave a lasting impression.
Ideally, it should also be aligned with your product positioning and messaging. This way, people will immediately associate the tagline with your SaaS product.
Here are some taglines from the sample brands we used earlier.
Pipedrive: “The only sales tool you need”
Slack: “Slack is your digital HQ”
Xero: “Do beautiful business”
Each tagline is able to effectively communicate the overall benefits of the product in a short and concise manner.
You may also notice that some of them sound like a shorter version of their value proposition or USP statements.
Well, the value proposition and USP are meant to communicate something that your offer. While the purpose of the tagline is to catch potential customers’ attention and direct them to your website, where they can see your value proposition and USP.
4) Understanding Your Competitors
A SaaS product marketing manager should also have a good understanding of your competitors. They should be adept at finding out how your competitors are positioned and what their messaging statements are.
This way, they can develop strategies to position your SaaS product in the market and differentiate it from the competition.
They should also be able to monitor your competitor’s activities and keep up-to-date with their latest offerings. This way, you can quickly respond to any new threats or opportunities in your competitive landscape.
Your SaaS product marketing manager should also be able to analyze the messaging and positioning of each of your main competitors. This way, you can more effectively communicate why your SaaS product is better than theirs.
5) Marketing And Sales Enablement
A SaaS product marketing manager should also be able to work closely with your marketing and sales teams. They should be able to provide them with the necessary resources and support that they need to sell your SaaS product effectively.
This includes developing marketing programs and creating collaterals.
Developing Marketing Programs
Your SaaS product marketing manager is the one in charge of creating various marketing programs that can help generate leads and increase awareness for your SaaS product.
Some examples of marketing programs include webinars, email campaigns, and content marketing.
A SaaS product marketing manager should also be able to develop various types of collaterals. These are materials that can be used by your sales team during the sales process.
Some examples of collaterals include data sheets, case studies, and demo videos.
6) Developing The Go-To-Market Strategy
If you’re about to launch a SaaS startup or a new product, the go-to-market (GTM) strategy is one of the essential plans that you need to have.
The GTM strategy is the SaaS product marketing manager’s battle plan. This is their chance to conceptualize a campaign that will put your product in front of the right people at the right time.
The GTM strategy will take into account all the research that was done on your target market and target audience. With this information, your SaaS product marketing manager can develop messaging and positioning that will resonate with your target users.
They will also come up with creative ways to get your product in front of as many people as possible. This might involve working with influencers, developing partnerships, or running ads.
In short, the goal of the GTM strategy is to make sure that your product is seen by the people who are most likely to buy it. And from there, you can build momentum and expand your share of your target market.
7) Educating All Stakeholders On The Product Benefits
Your SaaS product marketing manager should also be able to educate your stakeholders on the benefits of your SaaS product.
This is important because they need to be able to understand how your SaaS product can help them achieve their goals.
Only then will they be able to provide the necessary support that you need to successfully launch and market your SaaS product.
Some examples of stakeholders include upper management, investors, and even your own team members.
8) Coming Up With Actionable Insights On Product Marketing Performance
A SaaS product marketing manager should also be able to provide you with actionable insights that can help improve your product marketing strategy.
This means that they should be constantly analyzing your marketing efforts and coming up with ways to make them more effective.
And that means tracking the right key performance indicators (KPIs). Knowing the right product marketing KPIs and metrics will help you set goals and assess your performance.
Some examples of product marketing KPIs include the following:
- Conversion Rates
- Sales Velocity
- Retention Rate
- Churn Rate
The conversion rate is the percentage of leads that are successfully converted into paying customers.
This metric will help you assess the overall effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. But the overall conversion rate doesn’t tell you which specific parts of your product marketing strategy work and which don’t.
That’s why you also need to track smaller conversions. How many of your prospects turn into leads? How many of those leads sign up for a demo?
Tracking these more specific conversion rates will help you identify which areas need improvement.
The sales velocity is the amount of time it takes for your sales team to convert a newly generated lead into a customer. A high sales velocity is a good sign that your marketing and sales teams are working well together.
It can also mean that your SaaS product is appealing to your target market. In other words, you have a great product-market fit as a result of excellent market research.
The signup rate is the percentage of visitors to your website who sign up for a free trial or demo.
This metric will help you assess the overall appeal of your SaaS product.
It’s also a good indicator of how effective your lead generation campaigns are.
The retention rate is the percentage of customers who continue using your SaaS product after a certain period of time.
For example, let’s say you have 1000 users at the start of April. Then at the end of the month, 800 of them keep subscribing to your SaaS product. That gives you a retention rate of 80%.
This metric is a good indicator of how satisfied your customers are with your SaaS product.
It’s also a good indicator of your product-market fit. If you have a high retention rate, it means that you’re providing value to your target market.
The churn rate is the percentage of customers who stop using your SaaS product within a certain period of time.
Yes, it’s the opposite of the retention rate. So in the example above, let’s say that 200 out of 1000 canceled their subscriptions. That’s a churn rate of 20%.
A high churn rate can be caused by many factors, such as poor customer service, lack of features, or poor user experience.
Fixing these problems will help reduce your churn rate and improve your retention rate.
Effective Management: The Most Important Role Of A Product Marketing Manager
As you can see, there are many different things that a SaaS product marketing manager should be responsible for.
From gathering market intelligence to improving your marketing strategy, a SaaS product marketing manager can have a big impact on your business.
But that doesn’t mean they are going to do all of these things alone. They’re called product marketing managers. The job is more about handling people and being on top of your product marketing processes.
So one of the most important responsibilities of a SaaS product marketing manager is delegating these tasks to reliable people on the product marketing team.
Make sure you choose the right person for the job by looking for someone with experience in the SaaS industry. But more than that, they should also have the ability to manage a product marketing team and the competence to see things through excellently.
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