Today we’re discussing the importance of B2B marketing for tech and SaaS businesses with Mike Scott (Nona CEO) and Joana Inch, co-founder of Hat Media, which helps tech and SaaS startups scale their B2B leads and create predictable revenue.
Joana has been in the B2B marketing space for over 15 years and is the author of Go to Market, a marketing and scaling blueprint for startups. There’s no one better to guide us in the world of B2B marketing, so let’s get started.
B2B marketing for tech startups
What is B2B marketing, and why do tech and SaaS businesses need it?
Firstly, B2B refers to business to business marketing as opposed to business to consumer marketing. “Tech and SaaS are actually predominantly made for businesses, not for consumers,” explains Joana. “So they very much need to focus on the methodologies of B2B as opposed to B2C. We know businesses shop differently from consumers. We know there’s a much longer sales cycle with businesses than there is with consumers. So there are definitely different strategies around the B2B component of marketing than there is with the B2C.”
Common marketing mistakes tech and SaaS make
They don’t market at all
As Mike points out, one of the biggest mistakes the tech founders make is believing that once they have a product, the sales will simply follow. “It seems to be the most common problem,” Joana agrees. “Either that, or they’re just wearing too many hats at the beginning.”
During the startup phase, founders are often stretched incredibly thin. They’re taking on multiple roles to keep the business running and marketing often falls off the priority list. “Marketing is such a time-consuming aspect of a business. And it’s something that needs to be done consistently day in, day out in order for it to work brilliantly at scaling the business,” says Joana.
Tech founders are often more focused on getting investments, updating features, and evolving new ideas. “They should play to their strengths,” Joana encourages. “They should keep innovating but they need the marketing. They should definitely hire internally or outsource externally, so that someone can commit that time and effort that’s required to make it a success.”
They advertise features instead of benefits
Another common mistake is that founders focus on the wrong elements to advertise. “Let’s not talk about features and products,” says Joana. “Let’s talk about benefits and pain points and how you’re actually helping these people and solving their problems.”
“I think as business owners,” says Mike, “until we’re taught not to, we talk about the things that we care about. We don’t realise that no one cares about the product – all they care about is how it’s going to change their lives.”
They use ‘spray and pray’ tactics
Another common marketing mistake tech and SaaS businesses make is advertising to anyone and everyone. They cast too wide a net. Joana explains this with a fishing analogy from her book.
“If you’re fishing with a spear, you know exactly who you’re going to hunt. You know exactly the size of the fish, exactly what type of fish, and that’s the fish that you get. So you get what you fish for. However, if you don’t have a niche and you cast a wide net, you’ll bring in a variety of fish, but you also collect quite a bit of junk in there as well.“
You may still get leads and clients when you market to everyone, but they may not be the right type of client for you. It’s also time-consuming to sit and sort through all this data to find what you’re looking for, compared to focusing on your niche audience.
How to start B2B marketing right now
Looking at the points above, it’s a lot to take in. It’s not easy to change the way your brain is wired or how you communicate. “What can I do today, tomorrow, this coming week to actually start moving towards this?” asks Mike.
The obvious answer is to simply start investing more in B2B marketing, but many startup founders don’t have big budgets to hire agencies. Joana has a list of questions in her book that business owners can ask themselves to get on the right track. “Who is your niche? How do you need to speak to them? Just by answering those questions, it will really help clarify things for you and get your message out in a much, much more effective way.”
Joana clearly has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the B2B marketing space, and we’ve certainly learnt a lot from her. If you’d like to hear more, click here to listen to her conversation with Mike on the How to Be Moderately Successful podcast.
While we aren’t marketing specialists, we are software development experts and have plenty of experience in the FinTech space. If you’d like to partner with a team that genuinely cares about building better tech products, get in touch with us today. Click here to book a consultation with one of our principals.