If you’ve read some of our previous blog posts, you may have noticed an emphasis on the fact that SaaS marketing is a little bit special. You may have even experienced the challenge of marketing a product that is always evolving with each new upgrade and improvement.
So, if you feel it’s time to offload some of your SaaS marketing responsibilities, you need the right set of selection criteria to find the best partner. That’s because any marketing agency worth its salt will, at the very least, be able to dazzle you with their sales talk – after all, it’s in their job description. But the last thing you want to do is sign an expensive retainer agreement based on vagaries, fancy graphics and smoke and mirrors.
When you get down to it, you may be surprised that you are getting a lot of talk and no examples of how the agency has met the expectations of clients similar to you.
To prepare you for one of the most important business decisions you'll make, here's a list of questions to ask before you get into bed with an agency.
- Have you worked with SaaS businesses in the past and have you got any existing SaaS clients?
- Can you demonstrate how you achieved results for these clients?
- What is your company’s marketing philosophy; i.e., do you take an inbound or outbound approach?
- How many hours will you be able to dedicate to my business per month?
- What CRM software would you recommend for my business?
- Will we have a dedicated account executive or will our business be handled by multiple members of your team?
- Do you have a specific SaaS growth formula?
- Which marketing channels would you recommend for our particular business?
- How long will it take for us to start seeing results?
- Are your services within my budget (factoring in ad spend)?
- Are there any quick-wins you can identify for my business without damaging our long term progress?
- What content strategy can you recommend for my SaaS business and do you have in-house content creators to produce it?
- Can you show me the content that you’ve produced for other software businesses
- Do we have to agree to a retainer immediately or can we test the waters with a small project to see how we get on?
- How do you define success for your clients?
- How do you optimise and improve the campaigns you build?
- Which analytics tools do you use to track the progress of marketing campaigns?
- Would you recommend that we focus more on organic or paid traffic?
- As our business grows, will you be able to scale up with us and dedicate the appropriate resources to our account?
- Are you a SaaS focussed agency or do you take on a broad range of industries?
Why these questions?
These questions identify what your potential SaaS marketing partner can deliver, and if that's in line with what you want to achieve.
There are many agencies that are terrific at what they do, but that don't have the capacity to take on a business of your size, or dedicated resources to develop your campaigns exactly how you imagine.
The purpose of these questions is to:
Ensure that you are tech-compatibleIt’s essential that the analytics platform used by the agency makes sense to you and that it measures the relevant results. You also don’t want to partner with an agency whose technology does not integrate with yours – it becomes too difficult to manage.
For example, if you already have a CRM in place, make sure that the agency you are working with knows that software.
Agree on best business practicesYou also want to make sure that the agency’s marketing philosophy aligns with yours.
For SaaS, a white hat, inbound marketing approach makes total sense. Your product is all about service delivery and positive customer feedback, so make sure that your marketing agency is on board with that. If the agency suggests cold-calling, spamming or other methods which annoy your buyer persona, ask yourself whether this is the direction you want to go in.
Establish whether your partner has the necessary skills and resourcesThere are simple checks you can make to ensure that you are dealing with someone who has all their ducks in a row.
For example, Google Analytics is the industry-standard platform for web analytics. Ask whether the team at the agency have Google Analytics certificates. If you’re a HubSpot user, check that you are dealing with a HubSpot partner agency.
Does their customer service meets your needs?Another tell-tale sign is how the agency communicates. Even if you haven’t signed up yet, are they doing everything they can to reassure you?
Establishing turnaround times and how often you will meet to review progress is an integral part of the relationship. Set the parameters early and make sure that you are satisfied with the frequency and regularity of contact the agency is prepared to offer.
We hope this blog post helps create a more in-depth enquiry process for when you are selecting a SaaS marketing agency. Taking on a marketing partner should provide your business with a powerful boost, and your marketing processes should become much more efficient and goal-oriented.
SaaS is kind of our thing. If you’d like to quiz us and see whether we’re the right fit SaaS marketing agency for you, book a call with us below. We’re ready.