Digital marketing is always evolving. As new technologies become available and customer demands change, it’s crucial for businesses to harness the power of new tools and strategies to stay ahead of the curve.
SaaS is one of those tools. The flexibility and scalability of cloud-based services make SaaS incredibly attractive in today’s changing environment. Having business applications available on demand and securely running off-site can help underpin agile practices and deliver cost savings.
In view of this, it’s hardly surprising that SaaS marketing is set to be big in 2021.
It’s estimated that by the end of this year, SaaS will generate total revenues in excess of $100bn.
Even in a struggling economy, decision makers prioritise the tools that are more likely to deliver the highest ROI, and SaaS has the brightest outlook among all enterprise cloud options.
If you’re in the process of planning a strategy that boosts next year’s revenues, you’ll want to read through our SaaS marketing predictions for 2021.
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What Are The Industry Experts Saying?
We asked a number of sales and marketing experts about their SaaS predictions for the coming year. One of the most interesting insights refers to the growth of real-time marketing, or the use of current events and social issues to engage with and attract customers.
This requires very granular social listening skills and the ability create compelling messages. Running on SaaS can enable this type of agile response and so give businesses the tools to effectively implement real-time marketing and grow their audience through 2021. As Noe Sacoco from Trust Relations put it:
“these events have underscored how important it is for brands to glean real-time insights, so they can pivot quickly and respond appropriately and with agility to shifting consumer sentiments.”
Andrew Maule from Code Signing Store highlighted how the inherent flexibility in SaaS as a tool and also as a business model makes it incredibly useful in times of uncertainty. Since the onset of the pandemic, many professionals have started supplementing their income with side hustles, while others have become self-employed.
“Now that more people are thinking outside of the box for generating income on their own, this almost certainly means more people creating their own indie products & mobile apps with a SaaS based pricing model from now into 2021.”
Another comment worth highlighting comes from Matt Scott from Termite Survey. The increased demand for SaaS will lead to tougher competition among providers, but bigger isn’t necessarily better. Instead, businesses are encouraged to choose a SaaS provider who can deliver
“more personalized interactions as requested by customers, which is when unbundling falls into action […] Unbundling empowers manufacturers with a strategic advantage and specialty product, thus enabling consumers outside static UI to evaluate their own experience.”
Will Trends Change Once The Lockdown Is Lifted?
A November 2020 survey suggested that SaaS adoption will continue growing, and by 2022 nearly 80% of companies will be running on the cloud. And when asked about their top priorities for 2021, more than 60% of business owners interviewed cited moving some or most of their operations to the cloud.
This data was published taking into account the effects of the lockdown that kept many businesses operating at limited capacity during part of the year. Overall, lockdown didn’t have much on an impact on SaaS adoption.
In fact, these solutions are cost-effective from the start and don’t require large upfront investments, which has made Saas more appealing than ever for businesses who experience cash flow issues as a result of pandemic-related restrictions. The same can be said about the decentralised availability of SaaS solutions, which suit businesses who have adopted remote work as the new normal.
There are four areas in particular that have the best prospects for SaaS marketing growth in 2021.
Conversion rate optimisation
2021 CRO trends are closely linked to Google’s new Core Web Vitals, which in turn correlated with a brand’s ability to deliver an outstanding experience. UX signals are now taken into account for ranking purposes, so 2021 will be the year to refine and strengthen your experiential marketing strategy.
Conversion is linked to personalisation, which is to play an ever bigger role in next year’s CRO strategies. The focus should be on implementing personalised segmentation at every stage of the conversion funnel to deliver a tailor-made digital experience.
In 2021, interactive content is expected to play a fundamental role in the onboarding process. This SEO strategy can help deliver what your audience needs and give your business a competitive advantage by creating experiences that get and retain your customers’ attention.
The visual aspect of digital content will continue to be important, and video will keep growing in importance due to its ability to engage and generate leads. All eyes are on real-time interactions with the audience and 360-degree videos, so you’ll want to consider how to integrate these into next year’s marketing plans.
PPC has undergone substantial changes recently as a result of Google’s decision to limit access to search query data. This has created an additional challenge for marketers: working off incomplete data. In 2021, business owners are encouraged to dive deep into this new environment and use whatever data is available to redesign their PPC campaigns.
There are a couple of strategies that can help you achieve this next year: focusing on search query patterns instead of individual search terms, and taking a more granular approach to bidding by deconstructing the buyer journey into segments and managing them individually.
Year-on-year open and conversion rates actually improved during the pandemic, so email marketing is to become an investment priority next year. Key trends to watch are similar to those concerning PPC: very granular and dynamic segmentation and the automation of email marketing campaigns based on user behaviour data. Executing this successfully hinges on how well companies can capitalise on advanced analytics to bring customer-centricity into the email marketing equation.
SaaS marketing will take centre stage next year, but it still remains to be seen under which form and at which pace this will happen. The SaaS marketing predictions outlined in this article are just predictions – we know it’s impossible to accurately anticipate how things will play out in the future. But one thing is for sure: SaaS marketing can boost the strategic value of your business. Get in touch with Klood to find out how to successfully grow your SaaS company.