On the 6th of January 2020, I started a new chapter in my career when I joined Milton Keynes based digital marketing agency Klood Digital. It would be fair to say that the months that followed my arrival were something a little special.
As they say, “Things always change”, and I was about to see exactly how much they can change in one calendar year for a SaaS marketing specialist.
(If this intro seems familiar I wrote about my arrival in another article, find it here.)
Let’s clear this up immediately, this article, although set with the pandemic as the background, is not about lockdowns or viruses. This article is about marketing your business and being adaptable when required. The lessons below can be applied to your marketing approach anytime change may occur in your business or industry.
The story of change for Klood actually goes back a little further than my start date. Although my ego would love to claim credit for being a visionary who revolutionised Klood, the truth is that that distinction goes to our management team.
Headed up by our CEO Trevor Nicholls, the management team conducted a bundle of research into who our clients were and what markets we deliver outstanding results for. Armed with this evidence, the management team made a choice.
The choice was to niche down and focus our efforts into the B2B SaaS industry.
My role was created on the outstanding results the team generated from the change informed by the research. Trust me; research will always help you get better results, as long as you use it.
Ok, that’s enough back story! So what did we do in 2020?
Simply put, we grew as a business and generated records numbers of leads and website visits from our marketing channels.
Was this part of the digital marketing plan?
Understandably, our plan had to adapt as the events of 2020 unfolded. We did, however, stick to our fundamental research-based goals. Yes, we did plan our success, so we knew exactly what we needed to do.
We didn’t need to have a million ads running, emails battering inboxes of prospects, or videos trending on TikTok.
We knew that we needed to focus our energies on
Increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic.
Optimising the conversion rate of website visitors to leads.
Increasing the number of Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) with our sales team.
If you don’t have a plan in place for your sales and marketing activities with real numbers behind it, then you may find our 1 Page Sales Planner useful. I used this and several other tools and templates available on our resources pagewhen researching and developing our marketing plan.
The results over the year are as follows:
Website traffic increased by 32%.
Conversion rates across all channels increased by 142%.
We generated 28 more SQLs.
SQLs are part of theinbound marketing funneland represent the stage at which your prospect has become fully qualified and engaged with your sales team. In terms of our business, this meant the lead was completely BANT qualified, and our sales team were fully engaged.
The upshot of these numbers all being increased is an uplift in our sales forecast pipeline and growth of our MRR.
What did we do to achieve these marketing goals?
Our plan was simple because sometimes simple is the best and fastest route to success. Here is a quick summary of the activities that took place:
Relaunch the Klood website with the buyer and industry-specific information.
All new buyer persona specific landing pages and call-to-actions.
Revised our approach to SEO using the topic cluster method.
When you break it down our marketing plan was relatively simple, and because we knew what our plan was and we had the research ahead of time, we were able to adapt to the ongoing global changes with relative ease.
What to do if you have no marketing plan?
I’ll be upfront here, if you have the budget, get in touch with a specialist agency that can help you get your plan together. Often, a fresh set of objective eyes will see opportunities that you hadn’t imagined. You don’t need to hire them to deliver the plan, although if you have the budget and are shy on internal man-hours, it’s well worth the investment.
Should your budget not stretch to working with an agency, you can download a host of useful templates from our resource page. I highly recommend the SaaS Sales Toolkit, which comes complete with a sales planner, lead generation guide, income multiplier template and our ultimate guide to SaaS marketing. It provides all the things you will need to make an impact on your revenue in 2021.
Why won't I forget the last twelve months?
Marketing and results aside, the last twelve months with Klood have been some of the best of my career. I have witnessed a team that supports each other through thick and thin. There are so many small, amazing things that make up the crew here at Klood.
I won’t be forgetting how much Trevor, Ciara, John, Ellie, Plamina, Gemma, Daniella, and Adrian have done to help me this year. Without their moral support, technical knowledge and ideas we wouldn’t be where we are now.
Yes, we are a digital marketing agency for B2B SaaS businesses, but more importantly, we are a team that lives and breathes our core values.
Our plans for 2021 are now in place and I know that they are going to continue to help Klood grow our wonderful client base.
Will you be making 2021 memorable for the right reasons?