The software-as-a-service (SaaS) business model is growing by leaps and bounds, and the way B2B tech companies develop their SaaS messaging strategy continues to evolve. Leading enterprises emphasize customer-focused and solution-focused messaging, which helps to create a compelling content experience that seamlessly guides readers through solution and product pages to content marketing assets. Here’s what you can learn from them.
When SaaS Messaging Strategy Falls Short
Despite rigorous product marketing, too many SaaS marketers neglect the digital content experience. Buyers look to websites and other digital channels to understand the value of new software offerings. Product complexity sometimes results in websites that are disorganized and confusing, and leaves siloed marketing teams struggling to present a unified story. Often marketers fail to lay out their product offerings for the customer in a way that is simple, consistent, and effective, which leads to users clicking away sooner or getting frustrated that they cannot find answers to their questions.
To distinguish your offerings, it’s crucial that customers quickly grasp the differences between your products and solutions and the value they provide.
How Leading B2B Enterprises Compare on SaaS Messaging
We took a look at the way leading B2B enterprise tech companies talk about their SaaS offerings: Adobe, Cisco, Dell EMC, IBM, Microsoft Azure, Nutanix, Salesforce, and VMware.* After analyzing a sampling of their SaaS product and solution pages, we discovered two elements that impact the overall effectiveness of the content experience.
- Content organization:
Is the content organized in a solution-first or product-first manner? Information categorized by functional category (servers, virtual machines, etc.) tends to put product first, while information organized by application or business need (marketing, security, etc.) is likely to be more focused on the overall solution, even if it eventually drills down to an individual product or service.
- Information bias:
Is the content focused on addressing the needs of B2B buyers or is it focused more on the capabilities of the product’s features? Content that begins with what a product is or does tends to be more company-focused, while content that begins by outlining the need the product or solution addresses tends to be more customer-focused.
Companies that present the most solution-focused story around their offerings (Cisco, Salesforce, and Adobe) do the following:
- Create a content experience that guides users from a broad need (e.g., marketing) to a solution (e.g., Adobe Experience Cloud), to more specific user needs (e.g., personalization) to individual products, modules or features (e.g., Adobe Target).
- Speak less about “speeds and feeds” and more about how a product solves for a specific pain point or use case.
For a more detailed evaluation of specific SaaS product and solution pages, view “Content Examples: SaaS Product Pages that Put Customers First” (coming soon), part 2 of a series that looks at B2B SaaS messaging.
Focus on the Value Your SaaS Offering Provides
While other SaaS companies confuse their customers and struggle to tell a unified story about what they’re selling, there’s an opportunity for your company to stand out with a solution-focused strategy. Lay out the value of your SaaS offerings clearly and consistently, and guide customers through differentiators and decision-making.
Remember that customers want to quickly and easily understand what your offering is, what problem it solves for them, what value it offers, how it compares to other options, and what it’s going to cost them. But effectively developing and providing that information takes a lot of thoughtful strategy, planning, and teamwork.
*Disclaimer: Cisco, VMware, and Salesforce are Tendo clients.