How can SaaS marketers get noticed and attract loyal customers in a competitive space?

Denise Persson, CMO of Snowflake, was kind enough to join us at SaaStr Scale to share the five secrets to a winning marketing strategy that grows your company’s revenue and cements your customer loyalty.

Positioning: The Battle For Our Customers’ Minds

Positioning is the first step of your marketing, and you must get it right, or the rest of your efforts will suffer. As Persson says, “It’s really like building a house: If the foundation isn’t strong enough, the walls will crack. With strong positioning, you can avoid cracks in your marketing.”

To understand positioning, think of your marketing strategy like a hill. Marketing is the process of owning that hill, and positioning is determining which hill to own. When you are defining your position, you are expressing your brand’s category in the market. 

Helpful Tip: Do thorough testing of your positioning with real prospects.

Be the Most Customer-Centric Marketing Team in Your Industry

“When you look at what the most admired brands in the world have in common, they all own their categories, they’re incredibly consistent with a brand experience and they have incredible customer loyalty,” Persson points out. 

Snowflake adopts a customer-first ethos that permeates every aspect of the company, including marketing. They feature customers in their marketing campaigns whenever possible and they even started a customer advisory board to get valuable product insight.

Helpful Tip: Find a way to keep a constant pulse on your customers.

Build For Scale From the Beginning

First things first: Know when it’s time to get rid of the hamsters. “What’s a hamster?” you might be wondering. Persson describes it as a human doing work that could be automated. These roles may be essential at the early stages of your company, but they aren’t a positive force for scaling. 

Another consideration is your MarTech stack. Persson stresses the importance of a marketing tech stack that can grow with you for the long haul. Replacing a critical tool you’ve outgrown can slow down your company’s momentum. 

Helpful Tip: Create a plan for scaling your 1-on-1 customer-to-sales interactions. Consider adopting a creative solution like the live weekly office hours that Snowflake set up to lighten the load. 

Be Bold and Get to the Point

To break through in a competitive space, your startup needs to get noticed.  However, brand awareness takes time and money, and new companies simply don’t have either resource on their side. Further, startups are typically competing with large, well-established companies in the space. 

The solution here is to come up with branding and tactics that are unique and bold. Some management teams are worried about the potential consequences of a daring marketing campaign, but the risk can pay off. “I think that being bold is the best chance you have of beating the system and getting noticed,” says Persson.

Helpful Tip: For ideas on how to stand out with memorable branding, study a company you’d like to emulate. Snowflake took inspiration from Virgin America for its strategy.

Alignment Between Sales and Marketing

Unfortunately, many sales and marketing teams develop tension, and that is not healthy for company growth. Persson says that sales and marketing alignment are critical for:

  • Marketing Efficiency
  • Revenue Growth

Ultimately, it’s crucial that your head of marketing and head of sales are on the same page and reaching for the same goals together.

Helpful Tip: Sales and marketing alignment starts with sharing the same objectives, so set common goals for both departments to work toward together. 

Key Takeaways:

  • You must clearly define your niche and category and stick to it before continuing to any other marketing effort. 
  • Keep open lines of communication with your customers, always.
  • You must have a positive relationship between sales and marketing to propel your business forward. 


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