Yeah, I made that up. You never know – it may catch on like Web 2.0 or Big Data. But first…
We have a great sales and marketing team here at ClicData. Our product is a cloud-based Business Intelligence (BI) Platform that enables connections to hundreds of databases and systems, collects all that data, brings it down to one central location and creates beautiful dashboards you share with your colleagues, employees, clients, partners or the world! It is a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering, and although we have great success in certain sectors, it is a horizontal solution applicable to all sectors and industries – much like an invoicing or expense tracking system.
Selling and marketing, or as our friend Dan Tyre calls it, “SMarketing,” is not a straightforward task. Unlike many of our competitors, we focus our key resources on customers and the product, not on “appearances” of our company. It is a tough task for a variety of reasons, but mostly because it requires a large amount of resources to keep up with the number of potential channels, with their ever changing ways of tracking and doing things, and because it is always difficult to track inbound investments with “above board” marketing investments.
Customers that land on your web site may have already disabled their “tracking” mode, wiped cookies, enabled incognito mode, changed browsers, changed computers (mobile to desktop to laptop), used a different email address to signup or told a colleague to do so, and about 20 other ways we can lose tracking of how we got this signup and customer.
Basically, I equate marketing on the web with advertising on TV. It is an “above the line” marketing investment, one that will cause an impact but you are not exactly sure why, when and who. Start a Google Ad campaign now, and you may see the results in three months (or in one month, or never), and you may hit the right customer segment (or not) and since there were other campaigns, perhaps this ONE campaign was only part of the reason why this customer signed up. This is tough stuff and it is no wonder why we typically engage marketing agencies to help us out with this daunting task!
However, as a SaaS business manager we endure to understand every facet of our business. Where, how much and when to spend money is critical to cash flow and business planning, so we must understand the returns on SMarketing. How can we truly track the results in web, social, lead generation and inbound marketing? How do we make sense of the world of Internet lead generation?
As always, every problem MUST have a solution. So, we started by this mind map which is already quite complex and yet most likely incomplete.
It is a complete dump of everything that we came up with, in no particular order or organization. In fact, the full mind map is available here for your download.
I strongly encourage you to use Mind Map techniques when looking at complex scenarios – the process really helps you focus on important items and prevent loss of essential details. Thank you, MindMup.
As a starting point, this is not bad. We began by looking at what we could really measure out of each area and what it takes to use each channel. The effort on content generation is a common thread across most of the areas unless you can re-use previously created content.
Our next step was to prioritize the above, make sense of it and put some hard defined metrics and certainty of what we can and cannot measure. We then assigned budgets and expected returns to each and attempted our very best to measure it using a few tools, of course including ClicData.
You may have to go back to the strategy level to decide if this is for you as well. Take a look at this great Marketing Strategy Template done by Xander Marketing, which covers the strategy portion of SaaS Marketing. If you do not have a Marketing Strategy in place already – you should. The template will help you focus your strategy so you can come back to the actionable items to make sure they are in alignment with the strategy.
Have you come across an overview similar to this? Potentially a more detailed “SMarketing” planning sheet? And, please feel free to take our mind map to the next level – make it yours.
Stop Marketing Madness with our Marketing Mind Map! It will catch on… I am sure. Mmmm… maybe not.