Are you considering hiring a marketing manager, director or agency? Perhaps you're debating the skills that the marketing team you are building will need to be successful?
You're in luck: in today's post I share the 7 crucial skills required for the development and implementation of a SaaS marketing strategy that delivers the business results you need. No fluff, just straight to those vital skills.
1) Research & Planning
We've all heard the famous adage: "failing to plan is planning to fail". An effective SaaS marketing team needs to have research & planning skills, or they will be doomed to failure. Content marketing failure is almost guaranteed when a formal content strategy is absent. Just 11% of marketers saying that their content marketing is not effective actually have a content strategy - meaning most failing SaaS marketers lack these skills.
A lot goes into developing an effective plan: you can see some of the fundamental components you'll need in our look at the 10 Elements of a Successful SaaS Marketing Strategy. All of these items should be covered by your team when building out a marketing plan for your business.
2) Project Management
Consistent SaaS marketing requires careful project management. If your team doesn't have project management skills you're likely to keep missing the publishing dates set in your editorial calendar; rush content production and long term -- fail to achieve your business goals.
It helps to have someone with significant project management experience leading your marketing team, and to use a cloud based project management solution, like Teamwork Project Manager, ScrumDo (our internal choice) or Basecamp.
3) Graphic Design
Exceptional graphic design brings your marketing material to life. Whether it's a call to action, the cover of an eBook or your company's logo, graphic design is important. Excellent SaaS marketing teams will be continually producing marketing material which requires design input, so graphic design skills are essential.
4) Web Development
It's hard for marketers to create exceptional content when they don't have a web developer available to modify the code behind a website page, test changing font styles, or take that shiny web design done in photoshop and turn it into a great, usable website.
Whilst content management systems like HubSpot, Drupal and Wordpress make web development skills less vital on a day-to-day basis, having a member of the team available to assist with any funny business going on, and change your website's design at will is always a great asset.
Remember that experimentation and rigorous testing is key to marketing success, and without a web developer, you'll struggle to make a reasonable pace of changes. Great websites evolve consistently, rather than just being "refreshed" every couple of years.
What's a marketing team without any creativity? Just take a look at this boring, and rather uninspired television advert from Samsung for an example. Without creative flair, your company's marketing will suffer from "me too" syndrome; fail to engage your buyers at the right level and not differentiate your brand from your competitors.
Analytics and statistical analysis skills have a crucial place in any SaaS marketing team.
How can you be sure the change you've made to a page is generating more leads, if you cannot prove it statistically? If I get 100 views to a landing page and that generates 20 leads, and I get 100 views to another landing page and that generates 27 leads, is the page that generated 27 leads better? Or do you need to drive more views to each page to prove it? (The statistician will tell you that only represents an 87.93% confidence level, and that a minimum 95% confidence level should be achieved before reaching a conclusion).
Software like Google Analytics and HubSpot go a long way to providing you with tons of data, but it takes skill to interpret this information, and use it to reliably improve your company's future marketing goals & plans.
Copywriting is a vital skill for any marketing team to possess. Generally speaking, people who can't write effectively are better at communicating (is that really so surprising?).
Make sure that your marketing team has at least one member who really excels when it comes to the written word. You want your company's writing to engage, not bore or repel. Always remember that even as a B2B business, you do business primarily with people: this means your writing should be visceral, and capture your audience's attention. Not an easy task with so much other content out there.
With copywriting being used throughout your marketing, sales and customer success strategies, great copywriting makes the difference between a devoted, evangelical customer, and the passer-by who reads a paragraph or two and finds a competitor who can better engage them.
Finding the 7 Skills of SaaS Marketing
So, to summarise: you need a team that has research & planning skills; project management know-how; graphic design prowess; web development expertise; flowing creativity; statistical competency and the ability to engage readers with compelling copy.
Sound like a daunting prospect? Whilst it may be hard to find a superhero employee with all these skills, the right tightly integrated team or a SaaS growth partner will be able to deliver across the board.