Thanks to quarantine limits, travel bans, event cancellations and so on, companies are facing the heat in the aftermath of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Professionals, internal and external stakeholders, suppliers, and consumers have a lot of strife and uncertainty. The SaaS industry is no exception.
In such a global pandemic, a comprehensive marketing plan for crisis is required.
Here are a few tips that can help you prepare a SaaS marketing strategy to ensure that you don’t lose momentum with your prospects, keep your balance sheet healthy, and continue serving your customers in this time of need.
Be Genuine in Your Marketing Around This Situation
If you can genuinely offer valuable advice to your Coronavirus-related clients, please do so, but don’t just dress up a news story.
We spoke last week about one of our prospects from the SaaS industry which has tools for organizers of events and conferences. Their industry has been hit hard and there are critical questions for many companies: Will we still hold an event in 2020? Where will we store the refunds? And so on.
So, we helped them with genuine advice about how we dealt with this situation when we had to cancel two major events. We were able to reach our prospects, engage expected enrollments and address them over a live webinar.
Stories about remote work can be useful for companies or individuals who accept it.
But don’t pretend that the answer to Coronavirus is your solution.
Help Your Customers but Don’t Be Disingenuous
There’s a fine line. Yes, it could be considered beneficial to send a promo email offering 50 percent off your goods for the next 6 months. But it could also be seen as yet another promotional deal seeking to benefit from what’s going on.
If you know that your customers are going to be struggling and considering cutting back on their software products, you may be able to avoid this. Everything will rely on the product and sector in which your customers find themselves.
If you have a low-cost product for a wide market, it is unlikely that the price will be a major problem.
However, if you have a SaaS product for SMEs in, say, the travel industry, something that will help them cut down the cost would be helpful.
You can consider small and shorter contracts during this situation.
They will thank you.
Avoid a Controversial Approach
Although you might have an innovative idea for a fun Coronavirus campaign, our advice is “do not do it!”
Yeah, at this time we need to keep morale up, but you don’t know who’s going to see your ads.
If it’s someone infected by Coronavirus (either directly or people they know), it’s not going to go down well and may have a long-term brand impact.
Be Realistic in Your Growth Expectations
We were all excited at the beginning of January – a new decade, a new year, and robust economy led most SaaS companies to set optimistic growth goals for 2020. But an extraordinary incident like this has affected the growth trajectories of most companies.
Both business and personal goals will change, and it may not be at the top of everybody’s agenda right now to embrace your SaaS product! Many projects will go on pause or fall off altogether, impacting your lead and customer numbers.
This is not to say that no companies are going to need a new business solution, just a smaller percentage. On the flip side, people may have more time to study or try out the software they’ve been waiting for a quiet moment to check.
Be there for clients and prospects who need you but think twice about this fifth chaser email and go easy on your marketing department or agency.
Assuming You Can Win, Continue Prospecting
A key point we are making here is on the topic of Coronavirus-related marketing. The rest of your marketing strategy should be largely uninfluenced.
In other words, don’t stop prospecting!
Using a prospecting tool to reach prospects working remotely will be a smart move.
A recession represents a chance. Continuing investment in marketing makes it an excellent time to aim for growth as competitors make cuts.
There is a need to maintain the budget throughout acquisition and retention, at a minimum. If you want to keep on boosting growth, then you’ll need to increase investment levels.
Although we are not yet in a recession, the odds are good we may be facing one soon. So prepare accordingly.
Several studies show that businesses that keep selling through a recession will gain big growth over their rivals who slow down or go out of business. Those businesses will come out much better.
Evaluate Various Possibilities and Create Communication Plans
You also need to connect with your partners such as customers, suppliers, and vendors.
Assess and analyze different possibilities that can occur as a result of the crisis (in the current scenario, COVID-19), and how they can affect those companies and their stakeholders.
For either event, build statement holding or response modules, so you can communicate with your stakeholders on time.
Keeping statements will cover the crisis and the steps being taken by your company to address the situation. Your statements should be empathic, action-oriented and avoid speculations and unverified notifications.
Pick the Right Communication Channels
You need to choose the right channels of communication to supply information. Similar to an internal wiki, you can post information about the situation and how you plan to handle it via a web page on your website. Let your stakeholders know if anyone in your company is COVID-19 compromised, and what steps you take to prevent it from spreading.
Along with your official website, emphasize on social media and email newsletters to consistently communicate information.
Up your social listening game and proactively respond and reach out to customers to reply to their queries, complaints, and seek feedback. Ask them what they need and want, and be open to online shopping and home deliveries, now more than ever.
Prospects working from home often cut down the many channels to communicate as promotional emails may go unnoticed. You cannot reach them at an office number nor through their direct desk extension.
We have helped our clients by finding the solution to reach prospects on their mobile number and that’s working for them.
So, if you have a proper plan and willingness to think outside of the box in such a situation, you are going to find a way to overcome the work from home challenges.
Be Careful With Emails or Updates Scheduling
The situation is moving quickly at the time of writing this article and is changing every day.
If you have planned email promotions or social updates that trigger at a later date, remember to double-check their efficacy when scheduling them.
Carrying on Through the Uncertainty
Now in business and our personal lives, we’re all in for a rough time. Experience from past recessions shows that volatile periods can be the most frightening now – it’s unpredictable and often companies assume that doing nothing is the best option.
We’re going to get through the first stage and facing this pandemic. A degree of certainty will come back, but it may be unpleasant and unprecedented.
And then we are going to come out on the other side.
While SaaS and other B2B industries are affected by all of the event cancellations and work from home transitions, we recognize that prospects are harder to reach and pipelines are starting to slow and shrink. Yet, we know how we can help.
Thus, we have helped our clients to build a steady pipeline during the global pandemic.
Keep well, be careful and if we can help let us know. Meanwhile, you can have access to our free data to keep prospecting.