Article | July 29, 2020
One thing that most researchers look for when investigating security breaches is whether or not there’s a common element. In the case of security breaches, the kill-chain for almost every cloud security breach we looked at involved the exploitation of misconfigured or mismanaged cloud infrastructure settings. The reason for this is simple; there are just too many settings to track. But even if you could track them all, the time required to manually fix them would still leave you exposed.
Article | July 15, 2021
The Software as a Service (SaaS) sector is one of the most essential industries globally, and it's always more complex than general customer marketing. Of course, we do not mean that customer marketing is effortless. However, it's relatively more traditional than SaaS marketing.
Many people are not familiar with the right strategies for selling non-physical products. As selling such products can possess its own set of challenges, SaaS marketing gets even more demanding.
What is SaaS Marketing?
Let’s begin with the basics of SaaS — Software as a Service or SaaS allows users to use cloud-based applications. Businesses or users hire SaaS applications for a variety of purposes.
SaaS marketing is nothing but the process to market such applications. Marketers use various strategies to sell SaaS software and achieve the highest possible conversion rates.
However, there are several significant challenges in this quest. First, SaaS tools don’t have any physical presence, and selling something that doesn’t physically exist is not easy.
Furthermore, we live in a world where SaaS platforms are constantly changing. With newer features and updates being launched every day, marketers struggle to nail down even their most basic payment app before the next version is launched.
If your company sells software, you must adopt the right SaaS marketing strategy to get more customers and, ultimately, higher conversions.
But how will you get started? And, most importantly, how to overcome those three biggest SaaS Marketing challenges?
Let’s find out!
The Three Biggest SaaS Marketing Challenges
The following are the three biggest marketing challenges faced by SaaS marketers.
● Earning The Loyalty from Customers
● Getting Noticed
● Dealing With Conventional Complainers
If your company faces the same B2B SaaS marketing challenges, it will be fair to say that you are doing well. Their occurrence is pretty common. After working with several B2B companies, ranging from 2 million annual revenue to 2 billion, you will notice that most of them face the same challenges mentioned above.
The demand for cloud-based services is increasing day by day. And eventually, this has birthed thousands of SaaS companies all around the globe. Locations beyond Silicon Valley are seeing the rise of several new SaaS providers ranging from government agencies to small and mid-size start-ups.
As a result, the competition is mounting at an incredible pace, and the niches are getting overcrowded. Suppose you do not invest in improving your company’s digital presence, brand identity, and messaging. In that case, you are more likely to drown in the ocean of the current marketplace where new companies are entering every single day.
Here’s how you can deal with these core SaaS Marketing Challenges:
Being a SaaS marketer, analyze your strategy by asking yourself this question — How can your company address the customers’ needs in areas that your competitors are not targeting?
The SaaS marketplace is constantly evolving, and even the slightest functionality or design improvement in the competitor’s platform is enough to take away the sleep of your company leadership.
Traditionally, most SaaS marketers sell their product by convincing companies that they have a problem, and only our SaaS platform can fix it. But, now things have changed, and there’s a lot to compete with.
Several market analysts have claimed that smart process apps are overlapping with SaaS. While SaaS companies are focusing on only the US market (and ruling it as well), traditional software companies have taken their business to Asia and Europe and have established themselves there.
As a consequence, SaaS marketers are faced with more than just indifference and ignorance. Being a SaaS provider company, you must make the most out of the predicted surge in growth and go beyond the traditional SaaS marketing strategy. Plus, you need to develop newer ways to stand out in the competition of sameness and simultaneously reach more customers.
Earning Customer Loyalty
There was a time when data migration was one of the most challenging tasks for SaaS marketers. Thankfully, we are past that time now. Today, companies can easily migrate data from their existing system to the cloud base. Moreover, they will have a painless process to manage it post the migration.
But, here’s a catch! If you can do this with ease, your competitor can also do that. This drastically increases the importance of customer acquisition and customer retention. And for this reason, you must have an effective SaaS marketing strategy that aims at earning customer engagement and loyalty.
Dealing with Conventional Complainers
Many industries are yet to accept the benefits of cloud computing. However, if you target them in the right way, your state-of-the-art SaaS platform can replace their incumbent software system.
Someone has spent years building that existing software system, and they are more likely to lose sleep because of this takeover. Such people, in most cases, are the decision-makers and won’t be keen to relinquish their hold on the existing system. It would help if you won them to sell your product. Your strategy should be able to handle an onslaught of their objections. They might claim that data migration is so complex that it’s not worth their time and money, or they will even say that the cloud is not secure enough. You have to do your homework and be prepared to tackle these hurdles.
So, be excellent and well prepared. And, the chances are, you will convince them.
How to Overcome SaaS Marketing Challenges?
Any SaaS Vendor must dig deep into all the significant concepts of marketing. But, before getting started with it, it's essential to learn about the customer journey. It helps SaaS marketers to deploy and integrate an effective strategy that works well with all the following stages of the customer journey:
The reality is, there are hundreds of marketing strategies that can produce great results. However, the following ones are the best of all when it’s about marketing your SaaS products.
Develop an Effective Content Marketing Strategy
Be it any online business, content marketing is one of the most important marketing aspects. It can be beneficial for your SaaS company by letting your audience understand the advantages of your product and improving your online presence.
You can also use various social media platforms to extend your approach for offering the same information. Credibility, trust, and existence are the critical aspects of every SaaS marketing niche, and content marketing is the most effective way to spread your valuable information and earn trust.
Set Realistic Goals
Directionless movements are a total waste of time. Instead, all successful SaaS marketing strategies begin with defining clear and realistic goals. To do that, you must figure your business most comprehensively. Then, set tractable and specific goals keeping the key metrics and KPIs in mind. And lastly, work on how the marketing and sales team can align to get the best results.
Remember, bigger goals are more challenging to achieve. You can break them down into smaller ones to ease the process.
Offer a Free Trial of Your SaaS Product
This helps to attract new customers and make them aware of the benefits of your SaaS product. It will also help you with lead generation.
Make sure to optimize the conversion rate during this trial period. And, present the best customer service to your prospects so that they will be with you for long.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most effective SaaS marketing techniques?
The following are the most effective strategies to overcome various SaaS marketing challenges in 2021:
● Develop a content marketing plan
● Offer free SaaS trials
● Focus on SEO
● Refine your Call-to-Action
● Refine your PPC campaigns
● Strengthen SaaS review websites
Why is Saas marketing important for businesses?
Even though SaaS marketing is challenging and requires exceptional marketing strategy, it comes with its own advantages. They include:
● Customer marketing & customer communication
● Long term customers
● Brand awareness
● Short sales cycles
● Lead generation
What are the biggest challenges in SaaS marketing?
The following are some of the biggest and the most common SaaS marketing challenges:
● Earning loyal customers
● Standing out from the crowd
● Dealing with conventional complainers
● Getting noticed
● Generating value
"name": "What are the most effective SaaS marketing techniques?",
"text": "The following are the most effective strategies to overcome various SaaS marketing challenges in 2021:
Develop a content marketing plan
Offer free SaaS trials
Focus on SEO
Refine your Call-to-Action
Refine your PPC campaigns
Strengthen SaaS review websites"
"name": "Why is Saas marketing important for businesses?",
"text": "Even though SaaS marketing is challenging and requires exceptional marketing strategy, it comes with its own advantages. They include:
Customer marketing & customer communication
Long term customers
Short sales cycles
"name": "What are the biggest challenges in SaaS marketing?",
"text": "The following are some of the biggest and the most common SaaS marketing challenges:
Earning loyal customers
Standing out from the crowd
Dealing with conventional complainers
Article | June 2, 2021
Intelligent Automation (IA) is one of the trending buzzwords of our times. What makes automation smart? Is it new? Why the renewed focus? Bill Gates believed automation to be a double-edged sword when he said: “Automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. … Automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”
IA lies at the intersection of robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and business process management (BPM).
But before you think HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey, J.A.R.V.I.S. from Iron Man or Terminator 2: Judgment Day scenarios, first, a little context. IA is not new; automated manual processes have been in existence since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. It enabled speeding up go-to-market, reduced errors and improved efficiencies. Over time, automation made its way into software development, quality assurance processes, manufacturing, finance, health care and all aspects of daily life.
“Intelligent” automation backed by robotics, AI and BPM creates smarter business processes and workflows that can incrementally think, learn and adapt as they go — for instance, processing millions of documents and applications in a day, finding errors and suggesting fixes or recommendations.
What Intelligent Automation Does, Humans Can’t
IA enables the automation of knowledge work by mimicking human workers’ capabilities. It includes four main capabilities: vision, execution, language, and thinking and learning. Each of these capabilities combines different technologies that are used as stand-alone or in combination to complement each other.
One oft-quoted IA example is fraud detection and prevention in the BFSI sector. Robotic process automation (RPA) optimizes the speed and accuracy of the fraud identification process. Since RPA can go through months’ worth of data in a matter of hours and throws up exceptions, teams cannot keep up with the speed and scale needed to resolve the issues flagged. However, speed and efficiency are of the essence where fraud management is concerned.
The answer lies in AI and BPM coupled with RPA. IA can streamline the process end-to-end. Pascal Bornet notes in his book, Intelligent Automation, that IA can help improve the overall automation rate to nearly 80%, and it can help improve the time to solve a fraud incident and obtain clients’ refunds by 50%.
While RPA provides excellent benefits and quick solutions, cognitive technologies offer long-term value for businesses, employees and customers.
IA And Digital Transformation
IA adoption is growing swiftly across the enterprise, being fast adopted by more than 50% of the world’s largest companies. Its benefits are relevant to the majority of business processes. For example:
• Industrial systems that sense and adapt based on rules.
• Chatbots that learn from customer interactions to improve engagement.
• Sales and marketing systems that predict buyer journeys and identify leads
The Future Of Work: Bitter Or Better
There is much speculation when it comes to IA and the future of work. The main contention is that robots will take away jobs from humans. My argument is that, while it will cause role changes, it doesn’t necessarily mean job losses.
The Industrial Revolution helped automate “blue-collar” jobs in manufacturing and agriculture. Similarly, IA will automate many white-collar jobs that are tedious and tiring. A recent IBM report shows that 90% of executives in firms where IA is being used believe it creates higher-value work for employees.
So, no, we will not be living in a dystopic world controlled by bots running amok! IA means better roles, the elimination of laborious tasks and improvements in employee well-being.
The Promise Of The Better Life
In 2018 alone, over $5 trillion (6% of global GDP) was lost due to fraud. Medical errors in the U.S. incur an estimated economic value of almost $1 trillion — and 86% of those mistakes are administrative. A 2017 Medliminal Healthcare Solutions study found that 80% of U.S. medical billings contain at least minor errors — creating unnecessary annual health care spending of $68 billion. The World Economic Forum cited an ILO report that “estimates that the annual cost to the global economy from accidents and work-related diseases alone is a staggering $3 trillion.”
Now, let us imagine we can save $5 trillion globally through the deployment of IA. It means:
• Global budgets allocated to education could more than double.
• Global healthcare budgets could be increased by more than 70%.
• Environmental investments could be multiplied almost twentyfold.
Transitioning To Intelligent Automation
However, adopting IA is not like flipping a switch. There are some key steps an organization must experience in its bid to be automating intelligently.
• Planning. For the successful adoption of IA, business leaders must understand the relationship between people and machines. Enterprises must plan so as not to disrupt other parts of the business and integrate IA seamlessly into the existing programs. Instead of adopting IA across the processes, identify where it delivers the most value. Automating broken processes will not fix the problem. IA will only reap rewards on stable and mature processes
• Change management. IA is not easy to implement. There will be a great deal of resistance to adopting IA in your organizations. Designing a change management strategy, an execution road map, an enterprise operating model and key metrics for ROI will help your cause. Invite key stakeholders from the outset to ensure buy-in and train your employees to work in collaboration with IA.
• Governance framework. Establishing a governance framework helps determine who will watch the watchmen. The bigger the role of IA in your organization, the more critical governance becomes. Designing a framework will help you monitor performance as well as define exceptions and errors. It is a recipe for disaster if you don’t have a command and control center to ensure IA is making the right choices. Even more reason for humans with industry expertise to still “have their jobs” and excel at them.
Future Of Intelligent Automation
The future of IA will direct businesses to a more adaptive model that is beneficial for business leaders to uncover higher value and employees to do more satisfactory and creative roles. Preparing for an intelligent future means adapting our technology, skills and education to fit the future of the workforce.
What are we waiting for?
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Article | August 15, 2020
In Augmented Apps, we examine how product teams are exploring AI and Machine Learning to make their products more intuitive and enhance the user experience. Artificial intelligence is transforming products in surprising and ingenious ways. Whether it’s core to the product, as with a stock market forecasting algorithm in Quants, or a peripheral component, such as a healthcare domain chatbot that diagnoses diseases via dialog with a patient, building reliable AI components into products is now part of the learning curve that product teams have to manage.