Once the product is shipped and the first few users are onboarded, you might find yourself with a multitude of tasks that need to get done and no time to do them. If you’re a technical founder, finding good devs to work with may seem like second nature. But what about the people that help your product grow and scale? How do you build a great SaaS marketing team if you aren’t a marketer yourself?
You don’t need to be a marketer to find good marketers, just like you don’t need to be a developer to find a good developer. There are unique hurdles to cross if you don’t have the experience yourself, though. Most things can be covered with clear expectations, an understanding of the fundamentals, and good leadership.
The main thing that comes before any type of hire is clear expectations. Why do you need this person and what roles will they be filling? What responsibilities are you trying to pass on to them? Are the goals and tasks concrete – like post on social twice a day and create a set of landing pages? Or are they more abstract – like growing the user base and engaging with industry players?
Hiring for SaaS marketing can include any or all of these:
- SEO/Organic Search
- Paid Search (Google, Capterra, G2, etc.)
- Organic Social
- Paid Social
- Landing Pages and Funnels
- Sales Materials
- Customer Success and Retention
SaaS marketing can cover a lot, so the more clearly defined your needs and expectations are, the better off you’ll be starting the hiring process. Every job post should cover all of the tasks and include everything you’re already using in your marketing tech stack. Cover expectations in the interview, and gauge people’s interest and experience. If you’re hiring for organic or non-paid acquisition channel management, prior experience isn’t a must and you can save on a less experienced marketer. For paid channels, it’s best to hire someone with concrete previous experience.
SaaS Marketing Fundamentals
Every business owner or leader should understand the very basics of marketing. Put your product out there and get people to sign up. Press and traffic are good, bounces are not, customers are key. As the founder or leadership, it should be easy enough to spot someone that doesn’t understand the product-market fit or customer.
There are very few things in SaaS marketing that are unique to SaaS – acquisition, customer success and retention, and funnels are important to every business. But SaaS is unique in that users are often naturally recurring – a monthly or annual subscription pricing model is hugely common in SaaS. The second sale for an eCommerce company is much harder than just waiting until the next billing cycle. This doesn’t mean you can slack on customer success, it means that SaaS marketing goes deeper than just pre-sale interactions.
Make sure your interviewees understand the product, the product-market fit, and the customers. If you can’t break these things down simply, hold off on hiring until you can. Specialists can help you with individual channels, generalists can help you bring them all together in a coherent way. Figure out what you need and start there.
Everyone on your SaaS marketing team needs someone to report to. Make goals and associated KPIs clear so your marketers can build a solid path forward and check in on their progress. Be ready to communicate updates and new features quickly so marketers can act as quickly as possible. The right leadership can make or break any team, and marketing isn’t excluded.
The leader of the marketing team doesn’t need to be the head marketer in the beginning (they should be eventually), but they do need to understand the value of marketing and each member of the team. Have leadership put the goals front-and-center and make sure they can trust the marketers you hire to get them there.
A great product deserves a great SaaS marketing team to spread the word and get new users. Building a SaaS marketing team is a big task, but ultimately it will generate more revenue than any other team in your company. A product with no users is as good as no product at all.