It’s different because it’s the same
Lately, I’ve been questioning the line of thought employed by many hiring managers and recruiters when it comes to software product marketing. Ever since the rise of SaaS, software companies have been keen to pursue product marketers with a history in that specific domain. While we are led to believe that software product marketing requires a unique blend of skills that are rare, I have yet to discover evidence to support these claims.
Blog posts and videos by industry members and pundits highlight the buying journey as a pivotal point of contention. They even consider some aspects of the marketing toolkit as exclusive to software marketing which I’ll cover below.
However, we have to appreciate the fact that every other product or service out there has its own peculiarities with reference to the buying journey. The marketing toolkit is large and inclusive to anyone from any industry willing to use it appropriately.
Therefore, I was shocked to read a few articles from prominent sources recently that claim a paradigm shift in marketing practices. Half-hoping to be enlightened and also to uncover the fallacy of my argument, I was instead presented with what pundits consider unique to SaaS marketing:
- High Quality Website Content
- Onsite & Offsite SEO
- Customer Reviews
- Lead Nurturing
- PPC and Comparison Sites
- Quality Product
- Customer Service
The last I checked, the elements mentioned above were pretty much expected of all companies whether they are trying to sell an automobile, a time piece, home insurance or a box of detergent. What I have concluded however, is that SaaS marketing has become a turf worth defending against from outside marketers in order to preserve some sort of affluence, proprietary experience or job security.
The marketing tools and channels employed will always reflect the product and customer we are catering to. There is no magic formula that is exclusive to SaaS. In fact, SaaS being a newer product category, draws from traditional marketing techniques. And yes, as with every other industry, technology and digital innovation have enhanced the landscape.