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Start-up marketing case study of SAAS solution provider

Results snapshot:

Revenue results: Our client experienced a 1200% Revenue increase over 24 months and an excellent ROI on their marketing spend
Strategic implications: The media buzz and thought leadership that now exists around our clients’ software projects them as a market leader that commands a premium price strategy. The user-experience testing resulted in multi-tier pricing that penetrated the developing world as well as more lucrative market segments.
Client budget: To grow from startup to a $3M/lear recurring revenue business costed my client $2000/month over 24 months. I am now only acting as a consultant to the board and helped the client to take all their marketing acitivities in-house.

Case:

My client has is a software developer who created a solution for WordPress websites. His main challenge was to get known within the industry and to figure out how to bundle his product in such a way that he does not sacrifice the high-end segment for a cheaper version.

Action plan:

We started by gaining an in-depth understanding of the type of clients that were of interest. Since I worked on a similar case, I was able to recommend  “freemium” model with 2 different upgrade points. This allowed us to immediately attract a large organic audience, where our upsell was only 4%, however on a user base of 100K new users per quarter, that was an awesome starting point.

Next, we fixed the “leaky bucket” by analysing user feedback and improving the user-experience, which prepared us for the ultimate phase of the business: Affiliate marketing. I helped the client to connect with more than 500 affiliates – many of them are magazine owners and some are email list owners. The Affiliate plan increased revenue from $12K per month to more than $30K and was the ultimate tool for creating buzz and brand advocacy.

The recurring revenue model is now managed through a CRM system that helps us reduce churn rates and monitor customer satisfaction. We are now working on additional solutions that were revealed as opportunities from customer learning and the analysis of user-generated content in the support forum (which we created as part of a content marketing tactic).

This was one of the few cases where we decided to invest very little on Adwords and Facebook “sponsored” campaigns – and to run with a more organic approach through the affiliate model. However we did have a social element since our discount models were based on social sharing, for which we used an existing solution. The results proved that it was a good call.

Key enablers:

  • The client was willing to adapt their technology and user-experience based to clone proven models
  • The client allocated a reasonable budget to enable a good return on their investment
  • An experimental outlook enabled us to try various channels until we identified the best combination
  • The client was happy to give up an element of control to attract user-generated content
  • The client was more than capable of responding to recommendations we made after user reviews.

Project notes:

To me this project was a learning curve even though I frequently work with SAAS marketing solutions. The client is a true tech genius and I had to find innovative case studies to match his needs. It is one of my favourite examples of how a good ROI can be achieved when we use proven principles alongside new innovation. Whether it is “start-up” marketing or growth hacking for existing businesses in the TECH or FINTECH sector, there are always a set of winning rules we can apply selectively. Constant, dynamic evaluation was a key to the success of the campaign.

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