Learn how to launch a B2B product in eight steps. Whether you're almost at launch day or still in R&D mode, you need to read this post.
Conceptualizing, developing and maintaining a B2B software solution is an amazing yet difficult feat. But the challenge doesn’t end once your solution is up and running. Now, you have to convince businesses to buy (and use) it. That’s where a software marketing agency can help.
There are over 17,000 SaaS (software as a service) companies in the U.S. to date spanning every industry you can think of. No matter what industry your new software solution serves – whether it’s construction, human resources or accounting – you are more than likely facing stiff competition.
But, surpassing your competition can be possible with the right branding, marketing strategy and, of course, B2B software marketing agency – an agency dedicated to and experienced in supporting the marketing and sales goals of companies selling software to other companies. Some agencies are dedicated to content creation or digital advertising, while others are all-encompassing, offering integrated marketing services. Agencies also vary with prices/rates and specific industry experience.
In short, there are a lot of options out there and different paths to take when choosing a software marketing agency.
Spoiler alert: We are here to relieve the overwhelming feeling. Use this blog as a checklist when you vet potential marketing partners!
6 Tips for Choosing A Software Marketing Agency
- Assess Your Marketing Goals
- List Your Expectations
- Determine a Budget
- Get To Know The Agency
- Read Reviews & Client Testimonials
- Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out
#1: Assess Your Software Marketing Goals
Before you can pick the right marketing partner, you have to know what you want out of the engagement.
- Are you a new software solution that needs to drive demand from the ground up?
- Do you already have brand recognition and are looking for a consistent flow of leads?
- Do you need help with a lot of (or all) marketing tactics, or do you just need support for a few specific channels?
From there, quantify your goals with some hard numbers relating to some or all of these metrics:
- Social media engagements
- Organic website traffic
- Digital advertising impressions
- Deals closed
Identifying your goals can help you narrow your options between agencies based on what they specialize in.
#2: List Your Expectations
List makers, this one’s for you! Make a list of about ten features or characteristics you want your marketing agency to have, starting with “must haves” down to “nice to haves.”
Some of these might include years of software expertise, flexible “can do” attitudes, graphic design offerings and budget constraints. This will help you focus on the right attributes when conducting your research.
On a similar note, set expectations with your internal team. What does hiring a marketing agency mean? Why do you need an agency to handle your software company’s marketing needs? Be ready to share your research and rationale so you’re all on the same page when it comes to actually choosing a software marketing agency.
#3: Determine a Budget
Rates and pricing structures vary from agency to agency, so it’s important to understand your cost threshold. Remember, your marketing budget includes more than just professional services. You also have to incorporate costs for:
- Digital advertising (Google, LinkedIn, etc)
- Publication advertising
- Trade shows
It sounds like a lot, but hiring a software marketing agency in lieu of a full marketing team with salaries and benefits is usually more cost-effective, especially if you don’t already have an internal team. If you do have a small internal team, an agency will give them bandwidth and agility to handle other initiatives.
#4: Get to Know the Agency
Dig deeper than just prices and services. Your software marketing agency will become a close partner that knows the ins and outs of your business, so you should get to know your options at a more personal level.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when choosing a software marketing agency:
- What are the agency’s mission and values? Does it align with your company?
- Do they have a team with the expertise to properly support your brand? You want a reliable team representing your brand and driving results.
- Is their team professional? Yes, this is a serious question to consider. Make sure that if you have to reach out to one of their team members, they will be willing to help you with open arms.
- How does the new client onboarding process work?
Remember: Your software marketing agency will also represent your brand and be a part of your team. This is why choosing a software marketing agency that has positive attributes can lead to a successful and cohesive experience for both your company, the agency and your clients.
#5: Read Client Reviews & Testimonials
See what other software companies have to say about the agency. If the agency is worth your while, they will have client case studies or a portfolio available on their website that you can peruse. These case studies demonstrate clear challenges overcome and ROI that could become your reality, too.
#6: Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out
If you have any questions about a software marketing agency that arise during your research, don’t be afraid to contact that agency and ask questions.
This gives your team the opportunity to learn more about the agency, services and their team to see if they will be a good fit for your B2B software business. When you get on a call with the agency, you will also be able to gut-check if you have chemistry and the potential for a positive business relationship.
Software marketing agencies may all look the same at first glance. This is why it is essential to assess each one with care in accordance with your business needs and goals.
We hope these tips help you successfully navigate the options of software marketing agencies and choose the right one for your B2B software company.