Software as a Service is incredibly competitive, vibrant and pioneering industry, which is making companies very difficult to create an edge. As per data from Cardin Partners, SaaS is growing 6.5 times as fast as the world economy. To stand out from the crowd, companies are trying to provide value to their customers by staying up-to-date with latest SaaS trends. However, being up-to-date with the changing environment gives an immediate advantage.
Following are some of the reasons why companies are choosing SaaS
- It costs less than the legacy systems and reduces operational costs.
- It maintains consistent working process and enables collaboration among teams.
- It facilitates access to data and setup is time-saving.
- It can be optimised using mobile and connects to other applications easily.
- It is up to date with the trends and reduces chances of upgrading, maintaining and protecting the data.
As the SaaS market is predicted to grow in future, let us look at some of the trends in 2018.
- Different types of SaaS
Companies have been shifting their attention to different varieties of SaaS to stand out from the crowd. Let us discuss them.
PaaS: In the competitive scenario, companies are shifting their focus from customer retention to customer satisfaction. Thus, companies are providing Platform as a Service (PaaS) which allows users to add new services to original product and increase the usage. Salesforce and Hubspot are offering PaaS.
Mobile SaaS: As per research, Mobile users are expected to grow by 2.5 billion globally in 2018. Thus, with the growing trend, SaaS companies are trying to provide ultimate mobile experience for their product.
Vertical SaaS: Vertical SaaS is the most cost and industry-specific option which customizes features based on customer or industry demand. This SaaS helps to make it flexible for the customers resulting in lower acquisition costs for the customers.
Niche Specific SaaS: Customer needs are complex, and firms are relying on SaaS products to cater to the needs and find a general solution. Thus, many SaaS companies are focussing on designing specific functions as they see fit.
- Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Chatbots: For companies to stand out in competition, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Chatbots come in picture. For example, Facebook messenger bots allow companies to train for customer service. With the help of this technology, relevant content and automated on-site and off-site chats can covert the sales. Marketing Automation is used to get and nurture customers across the buying process. Customers are demanding rich content like video and good quality content marketing are used to build a strong SEO framework. In 2018, Personalization via Marketing Automation is used to provide the right content to right people at the right time. With the introduction of Account Based Marketing, companies can target high value accounts with highly personalized and relevant messaging. Some of the upcoming solutions of AI and machine learning for SaaS marketing customers are as follows
- On-site and Off-site personalization
- Drop off alerts and triggers for reducing negative churn
- Automated solutions, Dynamic pricing packages and predictive analysis.
Social Proof Integration and Cloud Market: For any company, growth depends upon customer success. In 2018, SaaS businesses are planning to fit in customer success stories into platforms as a marketing strategy. Thus, Social proof Integration is the hottest trend to improve buyer’s journey. Cloud solutions is expected to grow in 2018 because it is cost-effective, ease of access and inexpensive hardware setup. SaaS companies are developing new features with cloud solutions.
Overall customer success: In 2018, an effective customer success strategy is going to be a priority for all businesses. To do this, marketing and sales department must be aligned to create better and cohesive goals and to improve overall buyer’s journey. Moreover, companies need to focus on ideal customer profiles to achieve their goals which can be done by continuously updating the data. This will lead to reduced churn, increase cross-selling and up selling of products and will increase the conversion rate. Based on stats, 61% of companies believe that they should align their customer success team with marketing and sales team. To get the integrated customer success, it is essential to put value into the culture of the company and give an ultimate user experience.
Feature Marketing: SaaS companies can make their product stand out by unique features. Product and R&D teams are adding more layers, tools and widgets as additional features. Feature Marketing is a new trend of product marketing where brands are creating parallel products and add value to their customers. The best example of this kind of Side Product Marketing is Unsplash owned by Crew. MailChimp executes Feature Marketing so well that it feels that new product is launched. The new features are created with robust and nurturing side funnels that once any customer signs up, flows into a new feature email drip funnel.
Conversational Conversion: When SaaS companies offer targeted conversation, it helps to get faster and right leads. In future, the hottest trend would have live chats and chatbots which analyse and predict visitor behaviour and engaging accordingly. Customers need the right content at the right place at the right time. The popular chatbot tool- Drift, delivers timely content, satisfies the leads and increases the conversions. It is said based on research that 94% of customers are satisfied when they are proactively invited to chat.
It is always exciting to see what are the upcoming trends in 2018 since it has been an innovative previous year. In a highly competitive B2B market, it is essential that SaaS companies keep themselves updated with the latest trends. B2B digital marketing campaigns need to become more fluid and take experiences from the B2C campaign and put it to use. Join us to explore more upcoming trends and broaden your marketing approach.