Marketing a deep tech SaaS product is like trying to sell your grandmother a newfangled gadget. It's not that she doesn't want to learn how to use it—she probably does! But she might be afraid of breaking it or using it wrong and not getting the results she wants. She also might be concerned about not having enough time to learn how to use something new.
And you know what? She's right! Learning how to use a new product takes time, dedication, and mental energy. And how many times have you seen your grandmother break something when she was trying to get the hang of it? More than you can count, I'm sure!
But how do you market this product in a way that helps her overcome these hurdles? How do you let her know that this particular gadget is worth her time and will be easy for her to use?
It sounds obvious, but the first thing to know about marketing a deep tech SaaS product is that you will have to educate your audience.
Deep tech products are inherently complex because they're based on advanced technical innovations. That's part of their appeal—they provide a solution that's so advanced that it couldn't have been found in the past.
What Is ‘Deep Tech’?
Deep tech can be defined as science-based technology with a high entry barrier. Scientists and engineers typically found deep tech startups with a passion for solving a specific problem.
Compared to traditional software, deep tech startup founders often have little business background and instead focus on solving real problems using scientific innovation.
Deep tech products usually involve investments in research and development (R&D), which means long time-to-market, higher R&D costs, and a higher risk of failure due to market acceptance issues or technical failures.
Verticals where Deep Tech is seeing traction
In IoT, companies like Maana are helping oil and gas businesses improve their operations by using data science to discover domain-specific insights.
Cybersecurity is another field where deep tech startups have found a receptive market. The need for security has grown tremendously in recent years as more devices, products, and services move online. Companies such as Illusive Networks help enterprises detect and prevent cyberattacks that exploit trust relationships within an IT environment.
AI is also seeing traction across different industries. For example, New York-based Diffbot offers an AI platform used on websites to extract structured data from web crawls using visual learning techniques.
Blockchain-based startups have gained a lot of attention recently, with companies like Ripple working on blockchain solutions for financial institutions to provide real-time global payments anywhere.
Nanotechnology companies are another example of deep tech firms that have attracted significant investment dollars over recent years—Nantero’s carbon nanotube technology is used to create faster random access memory chips in computers and widely used consumer products such as smartphones and gaming consoles.
Robotics represents a very broad vertical encompassing everything from consumer electronics and entertainment robots to industrial appliances that perform specific functions such as medical testing or manufacturing processes. Boston Dynamics is one company leading the way with its humanoid robot Atlas designed for use in search-and-rescue scenarios under extreme conditions; other robotics startups include Dispatch Robotics building autonomous delivery vehicles for campus environments, and Zipline delivering lifesaving medical supplies via drone to rural areas around the world without proper infrastructure or transportation systems in place.
The sales and marketing challenge for your Deep Tech startup
You may be developing a complex product and selling it to customers facing a real problem, but that doesn't mean you're in the clear. You still have to find a way to market your product effectively. Unfortunately, this can be difficult for deep tech companies for several reasons:
- Your deep tech SaaS solution is complex and hard to understand.
- Sales cycles tend to be long and expensive.
- Key decision-makers are hard to reach because of how specialized their roles are.
- Sales reps need to be technically trained, which means they'll also have longer ramp times than sales reps at other companies.
- It takes time to build credibility with buyers who may not know your company well due to its relative newness or unfamiliarity with its particular industry niche.
- It takes time to build a brand. When you're up against stiff competition from household names like Google and IBM, consumers might not know who you are right out of the gate—or care about the differences between your product offerings versus those of your competitors.
What does the ideal SaaS Marketing strategy look like
Having a clear plan for each stage of the funnel will enable you to execute your SaaS marketing efficiently. Some things to keep in mind:
- Have a clear understanding of the key metrics - The right metrics will show you how well each stage of your strategy works and what needs improvement.
- Have a deep understanding of your buyer and their journey - By knowing who the buyer is and how they buy, you can better target them throughout the funnel.
- Have a clear content strategy - An effective content strategy can help move people through the funnel, from generating awareness to conversion.
- Have a clear sales enablement strategy - Sales enablement means communicating with potential buyers during their journey, presenting opportunities to engage with your brand, and providing salespeople with resources to do their jobs more effectively. This includes building trust and credibility, which are essential if potential customers make a purchase decision. A strong sales enablement strategy ensures that every part of this process works together smoothly for maximum results.
- Have a clear sales strategy - Your sales team should be able to sell without having any problems. They must understand what makes an effective sales pitch, how it should look when delivered over different channels (e-mail vs. phone call), how often each channel should be used, etc.
How to go about developing your SaaS Marketing strategy
Marketing is crucial for any SaaS company. It helps your sales team to connect with the right clients, and it attracts the best talent to keep your team growing. Here's how you can make sure you're on track with your marketing plans:
- Hiring decision: Find hyper-aligned people with your company's mission and vision. This kind of alignment will help you attract customers who are excited about what you're doing, attracting new hires who have the same passion for your product or service.
- Sales play: Identify the companies that would benefit most from your product or service and find ways to reach them. For example, if you're selling an ERP system, target industrial manufacturers rather than apparel brands since they'll need more sophisticated business solutions.
- Metrics: Decide which metrics matter most when evaluating potential customers—and use those metrics as indicators of success in marketing campaigns later on. Another example might be if the cost per lead (CPL) is essential to measure, then utilize email outreach strategies instead of traditional advertising methods since they tend not to be as expensive per contact made (or at least much cheaper).
- Capital efficiency: Use data from previous campaigns to identify where money is best spent, then allocate future budgets accordingly so that each dollar goes further without compromising effectiveness.
Learn the right way to market your deep tech saas product
In the past, when startups started out, they had first to build up their core team. But nowadays, this is easier because service providers of all kinds are available that can help you with your needs. You can choose between a combination of senior and junior resources for your core business activities. Some things should be done in-house, though. For example, product development and marketing are like the heart of your company – you should keep these functions in-house at all times.
Building up your brand – think about who wants to buy from you, why they would want to buy from you, how you can stand out from competitors who offer similar products/services (and more importantly – how not), and what kind of voice or personality people will associate with your company. This helps in letting people know what exactly makes it unique!
It might take longer than expected to get traction on social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter because most likely, people won’t find the content interesting enough without being aware beforehand of which services/products they provide or how good those are. That's why other channels like PR (press releases), thought leadership (white papers), content marketing via blog posts, etc., have become essential tools for gaining visibility among potential customers - especially when targeting specific industries!
Investing in curated content is crucial since nobody likes reading boring stuff about technology trends any longer. According to industry experts, one thing every startup must do before starting is to invest heavily into research around their specific target market segment, so no budget is wasted on marketing efforts targeting irrelevant audiences.
While deep tech SaaS products may not be easy to market, with the right approach, it's not impossible. By focusing on the value proposition you offer to clients and your SaaS product's unique problems for them, you can find your niche in the market. If you can connect what your product does to creating real value for clients and customers, you'll find a way to stand out from other products.
Remember that people don't just buy products—they buy solutions to their problems. If you can show how your product offers those solutions, you'll have a clear path.