B2B SaaS Marketing – Lukas Mehnert
Lukas Mehnert is the Chief Marketing Officer at Smartlook. He overlooks the entire marketing efforts straight from optimizing Ad campaigns to strategy to implementing new growth tactics. In his session at B2B Binge 2.0, Lukas shares some of his strategies on marketing for a SaaS product.
What service does Smartlook provide?
Smartlook is qualitative analytics for the websites, apps and games. It is doing visitor recordings to help you know all the visitors on your website, in your app or even in your unity game or other games.
It provides reports in the form of heat maps and event tracking funnel. So you can solve problems quickly on your website or app. Also, you can have the whole user journey and you can have segments. Smartlook is recording seven hundred million users monthly and it has 60000 active customers, which are gained in 50 months.
Challenges in B2B SaaS world
The hard thing today in B2B SaaS is that there are more solutions out there. All use the same channels and try to get the attention of the users. That is getting harder and more challenged. Only 4% of all B2B SAAS solutions are gaining one million ARR. Only now 4% are getting to 10 million. So Smartlook is on the way to that. But you can see that not many are on this way and it’s not an easy game.
Important factors to win customers
One of the main metrics should be measured and that is customer acquisition cost versus customer lifetime value. It should be one to five and one to three. Smartlook is at one to three, up to one to five. It is doing to optimize it like for customer acquisition cost. It’s really good to have marketing automation in mind.
Smartlook has launched one in-house mobile analytics solution. In the beginning, Smartlook has only 20% user adoption rate and it has scaled to more than 40%.
On the other side, the customer lifetime value you should have solutions to your Saas platform. If you talk to your customers at functionalities, have customer success, they are really increasing your customer lifetime value and also finding that’s connected to your channels to find the right customers.
One of the most important things is a shortlist. The higher your solution is priced, the more people will search for alternatives. So if you have a big and huge competitor, be everywhere where people are searching for alternatives and you end up on the shortlist. Certainly, 72% of bias will expense shortlist by searching you as suppliers.
AMA with Lukas Mehnert
The following is excerpts from the AMA session with Lukas.
How different are you from Fullstory, Mixed Panel, and Amplitude?
We are combining this solution. That means like service mixed panel and full story. And we are adding like even tracking and we want to be in future. platformer Benioff stake. That means like if you have a TV app or if you have an app for a smartwatch, we want to be anywhere with session recording and combines both solutions. That’s our plan for now.
Has marketing pivoted for startups?
We are seeing it is coming back a lot now. That is a really good case study out there from Trust Radio on the vendor blog. Also, Gartner has some good information. We are seeing it is coming back. A lot of bigger clients freeze their decisions for now as we lost. I think for more than 40 huge deals.
We are a SaaS product in the sales niche. Given the situation, what channel should we focus on?
You can reach out to me on LinkedIn for a specific answer.
I can look at your specific case. As mentioned before, this was only from three and a half hours, as one of the good channels I can recommend, just like Wolak for the ads. So you can try this. You can try to be there organically. It always depends. Like, what’s your case? I don’t want to make random recommendations from here from my point of view.
Podcasts seem to be the new rage in this marketing era right? Should we do one?
Look at your space. If all of your competitors are doing podcasts, then I wouldn’t recommend it. If there is potential and nobody is doing that and you have the right contacts who you could ask to be on a host with followers, then it makes a lot of sense. And I think it’s now we had this Culvert face that a lot of webinars had and a lot of people listened to the podcast.
How should one approach marketing to small and medium businesses compare to marketing to Enterprise Company?
The more you’re getting to the Enterprise longer, the more content you need to prove it to the right peoples that you are the right solution for SMB. That’s the playbook, I think, of 20/20. We started the same.
We started a startup and we were acquiring a lot of effort SMB back in 2016 and 2017. Our main channel was Facebook ads that worked for us good. We were acquiring 500 and 600 signups per day. We had like a conversion rate of 50% to 60% on our landing page. But it will go down again in the next week because people are over the content. And then you may have time to plan it and do it well in the future. So maybe that’s my recommendation.
How should we think about allocating the marketing budget for different activities and resources?
It depends and my recommendation is really to look at your customer acquisition costs versus the customer lifetime value by channel. Always test a new channel once by time or take enough money for this channel. Invest there and then look backward. What it did for one market.
If you take only one market and penetrated by one channel, then you can measure your growth over one market. The best approach you can do if you have huge money, you can do better things. But this is like for small money.
How to set marketing goals for yourself?
I’m not the biggest fan of marketing goals. I’m more like, let’s try this. Compared to results from the past and like try what we can do here and be agile and fast if you have enough data. Like from one channel, let’s say, 2000 visitors. Then move on as fast as you can as you see, like bad results or good results compared to other channels.
Does having a free plan and discounts change the perception of our product and brand?
I like to give something for free. It worked well for us in the first year. During our first year, we offered only a free solution because we were like a small tool. Now today we are already a platform. And this free for us is well to get word of mouth, to get the first users.
I think you should really think about your special case again. What does it bring to the user and what’s the outcome for your user? And how is complexity against price?
So free trial is more for the enterprise versus really complex and needs more time and freemium, it’s really where you like people can self-service buying.
Can we have Smartlook data for retargeting campaigns in some way?
Yeah, Google wanted to have this with us, but we have decided not to proceed for now. Not to do it now.
It’s because we are still like not a super huge company. So we focused on something else.
Do you advise on running cold e-mail campaigns?
It’s not an easy one. Reach out to me on Linkedin and I can advise like for special case.
Our lead to sale conversion is not the best but it’s pretty decent. Should we focus on correcting that right now or increase the top of the funnel for now?
It depends really on your actual numbers. That’s really important. Always look at your actual numbers.
We have a really good Conversion from free to paid. But we have found out that we have to help more customers to understand the product even better. And that’s what we are working on. Actually, it depends on every time.
How did you grow so fast despite having so many competitions especially coming from new ones to Hotjar?
I think the demand is really growing. Also, we have lots of demands that are growing in the market. We had lots of Facebook ads work for us. As I mentioned before, we had like 500, 600 signups per day from Facebook ads. So we grew our word of mouth really a lot. And that helped us a lot.