There’s a lot of information about how to do SaaS marketing on the internet.
Everywhere you go, someone has an idea about how to run your ad campaigns, optimize your content for search, conduct customer research and align your messaging to it.
And hey, I create this kind of content for a living! This kind of advice and content definitely has a really important function.
After all, even just a few years ago, SaaS marketing wasn’t specialised and was done by the same person who was also working on an ecommerce business, a service business, and whatever side projects they had going on.
Or maybe a marketer would have been shipped in from a legacy enterprise marketing world – and found out quickly that that stuff doesn’t work in SaaS.
The problem with SaaS marketing advice
But here’s the issue: While SaaS marketing advice is now mainstream, SaaS marketing career development still isn’t widely talked about.
So while there is no shortage of SaaS marketing talent to help build a high performing funnel, optimize an ad campaign and craft a content strategy, there’s a severe lack of people able to marry that up to the goals of the wider business or get buy-in from colleagues and bosses.
The effects of that are acute:
- It’s harder to build a long term career – when you don’t get promoted to senior positions, it’s easier to burn out and switch
- It’s harder to make the argument for budgets – maintaining a tactical only position keeps you from speaking to the broader strategic goals that marketing can smash
- It’s a fragile way to build a career – you only have to see how stressed SEOs and PPC people are to know: technological change is eating up their functions, algorithms are making them look bad. Having a shore between you and irrelevance is vital
I want to help SaaS marketers build careers that are more meaningful and fulfilling in the long term.
The four dimensions of SaaS marketing careers
There are 4 dimensions for SaaS marketing careers:
- Internal – emotional development
- Horizontal – broadening your skill set
- Vertical – new management and leadership skills
- Communal – stronger networks + your growth in relation to the growth of others around you
Most of the internet deals only with the 2nd dimension: new technical skills and even then it’s only from a relatively narrow viewpoint.
But there’s still not a huge amount of information on how to do the other stuff. For example:
- How do you make the argument for testing a new channel?
- When you need the product team’s time for a project, how do you project the ROI in a way that the Head of Product can sign off?
- How can you improve the results you get from your marketing without additional team members?
To build a long lasting and gratifying career in SaaS marketing, you need to grow in all four dimensions.
If you found those three questions even remotely challenging, then what I’m trying to do here is for you.
What does this look like, practically?
I have a heap of ideas for how I’m going to address this pretty big set of problems.
Specifically, I’m building a community around a newsletter, blog and podcast.
Here’s what I’m planning in 2022:
- Writing about questions that I asked in the previous section – and a whole lot more questions like it – that will help you develop executive presence in a way that’s authentic to you – not some corporate shell
- Interviewing SaaS marketers about what makes their careers work – including aspects of all the four dimensions of SaaS career growth I shared earlier
- Workshops on management skills – hopefully with some special guests
- Developing a couple of courses that will help you think strategically about tactical topics like SaaS landing pages; forecasting; experimentation; getting and applying data to strengthen your narrative
I don’t plan to add any kind of forum or Slack yet but I may do that at a later date, because I love to help people make connections with others interested in building more meaningful and fulfilling careers together.