Natalia Michelsonas; Rahim Mohammed Abdur , pp. 53. MAM/Sektionen för Management, 2012.
This paper analyses marketing strategies appropriate for small companies providing SaaS (“Software as a Service”) solutions. The exploratory research approach was adopted to answer the thesis question.
Three frameworks were used by the researchers as the basis for data analysis. The first is the DEMATEL approach developed by Wu et al. (2011), which divides a set of factors into cause and effect groups. The second approach is the TAM framework developed by Davis (1986), which is an analytical tool designed to investigate how users adopt a new information system. The third approach is a KPI model developed by Tyrväinen & Selin (2011) from their literature review which presents the main factors of marketing and selling of SaaS.
This research was performed through the use of literature studies, review of available case studies, survey of relevant companies, and analysis of the information available on SaaS vendors’ websites. Global SaaS vendors, disregarding the type of provided services, were included in the study.
This study found that SaaS vendors should use defensive strategies in the early phases of the solution life cycle, and measure all marketing campaigns, especially with regard to the cost per customer acquisition. It is essential for SaaS vendors to address trust issues and to provide technical and security-related information. It is also important to inform customers about benefits of using the SaaS solution versus on-premise software by providing information on how easy it is to configure the solution, and the available online training and support. Furthermore, free trials or demonstrations should be offered. In marketing of SaaS solutions, social media (together with blogs and forums), Word Of Mouth, and even personalized email campaigns should be the initial strategies used by the marketer. This research also found that both direct (mostly through the Internet) and indirect (through representatives and partners) channels are used by the SaaS providers to communicate with customers.
Another finding is that this topic is relatively new. There are very few academic studies of this area. In addition, it is not easy to accomplish research in this area due to the large spread of SaaS companies and a common unwillingness from the SaaS vendors’ side to participate in surveys.
The conclusion of this study is that marketing among SaaS vendors should be studied more extensively, as information in this area has economic and scientific value for the SaaS vendors, as well as scientific value for the academic world.