Peter Peter - Founder, UserActive

Account-Based Marketing for SaaS with Nicolaas Kerkmeester

Account-Based Marketing Strategies for SaaS - Founder Interview

As part of our Founder Interview series, Nicolaas Kerkmeester sits down with Peter and shares invaluable insights into account-based marketing for SaaS companies.

Nicolaas is the Co-Founder of Clearclick, a renowned digital marketing agency specialising in multichannel attribution for SaaS businesses.

In this Founder Interview, he shares strategies on how to:

  • Embrace Account-Based Marketing: Explore how ABM can help you target enterprise-level accounts and convert them into loyal customers.
  • Optimise Your Digital Strategy: Learn how to tailor your marketing approach based on your unique objectives and resources.
  • Unlock the Power of Multi Channel Attribution: Discover the secrets of tracking and measuring your marketing efforts across various channels to drive better results.
  • Scale Your Marketing Sequences: Find out how to automate and optimise your marketing funnels for scalability and efficiency.
  • Personalise Your Marketing Approach: Uncover the art of personalised marketing that engages and converts potential customers effectively.

Transcript 

[00:00:11.610] – Peter

Okay. I’m here speaking with Nicolaas Kerkmeester today from Clearclick. Hey Nicolaas, great to be with you. Can you spend a minute just to introduce yourself, tell us who you are and what do you do?

[00:00:22.770] – Nicolaas

Yeah, perfect.

[00:00:23.480] – Nicolaas

Thanks Peter, for the time.

[00:00:24.520] – Nicolaas

I really appreciate it.

[00:00:25.910] – Nicolaas

So my name is Nicolaas, I am the co founder of Clearclick. Essentially we are a digital marketing agency focusing on multichannel attribution. So we support anything from B to B SaaS, all the way through to direct to consumer businesses as well, and everything in between. So we predominantly focus on providing both a support to go to market strategy through activating all digital marketing channels through inbound marketing essentially.

[00:00:55.250] – Peter

Great.

[00:00:55.720] – Peter

Okay, so for SaaS founders looking into working on their digital marketing channels, how do normally approach that, what’s your approach to if you’re starting out, think about your digital strategy for user acquisition for SaaS?

[00:01:13.830] – Nicolaas

Yep.

[00:01:14.240] – Nicolaas

Great question. Normally when we work with SaaS companies, we really want to establish what kind of resources and objectives they have at hand at this point in time. So we understand that obviously working with each SaaS company is going to be completely different. Really understanding what their key objectives at hand are over the next six to twelve months, obviously to support any business growth or goals or KPIs need to reach. And then from there, kind of working backwards to identify okay, what objectives they have at hand there and what resources we can put into play to support that.

Sometimes we feel that there are particular resources that are maybe limited and we’d be able to be a perfect partner to be able to step in and support with those areas such as maybe activating support on paid media channels or focusing on more organic channels such as SEO. So really stepping in where we can see support in areas that would help to leverage and make sure that we’re achieving those goals and KPIs at hand.

[00:02:16.810] – Peter

Okay, so you look at goals and KPIs on the client side for SaaS companies. How do you look at splitting up your mix of channels and what you do and just how to approach that whole thing because there’s so much involved in digital marketing. Kind of how do you start and plan what you’re going to do, what activity?

[00:02:44.210] – Nicolaas

Perfectly. So what we’ll do essentially is we’ll do a bit of a strategy session with the client so we’ll understand a bit more about where the current traffic is coming from. Are there any channels that they are potentially neglecting that we could potentially be tapping into?

Often the time is that maybe depending on what part of the journey the client is at, maybe they have neglected maybe working on organic content, focusing more on that long term organic growth. So we look at an analytic view of their backend data, looking at Google Analytics, Google Search Console, looking at other different resources to identify where potential opportunities may lay and we could potentially put recommendations into place and therefore put a strategy on the ground and make it run forward.

[00:03:32.050] – Peter

And how do you think about user acquisition? How do you understand where are the best places to focus on based on whatever sector the software is in and what type of customers and users they’re targeting?

[00:03:49.510] – Nicolaas

Yeah, so when we’re working from an audience perspective, obviously it’s very important to understand the messaging behind the product or service that is being sold.

We really dive deep into understanding the exact messaging behind it and then make that best fit into the audience through activating the right channels. Now, that may mean focusing on, for example, on LinkedIn, for example, on a more of a B2B front, obviously to reach more of a business perspective and then utilising different types of lead magnet content that could definitely be used to attract potential customers and to just learning more about the content and then also nurturing them through into more of what we call an account-based marketing strategy. Once you’ve attained their potential interest and extracted the information to your CRM system, then you can essentially work that potential customer over the line into a converted lead.

Obviously, when we’re working with more high ticket SaaS products, it’s not a case of essentially one stop, click and buy like e-commerce would be. So it’s essentially making sure that, that messaging is kind of top of the funnel and then kind of worked down and nurtured the customer to making that final conversion through into an account-based marketing perspective in terms of a CRM.

[00:05:11.730] – Peter

Were you were talking about this earlier that you might have several different touch points for SaaS acquisition, for acquiring users? What’s the typical kind of mix that you’d think about for reaching the ideal customers?

[00:05:30.150] – Nicolaas

So for SaaS, what is a really great tactic to take is not focusing all eggs on one basket, right? So establishing what we call a multichannel approach. Looking at, for example, LinkedIn as one avenue, really focusing on right to direct kind of target audience, but also focusing on, for example, more of an organic perspective as well.

So focusing on potentially also SEO and then more of an educational aspect to make sure we’re targeting more informational keywords and so forth. We can essentially be able to attribute multiple channels and be able to see what channels are converting best based on attribution modelling as well. Looking at data functioning through a Google Search Console, for example, or a G04, we’re able to see where our marketing efforts are performing best and then from there, hone in and effort a little bit deeper into those channels.

[00:06:33.950] – Peter

Great. So do you see in your kind of like attribution, you might find some customers that have had many touch points along a range of digital marketing activities. Is that something that you see quite commonly?

[00:06:49.490] – Nicolaas

Yeah. We often see that it takes up to seven touch points to convert a user into a potential customer. So you want to be able to nurture those interactions and make as many of those as possible. Obviously having an awareness campaign running to just generate general brand awareness and then having a potential conversion campaign further down the funnel helps to obviously, obviously you have different touch points of material in between that as well, but that helps to educate the user further down through the funnel until they finally convert.

And back to my point previously about taking more of an account-based marketing position in terms of generating leads into a potential CRM system like HubSpot for example, and then nurturing those contacts through e-mail marketing campaigns, through keeping them up to date with any new updates or resources that you may have on hand. And then also using potentially maybe retargeting tactics as well to retarget those potential customers wherever they may be on your digital network.

[00:07:54.870] – Peter

And so can you tell us a bit more about account-based marketing? Like the concept, what that involves is that more targeting accounts, large accounts for enterprise SaaS or is that more about accounts of managing different channels?

[00:08:10.650] – Nicolaas

It’s a mixture between both. Essentially account-based marketing is an approach where you have a potential lead or an overall account that you want to target and you have different leads or different individuals within that account that you may want to target. It’s essentially nurturing those accounts in terms of different marketing activity.

Looking at putting those leads on potential emailing lists, making sure that those potential accounts are also get up to date with any potential newsletter updates, any retargeting advertisement as well, and also be able to see and track any attribution of where engagements are happening for those potential leads as well. So you can see, for example, someone’s visited your website and that could trigger a potential action maybe to boost an advertisement in front of them, for example, so you’re making sure you’re capturing that person or that potential customer at the right time in their buying journey, for example.

[00:09:10.180] – Peter

I see.

[00:09:12.190] – Peter

Say these are enterprise accounts, are you building a picture of the different contacts in the buying process and who’s involved in decisions? And then you’ll be almost tailoring your marketing activity to those profiles and where.

[00:09:27.090] – Peter

You know, you might be able to reach them, correct?

[00:09:30.520] – Nicolaas

Yeah, so we essentially create a complete bespoke strategy or bespoke approach, depending on where we’re seeing most engagement within the potential overall funnel and pipeline. So essentially what you’re able to do is create a whole bespoke series of actions that may be able to trigger based on particular actions that your potential customer or target audience may take. So that’s essentially triggering a whole bunch of different events to basically filter and fall into place once potential actions trigger off.

[00:10:03.490] – Peter

Okay, so for say, one SaaS client, how many accounts might you be targeting at any one time?

[00:10:15.410] – Nicolaas

It could be an unlimited amount, essentially. You’re putting into place particular triggers and actions. As soon as those actions and triggers take place, it essentially falls into place with all the other prerequisites that they may also take into action. So it’s completely unlimited. As long as you’ve got that funnel and all those actions set up in the background, then it’s kind of like just hands off and let things kind of just take action and roll forward.

[00:10:44.000] – Peter

Right.

[00:10:44.330] – Peter

So you build out this sequence with triggers and actions you build out and then you use that same sequence across all accounts that you begin.

[00:10:55.320] – Nicolaas

Correct.

[00:10:55.890] – Peter

So it’s quite scalable.

[00:10:57.740] – Nicolaas

Correct.

[00:10:58.390] – Peter

Any way to introduce personalization or if you notice an account has something specific that you might be able to utilise a little bit more to hone your targeting a bit more closely to them, is there anything you can do to personalise it that way?

[00:11:14.310] – Nicolaas

Yeah, so at top of the funnel, when you’re attracting lead generation, this is the most critical part of extracting any kinds of personal information that you may need to then interact and insert into any other material that you’re using. So a lot of the time when we’re dealing with lead forms and lead acquisition, that’s the key point where we can potentially ask any questions about what the customer is interested in and use those answers to the questions to embed into any material to make things a bit more personalised. And that’s essentially how you can make a bit more personalised, approach that content bit more personalised towards the user and so forth.

[00:11:58.230] – Peter

Okay, cool.

[00:11:58.950] – Peter

So you can feed a little bit back into the later stage,

[00:12:02.034] – Nicolaas

Correct

[00:12:02.070] – Peter

lower down in the funnel.

[00:12:05.750] – Peter

And are you creating different content types or are you mostly focusing on paid acquisition and ads? What are you guys focusing on mostly at Clearclick?

[00:12:15.370] – Nicolaas

So essentially we focus on both an advertising perspective from a paid perspective through social channels, but also from an organic perspective as well. So from a pay perspective, that could cover everything, mainly focusing on SaaS predominantly that being LinkedIn, very powerful channel. And then from an organic perspective that would be the likes of SEO.

For example, building our content strategy to organically attribute conversions or generate leads, but also e-mail marketing as well is a very powerful way forward once you’re building up that database in your CRM system. And then again, focusing on that account-based marketing approach as well. So once you’ve attained these leads, then essentially building out an account-based marketing process to basically nurture these leads into the final conversion.

[00:13:02.910] – Peter

Cool.

[00:13:03.420] – Peter

Okay, awesome. Well, I feel like I’ve learned a good amount about account-based marketing, so it’s been really good to talk with you, Nicolaas. How can people listening or SaaS companies that want to work with you guys at Clearclick, how can they get in touch and learn more?

[00:13:19.230] – Nicolaas

So if you’d like to learn a bit more about an exact digital marketing approach that would fit your SaaS company. You can reach out to us at clear-click.com and there you’ll be able to book a consultation call with us, a 15 to 30 minutes consultation. We can understand a bit more about your objectives, your current challenges at hand and any potential goals or KPIs you need to be reaching in the next six to twelve months how we can get there. So that’s the best way forward and you would be be appointed to myself and I’ll be happy to be able to make a quick introduction call.

[00:13:53.580] – Peter

Awesome.

[00:13:54.190] – Peter

Okay. Thanks so much for that Nicolaas, great to speak with you today. Take care.

[00:13:58.570] – Nicolaas

Likewise, Peter.

[00:13:59.520] – Nicolaas

Cheers. Thanks for the time.

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