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Knowing When and How to Expand Your SaaS Internationally (Part 2/2)

by Dave Porter | 16.10.2019

As a successful SaaS publisher, no doubt you already have your business’s core markets worked out. You know your highest revenue drivers; you know your areas of lowest churn and where you have a fair share of voice. But how do you find pockets of opportunities in markets you haven’t entered or trialled yet?

In a globalised market, there is always more opportunity to be found somewhere out there, and smart and insightful data use is the way to do it. For one SaaS client, for example, Tug burst targets by 100% across 28 territories. Given the complexity of the world and the infinite variety of SaaS products, there is no one-size-fits-all scenario for data-fuelled global expansion. But there is a process to find the right path for your SaaS.

A lake of data

Using our own channel data and the client’s own data sources, spanning digital marketing activity, sales and analytics, combined with careful desktop research and high-quality third-party tools, we create and manage a ‘lake’ of audience data. This provides a unique window into a market, drawing in information spanning everything from search and PPC volumes and existing sales data to local buying attitudes and currency issues.

A visual map

Pulling this lake of data together is clever work, but visually mapping a SaaS market expansion strategy, prioritising the markets to enter and test, is where things get smart. When we are dealing with multiple markets, each with very specific commercial and cultural nuances, we need to organise them into levels of priority. One way to do it is by using tiers:

Formulating strategy

As we distil multiple data streams, detecting local insights on a global scale, we begin to pinpoint opportunities. Having formed a clear, informed picture of the markets in which a SaaS product might find untapped demand, we can move to the planning stages and the next set of questions: what’s the right level of entry investment for an entirely new market? Do we need to do an SEO audit? How much prospecting do we need to carry out for brand awareness? What kind of budgets are likely to be required for different levels of return?

There is no standard template for global SaaS growth, but the necessary research pulls out all the pertinent information on a given market, from competitors’ positions to barriers to entry. With such an array of data at our fingertips, we can begin to tell clients: this is the right market for you.

Applying the data

The combination of sources contained in our lake of data allows for enhanced cross-channel targeting and more effective measurement. It also sets the stage for customer journey mapping, allowing us to find new prospects in a market, convert them and gain their trust and loyalty.

Different markets call for different approaches. In top-tier markets, we can apply a comprehensive structure of localised campaigns, including brand and non-brand marketing, competitor targeting, display and retargeting. In mid-tier and lower-tier markets, the campaign structure will necessarily be simplified and include localisation testing.

In all cases, as our campaigns are running, we optimise them continually, identifying and improving KPIs. We can quickly see which markets are the rising stars: which show potential for long-term growth and are worthy of deeper investment; which are clearer candidates for only organic growth.

Get help with your SaaS marketing today

Whether you’re at the start of your SaaS marketing journey or want to explore ways we can take your business into its next phase of development, we would love to meet you. Use the Get in touch form below and we’ll get back to you.