Questions

How do I market a SaaS platform when the customers are municipalities and community groups (like a chamber of commerce)?

Within three months I will have completed software that will automate our deployment process - turning out 4-6 week turn around time into 4-6 hours. With this new efficiency, I feel like I want to market aggressively. The customers are municipalities, community groups, and even businesses who want to sponsor a deployment on behalf of a community they care about.

3answers

Luckily, municipalities, community groups, and chambers of commerce are all very visible, easily located targets. The businesses who also want to sponsor a deployment are harder to target, so I'll set them aside for this discussion.

Chambers of Commerce can be approached individually, but there is also a National level governing body that you can open dialog with. I've had numerous conversations with the Chamber at a local and National level, and they are looking for ways to be more relevant, as their membership ages, and they find themselves lacking a way to replenish it, as they are seen as inconsequential to the current generation of business launches.

The municipalities have a national member organization (more than one I believe) which can also give you access from the top down if the pitch resonates.

In both instances, having individual clients among their membership, who can act as champions for your cause will go a long way. Do some hero hunting, determine who the leaders and followers are among the various chamber chapters, and the municipalities. Aim to close some of the leaders however you can, as loss leaders if necessary, and use them to garner interest from the follower cohort. Once you've developed some momentum within their membership, you are far more likely to be taken seriously by the top level organizations, which should give you access to internal marketing channels, with greater reach, low or no cost, and far more efficiency than individual outreach.

Look at economic development agencies as well - the SBDC is another organization that has representation across the US and is lead by a National level body, making access at scale viable.

I'm happy to discuss specifics of the approach.

Ryan Rutan


Answered 3 years ago

What is your plan to reach out to them?

First, identify the problem they are facing. Next, offer to solve it. Ideally, this will be the sole focus of your product.

Have you talked to your idea customer about your product to this point? Gather their testimonials and references or consider an affiliate program.

Every Chamber and municipality struggles with funding; if you can provide real dollars in exchange for them promoting your product, you've grown your sales team.


Answered 3 years ago

You want to first identify the type of community groups that you want to target by building out your Ideal customer profile. It's a great start that you have a clue who you want to target. After that, I would go with cold emailing. It's the most efficient and cost effective way of gaining your initial traction. You can do the list building and cold emailing yourself in the beginning or you can outsource it to a company like http://inspirebeats.com

InspireBeats will help you build a list of targeted communities, find their contact information and even do the outreach for you to warm them up about your product.


Answered 3 years ago

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