Keeping an Ear to the Ground: Marketing the Smart Way with Jennifer Zapp of SaaSquatch

In today’s MarTech conversation, we speak with Jennifer Zapp, the head of marketing at the Canadian company SaaSquatch. SaaSquatch offers software to marketers to help them create customer loyalty, referral and rewards programs.

In this discussion, Zapp tells us about how this SaaS company has grown rapidly over the past year despite the pandemic. She explains how they’ve successfully ironed out each stage of the buyer’s journey using different goals on a channel-by-channel basis. She also explains SaaSquatch’s forward-thinking, versatile approach to content creation and distribution.

Tell us about SaaSquatch

SaaSquatch is a customer loyalty and referral platform. We help companies create brand advocates, build loyal communities, and scale their word of mouth through referrals. We were founded about eight years ago in 2013 on the west coast of Canada in Victoria, BC.

We help our customers with the entire lifecycle, from awareness through to advocacy, so I would say we're in both the MarTech and the wider RevTech space. We help marketers generate more revenue from referrals, as well as market to their existing customer base and improve their loyalty and retention.

Word of mouth has always been highly regarded as one of the most effective marketing channels, and a lot of companies have great word of mouth already. But it quickly becomes hard for them to scale and track who their advocates are and how to reward them so that they continue to refer. Advocates want to be recognized and appreciated for spreading the word about your brand, and that’s where SaaSquatch comes in.

I would say one of the biggest successes we’ve had recently is how we've adapted over the past year. I mean, I think with everything going digital, the team has really come together. We're fortunate to be not only surviving, but growing.

What do you do in your day-to-day work as head of marketing?

I report to our CEO, who is also one of the co-founders. My team consists of our content marketing manager, as well as our digital marketing manager. And then a handful of external agencies and freelancers. So, we're a small but mighty team. We're planning to really grow our marketing team this year, too.

I see my role as being the voice of the market. I keep my ear to the ground and try to understand the changing needs of the buyers—where they are, how they're consuming content, and who they're listening to. Then, I bring that back to the team so that we can address those needs and bring the product to market in a meaningful way.

My main responsibility, at the end of the day, is sourcing qualified pipeline for sales that turns into closed-won revenue. There are all these definitions of what an MQL is in the market. Ours is explicit intent. Of course, the ultimate goal is revenue creation.

We use best-in-class systems such as Marketo, Salesforce, Unbounce, and ZoomInfo. And we're pretty lucky because we have a technical team that also understands the intricacies of these platforms.

What are some of your goals and challenges at SaaSquatch?

Our number one goal is always to make our customers successful. Then, our focus is on achieving overall growth. We are looking to double or triple over the next year—and we're well on our way.

One of the main things we've been working on goal-wise is to try and map out what a buyer goes through on their journey and try to reduce the friction at each step of the way.

To reduce the friction, we aim to provide them with the information that we think that they're interested in right then and there to do their evaluation of the product. That's been a main focus but we still have work to do.

For channels, we've focused a lot on blog content, email, and organic social, and also paid ads, organic search, and paid social. Then, it’s about following the buyer through what they would go through to buy a marketing technology product. So, we’ve also been improving our presence on review sites and with 3rd parties as well.

We're operating in a space that I don't think has an established leader yet. So, it's a fun challenge to carve out where we fit in the market and to compete for that top spot.

I've been working in B2B and SaaS for a while—about 15 years. But MarTech is the most competitive because there are so many vendors in the space. Plus, you're not just competing against different companies; you’re also competing against different categories and different marketing technologies or channels.

What has been most effective and why?

It’s about looking at things on a channel by channel basis—not lumping it all together—and trying to understand what is resonating well within each channel at each stage in the buyer journey.

We measure email differently than we measure our blog content—we separate it out.

On social, for example, we're not as much measuring a piece of content by the clicks or conversions, because we know that social is more of an awareness channel. So, we measure that very differently than we do when we post the same piece of content on our blog or send it out through email.

What new initiatives or trends are you noticing?

The only constant is change—and that is definitely true in the marketing world.

I feel like different marketing channels and different marketing tactics cycle in popularity, almost like fashion. Some of the old-school ones come back, but with a twist. Some things that I'm seeing happening out in the market today happened 10 years ago. It's like, “Oh, direct mail is now really important again.” And so it's just always changing.

Recently a lot of people, of course, are spending a lot more time online, so we’re seeing social blow up, along with influencer marketing. People are wanting to capture their word of mouth in the market and track it and scale it as a channel. So, I'm seeing more micro-influencers, and more tactics that were traditionally B2C are being applied in the B2B space.

How does content marketing fit into your strategy?

I think content is extremely important. It exists throughout every channel that we have.

I think what's important is either being educational or entertaining, but ideally both. That’s what we try and aim for. People want the data and information to be able to make their decisions and gain knowledge. And, they want to be entertained. So, we try to follow that.

But we also want to provide content in a variety of different mediums that people will interact with. We do long-form blog content, but we also want to provide that content in short-form on social or in other mediums. We've been experimenting with memes and videos. That seems to be working very well. Then, we’ll link to the more long-form content for the people who are interested enough and want to spend the time to read more.

It's understanding that everyone has a different attention span in a way that they want to consume the content; if you aren't providing the content the way that they want to consume it, they're just not going to consume it. So, I think video is important—especially video with captions so that people don't have to listen if they don't want to.

Connect and find out more

You can find Jennifer Zapp on LinkedIn and Twitter and get more information about SaaSquatch on their website.

We hope you enjoyed this industry spotlight. You can learn more about our series of interviews with MarTech leaders on social media.