The Marketing Strategist:

Ask ITSMA: Marketing in the XaaS World

June 16, 2016

  • Ask ITSMA


Each month, ITSMA receives a number of queries through Ask ITSMA, a resource designed to give members a quick and easy way to get insight on important services and solutions marketing questions they face. In this column, we will publish some of our favorite questions, along with excerpts from our replies.

Question: As more and more technology companies are moving to subscription, SaaS and other as-a-service models, how do you think this will affect marketing strategy and priorities?

Answer: Great question. The specific impacts will certainly vary by company depending on how big a shift this is in the business, and how marketing is organized today, but generally speaking we see three significant areas of change:

  1. Branding and Reputation. A big driver for the shift to as-a-service consumption is our customers’ desire to be both more ambitious and more agile with their technology infrastructure and solutions. They’re increasingly interested in using technology to transform their own business and we need to present ourselves as partners capable of enabling that transformation. This should guide a lot of our own positioning, thought leadership, storytelling, and other messaging.
  2. Revenue Generation. With the shift to as-a-service, revenue models can change dramatically from up-front sales to “land and expand.” More of our customers will start small, get used to the technology, and then expand usage, capabilities, and support. For marketing, this can mean a shift in emphasis from top of the funnel lead generation to ongoing lifecycle marketing with a focus on ensuring adoption, value, customer success, and add-on opportunities.
  3. Relationships. The third area has to do with collaboration. As delivery moves to as-a-service, marketing needs to work much more closely with sales (to facilitate the land and expand approach) and especially with services and support (to help ensure customer success). Ensuring this kind of internal alignment is certainly not a new concept, but it’s moving quickly from desired to required. At the same time, many of the as-a-service solutions that customers want require additional integrations with partners, which similarly suggests greater collaboration with marketing.

As above, the pace and degree of change will vary, but, overall, these are the three main areas for marketers to consider as companies move further into the XaaS world.

For a great discussion on the shift, check out our web briefing with marketing leaders from Amdocs and Dell, Charting a New Course for Marketing in a Product as a Service World.

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