In Demand: How to Grow Your SaaS to $100K MRR
EP10: How to Compete in an Overcrowded Market
In this episode of In Demand, Asia Orangio, founder of DemandMaven, shares the principles for growing a SaaS company when you are competing in an overcrowded market.
At DemandMaven, we just wrapped up a project for a client that was in one of the most competitive markets. While we had some incredible wins, we also had many lessons learned. We distilled those lessons into 6 principles for founders to apply when they are entering a highly competitive market.
Dive deeper by reading the full article that inspired the episode: https://demandmaven.io/lessons-learned-from-competing-in-an-overcrowded-market/
- You’re going to need a clear, competitive differentiator. This differentiator is what makes you different, better, and special. It sets you apart from everyone else. Maybe you’re tackling a specific pain for a specific audience better than the other guys.
- It’s going to have to actually be better than all of the other competitors. “Better” is also not as cognitively clear because to almost every founder, their product already is “better”. But it has to be recognizably “better” to the customers as well. They’ve got to feel that “betterness”.
- If it’s not better, it’s going to have to be a little cheaper, although some would argue this would need to be the case regardless as a new player in a highly-competitive market.
- Have zero friction to signing up and becoming a paying customer. It needs to be pretty easy to make a decision about the product and actually sign-up. Some would argue that adding barriers to entry would increase demand, but that totally depends on how many competitors there are and how frictionless they appear to be. Time to value is also a critical component when weighing how to approach this. The longer time to value, the less friction you’ll need to have.
- Find a channel with the most opportunity. If you’re in an extremely crowded market, then it’s likely that most acquisition channels will be tapped (and maybe maxed out with extremely high CPLs). You’ll need to follow basic rules on ARPU and adjust CAC accordingly, but after that, prioritize the channels you can either beat the competition at, are totally untapped, or both!
- Lean into your strengths skill-wise and resource-wise. This one’s a tough one because they’re not always obvious and it seems like a weird thing to list. But knowing the competitive landscape, you’ll need to identify what you can provide that’s better and different from a marketing perspective. So if you’re good at speaking, networking, writing, building, whatever — leverage that because it (usually) can’t be copied. All of that, of course, within the context of what your buyers are most likely to do, consume, and care about.
These 6 basic principles are really just the start. To stay competitive in a crowded market requires an ongoing commitment to improvement and innovation, but if you take care of these 6 principles you will be off to a great start.
Brought to you by Asia Orangio of In Demand: How to Grow Your SaaS to $100K MRR