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SaaS Marketing: Expert Paid Media Tips Backed By $150M In Ad Spend

In the face of growing challenges with customer acquisition, it’s important to know where to focus your ad spend. Do you know how to optimize for lower customer acquisition costs and pipeline growth that keeps your sales team busy and your CFO happy? Watch and learn a unique methodology for growth that has driven massive revenue at a lower cost for hundreds of SaaS brands. We’ll dive into case studies backed by real data from over $150 million in SaaS ad spend per year. You’ll learn: - Why leveraging first-party data rather than third-party data is key for success. - Ways to compare channel level performance using the Customer Lifetime Value to Customer Acquisition Cost (LTV:CAC) formula. - Strategies for growing pipeline revenue that identify and emotionally connect with your exact persona at your ideal account. With Garrett Mehrguth, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Directive, we’ll explore how to use financial modeling using LTV:CAC formulas across your channels for better budget allocation that your CFO will love. Register and get expert tips and proven strategies for hitting your growth goals next year.

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SaaS Marketing: Expert Paid Media Tips Backed By $150M In Ad Spend
Delivering on the Promise Demand Gen Forgot About
linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/
@gmehrguth
linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/
@gmehrguth
We launched Customer Generation 18 months ago,
based on first-hand experience that there was a better
way for Tech companies to grow…
INCREASE IN
PIPELINE
QoQ
AVERAGE
CONTRACT
VALUE (3X)
INCREASE
IN ROI
INCREASE IN
CONVERSION
RATES
INCREASE IN
PIPELINE
REVENUE
INCREASE IN
ORGANIC
TRAFFIC YoY
linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/
@gmehrguth
The simple reality is that Demand Generation doesn’t go deep
enough…
Activate
Acquire
Awareness Engage Retain Refer
SQL
Lead
Demand Generation
Revenue
linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/
@gmehrguth
Customer Generation is the answer. It’s our proprietary approach
to generating the right customers across your full lifecycle
Customer Generation
Activate
Acquire
Awareness Engage Retain Refer
SQL
Revenue
Lead
Demand Generation
linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/
@gmehrguth
Brand vs Performance
Channel technicians
Leads as NSM
Linear funnel
Siloed teams
Static data warehouses
Hard to measure efficiency
Brand AND performance
Multi-channel strategists
CLTV & revenue as NSM
Compounding growth cycle
Integrated teams
1st party data put to use
Financial modeling
PERFORMANCE
MARKETING
CUSTOMER
GENERATION
Customer Generation moves beyond ‘Demand’ OR
‘Performance’ to what marketers actually need to win

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SaaS Marketing: Expert Paid Media Tips Backed By $150M In Ad Spend

  • 2. Delivering on the Promise Demand Gen Forgot About linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth
  • 3. linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth We launched Customer Generation 18 months ago, based on first-hand experience that there was a better way for Tech companies to grow… INCREASE IN PIPELINE QoQ AVERAGE CONTRACT VALUE (3X) INCREASE IN ROI INCREASE IN CONVERSION RATES INCREASE IN PIPELINE REVENUE INCREASE IN ORGANIC TRAFFIC YoY
  • 4. linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth The simple reality is that Demand Generation doesn’t go deep enough… Activate Acquire Awareness Engage Retain Refer SQL Lead Demand Generation Revenue
  • 5. linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth Customer Generation is the answer. It’s our proprietary approach to generating the right customers across your full lifecycle Customer Generation Activate Acquire Awareness Engage Retain Refer SQL Revenue Lead Demand Generation
  • 6. linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth Brand vs Performance Channel technicians Leads as NSM Linear funnel Siloed teams Static data warehouses Hard to measure efficiency Brand AND performance Multi-channel strategists CLTV & revenue as NSM Compounding growth cycle Integrated teams 1st party data put to use Financial modeling PERFORMANCE MARKETING CUSTOMER GENERATION Customer Generation moves beyond ‘Demand’ OR ‘Performance’ to what marketers actually need to win
  • 7. Customer Generation The 5 Principles of linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth Principle 1: 1st Party Data Unlocks Customer Growth Principle 2: Financial Modeling is a Need to Have Principle 3: NSMs Focus Capital & Drive Growth Principle 4: Brand Creates Demand Principle 5: Integrated Performance Marketing Converts Demand
  • 8. We map your Total Addressable Market (TAM), build account lists, and aggressively scale spend. 1st party data not only future proofs your campaigns; but also gives you the confidence to grow brand advertising because every impression delivered will be a future customer. 1st Party Data Unlocks Advertising Scale Principle 1 linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth
  • 9. Choose your data provider 1st Party Data Unlocks Advertising Scale Building Your TAM linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth
  • 10. Leverage targetable data attributes to help you understand your most profitable customers and identify similar opportunities in your TAM. 1st Party Data Unlocks Advertising Scale Choose Your Revenue Indicators linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth
  • 11. You can’t trust 3rd party data providers 100%. We checked every single solitary account to see if they fit our ICP. Cleaning this data is the only way to make sure you aren't wasting a dime. Don’t skip on manual verification. Size of Our TAM Before & After Manual Verification ACCOUNTS ACCOUNTS linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth
  • 12. We need to integrate your TAM into Salesforce. Imagine if you could report to the board on market share taken? Building Your TAM linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth 1st Party Data Unlocks Advertising Scale
  • 13. Level up your reporting! We took 44% TAM penetration/market share linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth ACCOUNTS ACCOUNTS TAM Penetration
  • 14. linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth Financial Modeling is a Need to Have Principle 2 Scale without financial modeling is a pipe dream. We partner with you to identify your most impactful levers for growth, while giving you the tools needed to improve your capital allocation.
  • 15. Financials & Measurement Maturity Model: Where are you? Phase of maturity Sophisticated Nascent Disconnected Proxy Connected Advanced Sophisticated Our basic analytics are not setup and we have trouble tracking leads to deals. We do not have a firm CLTV or CAC per channel. Tracking is setup but we’re measuring revenue through some generic proxy like ‘leads’. We have either CLTV or CAC per channel but not both. We have advanced measurement capabilities and track LTV:CAC against industry benchmarks. We have a direct measurement of revenue through a strong revenue proxy like SQLs. We are able to layer our LTV:CAC modeling with data such as employee size, titles, roles, and regions to empower efficient capital allocation. Maturity
  • 16. Financial modeling and capital allocation are some of our largest drivers of growth and have a massive impact on revenue performance. linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth Financial Modeling is a Need to Have LTV:CAC
  • 17. We maintain a library of thousands of data points across 250+ Tech clients to inform strategy and tactics. linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth Proprietary Insights Financial Modeling is a Need to Have
  • 18. linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth NSMs Focus Capital Allocation & Growth Principle 3 The best in Tech galvanize around one North Star Metric (NSM) to focus their decision making around go to market strategy as well as capital allocation.
  • 19. Source: Finmark NSMs Focus Capital Allocation & Growth Name your NSM Customer Growth Usage Growth Engagement Growth Advocacy Growth & UX Growth Efficiency Revenue linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth Every business is unique in its monetization strategy. Here’s a few for inspiration!
  • 20. SUBSCRIPTION MODEL GROWTH OPPORTUNITY Blended Tiers Usage-Based BUSINESS NSM Qualified Pipeline Growth Efficiency New Product New TAM/ICP Up-Market International Expansion Customer Generation provides growth personalization for every unique Tech business model, NSM & growth plan Market Penetration linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth Per-Seat Feature-Based Freemium
  • 21. What is your North Star Metric (NSM)? Growth Efficiency Levers that increase your efficiency Qualified Pipeline Levers that accelerate high-value SQLs & Opps CAC LTV Payback period Return on ad spend (ROAS) Unit economics New signups to activation milestone percentage Demos booked Total SQLs Average order value Free trial signups LTV:CAC Win rate linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth
  • 22. linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth Brand Creates Demand Principle 4 Only 5% of buyers in the average B2B category are in-market and ready to buy at any given time. Brand campaigns ensures that the other 95% knows who you are. When they enter the buying journey, your product is their first stop.
  • 23. “The market performance of strong brands is enduring proof that investment in long-term brand-building enables businesses to thrive over time and survive market volatility” - Interbrand Strong Brands Consistently Outperform the Market Brand Creates Demand linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth
  • 24. linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth Sales uplift over base Marketing activation / Short-term sales uplifts Brand building / Long term sales uplifts Short-term effects dominate - 6 months Time Brand-building and marketing activation win across different, complementary timelines Brand Creates Demand
  • 25. linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth Competitive Differentiation I want Build a Community Scale Brand Awareness Disruptor Positioning Dictate Pricing Power Attract The Best Talent Win Share of Voice Market Leadership Boost Brand Sentiment Identify your brand goals Brand Creates Demand
  • 26. Visualize a life free of restriction or limitations ⛰ Free Visualize community and shared values 🤝 Included Visualize commitments to bettering ourselves and the world 💛 Conscientious Visualize certainty and roadmaps to success for the customer 🔒 Secure Visualize what the customer is in danger of missing out on ⏰ FOMO Visualize a world where the customer stands above and apart 🌟 Unique Visualize a stress-free state or balanced life 🌴 Relaxed Visualize customer success and NSMs attained 🏆 Successful Visualize industry attention and social proof 👍 Popular Visualize and validate the customer’s vision of themselves 😎 Confident Customer Desires How We Target Emotion linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth Brand marketing creates a bridge between your ICP’s desires and your value proposition. Emotion Mapping Brand Creates Demand
  • 27. linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth Low Cost Premium Cost High Trust Low Trust Competitor 1 Competitor 3 Competitor 5 Competitor 9 Competitor 7 Competitor 6 Competitor 2 Competitor 8 Competitor 4 Your Brand Next Execute perceptual research to pinpoint how customers feel about your brand now, and where it needs to be to achieve your goals. Identify the 1-2 key attributes that are most impactful to your ICP and plot them in relation to your current positioning, and competitor positioning. Define brand perception, now and next Your Brand Now Brand Creates Demand
  • 28. linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth Create Your Brand Story Brand marketing weaves your story with the stories of your customers. To make a lasting brand imprint, we infuse your narrative arc with all the ingredients of powerful storytelling. Captivate viewers in the first 3 seconds and maximize View-thru-Rate. Define the hero of this story and the question that will be answered. Great stories have a challenge or an enemy. Deliver real value aligned with the target key attributes. Surprise and delight. Set the stakes. This is why it matters. Follow up CTA. More story for those who want it. Intro Resolution THE HOOK Rising Action + Climax OBJECTIVE PROBLEM PAYOFF SO WHAT NOW WHAT The ONE idea our audience should remember THE BIG IDEA
  • 29. Full-Length Brand Video (1:00-2:00) Sizzle/Trailer (:30-60) Sizzle/Trailer (:30-60) Key Insights (.45) Landing Page Key Insights (.45) Social (.15 -.30) Social (.15 -.30) Social (.15 -.30) Social (.15 -.30) Social (.15 -.30) Social (.15 -.30) Social (.15 -.30) Social (.15 -.30) Social (.15 -.30) Behind The Scenes (1:00-2:00) Programmatic Programmatic Programmatic Programmatic Programmatic Programmatic Programmatic Programmatic Programmatic linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth Better Content + Strategic Distribution Wins Brand Creates Demand In a world of content overload, more content is not the answer. One bold brand idea, deployed across multiple assets & channels.
  • 30. linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth Build Retargeting Audience List Prospect clicks into a video in their LinkedIn feed. Retarget Audience with Video content that validates your product and increases brand consideration. Drive new lead to website to learn more and request a demo. Continue to retarget ICP. Repeat until ICP converts. 01 Awareness Ads 02 Interest Nurture 03 Demo & Consideration Fills out contact form and speaks with sales. 04 Customer Generation ContractPodAi Still using multiple systems for different parts of your Contract workflow? Imagine having a single, searchable repository for every contract you’ve ever made right at your fingertips … More ContractPodAi Quickly create, complete, search and manage contracts of any kind — all from a single, secure repository for every contract you’ve ever made. More Brand content is leveraged in lead gen campaigns to support pipeline growth See Why Legal Teams Choose ContractPodAi Over Icertis ContractPodAi Cloud provides corporate legal and non-legal users complete visibility, command, and control over the entire legal lifecycle of the business. REQUEST A DEMO Trusted by the best
  • 31. linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth Integrated Performance Marketing Converts Demand Principle 5 When your customers are ready to research, compare, and purchase (as a result of brand initiatives), integrated performance marketing ensures their experience is omni-channel, consistent, and personalized. This is how we convert convert demand into Customer Generation.
  • 32. linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth Each of our marketing disciplines is designed to achieve specific performance goals. Integrated campaigns supercharge their impact across business KPIs such as: average contract value, trial conversion rate, lifetime value, customer acquisition cost and more. Performance Levers Compound Growth Integrated Performance Marketing Converts Demand INTEGRATED STRATEGY LIFECYCLE MARKETING VIDEO CREATIVE PAID MEDIA CONTENT & SEO Discoverability & Long-term Pipeline Generation Capital Optimization & Lifecycle Stages Efficiency Brand Affinity & Conversion Rate Efficiency Brand Affinity & Conversion Rate Efficiency Capitol Allocation & Revenue Forecasting Direct Reach & Instant Pipeline Generation Performance Solutions
  • 33. linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth We set business NSMs that drive top-line growth. In order to achieve these goals, we identify the specific KPIs per each channel that will build our stairway to success. This includes SQLs, cost efficiency targets, conversion rates, rankings, and more, Align NSMs with Performance Metrics Integrated Performance Marketing Converts Demand SEO #1 Ranking Position Paid Search -10% CPC Paid Social +56% CTR Creative 49% CR 7X Opportunities at -$41K CPO 3X Total Contract Value, Average $1M+
  • 34. Performs Search/ Direct Traffic Clicks via Social Media Post CTA-gated: “Download/Join Now” Landing Page/ Core Page/ Blog Post Email Capture Does not convert Integrated Campaign Strategy Social Media Lead Gen CTA-Gift Card Offer Signals intent to purchase Contacted by salesperson CTA: “Get a quote” PQL Contacted by salesperson ICP-specific Offer/Guide/ Webinar Search & Programmatic Ads Clicks Remarketing Ad Paid media SEO Content & Design Conversion Event Signs Up Receives 1st email with educational resources Visits landing page with testimonial Receives 4th email with case study Signs up for Demo CTA: “Sign up for a free demo” Continues Doesn’t Continue Receives 2nd email with invitation to free webinar Receives 3rd email with video content CTA: “Sign up for a Demo” Doesn’t open Doesn’t open Opens Contact Conversion Review Site & Directories Submits Info Demand Conversion Demand Creation Demand Nurture linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth Opens Sales Contact
  • 35. linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth With our strategy targeting enterprise growth, we layered on filters for revenue threshold and excluded any companies that fell under $10 million in revenue. We worked with the sales & product teams to identity the features that attracted current enterprise customers, for building social-proof, content, and landing pages. Refining TAM & ICP Targeting Integrated Performance Marketing Converts Demand
  • 36. linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth Marketing budget allocation by platform and funnel stages is a major influence on overall marketing performance. For Wordpress VIP, we focused on a blend of our historically top-performing channels and ad types, over-indexing for Opportunities (our NSM). Real-time campaign data informs future adjustments as needed. Optimize Paid Media Budget Allocation Integrated Performance Marketing Converts Demand Google PLATFORM LinkedIn RollWorks Capterra OBJECTIVE Awareness Engagement Opportunities FUNNEL STAGE Top Middle Bottom 50% 42% 5% 3% 8% 12% 80%
  • 37. Over $50K saved in Ad waste linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth The following keywords had high spending with no conversions. We cut the phrase matches to bring down costs on Google, while our SEO team integrated these keywords into site content to maintain coverage. Over $50K of ad spend waste was quickly redirected towards higher-performing advertising campaigns, and CPC improved by 10% on Google channels. Quick Win: Removing Ad Spend Waste Integrated Performance Marketing Converts Demand
  • 38. linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth Integrated Performance Marketing Converts Demand Paid Social offers firmographic targeting but not search intent. Gift card campaigns provides the incentive - learning about your product/service is the value offering. Conversation ads targeting 2 seperate personas running off of company lists led to a +200% increase in opportunities and a $300,000 Closed Won deal for W.K. Kellogg Foundation! Gift Card Campaign Directive research on optimal gift card pricing
  • 39. linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth Integrated Performance Marketing Converts Demand We deployed different ad types within LinkedIn, offering direct sales opportunities (gift cards) or deeper education and comparison content (webinars & guides). Paid Social CTRs improved by 56% QoQ. Identity your Top-Performing Ads Engagement Opportunity Engagement Awareness
  • 40. linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth Integrated Performance Marketing Converts Demand Display Native CTV Video Audio We leveraged programmatic and display ads for brand awareness, and for fast-testing messaging and offers against CTR and Conversion Rates. Remarketing campaigns regularly rank as our highest performance campaigns. Retargeting with Programmatic Ads
  • 41. linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth Integrated Performance Marketing Converts Demand For a dedicated account-based marketing (ABM) campaign through Rollworks, we created a playbook detailing campaigns for each stage of the funnel. In one quarter, enterprise accounts reached by Rollworks ads accounted for $1,072,001 in ROI attribution. Engage Best-Fit Accounts with ABM
  • 42. linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth We calculated how much market share Wordpress VIP could own on a single SERP for branded keywords, out of the possible organic positions. Paid Media campaigns generated quick data and results for gauging keyword performance, helping to optimize our site and content strategy. Share of SERP Integrated Performance Marketing Converts Demand Should I pay for WordPress pro? Do professionals use WordPress? What is the highest role in WordPress? Why do I have to pay for WordPress? Is managed WordPress worth it? Do professional companies use WordPress? Do professional website builders use WordPress? Do government websites use WordPress? Does anyone use WordPress anymore? Is WordPress VIP owned by WordPress? What is the highest level in WordPress? Which builder is best for WordPress? What is the difference between WordPress VIP and WordPress? Is WordPress better for SEO than squarespace? Which WordPress does GoDaddy use? Is WordPress VIP headless? Who is the CEO of WordPress VIP? How do I grant access to my WordPress site? How do I activate WordPress for free? How do I install a premium WordPress theme for free? WordPress VIP What does WordPress VIP do? Is WordPress VIP open source? What is the difference between WordPress VIP and Kinsta? How do I install WordPress VIP?
  • 43. Organize for Customers, not Products linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth We launched new Solutions and Glossary pages, structuring around WP VIP’s customer segments and customer needs, not their product categories. The glossary alone increased clicks by 465%. Integrated Performance Marketing Converts Demand
  • 44. linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth Landing Page Conversion Integrated Performance Marketing Converts Demand Customer-Led LP designs and UX, paired with ongoing A/B testing and iterative design. This is how we achieve conversion goals, drive pipeline, and fulfill the potential of every campaign. Our highest-performing LP for WP VIP earned a 49.34% CR with 790 conversions. Instant value offering and punchy UVPs Short-form with clear CTA, followed by trust-building social proof Highly digestible platform overview info for deep-dive visitors
  • 45. linkedin.com/in/garrettmehrguth/ @gmehrguth A BETTER CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE MUTUAL GROWTH “Your ABM is killing it!” STRONGER PARTNERSHIPS "My reason for coming to you was that I was really impressed with your marketing, so congratulations on that. If you can impress a marketer you know that's a pretty good sign." The end result is worth it. “They are amazing partners… and amazing at spreading the word about our products.” "Directive has been instrumental to the growth we’ve seen during the last year and a half.” “We've seen serious results since working with Directive." "This is the best Q4 we have ever had… the best, literally." "I love our collaboration with Directive, every piece of work is of the highest quality and the teams' organisation is fantastic.” "I love working with Directive, we consider you part of our own team." “A great LinkedIn sponsored conversation - shoutout to the [Directive] paid social team!”