SaaS PR: Telling a Great Story Through Data

Data crunching isn’t enough: What’s the data’s story?

“Maybe stories are just data with a soul!” ~ Brene Brown

Every good story starts with a hook — finding the cure for a brain-eating fungus in a post-apocalyptic world. Stopping the Empire from overtaking the galaxy. Playing a series of kids’ games where to lose is to die, but winning it all means making bank.

And some stories rely on data to hook their audiences. Numbers alone don’t necessarily make an impact — but when B2B SaaS marketers, PR pros (and honestly, anyone else reliant on numbers) weave a narrative around the data, presenting it in context and framing its broader implications? That’s when the magic happens.

What is data storytelling?

Data storytelling allows SaaS PR professionals to help their clients leverage complex data and analytics to build a compelling narrative that tells a specific story via graphs, charts and other visuals while informing and influencing a particular audience. When executed well, data storytelling:

  • Adds a human touch to data.
  • Elevates the value of data and insights by interpreting and highlighting the key points of complex information.
  • Helps explain data patterns and trends to non-technical audiences.
  • Builds credibility as an industry thought leader.
  • Improves data literacy by guiding people and teaching them how to read — and understand — data visualizations. 

You’ve got the data. Now what?

Interesting data stories include three main elements: the data, visuals and a narrative. These steps will help you transform your raw data into an interesting story. 

  1. Understand the question. Have you determined what question you want to answer first? If sales fell sharply last year among a certain demographic, do you know why? Knowing what you’re looking for will lead you to the best resources for the answer — whether it’s data about a product mix, marketing targets or customer preferences.
  2. Know the audience. Customize your presentation to suit them — are you sharing this story with the marketing team? Executive leadership? Board members? What’s their familiarity with the topic, problem or situation? How does it affect them? Are different presentation styles more effective than others? Can they process high levels of detail? These insights will shape your narrative approach.
  3. Analyze your data. You can’t create an interesting story without understanding the underlying data’s structure. Evaluate both the structure and quality, and highlight critical characteristics — patterns, format and completeness. You can even use a data management tool to confirm accuracy and validity.
  4. Organize and present your data consistently. Sometimes you might need to standardize formats (75% vs. .75). You may find other anomalies addressed via deduplicating, enriching or parsing. Look to other sources if your data set is incomplete.
  5. Craft your data story. Effectively using charts, graphs and other data visuals requires knowing how people perceive them. Some people want the big picture at a glance to understand the message’s value. Others want to drill down into the granular, nitty-gritty details.

In what order will you present the information to generate a maximum effect? Anticipate questions people might ask about a specific visual. The first chart might show decreased sales and the second might explain why. Think about the trends your research uncovered and organize your presentation into a logical path.

Embrace a “less is more” approach by building a story in layers. Use multiple visuals (instead of cramming everything onto one slide) so your audience won’t feel overwhelmed. Presenting everything on one crowded chart drowns out important messages. Divide the information among multiple consecutive charts, and use animations to reflect changes or add emphasis and help the story flow.

Give some love to the text accompanying the charts, which often catch the eye first. Go beyond mere labels and include a brief explanation of what it shows. Incorporate text annotations to highlight important details.

Champion simplicity. A line chart or bar graph often works well to present information — use color, arrows, circles or other simple graphics to add visual interest.

Take a look.

Don’t just take it from us SaaS PR pros, though. We pulled some of our favorite articles that do an exemplary job of weaving data storytelling into the overall narrative to educate, entertain and provoke thought.

We don’t make business decisions based on logic alone. Sure, analysis drives business thinking, but a barrage of numbers doesn’t inspire and motivate as effectively as a good story. Well-told stories create a shared human experience.

And let’s face it. Unless you’re a statistician, you’re unlikely to remember the numbers. Data in a vacuum? Pretty bland and unremarkable. But storytelling allows us to mold abstract, dry numbers into a captivating and interesting story.  And we’re far more likely to remember a story than cold, hard numbers. Want to make sure your data makes a lasting impression? Go ahead and stretch your narrative muscles.

Quit Pointing Fingers: It’s About Brand and Demand Balance, with Palmer Houchins, G2


“Do more with less” is this year’s most-hated phrase for marketers. This thought process often directly impacts budgets responsible for a company’s reputation. On this episode of SaaS Half Full, Host Lindsey Groepper talks with Palmer Houchins, Head of Marketing at G2, about the lopsided finger-pointing that often happens between demand and brand teams, especially in a recession when short-term ROI is king.

Grab a drink and join the discussion as Palmer dives into what CMOs often get wrong about their brand spend, how to intertwine brand and demand to create balance, and why a founder brand works for some organizations, maybe not others.

Strike the right brand-demand balance

As humans, we want to categorize things. Maybe that explains why brand and demand colleagues — who, by the way, are working toward the same organizational goals — often find themselves at odds, according to Palmer.

In reality, demand cannot exist without brand, and vice versa. For example, say an organization identifies that paid search is performing well. In response, they increase their demand budget at the expense of brand. Their pipeline triples by the second month. But by the fourth month, their pipeline peters out entirely, and they’ve lost brand recognition and momentum — AKA, they’re back to the drawing board for both brand and demand.

Palmer said he’s been in a situation like this more than once, and it’s convinced him that balance is beautiful.

“It’s not about brand or demand. It’s about creating that symmetry. And it looks different for every company,” said Palmer. “I think if you approach it from [the perspective], ‘oh, well, demand is where our pipeline’s down,’ or ‘we’ve gotta get more leads to our sales team, [so] we’re just gonna invest there…’ That may be a short-term strategy, but long term, it’s going to put everyone behind the eight ball.”

But how do we measure brand?

The age-old question is receiving more mileage recently as executives turn to metrics to understand their organizational spending. Unfortunately, brand is trickier to quantify than some other business functions — however, it’s not impossible if you get creative.

Palmer has developed two methods to track brand initiatives and brand-marketing balance.

  • Nimble surveys or awareness testing: Palmer suggests using relatively inexpensive testing methods to track brand awareness over time. Theoretically, awareness should constantly be increasing.
  • Brand perception studies: Quick questionnaires placed in channels your audience already uses — like Google, Youtube or Facebook — can help gauge how your brand is performing relative to a competitor’s.

Although they’re “no silver bullet,” Palmer said these initiatives have helped him and his team create an action plan when brand awareness lags behind demand.

“It’s less about finding that one framework that’s gonna work everywhere and more about being… nimble and taking a temperature in a bunch of different places and trying to add that up to a recipe that works,” said Palmer.

Founder brand doesn’t  — and shouldn’t — always look the same

Just like there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to measuring brand, there’s no “correct” path for establishing a founder brand. For some founders, it works; for others, it doesn’t. Palmer advised marketing professionals to follow their founder’s lead here.

“I’ve seen some founders who just say, ‘you know what, this is not me. I’m more of a technical founder. I’m more of a behind-the-scenes person. I don’t want to do that,’” said Palmer. “But I think when it’s done right, it can be really effective. Frankly, I think when it’s done right, it’s less about the founder and more about the brand, if that makes sense.”

As an example, Palmer discussed his time in Marketing at MailChimp. MailChimp co-founder and then-CEO Ben Chestnut didn’t love public speaking, but he was a fantastic writer. So, he provided near-daily customer updates that became “evangelism of its own.”

Listen to Episode 346 of SaaS Half Full for more of Palmer’s insights.

Elevate Day 2023

I planned Our First Half-Day Training Event and Here’s What I Learned

BLASTmedia recently hosted our very first Elevate Day — a half-day training event that gave our employees the opportunity to learn about new strategies in the world of PR and content development, tap into their creative side, and learn about the SaaS investing landscape from VCs themselves.

Think somewhere between Dreamforce and a The Office-style whiteboard presentation.

We used Elevate Day to hone in on topics that we identified a need for extended training around due to market changes and evolving best practices, as well as trends we saw in a recent training benchmark survey that asked employees to self-report on their confidence level around certain skills. Each employee could choose their Elevate Day track from a number of session options in each training category to personalize the day to their individual interests.

Here are the top three things I learned (outside of making plans for unexpected weather!) at our very first Elevate Day training event:

The media landscape is changing more rapidly than we could have imagined even five years ago.

Who and how I pitched last quarter could completely differ from who and how someone else at the agency is pitching this quarter. That’s why it’s so important to knowledge share across your agency — and Elevate Day made that glaringly clear. As I listened to various sessions, I saw so many people sharing tips and tricks about new approaches they’re taking due to shifts in how reporters like to be pitched or shrinking newsroom staff. Let’s just say…Elevate Day motivated me to keep this knowledge-sharing alive and well in our agency.

The need for SaaS PR ain’t goin’ anywhere

It could be easy to think that the turbulent SaaS market means the demise of SaaS PR. But we think quite the opposite…and so do some of our favorite VC friends. In our fireside chat with Allos Ventures Managing Director David Kerr and Elevate Ventures Principal Sara Omohundro, CFA, we talked about the value of SaaS PR when it comes to a founder’s brand, building trust when times get tough, and more. Long live SaaS PR!

This conversation also reinforced the importance of tapping outside experts for their perspectives and advice. Outside of the investment landscape, we also talked about why PR sometimes gets a bad rap and ideas on how to position what we do to potentially skeptical execs or VCs (from VCs themselves!) — a conversation we face head-on regularly.

It pays to make time to learn

It’s easy to say that you want to make time to learn, but hard to actually set that time aside. Elevate Day showed me firsthand how important it is to not only create an environment of continual learning, but also to design opportunities for individuals to step outside of their norm to learn. That’s why we strategically planned the day during our regularly scheduled “No Meetings Week.”

Clearing our schedules and walking through the doors with our minds focused on soaking in everything the day had to offer made it so much easier to absorb new information and ask probing questions. I also noticed that stepping outside of our norm for a half day of learning helped boost the energy at the office and encouraged more creative thinking across the board!

Have a favorite learning event you’ve participated in that you’d like to share ideas from or want to speak at BLAST? Shoot me an email at!

The Great Divide Between Corp Comms & Marketing, with Grace Williams, BLASTmedia


Gone are the days of internal-only communications. Every internal message is now at the risk of being shared externally, creating more pressure for communications professionals to skillfully craft statements surrounding economic, societal or company impact events (RIFs, outages, data breaches, etc.). As a result, Corporate Communications roles have never been more in demand or vital to a company’s long-term reputation.

So, why does this function still report to marketing, a department typically focused on short-term ROI? In this episode, Grace Williams, SVP of PR at BLASTmedia, makes a case for why Chief Communications Officers and other high-level corporate comms leaders should report directly to the CEO.

Marketing and comms deserve an amicable breakup

As the SVP of BLASTmedia, Grace has plenty of experience working with marketers who report to the CEO. She’s noticed a few concerning patterns with this structure.

“[Marketers squeezed by CEOs] are saying, ‘Why [comms and PR support]? What’s this going to do for me? How’s it going to drive demand?'” said Grace. “I spend a lot of time helping to educate our clients on why certain media opportunities are worthwhile and… what they will accomplish eventually.”

The fact is, communications and PR fulfill a distinctly different role from marketing — so much so that many CMOs wish they could lose their comms responsibilities.

“It’s more difficult for those CMOs because they’re constantly having to fight for the brand budget, justify their brand budget,” said Grace. “Often we’re in a situation where, even if we’re working with an SVP of marketing or CMO who believes in brand, they’re having to communicate that up the chain to maybe a CEO or founder who does not.”

“Doing more with less”

Does that heading ring a bell? If you’re a marketer, the answer is almost certainly “yes.” Over the past three years, many marketing leaders have been forced to transition from a growth-at-all-costs mindset to a demand gen and ROI-oriented approach that prioritizes results, results, results (all with fewer resources, resources, resources).

Accordingly, Grace said strategic and long-term initiatives like communications often go ignored, especially if these roles are in the marketing department.

“[In the] heyday of 2020, 2021, there was a lot of time and resources to invest into different parts of the business. And now [marketing leaders are] like, ‘okay, let’s make sure that we have our pipeline stable and we’re growing at a steady rate,” said Grace. “It’s a little bit like, ‘let’s not deal with that comms stuff over there that’s not gonna give us the results we wanna see right away.'”

According to Grace, the problem with sidelining corporate communications strategy is that it’s an excellent way to lose sight of vital long-term initiatives like crisis communications and brand perception.

The solution? Give communications leaders a little more autonomy.

CCOs wear plenty of hats

Contrary to popular belief, according to Grace, CCOs and their corresponding team can easily support all functions of the business, much like the marketing, sales and finance departments.

For example, a communications team could work with HR to craft an internal note celebrating the company’s recent wins; they could partner with marketing to highlight customer stories and draft newsletters; and they could work closely with the CEO to provide them with talking points for conferences, internal gatherings and even analyst meetings.

In the context of real estate marketing, the communications team’s versatility shines through. Teaming up with the marketing department, they can weave engaging narratives around customer success stories, creating content that not only captures the essence of successful property deals but also amplifies the brand’s credibility. Crafting newsletters that highlight key market trends, investment opportunities, and company milestones can become a powerful tool in maintaining client engagement. For a comprehensive experience of how such collaborations can manifest, one can explore the vibrant real estate landscape in Georgia at

Moreover, the CEO’s communication requirements in the real estate finance sector are intricate and multifaceted. A communications team, aligning closely with the CEO, can provide invaluable support by offering well-researched talking points for conferences, internal gatherings, and analyst meetings. This ensures that the leadership is equipped with articulate and compelling messaging, fostering confidence and trust among stakeholders. Navigating the complex intersections of real estate finance and effective communication, CCOs and their teams emerge as indispensable assets in driving the success of a real estate enterprise.

“The external communications piece and the executive communications piece are certainly growing in importance to an organization. People — whether that be your investors, your partners, and specifically your employees — want to hear from the leaders of your organization.

And those leaders certainly need help in making sure their messages are on point,” said Grace.
Listen to Episode 345 of SaaS Half Full for more of Grace’s insights.

ChatGPT’s Impact on SaaS Marketing: First Take

Like many, I’ve spent the last few months reading, watching and listening to various opinions regarding generative AI and ChatGPT, a large language model trained by OpenAI. This technology takes immense amounts of data, looks for patterns, and becomes more proficient at mainly generating accurate and probable outputs. The buzz surrounding the tech today is primarily around the humanlike language and thoughts it can generate with only a few inputs from you or me. 

More specifically, I’ve naturally leaned into how AI bots like ChatGPT affect the marketing industry and our future as a SaaS PR agency. Through this journey, I’ve realized that many of us are asking the wrong question. It’s not about whether or not ChatGPT will replace marketing jobs. The reality I’ve come to accept, and excitedly so, is that marketers who embrace ChatGPT will replace those who do not. And I believe this holds for every company across every sector. 

The businesses that are quickest to adopt and refine this technology will win. 

If you’re still on the fence about generative AI, I get it. It’s a lot to digest. To help potentially reframe your thinking, I’ll tackle a few overarching takeaways from the hours of material I reviewed, including insight from academics, technologists, marketers and analysts.

The technology reflects us

There will be ChatGPT champs and chumps, as ChatGPT starts with a human entering a prompt for a specific outcome. Suppose a particular human is apathetic about their job, takes shortcuts, and is generally lazy before using ChatGPT. In that case, there is a good chance ChatGPT will be used in a way that reflects poorly on the technology and its output. The output quality will depend on how much attention and time is spent on the input and refining the results. The lazy human will take the first draft received from the bot and run with it as the final. 

On the flip side, if one approaches the technology from the viewpoint of being a beginning point, an idea-starter, and a tool to be more efficient, the strength, value and perception of the technology will be positive. The intuitive and intentional use of ChatGPT can result in helpful and valuable outputs if you approach it the right way. 

Bots can’t be “forwardists”

AI bots like ChatGPT are limited to replicating what they’ve learned from what already exists online. And the training set currently only includes data through 2021. For example, ChatGPT won’t be able to create language around a new SaaS category, introduce a future concept or promote a new product because there is likely nothing accurate online about it yet from which to pull data.

Creating new points of view and introducing fresh concepts or unique predictions will still require human insight and creativity.

If you’ve played around with ChatGPT, as I have, you’ll see both the impressive value and the limitations of the technology. For example, I noticed very confident falsities in the output, “facts” that were inaccurate or not cited. In addition, most results were fairly general and baseline, even with intentional and detailed inputs.

ChatGPT isn’t good enough (yet) to be a competitor

The technology isn’t good enough yet to be seen as a competitive threat or a viable replacement for human creativity and common sense. Rather, it’s just another new tool in the martech stack. It’s insanely helpful at cranking out a “crappy first draft” when staring at a blank page, writing alternative headlines or email subject lines, and revising content in another tone or voice. 

Think of ChatGPT as adding a new instrument to the band. It enhances the overall sound but doesn’t replace or compete with the other instruments. 

Bot bias is real

One of the key challenges with AI-generated content is the risk of bias, which shows up for a couple of reasons. First, the AI has trained on a biased sample set because the internet inherently is limited with a general lack of representation in its content. Second, humans are biased, so human-created content is biased too. 

Marketers need to be trained and more attentive to bias and take steps to minimize it in their communication. It is not a simple tech fix, but it requires a conscious effort on the part of marketers to ensure their communication is unbiased and inclusive.

Modern marketing teams will adapt ChatGPT; it’s inevitable if you want to survive. But it’s up to us humans to use it effectively and creatively. As with any tool, it’s only as helpful as the person wielding it. So, let’s become highly skilled at our technique and use it when needed and for the proper purpose. 

Why Hidden Pricing is Enemy #1, with Allyson Havener, TrustRadius


Despite data supporting the case for creating a more self-serve buying process, many SaaS revenue teams still operate in a way that is legit the opposite of what today’s buyer wants. New report data from more than 2,000 B2B tech buyers reveals what self-serve looks like in practice — and it’s transparent pricing, free demos and no freakin’ cold calls.  

Listen as Lindsey speaks with Allyson Havener, VP of Marketing at TrustRadius, about the report’s results and how it’s changing the course for SaaS go-to-market teams.

B2B buyers want the royal treatment (AKA, a B2C experience)

TrustRadius’ 2022 B2B buying trends report has an intriguing title: “The Age of the Self-Serve Buyer.” The report suggests B2B buyers crave consumer experiences, even when shopping for organizational expenditures like software.

In other words, according to Allyson and TrustRadius data, buyers want B2B brands to court them in a different (albeit familiar) way. They want to feel like they’re sitting at home in their pajamas and impulse-buying a Stanley cup. But why is that, exactly?

“More and more millennials and Gen Z are joining the buying committee. They’re coming into places of leadership, and they’re digital natives,” said Allyson. “In B2C [interactions], you have all this product information and customer feedback at your fingertips. You don’t have to interact with people to interact with a brand. And so that’s transcending into B2B.”

In fact, Allyson said 100% of respondents indicated that they prefer self-service B2B buying platforms (up from 80% last year). And that’s not the only wild stat Allyson and Lindsey discussed…

Hidden fees are out, transparency is in

In other instances, it may be wise for marketers to act as not-so-mysterious shoppers themselves. After all, to sell like a B2B pro, marketers must first buy like a B2B pro. And when marketers put themselves in the buyer’s seat, they’re more likely to keep pace with rapidly changing consumer standards.

“We can pretend, and we can research, but you have to feel the pain, and you have to feel what it’s like to have a deadline and jump through the hoops to get these demos and make a business case internally,” said Gracey. “You need real skin in the game to feel what your buyers are feeling.”

Allyson’s trick to getting organizational buy-in for direct, pricing-first structures? Discuss the approach’s benefits with your entire go-to-market team, including sales and customer success.

“It’s not fun to be sold to”

TrustRadius’ report detailed the top five resources buyers rely on through the sales funnel — and for the first time in seven years, vendor sales representatives weren’t one of them. Allyson said this is a significant trend away from traditional sales tactics like the dreaded cold call.

“As a marketer, everybody’s dodging calls and emails all day. So… if you think about the sales role in that perspective, and you think about your end customer… and what they really want, well, they want someone that really understands their problem and their use case,” said Allyson. “So, I think it’s much more of this consultative [relationship] versus trying to shove a product down someone’s throat, right?”

Listen to Episode 344 of SaaS Half Full for more of Allyson’s insights.

What You Can Learn From a B2B Mystery Shopper, with Gracey Cantalupo, MentorcliQ


Who here is guilty of building and running a marketing and sales playbook, then delaying any changes because it took so damn long to implement? Often, that paralysis comes from not knowing where to start. Gracey Cantalupo, CMO at MentorcliQ, says to begin with being a good buyer and then return to the start — a process you can complete in a couple of not-so-time-intensive steps. In this episode, listen as Gracey and host Lindsey Groepper discuss how hiring someone to walk your virtual storefront (yes, a mystery shopper!) and actually being on a software buying committee can be worth its weight in gold.

An unbiased third party will (and should!) poke holes in UX

According to Gracey, marketers should involve a fresh pair of eyes when assessing their digital presence. A third party or freelancer is likelier to identify issues because they’re new to the site’s layout and won’t get caught in a familiarity loop. (And, bonus: hiring a digital mystery shopper is relatively inexpensive.)

“You need a stranger to [find cracks in your B2B presence],” said Gracey. “They will click on something, and it will be broken, and you will be mortified — and that’s exactly what you want.” Once the mortification wears off, B2B marketers can address their site’s issues expediently, improving their web presence. 

Gracey provided an example of how this process has worked at MentorcliQ. Not so long ago, she hired a freelancer to comb their website, and the freelancer discovered native videos were offline due to a codec error. Luckily, the team addressed the issue immediately and instantly improved the workability of MentorcliQ’s website.

Gracey has also used this process to advocate for something extremely exciting: a better ad budget.

“This was a few years back… paid [ads were] really great for us at the time, and we were paying the bills with the paid side of inbound, right? And I was like, ‘We can’t do this forever, and I’ve gotta prove it,’” said Gracey. “So, I actually… [made] the business case to my CEO that we need to invest in SEO because the researchers didn’t click on paid ads. They went to organic search first. So…I spent a little bit of money and got a lot more budget.”

“Buy better, sell better”

In other instances, it may be wise for marketers to act as not-so-mysterious shoppers themselves. After all, to sell like a B2B pro, marketers must first buy like a B2B pro. And when marketers put themselves in the buyer’s seat, they’re more likely to keep pace with rapidly changing consumer standards.

“We can pretend, and we can research, but you have to feel the pain, and you have to feel what it’s like to have a deadline and jump through the hoops to get these demos and make a business case internally,” said Gracey. “You need real skin in the game to feel what your buyers are feeling.”

Plus, temporarily acting as a buyer can improve sales pitches, encourage marketing innovation and promote visibility into buyer-specific challenges — such as the fact that, paradoxically, buying will often not be a buyer’s #1 priority. That’s especially true if the sales process is unnecessarily complicated or includes unclear next steps.

“[When acting as a buyer], I write ten things down every day that I will try to get done.

And [the next step in the sales funnel] would be on the list. But because… sometimes I don’t have my next actions for that, it moves to the bottom. And it keeps moving. There goes your sales time — that really extends your sales cycle if you can’t make that easier,” said Gracey.

To listen to more of Gracey’s insights, listen to Episode 343 of SaaS Half Full.

Investment Vibe Check: Two VCs Discuss

Investment Vibe Check: Two VCs Discuss ft. Sara Omohundro and David Kerr


This special edition of SaaS Half Full features a fireside chat between two SaaS VCs discussing the vibe of our current investment landscape. Our guests tackle everything from the technologies they’re bullish about to the importance of burn efficiency in defining financial health. According to our experts, it’s healthy to be conservative — but optimistic — about the current investing sitch.

Sara Omohundro, Principal at Elevate Ventures, and David Kerr, Managing Director of Allos Ventures, are experienced SaaS investors who joined host Lindsey Groepper in the BLASTmedia office for an all-agency discussion. Tune in to hear the unscripted conversation from boots on the ground in SaaS investing.

Welcome back to runway season

In 2021, SaaS startup valuations boomed. According to David, many publicly traded SaaS companies traded at a whopping 15x their top-line figures like revenue and sales. Although this created an exciting investing environment, it ultimately proved unsustainable.

“Now, [the investment markup is] below five times — it’s about four. So ’21 was manic; everybody was getting markups and every VC was feeling great, and it was a great time to go raise money,” said David. “[Then in 2022], you… had companies that had a really difficult time raising money, and you had very few that were the highest performing that could raise money and were still getting higher valuations. But 2022 was when you realized you were human again.”

And for founders, “being human” meant returning to fundamental business metrics like revenue and burn rate. Sara said a crucial part of that equation was — and remains — maintaining a solid cash runway.

“If [a founder or company is] looking to raise, they need to think about having enough capital to get them through up to 24 months,” said Sara. “Similarly with burn efficiency, [they must] think through if or when they need to make cuts… But ultimately, you know, when it comes to investing, a good company is a good company.”

“Never waste a good crisis”

Are we nearing a recession? Have we avoided one? Are we already in one? The pendulum continues to swing back and forth. Still, with rising inflation, a tumultuous stock market and increasing layoffs, one fact remains clear: Economic uncertainties have taken a toll on Tech.

But that doesn’t mean SaaS companies are in dire straits. Many have flourished over the past year, meeting and exceeding revenue goals — while others have benefited from a more metrics-driven environment.

“For existing SaaS businesses, it becomes a lot easier to acquire great tech talent in the changing economic and job environment. Another positive change we see… is people have to be a lot more resourceful,” said Sara. “And ultimately, we get to a place where we have more efficient and profitable solutions and products.”

“It’s easy to get sloppy and lazy sometimes if you’re not having your feet held to the fire by certain… metrics. So to me, [this economic environment] forces discipline,” said David.

So, where does that leave SaaS PR?

Marketing and PR departments often bear the brunt of early budget cuts and layoffs. David said this likely stems from a fundamental misunderstanding about how to achieve growth and revenue goals.

“We see more of this (a lack of understanding about PR) in the founder archetype. [They think,] ‘I’m an engineer, I’m gonna protect Product,'” said David. “I think technical founders truly believe that the product will sell itself… And, at least so far in my career, I’ve never come across the greatest product ever…But I think that’s [the misconception] you run into.”

Similarly, the timing of PR can impact the success of marketing metrics and campaigns. Sara suggested that founders wait for brand to become a priority before starting a full-scale PR campaign.

“If the founder has started building that brand on their own, then the PR company can help them expand and grow that brand and refine it. If a founder hasn’t been thinking about that, then it’s probably not the right time yet,” said Sara.

To listen to more of Sara and David’s insights, listen to Episode 342 of SaaS Half Full.

What Marketers Can Learn From Netflix, with Jennifer Griffin Smith, Brightcove


Media companies like Netflix create content to make money, plain and simple. If it doesn’t perform, it isn’t renewed or promoted. With this idea in mind, why are B2B marketers creating video content without expecting performance? 

Jennifer Griffin Smith, CMO of Brightcove, wants marketers to think and act more like a media company. In this episode, Jennifer explains how a successful video strategy isn’t contained to large companies with high-production capabilities, the role of user (customer) generated content and why she believes B2B has a place on TikTok. Are you ready to think more like Netflix? Press play.

Video content is a team effort (in more ways than one)

Lack of access to an in-house videography or creative team may seem like a barrier to creating high-performing video content. According to Jennifer, there are many ways to create relevant content for your audience — with or without these resources.

For example, user-generated content has become crucial, especially since the rise of influencer platforms like Instagram and TikTok. Although marketers may question the value proposition of these platforms to B2B sales, Jennifer encouraged open-mindedness. After all, you never know what content may take off. Still, marketers should ensure they’re creating (and, in the case of user-generated content, distributing) relevant and engaging videos.

The secret to nailing that process may be surprising.

“You can’t just be creating things and throwing them at the wall and hoping that it works — it’s a waste of money,” said Jennifer. “I think it comes down to the relationship [between marketing and sales] rather than who owns the actual creation. To me, marketing leads that go-to-market process; part of that is determining value, determining audience and having the team work together.”

In the collaborative efforts between marketing and sales, understanding the audience and delivering value are pivotal. By incorporating platforms like into their toolkit, marketers can navigate the digital landscape with creativity and finesse, ensuring their content resonates with the target audience and contributes to a successful go-to-market strategy.

According to Jennifer, when the sales and marketing departments align on a single goal, content is created strategically and used more frequently. In the case of content creation, the ideal destination should be customer interest and, ultimately, satisfaction.

Plus, better alignment equals more sales and happier clients. And smarketing cohesion means fewer pieces of content slip through the cracks during the lead hand-off. But interestingly, Jennifer also cautioned that the lead process has altered significantly in the age of digital-first marketing.

The marketing funnel has flipped

Typically, Netflix users will find the series or film they want to watch within seconds of opening the platform. This is because intent data like viewing history and profile information provides Netflix’s algorithm with enough information to predict what a user is interested in watching.

Similarly, Jennifer said high-performing marketing outreach has become more relevant and targeted. Of course, this is a reversal of the traditional marketing funnel, wherein awareness starts broad before becoming more personalized based on ideal customer profiles (ICPs) and first-party data. Now, Jennifer said customers are more interested in being wooed by a library of relevant, engaging content at the outset.

But doesn’t that go against prevailing knowledge about society’s increasing attention deficit? According to Jennifer, it’s not about buyers’ lack of attention but their distaste for non-relevant content.

“There isn’t a deficit to go and sit and watch a three-hour movie… so it’s not really an attention deficit. I think it’s a time deficit,” said Jennifer. “It’s more about how you engage with [your audience]. And so if we’re thinking about B2B buyers, [content] doesn’t need to be short. It can be a product demo, but it’s something that’s actually giving tailored, personalized and valuable information. So maybe it’s a product update, but what does that mean?… Can you have a customer come in and talk about it? Can you add interactivity into the video?”

To listen to more of Jennifer’s insights, listen to Episode 341 of SaaS Half Full.