Demand Generation

Blog Post

A Beginners Guide to the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Business Model

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a software delivery method where the solution is owned and managed by a company, hosted on a cloud that a third party provides, and delivered to customers on a subscription basis via the internet.

This article will help you understand the fundamentals of the SaaS business model, including its strengths and weaknesses.

The Four Pillars of The SaaS Business Model

1. Centralized Ownership

The Application Service Providers (ASPs) retain ownership over and maintain the SaaS product. Instead of permanent licenses, they sell the solution via subscriptions and provide everything else their customers require, such as support and maintenance.

This helps with keeping costs low and enables companies with limited budgets to adopt newer technologies.

2. Cloud-based Hosting

Most SaaS companies use cloud hosting solutions such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, and GCP to deploy their applications. This makes it easier for them to scale fast while retaining the quality of performance when it comes to delivering the promised value to their customers.

Generally, SaaS platform developers use microservice architecture, which keeps costs lower and makes the solution easy to operate, modify, upgrade, and maintain.

3. The Subscription Pricing Model

As we briefly touched upon earlier in this article, SaaS companies bill their customers periodically (weekly, monthly, or annually). This subscription-based pricing renews customer access to the solution at a specified service level.

The nature of the tiered pricing model varies from company to company. For instance, some SaaS solutions charge based on features used, while others charge based on the number of users.

4. Internet-based Delivery 

Customers have web access to SaaS products through their local machines. However, the data is stored and processed on servers of the cloud hosting solution used by the SaaS company, usually located elsewhere.

This cost-effective, scalable, and versatile approach helps SaaS companies adapt with time while continuing to deliver world-class services to their existing customers.

SaaS vs. PaaS. vs. IaaS


SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) utilizes cloud hosting solutions managed by third parties to host software. Businesses then use the internet to deliver it to their target audience. The advantage of the SaaS application is that it can be accessed via a web browser, making its adoption simple.

Examples of popular SaaS applications include G Suite, Dropbox, and Slack.


PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) delivers a framework for developers that is used to build applications. The servers for storage, processing, and networking of data centers are managed by third-party service providers — also known as Cloud Platform Services (CPS).

AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Windows Azure, and Heroku are some of the most prominent PaaS solutions.


IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) helps its users to monitor and maintain their IT infrastructure while giving them the freedom to scale up or out as per their requirements. IaaS keeps hardware costs low.

Google Compute Engine (GCE), Microsoft Azure, and DigitalOcean are some examples of IaaS solutions.

Source: BMC. Differences between IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS

Strengths of the SaaS Business Model

Scalable Solution

As the SaaS solution is hosted on the cloud, there are no limits on how many customers a SaaS company can serve. Furthermore, selling the solution in every country is possible, provided the legal requirements are taken care of.

The cloud hosting solution in use will take care of the new storage and processing requirements while accommodating new users in real-time.

Easily Accessible

In the olden days, customers had to purchase enterprise software, upgrade their local machine to match the recommended specifications of the software, and install it before they could start getting any value. 

Now, all they need is a computer with a stable internet connection and a license to a cloud-based tool.

Automatic Updates

SaaS solutions have made the “software update” button and waiting for it to complete before starting your work obsolete. SaaS vendors deploy new updates on the cloud, and they will be reflected in real-time on customers’ devices.

Customization and Customer Relationship Management

SaaS Providers can create multiple pricing plans to target customers of different requirements in the same or similar domains. This assists them in having a wider potential customer base while delivering economical and personalized solutions to each of them. 

Predictable Costs

The pay-as-you-use linear pricing model makes it easier for SaaS businesses to predict how much working capital is required to hit the SaaS market. This makes it easier to maintain finances and scale up in the future, as well as increase the platform's average customer lifetime value.

Weaknesses of the SaaS Business Model


It is challenging for both the business and their users to store their sensitive data on third-party servers. It is crucial for businesses to carefully go through the privacy policies before choosing a cloud hosting solution.

Longer Sales Cycle and a High Customer Acquisition Cost

The journey that transforms a prospect into a paying customer is quite long. SaaS businesses often have to spend a lot on marketing strategies for the entire sales funnel to ensure it resonates with the audience. 

High Competition

The strengths of the SaaS model make it easier to develop such a solution even with a strict budget. Due to this, every domain in the SaaS industry has a lot of players, big and small.

eCommerce, SaaS, and Matter Made

The SaaS business model is scalable, accessible, affordable, and easy to maintain. These advantages make it a great opportunity but also make it competitive at the same time.

The one thing that will set a SaaS brand apart from its competition is its marketing strategy — as it will relay its value to its target audience, motivating them to sign up for a trial.

Matter Made helps SaaS platforms achieve this objective through a strategic blend of demand generation, decision-maker marketing, paid media, and product-led growth.


Schedule a chat with us today.

Demand Generation

Blog Post

The Power of Full Funnel Marketing on Revenue Growth

“Full funnel marketing” isn’t just a buzzword — it’s a radical approach that can grow your revenue sustainably, keep customers happy, reduce retention, and positively transform your relationship with prospects. 

This article will cover the basics of the full funnel marketing approach, the four demand actions that fuel the funnel, and what investing in full-funnel optimization can do for your business. 

What do we mean by “full funnel”? 

Full funnel means serving the buyer at all lifecycle stages of the funnel — from pre-brand awareness and engagement through to customer retention and growth. In other words, full-funnel means not neglecting one area or another just because:

  • It seems to be fine/working without effort/support
  • It doesn’t seem necessary or needed
  • Your other efforts in the funnel are doing fine without it

While shaped like a funnel, the growth efforts you do — whether in marketing, in sales, in customer success, etc. — act more like a web of influence with full-funnel marketing. 

Here are two examples of full-funnel marketing strategies:

  1. You engage deeper with your customers through advocacy programs and paid media marketing. This involves creating high-quality organic mid-funnel content and referral support.

  1. You gather both quantitative and qualitative data as a prospect converts to a customer. This helps you refine your top-of-funnel ICP understanding and targeting, identify key accounts to either pursue (with new customers) or grow (with existing customers) with high traction, and build more tailored post-purchase onboarding and education programs for greater retention.

The four demand engine actions that fuel the funnel

Demand generation and growth often gets the misconception that it’s just “capturing demand” for a company … aka, lead generation. But there’s a reason intelligent B2B brands evolved from the marketing focus of just “lead generation” to demand generation and overall funnel growth marketing — it’s so much more than just capturing leads.

Demand generation breaks down into four core actions that support revenue growth across the funnel:

  1. Creating demand
  2. Capturing demand
  3. Accelerating demand
  4. Growing demand

Creating demand

Whether your category already exists or you’re building the category, creating awareness of the problem your market has is vital to selling a solution. 

Capturing demand

This is the point at which you’ve garnered enough intrigue from your market for them to engage in a meaningful way to move that interest from “unknown” to “known.” In other words, you’ve captured some data that proves these captured prospects are interested. This could be through website traffic, making contact with a salesperson, or taking an action like joining your email list.

Accelerating demand

This is when you invest in marketing to prospective leads and engaging with them. The aim is to deepen their connection to your brand and its ability to serve their needs and goals, converting a passive soft interest into a higher intent that could lead to a sale.

Growing demand

Marketing isn’t done once you secure a sale! This step involves investing in things like post-purchase nurturing to onboard customers, advocacy programs, and key account identification for growth. 

These stages come together to create this marketing and sales funnel:

A graphic showing a sales funnel with key stages like awareness, consideration, action, adoption, and account growth.

Why are all four stages required for success?

Because brands often neglect demand creation 

Without creating new demand, your audience's existing intent to buy/awareness is finite. You’ll hit the wall trying to capture interest and prospects out of a pool of buyers that is not being expanded on.

The brand that creates demand wins. As your competition in the field grows, if you aren’t driving the in-market knowledge, education, and awareness around your market’s problem/solution, you will become one of many. As one of many, there is no loyalty or connective tissue between your brand and the needs of your buyer. Good luck trying to capture that unloyal buyer base.

But just investing in thought leadership and creating demand isn’t the solution to your funnel and revenue growth alone. More robust demand capture and acceleration programs, in partnership with sales, are the biggest driver toward your new revenue goals. 

The businesses that win with both high potential buyer capture and conversion to customers are the ones that invest in dynamic, personalized, and thoughtful experiences for those prospects across the first 2/3rds of the typical funnel.

This means leveraging insights and data intelligently to make sure each touchpoint/engagement with that person is relevant and adds value to them. This engagement must align with the person’s demographics, primary pain points, and where they see value. 

Because sales and marketing must be aligned

If every lead you get contact info on is shot over the fence to sales without any prioritizations, you’re not putting your customers first and likely losing potential sales because of it.

Intelligently combining nurture programs, leveraging lead scoring mechanisms, and bridging the collaboration gap between marketing and sales initiatives can create a better buyer experience while also providing warmer, more qualified prospects that do go to sales.

Because post-purchase marketing is vital for customer retention 

For the longest time, the marketing funnel ended at conversion. Eventually, more and more people recognized that support for engaging and helping post-purchase adoption of the solution was critical to reducing customer churn.

At Matter Made, we push our clients to think even more. A winning area for B2B business (especially SaaS) is when you push beyond your competitors by:

  1. Having little to no churn rate.
  2. Having a high-growth customer rate.

You can achieve these milestones by investing in key account identification and growth.

But this, too, doesn’t happen in a silo. A full-funnel cohesion of experience, messaging, and customer-centricity in marketing efforts is essential. Marketing with your customer base is one of the most powerful revenue sources — whether that’s in high-quality referrals, key account expansion, advocacy programs, etc. Businesses with strong recurring revenue are those that have figured out how to not just nullify churn rate, but multiply account investment with their solution. 

Note: Check out Matter Made’s case studies to see how Matter Made has maximized full funnel marketing tactics for clients, from helping to create that demand, to account-based marketing.

What investing in full-funnel optimization looks like

To give you an idea of what it might look like if you were weak in just one area of the funnel compared to competitors, here is a year-over-year look at three companies: 

Sample data from three companies showing the results of investing in full-funnel optimization.

In the first month or so, the growth difference doesn’t seem like much. But when you pull out to one or two years, you can see that you and your competitors have a painful gap. In many cases, this gap can’t be overcome once that time has passed, and that’s where you see many B2B SaaS brands fall out of the market.

An infographic showing the results of investing in full-funnel optimization.

Remember: these data points are only giving examples of weaknesses in one area of the funnel. Imagine if you only focused on mid-funnel demand capture and not investing in creation or growth?!

Three steps you can take now that you know the importance of full-funnel optimization

Step 1. Assess if you’re doing all four demand actions

This doesn’t need to be scientific, but step back to review if you’re doing all four actions to serve the full funnel. Grade your efforts using this scale:

  • Little to not at all
  • Somewhat
  • A good amount
  • A lot

Step 2. Prioritize areas of the funnel you need to improve on

From what you may have identified, likely starting with any you marked as “little to not at all” or “somewhat,” order the priorities of the areas you need to focus on as a business.

If you need to do more in multiple areas, you’ll find that you’ll probably prioritize top to bottom on the funnel. For example, if you are not doing much to accelerate or grow demand, you’ll want to prioritize accelerating marketing efforts over growing. 

Step 3. Identify how to fill those demand gaps

Do you have the internal resources to support where you’re underserving? Do you need to outsource?

Work on mapping out what you have in skill or ability, and then where you should outsource. Some skills are super critical to have in-house — for example, your brand/content expert. Some skills can be outsourced with greater success — for example, demand generation programming. 

Master your full-funnel marketing

Investing in optimizing your full-funnel marketing will boost your revenue short-term and long-term. It’s a no-brainer if you’re chasing sustainable growth and customer satisfaction. 

If tackling full funnel optimization for your company immediately leaves you unsure on where to start or overwhelmed by the effort and time/energy/resources required to do it, reach out to us here at Matter Made. We're made up of a team of fire-breathing funnel marketing experts that are deploying game-changing growth tactics on the daily for our clients.

Let us do the same for you. 

Monique Olan, Director of Demand Generation

Ready to drive efficient demand?

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