Before hiring a content marketing agency to scale your SaaS startup, read this first...

Jason Quey
June 16, 2021

They say it takes 6-12 months for content marketing and SEO to "start seeing results."

Does that time frame seem like a long time for you? It does to me…

John Bonini and the Litmus team waited six months before his traffic started to climb. (1)

graph of Litmus traffic to show why content marketing is slower

Marcus Sheridan was regularly blogging on and didn’t see a traffic increase for six months. (2) 

And that was by blogging 2-3 times a week back in the SEO glory-days of 2009. AND he was spending a crap-ton of money on PPC. Which you should not confuse with spending a metric ton. Or a butt-ton.

It later took Sheridan 20 months before The Sales Lion saw its tipping point. (3)

traffic analytics of Sales Lion to show why content marketing is slower

To add insult to injury, the stats and studies above happened in 2009, 2011, and 2012. 

The competition to rank in search engine results, get your customer’s attention, and beat your bigger competitors has only increased hand-and-fist since then.

Be honest: Do you want to spend 6-12 months on something that may not help you make money and scale your startup?

If you’re like most startup founders, in 3-6 months you want more revenue, not traffic.

Hiring a creative content agency to increase your traffic may not actually help you make more money. 

Why is that true?

Raining money meme
You’re throwing money away if you hire the wrong content marketing firm (4)

Traffic is a vanity metric. While more traffic can mean more revenue, there isn’t even close to a 1-for-1 correlation as you’ll soon learn.

More leads will not help you if they just clog up your sales pipeline. 

I’ve talked to content marketers at later-stage startups who admit they get a ton of traffic. Unfortunately, very few of those visitors will start a free trial, much less become a paying customer. 

While I’m not allowed to share the numbers, it’s a fraction of a percent of their visitors become paying customers when you target the wrong prospects.

Don’t get me wrong. 

Content marketing campaigns and SEO do take time to get you the maximum results, just like compound interest.

But like compound interest, there’s a massive difference between a 2% and 20% growth rate.

Meme of Mrs. Smith stating that's interesting
Why yes, a 10x growth rate using the right marketing services is quite interesting. (5)

All I’m saying is there’s a faster path to making more money than the way most agencies approach creative content marketing.

Why do most content marketing companies take a slower path to scaling my SaaS startup?

The efficient path I’m about to teach you led to more than doubling a startup’s annual recurring revenue (ARR) in 6 months.

Would you like 127% more ARR in six months?

Then it’s critical to understand the five stages of customer awareness. 

This will explain why most content strategy agencies and freelance content consultants will be slower at scaling your growth.

A content marketing strategy that can double ARR in 6 months is worth learning about the 5 stages of customer awareness! (6)

In the 1960’s, ad executive Eugene Schwartz identified the 5 stages of customer awareness in his book, “Breakthrough Advertising.”

What are the 5 stages of customer awareness?

The five accepted stages of customer awareness are, from most likely to least likely to buy:

  1. Most Aware: Your customer knows your product better than the back of his hand, and he’s ready to buy. Now it’s your job to give him the best reasons to buy now.
  2. Product-Aware: Your customer knows what products will provide the outcomes she wants. She often knows what you sell and what the competition sells. But she isn’t sure it’s right for her. At this stage, you need to position your product against the competition. This helps a product-aware customer understand why your product is the best to get the job done.
  3. Solution-Aware: Your customer knows the result he wants. But he may not know of your product, or that it provides the results he’s looking for. As such, he’s looking for more information about your product’s category, product’s features, and how you compare against all solutions.
  4. Problem-Aware: Your customer senses she has a problem. But she doesn’t know what’s the right solution. High-quality content at this stage helps her learn how you solve her problem.
  5. Unaware: Your customer does not know of his pain, even though he has this problem. These prospects don’t realize they have a problem. Think of this target audience like someone who has cancer, but a doctor has not diagnosed the issue.

What’s the problem with most content agencies? If they don’t know the 5 stages, they’re using an ineffective content marketing strategy (that’s slower than molasses in January…)

Who you hire to do marketing needs to understand the 5 buyer stages if you want to scale faster (7)

What happens when a content creation agency posts a piece of content on your blog?

Using Schwartz’s framework, content marketers are almost always targeting problem-aware customers.

Targeting problem-aware customers means you need to wait for prospects to make four major decisions:

  1. A problem-aware customer needs education about the potential solution to solve her problem.
  2. Then she is looking to understand what solutions will solve her problem.
  3. Next, she is comparing your product to other products.
  4. Finally, she’s ready to buy your product.

Each buying decision can happen in an hour or over several months.

Without the educational content for each stage of the buyer journey, she will go to another website to find her answer.

For your sake, I hope your prospects don’t go to your competitor and buy their product. It’s bad enough your competitors are bigger and better funded than you are.

But this is the risk you run when you hire a content marketing agency that doesn’t get product marketing. They get visitors to your site, but they don’t close sales because they target the wrong prospects.

Now consider how much faster growth you’ll get when you hire a product marketing agency like Growth Ramp…

A product marketing agency for early-stage startups should start by targeting product-aware customers. (Most-aware customers are fantastic too, but some early-stage startups don’t have enough growth opportunities in this segment).

Instead of making four major decisions, a product-aware buyer needs to only make two decisions:

  1. A product-aware customer is comparing your product to other products.
  2. He’s ready to buy your product.

Much simpler, right?

It’s so much faster to get new customers with a product marketing agency (8)

And because the buyer journey is shorter, you’ll make money faster.

By targeting product-aware prospects first, my product marketing agency was able to help a web hosting startup get +127% ARR in six months.

Even better, you’re less likely to attract competitors when you target product-aware prospects. That’s because more of your competitors are in the problem aware or unaware stages.

But that’s not the only advantage you get when you hire a product marketing agency like Growth Ramp…

Why should I partner with a product marketing agency instead to scale my SaaS?

It wasn’t until I worked with early-stage SaaS startups that I realized product marketing is the most efficient path to scale a startup faster.

Other well-known investors and startup founders have also realized that early-stage founders should hire a product marketer first:

  1. Tomasz Tunguz, venture capitalist investor in Expensify, Looker, and Kustomer stated, “The most frequent mishire in startups is the first head of marketing. Many founders seek a demand generation marketer. But over the past decade or so, I’ve found hiring a product marketer first leads to more consistent (startup) success.” (9)
  2. Sean Ellis, former VP Marketing at LogMeIn, Dropbox, and Eventbrite stated, “(Demand gen) marketing is not appropriate for startups in the initial stages of customer development. Much of my success as a later stage VP Marketing was the result of momentum we had built in the early stages of customer development (a key part of product marketing). Without a (product marketing) specialist, startups waste critical time and resources deciding where to execute.” (10)
  3. Shanna Tellerman, co-founder & CEO of Modsy stated, “There’s this ‘user research oriented’ or messaging-focused marketer we ended up hiring first. We spent a good amount of time applying a product level strategy to our marketing…” (11)

The reason for this is simple:

Doing product marketing right will unlock exponential organic growth.

Who doesn’t want exponential organic growth? (12)

To unlock exponential organic growth, a product marketing agency will help you get product-market fit.

Andy Rachleff, co-founder of Wealthfront and the person who coined product-market fit, stated, “The best way to know whether you’ve found product-market fit is to measure whether you’re generating exponential organic growth. The only way that you can achieve exponential organic growth is through word of mouth. And the only way to achieve word of mouth is if you truly delight your customers.

This is why product marketing is the intersection of mastering three fields:

  1. Your product.
  2. Your marketing and sales.
  3. Your customers.

What is product marketing for 2,000, Alex.
What is product marketing for $2,000, Alex?

This is why a product marketing agency like Growth Ramp will optimize your...

  1. Pricing strategy
  2. Positioning strategy
  3. Go-to-market strategy get 1,000 customers in a year.

How do these three strategies work together to get you product-market fit faster?


When you work with Growth Ramp, we optimize each strategy to attract the customers who love your product.

  1. The pricing strategy optimizes your product prices for market penetration and profit maximization. We’ll use data to find the right price to avoid cheap customers who run up support costs. It also will avoid arrogant, high-end customers who expect you to do everything.
  2. The positioning strategy optimizes your messaging to convert die-hard loyal customers. After surveying your customers, we’ll know who your loyal customers are. We’ll learn what they like about your competitors that you should copy. And we’ll learn what they hate about your competitors to do differently.
  3. The go-to-market strategy optimizes your growth to attract loyal customers. As I mentioned before, you should attract product-aware customers first. Since these customers are comparing products, we’ll use your positioning strategy to convert these customers even faster.

Does improving your strategy sound better than hiring a content marketing agency to bring you traffic that may not grow your bottom line? If so, then apply to hire Growth Ramp to get 1,000 customers in a year.

Ben Leavitt, CEO of Decibite, a web hosting startup.

“Before we started with Growth Ramp, we had no idea who our target customer was. Growth Ramp interviewed our customers, did market research, and showed us who we wanted to help. Growth Ramp then executed the strategy which more than doubled our ARR (+127%) in 6 months.”

Let Growth Ramp’s product marketing experts do the heavy lifting for you to get 1,000 customers in a year

Apply to Hire Growth Ramp

How does Growth Ramp do product marketing to help me get 1,000 customers in a year?

Here’s a 18 min. overview of our product marketing methodology 👇

It’s elementary, my dear Watson.

Getting 1,000 customers in a year is simple for Sherlock and for Watson (13).

To get 1,000 customers in a year, the minimum effective dose is “Traffic X Conversion Rate = 1,000 Customers.”

Let’s assume Growth Ramp’s traffic will get you an average conversion rate of 1.5%. 

To figure out how much traffic you need, you divide 1,000 by 1.5%. So (1,000 / 1.5% = 66,667 visitors).

66,667 visitors is our target. For simplicity’s sake, let’s round this number up to 67,000 visitors.

To get 1,000 customers, you would need a little under 67,000 visitors and a conversion rate of 1.5%.

This leaves us with two questions:

  1. How do you get 67,000 of the right people to your website?
  2. How do you get an average site-wide conversion rate of 1.5%?

To get 67,000 people to your website to become 1,000 customers, you need the right go-to-market strategy...

It’s relatively easy to get 67,000 people to your website. You could dump thousands of dollars into advertising. Eventually, you’ll get the people you need.

This is what happens when you hire the wrong marketing agency (14)

Growth Ramp helps you get 67,000 potential customers by focusing on visitors with high commercial intent.

Specifically, we often start by targeting product-aware customers. As a reminder, these are comparison shoppers.

We optimize your pricing, messaging, and positioning strategy. By getting your strategy in place, you’ll win customers comparing you against your better-funded competitors.

How do you get that assumed conversion rate of 1.5%? You need the right messaging, positioning, and pricing strategy...

Creating great content that targets bottom-of-the-funnel customers will improve your conversions. This by itself will increase your conversion rate compared to what other agencies do.

But there’s more Growth Ramp does to help you get 1,000 customers in a year.

First, Growth Ramp will optimize your messaging and positioning.

Savvy copywriters and salesmen will tell you the 80/20 shortcut of conversion-driven messaging is to use your customer’s words. 

This is why we begin our market research services by talking to your customers: to learn the messaging and language to use to increase your conversion rate.

Talking to your customers will give us insights into how to position your startup to win customers when compared to your competitors.

Your customers will give the data to know what they like and dislike about your competitors. More importantly, we’ll learn why they chose you over your better-funded competitors.

Once we have this insight, we’ll create a unique sales proposition, or USP. 

How much can a USP accelerate your growth? Consider these case studies. A USP helped:

  1. Anacin, a headache medicine for fast relief, increased their revenue in 18 months from $18 million to $54 million. (15)
  2. GEICO experienced the fastest market share growth of all auto insurers from 2000-2018. (16)
  3. Domino’s growth outpaced Pizza Hut and Papa John’s growth from 2013-2018. (17)

After optimizing your positioning strategy by creating a USP, we’ll look at your pricing strategy.

Optimizing your pricing strategy will also help you improve your conversion rates.

Most SaaS founders guess the price of their product. The wrong price will reduce your conversion rate, increase churn, and decrease your customer lifetime value.

You likely know that pricing your product too high increases sales objections. But if you price your product too low, you also increase your sales resistance. This is why you need accurate pricing research.

Imagine I were to sell you a Tesla for $1,000. What would you say to that offer? More than likely, “What’s wrong with the car?” Now I would need to justify the price to you. The same conversation happens in your customer’s head when you price your product too low.

Furthermore, your pricing changes the customer you target. With the wrong price, it can increase your churn because the wrong customers will not have product-market fit.

Yes, a Rolex and a Timex both tell time. But the price changes who they target and why the customer bought their product. Think about it.

Timex customers who buy a Rolex to tell time will return it because it’s too expensive for the job to be done.

Rolex customers who buy a Timex to impress their customers will return it because it’s too cheap for the job to be done.

In summary...

To get 67,000 visitors, you need the right go-to-market strategy that attracts product-aware customers.

This will get you the quality traffic you need to get 1,000 customers in a year.

To get a 1.5% conversion rate, you need to improve your messaging, positioning, and pricing strategy. This will help you turn more of your traffic into paying customers.

Do you want to get 1,000 customers in a year? Then apply to hire Growth Ramp. We’ll do all that I described above, and more, to get you results faster.

Ben Leavitt, CEO of Decibite, a web hosting startup.

“Before we started with Growth Ramp, we had no idea who our target customer was. Growth Ramp interviewed our customers, did market research, and showed us who we wanted to help. Growth Ramp then executed the strategy which more than doubled our ARR (+127%) in 6 months.”

Growth Ramp is a product marketing agency that seeks to scale your growth faster than a content marketing agency

Apply to Hire Growth Ramp
Invest 2-4 minutes to see if you’re a fit for our services

What makes Growth Ramp the best content marketing agency for SaaS startups?

Here’s a comparison chart between Growth Ramp and other content marketing company deliverables:

Growth Ramp
Other Content
Marketing Agencies
Content Creation
Very Unlikely
Content Marketing Strategy
Copywriting 50-50 Chance
Demand/Lead Generation Likely
Email Marketing Likely
Inbound Marketing
Go-To-Market Strategy 50-50 Chance
Landing Pages Likely
Positioning Strategy Unlikely
Pricing Strategy Unlikely
SEO Strategy
Blog Content Writing No*
Brand Awareness No* Likely
Content Distribution No* Likely
Ecommerce Marketing No 50-50 Chance
Influencer Marketing No* 50-50 Chance
Infographics/Visual Content No* Likely
Podcasts No 50-50 Chance
Social Media Marketing No* Likely
Video-Production No Unlikely
Web Design No* 50-50 Chance
Web Development No* 50-50 Chance

* Occasionally we use these services with other services to get 1,000 customers in a year. But this is not our main focus.

More specifically, what sets Growth Ramp apart from other content marketing agencies?

You’ve read about our unique sales proposition (USP): We optimize your positioning strategy, pricing strategy, and go-to-market strategy to get 1,000 customers in a year.

What you may not know is this:

We were the first agency with the USP to help early-stage startups get 1,000 customers in a year.

Yup, Big Lebowski! Growth Ramp is the first marketing agency to help early-stage founders get 1,000 customers in a year. (18)

Every service we offer at Growth Ramp is built around this promise to get you these results faster.

But it gets better...

Our competitor intelligence services informed us that few digital marketing agencies offer product marketing services for SaaS startups.

And these agencies only apply the principles of product marketing to your go-to-market strategy. They don’t consider your pricing strategy or positioning strategy to improve your growth ramp.

Of the small handful of agencies we found doing product marketing, all were focusing on later-stage SaaS startups. Or they were willing to take any client that came their way. That means they don’t understand your unique challenges to beating your better-funded competitors.

Hiring Growth Ramp will allow you to no longer deal with the frustration of marketing. Instead, you can get back to improving your product.

Finding a marketing partner to take care of all your marketing? That deserves “two thumbs up!” (19)

Even if you compare Growth Ramp’s go-to-market services with other digital marketing agencies, we still beat them in three areas:

1. The speed of new traffic. 

Most SEO and content marketing strategists say it takes 6-12 months to start seeing results. Our dialed-in SEO system will get you organic traffic in a week, even on a new website. And you can expect to get new customers in three months.

How do we compare to PPC and performance marketing agencies? Sure, pay-per-click ads can get you fast traffic. But the moment you stop paying the PPC machine, the moment all quality leads and customers stop coming in.

And don’t get me started on PR firms! The prospects most likely to read that article are unaware and problem-aware customers. These are the hardest to become paying customers because of how many decisions they still need to make. Not to mention the press will notify your competitors to enter your market. 

We’ve been on dozens of press sites and startup blogs. This includes Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, The Next Web, Salesforce, Unbounce, and CopyHackers. So we’re speaking from experience too.

2. The speed of conversions. 

Not all traffic is equal. One reason digital content and SEO agencies tell you it takes 6-12 months to see results is that they focus on top-of-funnel prospects. The same problem goes for PR agencies. Even some PPC agencies.

Furthermore, if these agencies don’t optimize your positioning strategy or pricing strategy, then scaling your startup will also be slower.

3. The speed of new revenue. 

Conversion optimization is critical to a successful SaaS marketing strategy. But unless you’re getting at least 200 conversions per month, it’s unlikely traditional CRO A/B tests will work. 

How does a low-traffic site get revenue faster without an A/B test? By working with Growth Ramp, a product marketing agency that does the market research to create your conversion optimization strategy.

Like you, we optimize our SaaS marketing services for speed.

Because when our services are faster, you make money faster. And when you make money, we make money, plain-n-simple.

This works whether you measure growth in MRR, LTV, GMV, or any other three-letter abbreviation. (Though we know how much you love your recurring revenue).

How fast will it feel?

One client said we’re like an agency who straps you to a couch and pulls you behind our ski-doo. Sure, you might get a little snow on your face. But it’s the wild ride you’ve always dreamed of taking (am I right?).

Growth Ramp clients be like… (20)

We’re also a team of real people who care about your startup’s success. Our clients love that we’re not a massive, impersonal corporation. Your success is our success. In fact, there are services we don’t offer because we’re not confident they will make you money fast enough.

Are you ready to hire the product marketing agency that gets 1,000 customers in a year? Then apply to hire Growth Ramp today before your competitors do.

Ben Leavitt, CEO of Decibite, a web hosting startup.

“Before we started with Growth Ramp, we had no idea who our target customer was. Growth Ramp interviewed our customers, did market research, and showed us who we wanted to help. Growth Ramp then executed the strategy which more than doubled our ARR (+127%) in 6 months.”

Want to see if our product marketing process is legit enough to help you get 1,000 customers in a year?

Apply to Hire Growth Ramp
Invest 2-4 minutes to see if you’re a fit for our services

Tell me about your pricing. How much money should I expect to spend per month on effective product marketing services?

Before you learn about Growth Ramp’s pricing, I want you to know this:

Growth Ramp does not work with clients when we’re not confident in delivering a positive ROI. Thankfully, finding out your ROI is simple...

What’s fantastic about our USP is that it’s super simple to calculate your expected outcome working with us:

1,000 customers X your annual recurring revenue (ARR) = your expected outcome. 

Or if you only know your average monthly recurring revenue (MRR), you can replace ARR and multiply by 12.

For example: 1,000 customers X $29 average MRR X 12 = $348,000 in ARR.

Not bad, eh?

Mick Jenkins thinks $348,000 in ARR sounds like a fantastic investment! (21)

I want you to be aware that our services are not cheap.

Here’s why:

If you want to invest in getting 1,000 customers, you don’t want to trust your growth strategy to a junior employee fresh out of college, do you?

I doubt it.

That’s how some marketing agencies can offer cheap marketing services.

Hiring cheap marketing services can damage your brand, just like hiring a bad programmer to write code for you.

Here are five reasons why:

  1. The wrong price will decrease your conversions. It can also attract customers who will run up your support costs.
  2. The wrong positioning will force you to spend more money on marketing. You’ll fight an uphill battle against your better-funded competitors.
  3. The wrong messaging may target customers who abuse your product. 
  4. Low-quality content will damage your brand’s reputation. This will make it harder to get traffic or conversions.
  5. Bad SEO practices will decrease your ranking in Google. Or even penalize your website so it never ranks again.

This is why investing in a professional product marketing agency is more cost-effective in the long-run. And it’s often less expensive in the short term too.

You’ll find the latest amount to invest to hire Growth Ramp in your application form.

Ben Leavitt, CEO of Decibite, a web hosting startup.

“Before we started with Growth Ramp, we had no idea who our target customer was. Growth Ramp interviewed our customers, did market research, and showed us who we wanted to help. Growth Ramp then executed the strategy which more than doubled our ARR (+127%) in 6 months.”

Are you feeling confident enough that our product marketing services will help you scale your growth faster?

Apply to Hire Growth Ramp
Invest 2-4 minutes to see if you’re a fit for our services

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(1) Bonini, John. “How Long Will It Take to See Results From Blogging?” HubSpot Blog, January 23, 2014.

(2) Sheridan, Marcus. “How Long Does It Truly Take For A Business Blog To Grow Big?” IMPACT, January 23, 2012.

(3) Ibid.

(4) “Noragami/How to Worship a God.” Episode. Season 2, no. Episode 19, 2015.

(5) Red Table Talk. "Jada Pinkett Smith Thats Interesting GIF by Red Table Talk." GIPHY.

(6) /u/whahuh82. “r/Reactiongifs - MFW I Log on to Reddit and Everything Has 10k+ Upvotes.” Reddit.

(7) “Gotta Be Quicker Than That Horror GIF.” GIPHY, September 13, 2019.

(8) Netflix Philippines. “Hollywood Netflixph GIF by Netflix Philippines.” GIPHY, April 30, 2020.

(9) Tunguz, Tomasz. “The Most Frequent Mishire in Startups.” Tomasz Tunguz, November 10, 2019.

(10) Ellis, Sean. “Don't Hire a Marketer before Product/Market Fit.” Startup Marketing Blog. Accessed February 14, 2009.

(11) Maximizing Customer Acquisition ROI - Lessons Learned While Scaling. YouTube, 2020.

(12) “Hungry Fasting GIF.” GIPHY, February 8, 2021.

(13) “Reeves, Rosser (1910-1984).” Ad Age, September 15, 2003.

(14) “Just 3 of the Top 10 Largest Auto Insurers Grew Market Share During 2018 in the U.S.” CollisionWeek, March 27, 2019.

(15) “How Has Domino's Fared with Respect to Other Pizza Chains?” Trefis. Accessed May 7, 2020.

(16) /u/T-Earl-Grey-Hot. “r/Reactiongifs - MRW the Bartender Says I Don't Work Here.” reddit.

(17) “Fun Feeling GIF by Ski-Doo.” GIPHY, September 13, 2019.

(18) “Delight GIF.” GIPHY, March 22, 2018.