March 15, 2022

How I designed the positioning strategy for a SaaS product: Step by Step

Covid has forced most of us to work remotely, and managers peeking over the desk have been replaced by a so-called employee monitoring tool. While essentially this is a piece of software that sits in the background and shares details on the number of clicks, mouse scrolls, URLs opened, applications used, and periodically screenshots with the admin.

Market Research

While these tools can be pretty sneaky, what the admin does with the information collected largely determines how the tool is being perceived by the user being monitored.
So for an employee who is slacking, it could mean that he is either fired or motivated by the manager to perform. To understand the market space in depth there are a few types of tools, to begin with;

  1. HRMS: which is mostly to do with attendance and time monitoring
  2. Attendance tracker
  3. Time tracker: to track time spent across applications
  4. Employee monitoring tool
  5. Employee productivity tool

While all of these types are pretty overlapping, based on my research on the reviews on sites like Capterra, g2, I found out that most of the HRs were worried about how these tools were perceived by the employees. While a majority of the reviews are very feature specific, you can dig deeper including on sites like Quora to understand the real pain point of users trying to implement such a tool in their organization.

A few reference links that I used:

Competition Analysis

Since search ads constituted about 70% of the traffic on my client's website, I had a deeper look at the competition report to understand the key competitors with which our tool was being compared against.  

I have compared all the key competitors around 5 main aspects including;

  1. Positioning: What are the key brand aspects around which the landing page copy is designed
  2. Marketing and copy: What do they talk prominently in their ad copies
  3. Pricing and Product: How is the product priced and are there other variants of the product
  4. Lead Generation: Are there ways that they collect leads apart from the trail/sign ups
  5. How to win: How can we win against them and what can we learn from what they are already doing right

Positioning1. Workforce and productivity analytics
2. Around Connected, visible, optimised, and enagaged workforce
3. They are targeting managers to take decisions based on analytics. The positioning is left brain.
4. It’s more to do with enabling leaders to make an informed choice.
1. These are straight-up employee monitoring tool as the name suggests.
2. Entire positioning is around being discreet and tracking employees.
3. Use words like “catch the ones snoozing on the job”
Mainly focused on time tracking and the fact that you should focus on other important things than tracking time.
2. They are a job portal as well. It weakens the positioning.
3. If you have better time tracking, it means better productivity which further leads to better profits.
4. Talking to founders/business owners primarily.
1. Most holistic set of features but no mention of employee productivity in the charter. Talks about monitoring, data loss prevention, and behaviour analytics.
2. Too much text on landing pages
3. They have other features like Remote Desktop control etc so trying to be a holistic solution
1. They say employee-friendly and talk about managers who are benefiting from it. If Employees are under-utilized you would know.
2. If you have an employee productivity tool, it can be better for employees, managers, and organisation altogether.
Marketing and copyHRMS/ Workforce managementTry for free
Stealth tracking
Increases productivity
Get Visual Reports
Save time and Money
Data Security
Mainly around tracking time is a wasteful activity.Primarily around employee monitoring.Integration
Over 60,000 customers
Time Tracking
Try for free
Pricing and Product14 day trial with no mention of pricing15 days free trial up to 5 users. Starts from 5$ per user but goes down as you go for more users.Forever free pricing for one user + 14-day free trialStarts from Rs. 299 per month per users and has a 7-day free trial.

3 product variant Starter, UAM and DLP
14-day free trial and Starts from 7$ a month.
Lead GenerationN.A.N.A.Timecard calculator
How to win1. They are promoting redundant USPs as differentiators including Multi environment (Citrix, VDI, etc) and multi-operating system (Windows, Linux, MAC etc) compatible, we can counter that with USPs that managers/owners care about around productivity, saving time and money.

2. UI UX is deprecated, we can create an easy to navigate website

3. Better Pricing strategy can help out win
1. Their pricing is in US which might not work that well in India.

2. Also, they feel more like employee monitoring tool as the name suggests. they can’t go beyond that in positioning.

3. We can create a positioning for an employee-friendly productivity tool
1. They have good case studies and solutions page to address different use cases like agencies etc. 2. We should include that as part of the website structure where we can customize the use case for the product.
They are mainly focussing on the fact that employee tracking is a wasteful activity.
3. Since they have a wide variety of use cases including mobile app geofencing for it, we can be hyper-focused on a niche.. eg: WFH companies, etc
1. We have the Pricing advantage,

2. Since they have multiple products, that can create confusion in the minds of the user.

3. Their UI UX is not very comprehensive.
1. While they shed some light on being employee friendly, we can pay clear emphasis on an employee-centric tool.

2. We can provide “White glove demos” to the people signing up for a human touch in the sales process.

3. Show reviews of users switching from TimeDoctor to us.

4. We have the Price advantage.
You can scroll on the table to have a look at all the 5 major competitors by their overlap rate and avg. top of the page rate.

Ad Copies

For the ad copies, I mainly rely on tools like Ahrefs or SEMRush to understand the key aspects of the ad copies. The second column also shows the percentage of traffic coming from each ad copy which is a proxy indicator for which ads are performing better for them or which ad are these people counting on in terms of primary positioning. You can click on the images in the gallery below to view the ad copies from all these competitors.

Landing Page

Finally, I came up with a wireframe for the landing page which can position us better. For the lead magnet as part of the landing page, I used Buzzsumo to do some digging on the popular blog topics around employee monitoring and I found this.

Finally, I chose to go with an e-book on "How Monitoring Software for Employees can Reduce Stress"

At times, I have taken the leeway to promote features that don’t yet exist in the current version but fit well in the narrative for an employee productivity tool. Since we were sales-driven, we could gather insights on what features are being talked about and develop that later. This way we know that we are developing features that users actually demand without overburdening them with unnecessary features.

Remember don’t get overboard with this as portraying something that your tool doesn’t do yet can lead to mistrust. As a rule of thumb, I promote anything that can take 3-4 days of development effort to implement.

Refer to the wireframe below to understand places where I have taken that leeway.

The current page looks something like this.

Proposed landing page (wireframe)

Note there are pointers in red that will help you out with the logic behind each element.

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