The importance of marketing fundamentals in the SaaS industry: 5 Lessons from Tim Nichols

Marketing is a dynamic field that requires constant adaptation to industry trends. Tim Nichols, Director & Fractional CMO at Proxi is a tech marketing veteran. Tim has worked with various startups and established companies, offering valuable insights into the world of marketing since 1996. In this blog, we recap Tim’s interview on our Growing Tech Podcast, delving into Tim's experiences and the five key lessons learned over his tenure in the industry. 

1. Know your target market and USP 

Tim's early experience selling domain names taught him the importance of understanding the needs of the target market and effectively communicating value to potential customers. This lesson has guided his approach to marketing throughout his career.

Particularly the importance of creativity in marketing and having a value proposition that engages prospects. He also points out the significance of connecting with communities and utilising social media platforms to build community and encourage brand evangelism referring to one Facebook campaign from his time at 2Degrees.

“By using Facebook we inadvertently, or almost accidentally, trained about 20 people that had fallen in love with the 2Degrees brand, to essentially do the work on Facebook for us,” says Tim. “They loved Reese, they loved the fact that it was genuinely by Kiwis for Kiwis, that customer passion really worked in our favour, so we just ran with it.” 

2. The importance of marketing fundamentals

When asked about current trends in tech marketing, Tim stresses the importance of staying up to date with technological advancements such as generative AI. However, he emphasises that marketing fundamentals should not be overlooked, citing clarity of strategy, understanding the customer, building a great product, thinking about pricing and packaging, and putting the right metrics in place remain essential components of any successful marketing campaign.

3. Building a strong foundation

Tim’s focus on marketing fundamentals is the driving force behind his current role at Proxi, which offers affordable access to seasoned marketing expertise for primarily SaaS businesses. By working with clients from the inside to improve marketing fundamentals, Proxy has helped around 70 SaaS businesses achieve better outcomes.

4. Managing external agencies

Tim believes that having good, solid marketing fundamentals in-house is key to getting better results from external agencies. By managing agencies in a different, more effective way, businesses can achieve better outcomes.

5. Starting from market problems

Over his tenure Tim has learned that solutions looking for problems are hard work, citing his experience working for QPA, a startup that ultimately failed. This experience taught him the importance of starting from an insight of a market problem that needs solving, rather than trying to force a solution onto the market.


Marketing in the SaaS industry requires a deep understanding of the market, the customer, and the product. While staying up to date with technological advancements is essential, having a solid foundation in marketing fundamentals is crucial to achieving success. Tim’s experiences and insights provide valuable lessons for anyone looking to succeed in the ever-evolving world of marketing. By focusing on marketing fundamentals, companies can build a strong foundation and achieve better results from external agencies. Ultimately, the key to success lies in understanding the market problem, building the right team and focusing on the fundamentals. 

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About episode nine

In this episode, we talk to Tim Nichols, a veteran tech marketer. Tim has a strong background in high-tech marketing strategy, revenue growth, and product management. He started his career selling domain names and has spent his entire career in tech marketing.
He worked for a few years with the UK mobile startup Challenger, Huon 3G, and helped Vodafone launch their 3G proposition when he moved to New Zealand in 2004. 

Currently the Director & Fractional CMO at Proxi, Tim has a wealth of experience in the tech marketing space so, for all his key learnings, make sure you give this episode a listen. 

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