For any brands looking to partner with a marketing agency, getting that working relationship right is no simple task.

It’s no surprise, then, that software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms are increasingly taking over as the go-to option for brands putting together powerful marketing campaigns.

Although the European SaaS market is not on the same level as the US, it is nonetheless growing quickly. SaaS platforms in Europe are popping up faster than ever before as brands ditch traditional agency models and look to move operations in-house.

Recent research suggests this trend is here to stay, with the European SaaS market expected to grow by 20 per cent between 2018 and 2024.

A good illustration of this growth comes from France’s very own Silicon Valley, Silicon Sentier, in Paris. Hubs like this are nurturing a new wave of SaaS start-ups. In line with global SaaS trends, most of the platforms you see emerging here are focused on marketing, development and productivity.

What we ourselves have seen recently is a huge spike in interest from global brands looking for SaaS marketing partners in Europe. In fact, 80 per cent of the brands that use our platform for location-based marketing are repeat customers, with over 50 per cent taking up a long-term license.

There is no big mystery behind all of this, really. It’s simple: brands partner with SaaS because it is an inherently different way of operating to standard marketing.

True SaaS is always-on, meaning it’s there for brands to make use of in-house, whenever it’s needed. Comparatively, with the traditional campaign-led agency model, brands must revert to agency expertise each time they want to launch a new campaign.

The easy usability and management of SaaS platforms allows brands to quickly take full control of their activity, leading to much higher efficiencies in the long run. And with better internet bandwidth, cost effectiveness, scalability and flexibility, the process of adopting SaaS will continue to become easier.

Change always involves a bit of getting used to, so there are things brands and SaaS platforms should be aware of when working together. As explained above, European brands are familiar with the agency model, where marketing teams relinquish control over campaign activity to an agency. But with SaaS, marketing teams maintain that control.

In real terms, this means more of the work is brought in-house, and managing this workload transition can be a big challenge in the brand-SaaS relationship. Just remember, more control isn’t supposed to be overwhelming – it’s meant to be liberating. Being attentive to this is the best way to start your working relationship.

Secondly, the mentality of many European marketers is influenced by the campaign-driven agency model. This means CMOs may need some convincing before they purchase marketing software, as purchasing software tends to be the CIO’s job.

SaaS providers should focus on converting this mindset to a true understanding of the huge cost and efficiency benefits of SaaS. In the same breath, brands are responsible for being open minded to these benefits.

The mental move from agency to SaaS is a hard one, but it will reap huge rewards for both the users and the vendors in the European market. By working attentively and collaboratively, brands and software providers will transform the way business is done.