What exactly is customer marketing? We’re all pretty familiar with customer engagement – and, of course – marketing, but how is customer marketing different and what does that mean for your buyers? To answer that, we need to look at how we utilize our customer relationships. Once a deal is closed, most B2B marketing teams turn their focus elsewhere and put more of their energy back into lead gen. It’s not a bad thing, but there’s a huge opportunity for targeting those hard-won customers and turning their engagement into an effective lead driver.
Suzy Matus, Customer Marketing Manager for Salesforce Pardot took us through what makes a great customer marketing strategy in her webinar presentation: Creating a Customer Journey: Marketing that Doesn’t End at a Sale, so we looked at some tips and takeaways on what you can do to set achievable goals and ultimately turn your best customers into your greatest advocates.
What Makes Current Customers Special
First, while sourcing new pipeline is critical, it’s 50% easier to sell to existing clients over new clients. Why? Because your existing clients are two steps ahead: they’re already familiar with your brand, your business offerings, your sales cycles, your reps and your content. Even more importantly – they’ve already made a purchase. You’ve already done the legwork to earn their trust and presented them with a product that meets their needs – so chances are, when their needs change, they’ll go with what they know already and come to you again.
That’s probably also why it’s 6-7x more costly to attract new customers then it is to keep current ones. So with that said, B2B marketing teams should give themselves some leeway. You don’t always have to keep your focus solely on prospecting – and in fact, you’re leaving leads on the table if that’s where you’re spending 100 percent of your energy.
Bring Balance to the Force… of Lead Gen
80% of our future revenue will come from just 20% of our existing clients, so the central idea behind customer marketing is: our success is our customers’ success, and we want them to use our products to help their businesses thrive.
Here at Salesforce, we hold that value dear, and from the time our customers sign on the dotted line, we take their success seriously. Once we have a net new customer, they go through a cyclical process starting with implementation . We help them understand our business and its core values and how these relate to their goals, and then connect them with the team that will help them continue their customer journey: our client advocates. Throughout this process, reps keep up communication with prospects at regular touch points and these new customers are added to special nurture campaigns that aim to offer them education and support so that they can get the most out of their new software.
Ensuring that marketing and sales keep a balance between new and existing customers starts with encouraging both our sales and marketing teams to keep portion of their focus on current customers. A more even spread of attention and resource allows us to create a better experience for our new customers, and a good customer experience means more customer engagement.
The same idea goes for increasing our renewal rates. Ideally, we want our customers to renew the contract because they’ve had an amazing customer journey, and that starts right at the beginning of the post-sales process.
What does customer marketing actually look like?
At Pardot, our customer marketing covers a few different layers, but the main focuses are:
- 1:1 Engagements
- Account opportunities
- Press opportunities
- 1: Many engagements
This breaks down into two other categories: Goals, and Adoption.
Customer marketing goals
Making customers successful with Pardot is our main goal. To do accomplish that, we start by looking at the strategy behind the technology: what key things are customers are missing in their technology stack and how can we provide solutions? The second thing we look at is community. How are we helping to encourage and create a Pardot community? Communities – whether built through user groups, forums or professional organizations are a great way to bring existing customers both new and long-time users together to share tips, help each other, and offer additional support. It’s a great feeling to know that you can find businesses like yours that have found success with a particular product, or configuration – and that’s just part of what a community can offer.
When it comes to adoption, customer marketing aims to encourage knowledge and understanding of new features, and offer customers enough know-how to personalize their particular configuration. We do this by creating customer specific campaigns. Because our current customers are already familiar with the Salesforce brand and our value proposition, we can build on their knowledge and offer them new ways to leverage our products. We change the messaging for our current customers, and align it with their particular use case.
This might take many forms when it comes to content and email marketing, but the idea is to offer our customers a personalized experience at scale. To compare, prospects are typically in the educational stage. They’re still learning at a fundamental level whether your products will fit their unique needs. But customers have already determined that your product is going to solve their pain-point, so what they’re really looking for is the how-to.
Want to know more? Listen to the full webinar presentation: Creating a Customer Journey: Marketing that Doesn’t End at a Sale.