Oftentimes, acquiring new customers takes precedence over retaining existing ones. Marketing and sales teams are so focused on content and messaging that will move the buyer along their journey that they tend to use the same formats and strategies for customers who have already sealed the deal.
New research from Corporate Visions’ revealed that 62% of the market provides the same messaging in campaigns to new logos as they do to existing customers. It also found that these strategies have the exact opposite effect of bettering the customer experience.
“[Our research proved that the psychology of the prospect and how to win new business is different than the psychology of an existing customer and how to renew and up-sell existing business,” said Tim Riesterer, Chief Strategy Officer at Corporate Visions, in an interview with Demand Gen Report. “What companies are starting to realize is that 70% to 80% of their revenue and growth in a given year comes from existing customers, and they need to spend more time and effort cultivating that. As a result, [companies] need to identify specific, dedicated strategies for that piece of the business.”
There are a variety of things to consider when developing a winning customer marketing/retention strategy. Read on to learn how to leverage content to maintain a long and healthy relationship with your customers.
1) Welcome Customers With Open Arms (& Content)
Just because a prospect becomes a customer doesn’t mean that their learning should stop. It’s important to allow customers to become an expert in your solution/tool so they make the most out of your offerings and use them to their advantage, essentially helping them drive success at their organization.
One way to do that is by going the Netflix route and providing customers with a hub of content to continue their learning. Similar to providing bingeable experiences to prospects during their buying journey, these hubs can include:
- Onboarding webinars, which showcase demonstrations and best practices around using your tool/solution;
- Testimonial videos of other existing customers with similar pain points/use cases to fuel inspiration;
- Maturity assessments to help customers gauge where they stand in terms of product use/success so they can gauge what’s working and what isn’t; and
- An instant messaging/chat tool to maintain real-time contact with customer success teams.
2) Make Your Customers Feel Valued
At the end of the day, it’s crucial to develop a Rolodex of customer advocates. As mentioned earlier, the first step is to provide them with the right content and resources to ensure they are using your product to the fullest potential … successfully.
As soon as they are on board and seeing success, it’s important to toot their horn a bit to show you value them as a customer. Send them a personalized direct mail piece at key milestones (i.e. three months into using your solution or “welcome kit” of sorts when they first sign on).
Furthermore, give them the opportunity to tell their story by:
- Asking them to present their case study at an industry event or webinar;
- Posting video testimonials or case studies on your website and social channels;
- Asking them to be a part of your Advisory Board to share their insights with peers on a regular basis. These insights can then help enhance your solution to top customer needs; and
- Letting them be beta users of new features/functionalities coming down the pipe.
3) Develop A Customer Advocacy Program
As more marketers turn to their peers for advice, customer advocacy programs have been gaining steam in the B2B space. Research from IDC shows that 67% of B2B businesses currently have a customer advocacy program in place.
Asking customers to join your advocacy program is a great way of showing them you appreciate their business and want to provide them with even more opportunities for success. Through these types of programs, you can give these top customers:
- Access to exclusive content and events;
- An opportunity to learn from your team of experts, as well as other customers who share the same challenges and successes;
- Early access to test new products within your solution; and
- An advocacy hub to ask questions, share comments and concerns for immediate feedback and help.
Customer marketing should be a top priority for modern B2B organizations. Marketing, sales and customer success teams must align their strategies to ensure the continued success and learning of existing customers. This is just as important as acquiring new customers.
“The of majority companies —78% to 80% of companies — spend less than 30% of their marketing and content revenue on existing, customer-driven programs,” said Riesterer. “In fact, they spend the vast majority (over 70%) on new logo acquisition. What we're seeing now is a realization that maybe needs to be redistributed in areas where the real opportunity exists.”
If you’re looking to revamp your customer marketing efforts in 2020, consider the above tips as a starting point. Plus, learn how you can leverage webinars to take your customer marketing to the next level with these helpful insights.