By Jeremy Gillespie
I think everyone agrees that customer marketing is important, but it always seems to take a backseat to other marketing activities like developing new prospects and brand-building.
Often, it's because understanding all of the touch points is daunting, and attributing ROI is difficult. It's tough to convince the VP of Marketing to carve out resources for customers when there are other activities that produce clear results.
That said, there are some basic milestones in the client's lifecycle where marketing can make a measurable difference. Here are 6 core areas where I believe every company should have customer marketing systems in place.
1. Customer Onboarding
The most crucial time in the customer journey is the beginning, so plan to invest heavily in this phase across the board. From a marketing standpoint, ask yourself these 3 questions.
- What are the components of your solution that will set your customers up for success from the start?
- Why should they care about those features? What's in it for them?
- What is the process the client must go through to get set up with these features?
Customer marketing campaigns should clearly articulate the answers to these questions for new customers.
2. Progress Check-ins
This involves a tight relationship between marketing and the CSM team to ensure that the groups aren't stepping on each other's toes. It’s easy to set up marketing automation to regularly check in with customers. The goal of customer marketing in this area is to keep an open but automated line of communication between the CSM and their customers so that they can focus on strategic and proactive activities. These touch points can also be leveraged to provide best practices and resources like blog posts and customer stories to clients.
You have an opinion, I have an opinion, and so do your customers. Surveys are an often overlooked customer marketing tool, and a great way to help clients understand that their opinion matters. Use them to evaluate customer touch points, gather feedback on your product, and assess the effectiveness of your success team's efforts. NPS and other customer satisfaction surveys provide a data-driven method to measure customer delight.
4. Product Updates
You should be providing customers with product updates on a regular basis. As a success team, part of your job is to make sure they’re fully aware of the new features and what’s to come. Often this is in the form of a monthly newsletter, and serves as a great way to get customers into beta programs and begin the up-sell process.
BONUS: Add a customer webinar to walk customers through major product updates. This is a simple way to teach clients to use high-value parts of your product. Later, you can repurpose the recordings on your blog and as on-demand webinars in your support center.
5. Expansion Opportunities
These campaigns explicitly drive more revenue for the business, and are pretty easy to link to a ROI metric. Up-sell campaigns should be automated, based on customer behavior, and take account health into consideration. To get started, break your customers into three groups for each product - disengaged, core uses, advanced users. Take a look at how your advanced users are engaging with your solution, outline the benefits they are seeing from your upgraded products, and market those to other users who haven't yet adopted them.
6. Re-engagement Campaigns
Leverage the work you just did on expansion opportunities, and focus on the disengaged customers you identified. Similar to your up-sell campaigns, outline features these customers aren’t using and build a program to help these users get the most out of the solution they have already purchased. This is another area where teaming up with your CSMs can produce terrific results (you email, they call).
Combined, these campaigns are the backbone of your customer marketing efforts. Of course, this is just a jumping off point. Hopefully the customer marketing work you do on these basic touch points will produce measurable results and inspire ideas for other programs across the customer journey.
We can help you plan your customer marketing touch points and crush it! The Success League is a customer success consulting firm that works with executives who are ready to build and scale a high performing success team. Visit our website for more information - TheSuccessLeague.io
Jeremy Gillespie - Jeremy is a growth-oriented marketing geek, technology enthusiast and customer evangelist. He loves using complex data to build creative retention solutions. By leveraging technology, Jeremy excels at creating scalable retention marketing programs. He serves as the Director of User Growth at Mixmax, holds a BA from the University of Pittsburgh and MBA from Point Park University. Jeremy is a proud former Pittsburgher, but currently lives in San Francisco, CA.