By developing a customer marketing plan and putting it into action, you’ll identify new ways to retain your existing customers and make every customer happier to keep using your product.
Customer marketing is precisely what it sounds like: marketing to your customers. Marketing—even a few years ago—was more focused on ad campaigns targeting prospects which kept the responsibility of interacting with customers mainly with sales and support.
However, with the rise of social media, online reviews, and access to information anytime, the power has shifted to the customer. They can choose who they want to do business with, and the ability for them to find and switch to your competitor is easier than ever.
What does this mean for your product?
Customer marketing is more important than ever. By prioritizing communication and connection with your existing customers, your customer marketing team can improve retention. They also can contribute to reaching sales goals, increase overall customer happiness, and more.
If you’ve spent time figuring out how to acquire and serve customers, you’ve likely heard the often repeated stat that the cost of acquiring a new customer is 30 times more expensive than keeping an existing one. Knowing that, it’s no wonder many businesses are expanding their customer marketing efforts.
In this article, we’ll cover what exactly customer marketing is and what a customer marketing team does, plus share a few tips for getting your customer marketing started today.
What is Customer Marketing?
Customer marketing is marketing designed to build loyalty and advocacy, increase engagement and participation, improve retention, and generate opportunities for upsells.
Customer marketing is different from marketing that’s meant to acquire new customers. Instead, it focuses on maximizing existing customer relationships through educating, informing, and assisting customers at every stage.
It consists of the communications with customers after the initial sale with goals like encouraging renewals, nurturing them to successful outcomes, identifying ways to suggest upsells or cross-sells.
Customer marketing is a key part of the customer experience.
What Does a Customer Marketing Team Do?
It’s easier to sell to an existing customer than land a new one, so making sure you’re connecting with your current customers to keep them around is essential. Customer marketing is the perfect way to reach your customers and keep them engaged and satisfied.
One major piece of customer marketing is content creation. Consider reaching out to customers to develop authentic testimonials and case studies focusing on real users of your product, or conducting webinars for your customers on a specific feature or update you want to share. Identifying promoters through NPS surveys can help with customer story discovery.
A regularly scheduled newsletter and frequently updated blog—with tips and tricks to educate and inspire customers—are helpful too.
In addition to creating content for your customers, a customer marketing team may also take on some of these tasks:
- Being an expert on who your customers are and what they need.
- Understanding the goals and vision of the brand as well as how the product should be positioned to the customer.
- Acting as a spokesperson for the brand through communications with customers.
- Providing feedback to other teams based on knowledge gained from connecting with customers.
- Finding ways to balance organizational needs and goals with customer needs.
- Leading customer user group events for customer engagement purposes.
- Contributing to the vision and execution of the customer experience for your brand.
- Generating information on product demand and leads.
- Managing your online community.
- Creating and running programs for retention and advocacy.
If your organization is new to customer marketing, here are seven ways for you to dive in and get started today.
Make a Fantastic First Impression
Customers have options, and that means they can choose a competitor anytime. Early on in the process is a high-risk period for losing a customer, so be sure to make your onboarding process a positive, helpful experience. Make people feel good about giving you their money and even better about continuing to do so.
Consider sharing a series of helpful content, scheduling an onboarding call, or finding other ways to connect directly with your newest customers.
Customize the Customer Experience
No customer is identical to another, so why should their experience be? Consider the various needs and skill levels of your customers, figure out what kind of communication gets the best response from them, and customize your CX.
While this doesn’t mean you should be crafting a personal email to every customer individually, it does mean you should get creative with your segmenting and communication strategy. So you direct each customer into the flow that’ll yield the best results for both you and them.
Mind the Details
Customer marketing isn’t just about the big picture. Map out the details that’ll make a customer feel seen and appreciated. Whether you do this through directly connecting with them at a specific step in their journey with your product or by simply sending a friendly note, the details that show you care will make an impact.
After you make a great first impression during onboarding, don’t stop there.
The key to keeping a customer is in the relationship you’re able to build long-term. Map out a communication strategy to keep customers informed and engaged with things like a regularly scheduled newsletter, sharing helpful tips and tricks, important product updates, or free webinars.
Look for Leads
One perk of customer marketing is identifying leads to increase sales. Through your communications with customers, work to identify opportunities for upsells (to upgrade a customer from their current level) and cross-sells (identifying related products a customer may want to add to their plan).
With these factors in mind, you may also be able to spot advocates and influences to help you share about your brand.
Spotlight Your Customers
Instead of thinking up hypothetical situations to share with your customers, seek out real, existing customers to profile. By sharing actual real stories—instead of stories that could be true but aren’t—you’ll allow your customers to be inspired by the similar work of one of their peers and see a real example of how things work.
To do this, find a customer to feature, write up a little introductory information on their organization, then share their favorite relevant tips or do a little Q&A with them, and share it in your newsletter or on your blog.
Customer testimonials and case studies can go a long way in boosting your brand’s image as long as they feel—and actually are—authentic.
Check your customer support metrics to find your most frequently asked questions and identify a few you can use to inspire content. Instead of waiting for every customer to ask, write up a blog post or newsletter with tips on the topic or make a quick demo video for people to reference.
While some people will still end up reaching out to support for help, others will be thrilled you’ve answered their question before they knew they needed to ask it or may discover a new feature they didn’t even realize existed in the first place.
The days of merely running ad campaigns and offering an occasional deal on your product to be successful are over. These days, customers require you to provide them with a reason—often many of them—to spend their money with you and stick around year after year.
From personalizing the customer experience to positioning your brand as a leader in your space, customers expect more from an organization than ever before.
By developing a customer marketing plan and putting it into action, you’ll identify new ways to retain your existing customers, expand sales, and make every customer happier to keep using your product.