The Adobe 2019 digital trends report lists customer experience as the top business opportunity of 2020. It comes above video marketing, data-driven marketing, and even content marketing.
Of course, customer experience has always been important. But for you to succeed as a marketing leader, you need to make a shift. Customer marketing to your existing customer base should be the main focus of your marketing efforts. Here’s why.
Post-sale Marketing Efforts are Neglected in Most Companies – In Favor of What?
Let’s take a look at the top marketing efforts that most companies put their resources into, turn the existing school of thought on its head, and see why a new approach could pay serious dividends.
Demand generation is probably at the top of most CMO’s lists for essential marketing activities. Whether it’s paid advertising, lead generation, gated content, marketing automation or email marketing – there is a whole lot of effort going into trying to develop new leads and convert them through to paying customers.
But the cost of demand generation is ramping up, expectations on your company are higher, you need to generate more content, and be more specific with your SEO and keywords to get the leads you’re looking for. Once you’ve found those leads, would it shock you to hear that less than 1% of marketing qualified leads result in closed deals?
In contrast, your customers hold a huge amount of value, post-sale, and you’d be much better off focusing on renewals, expansions and upsell to the people that have already said yes. Putting your efforts into building customer advocates post-sale is a lot more effective than selling yourself to prospects who have never heard of you before.
Forbes puts the cost of branding at anywhere between $1,000 and $50,000, and that’s just to get started. Some parts of branding your business will be unavoidable, such as logos or website design. However, paid marketing of your business to sell a vision of it as a certain brand is yesterday’s tactic – and it’s stopped working.
The truth is that your brand is whatever your customers say it is. It’s the experience they have with you, it’s what they say about you when you’re not listening. That’s why 76% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they would a personal recommendation. Working on how your existing customers perceive you is going to do more for your brand than an agency ever could.
MarCom and Field Marketing
The same facts are true when you think about MarCom and any approach to field marketing. The media that you put out about your company, or anything internal that you say about your company, is less impactful than the smallest insight from existing customers. In fact, according to Forbes, 78% of B2B marketers say that referrals are what bring in the great leads. Think about this internally as one department raves about you to another that struggles with the same challenges. This expansion within the make-up of an existing customer-base has a success rate that makes searching for new customers seem like a fool’s errand.
You might say, but don’t I need to think about new customers, too? The truth is, this is a natural extension of your relationship with your existing users. In today’s digital age, your customers are everywhere. You don’t need field marketing to be at the top of your agenda when the very first place prospects will look is online, on the very channels and hot spots that your existing customers spend time already.
“But Isn’t Post-sale the Job of Customer Success?”
This is the biggest myth out there today in marketing. If a CMO says that post-sale is outside of the remit of the marketing department, they are missing a trick. If your company is giving responsibility for post-sale to the customer success department, you’re letting them run away with an incredibly large piece of the pie. And trust me, it’s delicious.
Think clearly. In a thriving company, renewals should be responsible for at least 50% of your revenue. That’s why churn is such an important metric to track, especially in digital areas such as SaaS. We’ve already shown how important and essential marketing to your post-sale customers is to your business, much more so than any other kind of demand generation or field marketing.
If your marketing department is only focusing on the customers that don’t exist yet, rather than the more valuable customers who have already signed on the dotted line – what does that say about your worth to the business, about your seat at the table?
Taking elements such as post-sale marketing, voice of the customer, upselling and cross-selling opportunities, customer feedback and reviews out of your own remit is doing yourself a disservice. It’s reducing your role down to demand marketing, and it’s handing over control for what could be the largest growth area for the business as a whole.
Looking to learn more about leveraging post-sale marketing for business success? Get in touch.