We all know how expensive it is to turn a lead into a brand-new customer. In fact, it can cost as much as 7x more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.
In 2023, balancing customer retention efforts with acquisition will pay your marketing budget back in dividends. That’s where customer marketing comes in. Customer marketing helps you forge loyal customers and sell additional business to those who are already happy with your products and services.
As we face an economic downturn, customer marketing is important in your overall B2B marketing strategy and marketing efforts. Use the customer marketing strategies below to retain customers, build brand loyalty, and grow your existing revenue—even if the future looks uncertain.
Want to learn more about customer marketing strategies? Watch our webinar replay! https://app.experiencewelcome.com/events/7XuQRz/stages/jrfkVW
What is customer marketing?
Customer marketing is the practice of marketing directly to your existing customer base rather than marketing to prospective customers.
The goals of customer marketing are to improve customer experience and convince your current customers who already love your products and services to:
- Try the new products or services that you develop
- Upgrade their existing services with your business
- Tell other people in their networks about your business, building brand awareness and potentially expanding your customer base.
The last point is key to the long-term success of your B2B business. According to Referral Rock, 84% of B2B decision makers use referrals to determine whether to start the sales process with another business.
In short, it pays to invest in keeping your customers happy, loyal, and willing to talk you up to their networks.
How does customer marketing build brand loyalty?
Successful customer marketing requires a nuanced understanding of your customers’ needs, challenges, and pain points. By demonstrating that you understand and care about your existing customers, you’ll build additional trust with them over time.
In addition to building trust through empathy, customer marketing also requires making an investment in customer service and customer retention. (We’ll get into that below!) You’ll need infrastructure to support your existing customers, listen to their feedback, and keep them coming back to the solutions you offer.
Ultimately, customer marketing is a user-centered approach that:
- Demonstrates empathy and builds trust
- Rewards customer loyalty
- Supports customer service models, and
- Responds to customer feedback
When customers feel supported, have meaningful ways to deliver feedback, and receive rewards for their continued engagement, you build brand loyalty.
Why are customer marketing and strong brand loyalty so important for 2023?
As the markets fluctuate, acquiring new customers becomes more challenging. Don’t axe your B2B marketing or digital marketing budget in anticipation of a potential economic downtown. Instead, pivot some of your marketing budget toward customer marketing, so you can:
- Minimize risks. Remember: you already know and understand your existing customers and their needs. That’s how you won their business in the first place! Customers who have already purchased from you once are more likely to repeat their business, or upgrade their services in the future. Marketing directly to them minimizes the risks of trying new tactics to attract new customers.
- Save marketing budget. If you’re spending a little less on lead acquisition efforts in a tough economy, then you have room to support existing customers, build brand loyalty, and increase brand awareness—tactics that support long-term growth.
- Improve retention. Customer marketing tactics also improve retention. If B2B customers are eyeing their budgets and deciding to hold off on a major purchase this year, a higher customer retention rate might make or break your bottom line. In a tough climate, the last thing you want to do is move backward.
5 customer marketing tactics you can use to build brand loyalty
Are you ready to integrate customer marketing into your B2B strategy this year? Here are five tactics you can use ASAP.
1. Customer training
Software as a Service (SaaS) models are complex tools for users, especially in the B2B arena. By offering free customer training, you’ll add value, solve real customer needs, and create a stronger end user of your product.
Skill-building and education are also an important element of building brand loyalty, especially for B2B customers. From webinars to work reviews, B2B customers want to be educated about industry challenges to perform their jobs more effectively.
Advice from experts, easy-to-follow tutorials, and live webinar platforms for delivering engaging customer training continent are crucial marketing investments in 2023.
2. New feature demos
Your existing customers should be the first users who see your product’s new features. Not only will this reward their customer loyalty, but it also reinforces the value of your services.
After all, when you demonstrate new products, features, or services that meet customer needs, you’re showing your users that you listen to customer feedback and apply it to your product. What’s more powerful than that?
3. Customer appreciation events
Some customer marketing tactics stick around for a reason—they work! Amp up your customer appreciation events in 2023 to reward customer loyalty, engage existing customers, and collect feedback.
Exclusive panels, fireside chats, or fun experiential events can educate and entertain your best customers. With the right tools for virtual events, you can also provide an unforgettable brand experience that leaves customers wanting more—without breaking the bank.
Webinar platforms like Welcome, for example, make it easy to produce high-quality events that engage your loyal customer base and collect meaningful feedback. With deep analytics on engagement, you’ll have all the data you need to fine-tune your customer marketing campaigns and retain more customers.
4. Stronger customer service
If your marketing and customer service teams operate in silos, 2023 is the year to break down those walls. Investing in stronger customer service will help you retain existing customers through a downturn. But sharing insights across marketing and customer success teams is where the real magic lies.
Insights from customer service strategy should inform your buyer personas, customer marketing campaigns, and your products. Now is the time to systematize how your teams will work together to collect, analyze, and apply customer feedback in meaningful ways across the company.
5. Customer referral program
Customer referrals have a lot of weight. After all, people only refer their networks to businesses that they trust, value, and like. If we’re in a down market, the trust of your existing customers is worth its weight in gold—not least because it could introduce you to qualified new business.
A customer referral program leverages your positive relationship with your existing customers to grow your customer base and partnerships. Whether you simply ask for referrals through a straightforward email campaign or offer an incentive like a discount, a customer referral program could be the key to driving word-of-mouth business in a tough year.
If it’s harder to win new leads in 2023, customer marketing tactics could be the way to retain your existing customers, ensure customer satisfaction, and grow your revenue. Whether you design a new referral program or increase the number of customer marketing events in your calendar, effective customer marketing helps minimize risks, and deepen customer relationships while saving your marketing budget for the year.
With Welcome in your corner, you can design and host engaging events for your existing customers, including product training sessions, product demos, and customer appreciation events. Get all the metrics and data you need to design more effective campaigns and keep your customers happy.
Schedule a demo with Welcome today to learn more about our easy-to-use live event platform, so you can engage, support, and retain your customers in 2023.