As marketers, we know that converting a lead to a customer is expensive. But, did you know that it can cost as much as 7x more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one?
So this year, stop treating your customers like strangers after the deal is closed and start investing in customer marketing so you can help maintain a strong relationship with them and maybe even upsell more of your awesome products or services.
Follow these customer marketing strategies to keep your customers sticking around and growing your revenue, even when the going gets tough.
What is customer marketing?
Customer marketing is when you focus your marketing efforts on your existing customers instead of attracting new ones.
The main goals of customer marketing are to enhance the customer experience and encourage your current customers - who already adore your products or services - to:
- Check out your new offerings.
- Upgrade their existing services with your business.
- Spread the word about your business to their friends and family, which can increase brand awareness and potentially bring in new customers.
This last point is especially important for the long-term success of your B2B business. In fact, according to Referral Rock, a whopping 84% of B2B decision-makers rely on referrals when choosing to work with another business.
To sum it up, it's a smart move to invest in keeping your customers happy, loyal, and willing to sing your praises to their networks. After all, happy customers = a thriving business!
The Benefits of Customer Marketing
Minimize Risks. Your existing customers are the real MVPs! You already know their needs, wants, and goals because you have already won their business. So instead of pouring money into new tactics to attract new customers, minimize running a campaign that flops and maximize profits by focusing on renewing, upselling, and getting referrals from your loyal customer base.
Save Marketing Budget. Suppose you've tightened the purse strings a bit on lead acquisition efforts. In that case, you now have some wiggle room to focus on supporting your existing customers, building brand loyalty, and increasing brand awareness–tactics that support long-term growth.
Improve Retention. When B2B customers are hesitant to make major purchases due to budget constraints, a higher customer retention rate could be the difference between making bank or going bust. In this tough climate, you don't want to be taking any steps backward. So, don't forget to give some love to your current customers, and watch as your bottom line stays healthy and happy.
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 low-cost tactics you can use ASAP.
#1 - Customer Training
SaaS models can be pretty darn complex, especially when you're dealing with B2B customers. But by offering free customer training, you're not only adding value and solving real customer needs but also creating a stronger end user of your product. And let's be real, who doesn't love a savvy user?
But here's the kicker: skill-building and education are also key players in building that coveted brand loyalty. And that's especially true for those B2B customers. From webinars to work reviews, B2B customers want to be educated about industry challenges to perform their jobs more effectively.
#2 - New Feature Demos
Make sure to prioritize your existing customers when it comes to introducing new features. They're the ones who have already bought into your product, so they deserve to be the first to know about any exciting updates. Plus, when they see that you're constantly improving and enhancing your services, they'll be even more likely to stick around for the long haul.
New feature demos also show them that you're listening to their feedback and improving based on their needs.
Think about it: unveiling a new feature your customers have asked for is like hitting a home run. You're not only meeting their needs, but you're also showing them that you care about their experience with your product. And that's a win-win situation for everyone involved.
#3 - Customer Appreciation Events
Whether it's an exclusive panel discussion, a cozy fireside chat, or a fun experiential event, there are endless ways to engage and reward your top customers. And thanks to the magic of virtual events, you can provide a memorable brand experience without breaking the bank.
Webinar platforms like Welcome, This webinar platform make it easy to host high-quality virtual events that not only entertain your customers but also gather valuable feedback. With robust analytics tracking engagement levels, you'll have all the data you need to fine-tune your marketing campaigns and retain your top customers.
#4 - Better Customer Service
If your marketing team and customer service team is siloed, you're doing it wrong. Yes, strong customer service is crucial for retaining customers during tough times, but if you really want to support your customers best, sharing insights and working with marketing is a must.
Think about it: your customer service team is on the front lines, interacting with customers daily. They have a wealth of knowledge and feedback that could be incredibly valuable to your marketing and product teams. By sharing these insights and using them to inform your buyer personas, customer marketing campaigns, and product development, you'll create a more cohesive and effective customer experience.
But how do you make this happen? It's all about systematizing your approach. Determine ways to collect, analyze, and apply customer feedback across the company and ensure everyone is on the same page. Encourage collaboration and communication between teams, and celebrate wins that result from this integrated approach.
#5 - Customer Referral Program
When someone refers their network to your business, it's a pretty big deal. It means they trust you, value your services, and think highly enough of you to put their own reputation on the line.
And in a down market, that kind of trust is worth its weight in gold. Not only can it help you retain existing customers, but it can also introduce you to qualified new business. That's where a customer referral program comes in.
By leveraging your positive relationship with your existing customers, you can create a program that encourages them to refer their friends and colleagues to your business. This could be as simple as sending out an email campaign asking for referrals or as complex as offering incentives like discounts or special perks.
If you don't have the resources to roll out a fully baked referral program, consider asking happy customers to write a review. Reviews provide invaluable feedback on your products and services, and customer reviews on sites like G2 and Capterra can also be a powerful marketing tool.
When potential customers are researching your business, they're likely to turn to these review sites to get an unbiased opinion from other users. Positive reviews can give your business a serious boost, building trust and credibility with potential customers. They also provide a platform for your existing customers to rave about your services and share their success stories.
You may be wondering how to get more positive reviews. It's actually pretty simple. The best method is running an NPS survey, identifying promoters, and asking them to leave a recommendation on an online review platform.
Get step-by-step directions on how to do this here.
Remember, when your top customers spread the word about your business, it can lead to a domino effect of new business and partnerships. And in a tough year, that can make all the difference.