Customer Marketers are no longer just librarians for reference management systems or event planners for user groups. They are being asked to expand into a much broader responsibility set in order to have a strategic impact on the customer journey. This evolution may not be a fit for existing Customer Marketers, but those with ambition will grow into highly strategic (and highly valued) position.
Here are the key areas that Customer Marketing is beginning to get involved in:
Who engages with your customers throughout their journey? Is the message consistent? Are we getting them what they need? Are both sides getting value out of every interaction? Customer Marketers will need to work to understand this and strategically craft those engagements so that customers are feeling 100% happy with your people and your product/service.
Cross Sell and Up Sell
Very few companies are doing well at this and strategic CEOs are realizing that Customer Marketing could play an important role. All of the engagements in the customer journey need to be architected so that opportunities for cross sell/up sell are raised or purposefully asked for during the journey. Customer Marketing will have a holistic view of this project and will therefore be able to bring to sales and client success the right process and technology to address this.
Savvy Customer Marketers are realizing that their customers are more than willing to provide referrals if asked and appropriately recognized for their efforts. And because referrals directly impact the bottom line, this is often a great place for Customer Marketers to start. Prove impact here and you’ll get resources to impact engagement more holistically. Lots of innovation has come around referral automation platforms that run referral programs at scale. Teaming up with Demand Generation and Sales will be a common occurrence as Customer Marketers see the direct impact on revenue. And a bonus, the high-end referral platforms can also be used for cross sell!
Customer Marketing has always played a role in references, but now technology is allowing for much more to be gained from customers. When specifically asked, they will review you on 3rd party sites, create content for you and yes, still provide sales references. But, instead of managing as a database, you manage as a community of advocates that you need to get the right content, right ask and right incentive at the right time. While not as high-impact as referrals, this will be an important area for
Your customers go through a hell of a lot of work to buy your product. They have to get dragged through a sales process (some can take over a year!). They have to then work through implementation and then are abruptly pushed out of the nest to see if they will fall or fly. They deserve some recognition for this monumental accomplishment! Customer Marketers are starting to get more purposeful about how to say thank you to customers in meaningful, yet inexpensive ways. Some are sending gifts or hand written cards to new customers. Others are recognizing advocacy or referrals with rewards and recognition. Special achievements with product use are being awarded at user groups. This is all a part of showing that you value your customers and is incredibly important.
If you don’t yet have a user community, I guarantee that Customer Marketing will be looking to create one. As they approach referrals and advocacy, they will naturally be developing communities of advocates (customers willing to do stuff in support of your brand). This is going to be a big source of power for Customer Marketers as they will hold the keys to fulfilling the needs of Product Marketing, Sales and Demand Generation – all avenues for customer success. For those who already have a user community, Customer Marketing will be looking to integrate and influence the community with increased engagement during the customer journey. It is an excellent medium for giving value back to your customers while harvesting value from them in return.
There is much for Customer Marketing to tackle, but as you can see there is also a big impact to be made. If you are a Customer Marketer working on any of these new areas or working on things I didn’t list, I’d love to hear your story! Ping me on Twitter @TrishaWinter to continue the conversation.