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Why a CRM is not sufficient for your Customer Success function?
Why a CRM is not sufficient for your Customer Success function?
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Why a CRM is not sufficient for your Customer Success function?
Why a CRM is not sufficient for your Customer Success function?
Why a CRM is not sufficient for your Customer Success function?
Why a CRM is not sufficient for your Customer Success function?
Why a CRM is not sufficient for your Customer Success function?
Why a CRM is not sufficient for your Customer Success function?
Why a CRM is not sufficient for your Customer Success function?
Why a CRM is not sufficient for your Customer Success function?
Why a CRM is not sufficient for your Customer Success function?
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TEMPLATE

A Comprehensive Guide to Customer Marketing for SaaS

A Comprehensive Guide to Customer Marketing for SaaS

Introduction

One of the most shocking trends we have seen in SaaS companies that are in double-digit millions in ARR is the lack of Customer Marketing basics. It is understandable for startups to focus on adoption, usage, and retention challenges. But for such mature companies lacking basic customer marketing structure undermining their growth rates speaks volumes of the lack of customer education and communication.

Customers are a precious and scarce resource. It is heavily important to reiterate throughout our blogs, articles, and guides that customer acquisition is costly. Replacing churned customers is costly. Thus one thing we must not do at any cost is lose customers. Cue customer marketing. In this ultimate guide to customer marketing, we will explain everything about the challenges you will face, the campaigns you can run, and more.

But Before This: What is Customer Marketing?

Customer Marketing is simply defined as the programs and campaigns that target customers you already have instead of acquisition. So any post-sales marketing program falls under customer marketing. The main objective here is to provide maximum value to the customer as well as get maximum value from them. This means focusing on loyalty, improving retention, and driving advocacy & upsells.

Customer-focused marketing campaigns can reap multiple benefits like:

  • Churn Reduction
  • Increased loyalty and driving advocacy
  • More Upsell opportunity
  • Community building
  • The feedback that focuses on the improvement of your brand
  • Increased Revenue!

All of these goals are essential to the growth of your SaaS companies.

Extra Resource: Drive early time-to-value through Customer Success

What are the four main steps in designing a customer-driven marketing strategy?

Customer-oriented marketing includes the following four main steps:

  1. Market segmentation: dividing the total market into discrete and measurable groups according to different characteristics, behaviors, or needs. This step evaluates all the people to whom the company can / could sell its product or service, according to the following segment examples: geographic, demographic, psychographic, and behavioral.
  2. Target Marketing: Evaluate marketing segments and determine what type of marketing strategies will best suit each segment.
  3. Differentiation: determine the correct competitive advantage of the product or service. This looks at the type and number of product attributes you want to promote. These include five types of differentiating attributes: product, services, channels, people, and image.
  4. Positioning: the position of a product - this is how customers define the product based on important features.

But before we talk about the different strategies we have to talk about the challenges in Customer Marketing.

Challenges with Customer Marketing

One of the recurring patterns we see is that the fundamentals of customer marketing are straightforward but neglected. One of the core reasons for it is the focus on acquisition. The marketing department’s tunnel vision can only see leads, conversions, and new customers. And as it should because that is their core function. But to pull off an extensive customer marketing strategy you require marketing effort to be reallocated. One of the core challenges is reallocating 10-20% of the effort into content marketing without shredding the whole system.

Two challenges clearly repeat themselves whenever a company attempts a Customer Marketing program:

  • Lack of Resources
  • Lack of Incentives

These challenges exist even at the top SaaS companies with millions of dollars in ARR. So how do you offset these challenges? A showcase of the value proposition of Customer Marketing to your decision-makers and stakeholders. Show them how customer marketing can lead to churn reduction, faster time to value, expansion & upsells, create a strong advocacy funnel and boost usage metrics. They will align right with your plan.

  • 5-10% of your revenue should be invested in customer marketing
  • 5% of your targeted account expansion $$ should be invested in customer marketing

Since we understand that this guide will be read by companies of every scale, an extensive customer marketing strategy might not be applicable to all of them. The next section will focus on the basic customer marketing email campaign that will massively all those talked about metrics above.

Customer Marketing Basic Strategy

Newsletter

Send personalized newsletters to your customers highlighting the best content of a month, case studies (success stories), events, webinars, new features, and any relevant information for them.

Pre-Adoption Email drip

Boost initial adoption with a series of 4-10 mails frequenting every day or two that focuses on a single topic. Pull their heartstrings, share success stories, remind them why they signed up for you. As soon as the adoption is done, move to a new-customer email drip.

New-Customer Email Drip

Write another series of 4-10 emails focusing on one topic frequenting once a week. You can also use in-product messaging. This series will focus on adoption features and guide them to features that provide the most value to the customers. Show them how those features are in different use-cases and share success stories.

Customer Drip

After the new-customer email drip runs dry we move to a perpetual stream of messages, emails that nurture those customers. Use an omnichannel approach here. By now your customer should be seeing value from your product. So your approach here can be personalized and data-backed. Communicate what value your product is providing them and how they can maximize it. Add in case studies, new features, and more in the mix. These can be sent every 2-3 weeks.

This is the basic customer marketing strategy that will better the customer experience. You will see a steady impact on churn, usage, adoption, and expansion revenue through these. For this to be applied you don’t need a Customer Success function in your company. But since this guide is as specified in the ULTIMATE guide to customer marketing, we move on to some advanced strategies that usually require both marketing and customer success functions to pull off.

Advanced Customer Marketing

Driving Advocacy

Advocacy is a long-term initiative and so is Customer Marketing. For proper execution, customer success and marketing need to be aligned. That will be your first step for any advanced strategies to be applied. The second step is to ask your customers if they are willing to participate in your campaign/initiative or not. Use your best customers who have met goals, seen value, and have a good health score in all aspects.

Customer Marketing to drive advocacy is all about the three R’s:

  • References,
  • Referrals, and
  • Reviews.

Some programs you can use to gain more brand advocates are as follows:

  • Reference & Referral Programs: We all know how strong peer-to-peer recommendations are especially with complex products that are usually true with SaaS. So to gain that power you need to nurture your current customers to refer your products/services to their circle. They can also help you by bringing new leads and prospects to you. The benefits of references & referrals are many and have no practical downsides. All you need to do is charge your customers with some incentives.
  • Success Stories: Advocacy is all about giving recognition to the customer for them to get attached to your company. The efficient way is to use customer success stories and case studies to promote your customer’s work & org. Create a diverse case study library that portrays multiple use cases and customers. This can also become a strong incentive to give out to customers attached to any advocacy request (like a review) you have of them.
  • Appreciate your Customers: Simple enough no? Thank your customers because they are the reason you are moving forward. Invite them to casual meets, send them gifts on holiday, or even a personalized email will work. Gratitude will lead you a long way.

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Advocacy

Content will always be King

We discussed how content marketing programs can drive advocacy which in turn can help you gain high-quality leads, increased social capital, and ultimately a revenue increase. The formula was simple: appreciate your customers, share their success as if it's yours, and leverage success as a sales tool.

But I move on to what I love the most, Content! Nothing beats good, engaging content that captures attention. But your program will focus on

1) sharing and promoting customer success or

2) any important industry news, trends, new products, features, or initiatives.

Center your content creation around your customers. This will ensure that you put their success, their stories, and their value over everything else. This uplifts your customer, they will feel special and understand that your brand truly cares about them.

Some content marketing initiatives that can become a pillar of your customer marketing are:

1. Newsletter

A customer-specific newsletter was talked about earlier too. We will add some topics that work great here:

  • Events, podcasts, e-books, and more
  • New case studies
  • Insights and Data
  • Inspirational Stories
  • Industry trends and news
2. Blog

Use your blog for a bit of inbound marketing. Highlight some of the interesting stories inside your customers’ companies. Some success story, some unique thing they have achieved, or just something wholesome and attractive.

3. Webinars

Webinars have emerged as a winner in the pandemic, remote world. They became a great way to deliver great knowledge, engage audiences and make big announcements. Now we can talk about customer-centric webinars that help showcase your best customers or unique and inspirational use cases. Giving customers the stage in webinars is an effective strategy to gain their trust and build strong relationships.

Gauge & Drive Customer Sentiment: Feedback Loop

Customer Success understands the value of customer sentiment. CSMs are always on their little computers tracking each health metric.  Knowing customer sentiment is a huge driver for any initiative. What customer marketing can work well is to manage that customer sentiment and apply it to our benefit.

Let us talk about the core of your content marketing strategy: sentiment.

Voice of Customer Program

CSMs are the voice of the customer within an organization. SaaS relies on a continuous feedback loop to improve the product and customer experience. The intersection of customer marketing, the voice of the customer, and customer success allow the right data and insight to be shared with the right team for action. Voice of Customer is a great initiative that captures the sentiment, feedback, and a deeper understanding of your value to the customer.

Surveys

Surveys have been a strong tool since the advent of marketing. They capture important sentiment, information, and feedback. They can be optimized to speak more about certain aspects of the customer journey/experience. One key thing about surveys is that they provide an indirect channel for unbiased feedback. Think about all your important touchpoints and how you can add surveys to track them & make them more efficient. Use different stakeholders for all-rounded data.

NPS/CSAT

The CSAT or Customer Satisfaction Score is a classic in customer satisfaction surveys. It is effective and gives a global view of the satisfaction of your customers at a specific time. In surveys, it manifests as a “Are you satisfied?”.

To use CSAT, you will need to choose between the three most common types of scoring:

  • Rating from 1 to 3
  • from 1 to 5
  • from 1 to 10

The NPS or Net Promoter Score is of particular interest to us in the context of customer loyalty. It comes in the form of a question like “How likely are you to recommend our services/products to those around you? ”

This allows you to know how much the client will praise the quality of your services in his circle, family, friends, or colleagues. Knowing that this decision to talk about your products positively correlates with customer loyalty, is essential.

Customer advisory board

A customer advisory board (or CAB) is also known as a customer advisory council, client advisory board, or product advisory board. It is a group of existing customers who meet on a regular basis to provide feedback to the company on their experiences-

  • as customers,
  • changing priorities, and
  • strategic goals.

Customer advisory boards are used in SaaS to communicate directly with customers in order to understand their experience with the SaaS product and provide feedback that may be utilized to shape product roadmaps and other strategic decisions.

Among the many advantages of being on the Customer Advisory Board are the following:

  • Develop a thorough awareness of market conditions and how they affect purchasing decisions.
  • Improve your relationship with your most important clients.
  • Encourage customer loyalty by giving the best customers a seat at the table.
  • Risk reduction – confirming that solutions are effective
  • Experiment with fresh campaigns and ideas.
  • Learn about topics of mutual interest together.
  • Create strong advocates for the brand and the organization by identifying untapped revenue opportunities.
  • Discuss the strategic priorities of your consumers.
  • Ensure that your internal team is on the same page when it comes to specific strategies.
  • Innovate in partnership with those who use the products and services.

Different Methods of Engagement

The 4th and final pillar of our customer marketing strategy is engagement!

In-person events

In our time, the need to facilitate a face-to-face engagement to effectively deliver a product or service is almost non-existent. While it's not necessary for your team to meet with your client in person to complete an engagement, it can enhance your relationship in ways that cannot be achieved remotely.

By hosting in-person events at a set pace, your team has the opportunity to make valuable personal connections with clients you might not otherwise be able to meet in person. Quarterly or annual user group meetings are a great way for SaaS companies and other B2B service companies to connect with their customers and encourage knowledge sharing within their user base. users.

Positive engagement naturally builds relationships with your customers. Stronger customer relationships protect against churn and leverage customer advocacy, a powerful tool to use when growing your business.

Create a community

Brand communities are an effective way to build genuine relationships between your company and your customers. Customers use these communities to connect, learn how to use your product, and discover how to get more value.

These communities have many benefits. They can reduce support costs, act as a moat to protect against the competition, drive traffic through SEO, improve customer loyalty, and drive growth.

The key is to integrate the community throughout the entire customer lifecycle. The following image shows how you can use communities at each stage. Or read more about the community flier here.

Meet personally

Face-to-face meetings help you build an emotional connection with your audience. They can increase customer satisfaction and provide the opportunity for in-depth discussions.

The downside is that meeting in person is not scalable. But it's still a good marketing strategy for key customers.

Create a superuser program

Superusers and brand advocates are a valuable customer segment. These users are industry experts and often showcase their expertise by helping others and sharing first-hand experiences.

These customers tend to be more vocal than other users and stay up to date on the product roadmap.

Leveraging these personas can be a brilliant way to engage with and inspire other users. Use your productivity, knowledge, energy, and networks to promote the company.

Distribute Gifts

Giving out free gifts is an easy way to connect with existing customers. It will make them smile and help them remember your brand.

It's not a subtle form of compromise and it won't make up for bad experiences elsewhere. But it is a good way to stand out and build relationships.

Surprise and delight customers

Surprise and delight your customers by offering them unexpected rewards. This strategy fosters a deeper relationship with your brand.

These are some of the most used tactics to surprise customers and offer pleasant experiences:

  • Random Acts of Kindness: Provide one additional free use of the product.
  • Invite exclusive experiences: like an event.
  • Giveaways and personalized gifts: base them on a customer's purchase history.
  • Additional support: go beyond what is expected.
  • Delighting customers can also increase word-of-mouth referrals as people discuss your product in their network.

Collect customer feedback

Collecting feedback is the easiest way to ensure customers respond to your engagement efforts.

If you don't check your metrics, you can't be sure your efforts are working.

Create comment channels

The key to collecting customer feedback is making it easy for customers to do so at relevant touchpoints.

While it can be tempting to send out complex surveys, customers are more likely to respond to a quick, one-time question about a recently completed task.

Here are some of the most common ways to collect customer feedback:

  • Use a feedback collection widget embedded in your website or product.
  • Distribute feedback surveys after customer support interactions.
  • Send surveys via SMS links to a customer's phone number after they contact support.
  • Use your customer community to generate feedback (here's how).
  • Add survey questions to your knowledge base.
  • Collect data on user behavior from analytics tools.
  • Organize a customer panel for focus group-based feedback collection

Close the loop

Collecting customer feedback is only the first part of the process. You also need to close the loop.

Do this for:

  • Acknowledging the comments.
  • Setting expectations.
  • Be transparent about the feedback prioritization process.
  • Inform customers with updates based on their feedback.
  • Note that only 47% of customers believe that brands act on customer feedback. Closing the circle shows customers that you are listening.

Apply game mechanics

Gamification can be a good way to drive engagement. Features like rewards, points, progress bars, and unlock levels add an extra layer of stickiness to your product.

Consider integrating game tactics into your company's website, product, online community, or learning management system.

Use gamification to educate customers

Use gamification to encourage interaction during onboarding. It can be an effective way to drive customers to learn more about your product, thereby improving customer success.

A good example of this is the LinkedIn profile taskbar. It shows how complete a new user's profile is while laying out the next steps they need to take.

Wrapping up

Customer Marketing is a powerful tool in your arsenal. It takes effort to shift priorities and philosophies to become more customer-centric but it will be worth the trouble. Customer Marketing statistics show the value proposition in the whole program. If you apply all these programs/strategies to your business, you will soon see unprecedented growth coming your way.

Introduction

One of the most shocking trends we have seen in SaaS companies that are in double-digit millions in ARR is the lack of Customer Marketing basics. It is understandable for startups to focus on adoption, usage, and retention challenges. But for such mature companies lacking basic customer marketing structure undermining their growth rates speaks volumes of the lack of customer education and communication.

Customers are a precious and scarce resource. It is heavily important to reiterate throughout our blogs, articles, and guides that customer acquisition is costly. Replacing churned customers is costly. Thus one thing we must not do at any cost is lose customers. Cue customer marketing. In this ultimate guide to customer marketing, we will explain everything about the challenges you will face, the campaigns you can run, and more.

But Before This: What is Customer Marketing?

Customer Marketing is simply defined as the programs and campaigns that target customers you already have instead of acquisition. So any post-sales marketing program falls under customer marketing. The main objective here is to provide maximum value to the customer as well as get maximum value from them. This means focusing on loyalty, improving retention, and driving advocacy & upsells.

Customer-focused marketing campaigns can reap multiple benefits like:

  • Churn Reduction
  • Increased loyalty and driving advocacy
  • More Upsell opportunity
  • Community building
  • The feedback that focuses on the improvement of your brand
  • Increased Revenue!

All of these goals are essential to the growth of your SaaS companies.

Extra Resource: Drive early time-to-value through Customer Success

What are the four main steps in designing a customer-driven marketing strategy?

Customer-oriented marketing includes the following four main steps:

  1. Market segmentation: dividing the total market into discrete and measurable groups according to different characteristics, behaviors, or needs. This step evaluates all the people to whom the company can / could sell its product or service, according to the following segment examples: geographic, demographic, psychographic, and behavioral.
  2. Target Marketing: Evaluate marketing segments and determine what type of marketing strategies will best suit each segment.
  3. Differentiation: determine the correct competitive advantage of the product or service. This looks at the type and number of product attributes you want to promote. These include five types of differentiating attributes: product, services, channels, people, and image.
  4. Positioning: the position of a product - this is how customers define the product based on important features.

But before we talk about the different strategies we have to talk about the challenges in Customer Marketing.

Challenges with Customer Marketing

One of the recurring patterns we see is that the fundamentals of customer marketing are straightforward but neglected. One of the core reasons for it is the focus on acquisition. The marketing department’s tunnel vision can only see leads, conversions, and new customers. And as it should because that is their core function. But to pull off an extensive customer marketing strategy you require marketing effort to be reallocated. One of the core challenges is reallocating 10-20% of the effort into content marketing without shredding the whole system.

Two challenges clearly repeat themselves whenever a company attempts a Customer Marketing program:

  • Lack of Resources
  • Lack of Incentives

These challenges exist even at the top SaaS companies with millions of dollars in ARR. So how do you offset these challenges? A showcase of the value proposition of Customer Marketing to your decision-makers and stakeholders. Show them how customer marketing can lead to churn reduction, faster time to value, expansion & upsells, create a strong advocacy funnel and boost usage metrics. They will align right with your plan.

  • 5-10% of your revenue should be invested in customer marketing
  • 5% of your targeted account expansion $$ should be invested in customer marketing

Since we understand that this guide will be read by companies of every scale, an extensive customer marketing strategy might not be applicable to all of them. The next section will focus on the basic customer marketing email campaign that will massively all those talked about metrics above.

Customer Marketing Basic Strategy

Newsletter

Send personalized newsletters to your customers highlighting the best content of a month, case studies (success stories), events, webinars, new features, and any relevant information for them.

Pre-Adoption Email drip

Boost initial adoption with a series of 4-10 mails frequenting every day or two that focuses on a single topic. Pull their heartstrings, share success stories, remind them why they signed up for you. As soon as the adoption is done, move to a new-customer email drip.

New-Customer Email Drip

Write another series of 4-10 emails focusing on one topic frequenting once a week. You can also use in-product messaging. This series will focus on adoption features and guide them to features that provide the most value to the customers. Show them how those features are in different use-cases and share success stories.

Customer Drip

After the new-customer email drip runs dry we move to a perpetual stream of messages, emails that nurture those customers. Use an omnichannel approach here. By now your customer should be seeing value from your product. So your approach here can be personalized and data-backed. Communicate what value your product is providing them and how they can maximize it. Add in case studies, new features, and more in the mix. These can be sent every 2-3 weeks.

This is the basic customer marketing strategy that will better the customer experience. You will see a steady impact on churn, usage, adoption, and expansion revenue through these. For this to be applied you don’t need a Customer Success function in your company. But since this guide is as specified in the ULTIMATE guide to customer marketing, we move on to some advanced strategies that usually require both marketing and customer success functions to pull off.

Advanced Customer Marketing

Driving Advocacy

Advocacy is a long-term initiative and so is Customer Marketing. For proper execution, customer success and marketing need to be aligned. That will be your first step for any advanced strategies to be applied. The second step is to ask your customers if they are willing to participate in your campaign/initiative or not. Use your best customers who have met goals, seen value, and have a good health score in all aspects.

Customer Marketing to drive advocacy is all about the three R’s:

  • References,
  • Referrals, and
  • Reviews.

Some programs you can use to gain more brand advocates are as follows:

  • Reference & Referral Programs: We all know how strong peer-to-peer recommendations are especially with complex products that are usually true with SaaS. So to gain that power you need to nurture your current customers to refer your products/services to their circle. They can also help you by bringing new leads and prospects to you. The benefits of references & referrals are many and have no practical downsides. All you need to do is charge your customers with some incentives.
  • Success Stories: Advocacy is all about giving recognition to the customer for them to get attached to your company. The efficient way is to use customer success stories and case studies to promote your customer’s work & org. Create a diverse case study library that portrays multiple use cases and customers. This can also become a strong incentive to give out to customers attached to any advocacy request (like a review) you have of them.
  • Appreciate your Customers: Simple enough no? Thank your customers because they are the reason you are moving forward. Invite them to casual meets, send them gifts on holiday, or even a personalized email will work. Gratitude will lead you a long way.

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Advocacy

Content will always be King

We discussed how content marketing programs can drive advocacy which in turn can help you gain high-quality leads, increased social capital, and ultimately a revenue increase. The formula was simple: appreciate your customers, share their success as if it's yours, and leverage success as a sales tool.

But I move on to what I love the most, Content! Nothing beats good, engaging content that captures attention. But your program will focus on

1) sharing and promoting customer success or

2) any important industry news, trends, new products, features, or initiatives.

Center your content creation around your customers. This will ensure that you put their success, their stories, and their value over everything else. This uplifts your customer, they will feel special and understand that your brand truly cares about them.

Some content marketing initiatives that can become a pillar of your customer marketing are:

1. Newsletter

A customer-specific newsletter was talked about earlier too. We will add some topics that work great here:

  • Events, podcasts, e-books, and more
  • New case studies
  • Insights and Data
  • Inspirational Stories
  • Industry trends and news
2. Blog

Use your blog for a bit of inbound marketing. Highlight some of the interesting stories inside your customers’ companies. Some success story, some unique thing they have achieved, or just something wholesome and attractive.

3. Webinars

Webinars have emerged as a winner in the pandemic, remote world. They became a great way to deliver great knowledge, engage audiences and make big announcements. Now we can talk about customer-centric webinars that help showcase your best customers or unique and inspirational use cases. Giving customers the stage in webinars is an effective strategy to gain their trust and build strong relationships.

Gauge & Drive Customer Sentiment: Feedback Loop

Customer Success understands the value of customer sentiment. CSMs are always on their little computers tracking each health metric.  Knowing customer sentiment is a huge driver for any initiative. What customer marketing can work well is to manage that customer sentiment and apply it to our benefit.

Let us talk about the core of your content marketing strategy: sentiment.

Voice of Customer Program

CSMs are the voice of the customer within an organization. SaaS relies on a continuous feedback loop to improve the product and customer experience. The intersection of customer marketing, the voice of the customer, and customer success allow the right data and insight to be shared with the right team for action. Voice of Customer is a great initiative that captures the sentiment, feedback, and a deeper understanding of your value to the customer.

Surveys

Surveys have been a strong tool since the advent of marketing. They capture important sentiment, information, and feedback. They can be optimized to speak more about certain aspects of the customer journey/experience. One key thing about surveys is that they provide an indirect channel for unbiased feedback. Think about all your important touchpoints and how you can add surveys to track them & make them more efficient. Use different stakeholders for all-rounded data.

NPS/CSAT

The CSAT or Customer Satisfaction Score is a classic in customer satisfaction surveys. It is effective and gives a global view of the satisfaction of your customers at a specific time. In surveys, it manifests as a “Are you satisfied?”.

To use CSAT, you will need to choose between the three most common types of scoring:

  • Rating from 1 to 3
  • from 1 to 5
  • from 1 to 10

The NPS or Net Promoter Score is of particular interest to us in the context of customer loyalty. It comes in the form of a question like “How likely are you to recommend our services/products to those around you? ”

This allows you to know how much the client will praise the quality of your services in his circle, family, friends, or colleagues. Knowing that this decision to talk about your products positively correlates with customer loyalty, is essential.

Customer advisory board

A customer advisory board (or CAB) is also known as a customer advisory council, client advisory board, or product advisory board. It is a group of existing customers who meet on a regular basis to provide feedback to the company on their experiences-

  • as customers,
  • changing priorities, and
  • strategic goals.

Customer advisory boards are used in SaaS to communicate directly with customers in order to understand their experience with the SaaS product and provide feedback that may be utilized to shape product roadmaps and other strategic decisions.

Among the many advantages of being on the Customer Advisory Board are the following:

  • Develop a thorough awareness of market conditions and how they affect purchasing decisions.
  • Improve your relationship with your most important clients.
  • Encourage customer loyalty by giving the best customers a seat at the table.
  • Risk reduction – confirming that solutions are effective
  • Experiment with fresh campaigns and ideas.
  • Learn about topics of mutual interest together.
  • Create strong advocates for the brand and the organization by identifying untapped revenue opportunities.
  • Discuss the strategic priorities of your consumers.
  • Ensure that your internal team is on the same page when it comes to specific strategies.
  • Innovate in partnership with those who use the products and services.

Different Methods of Engagement

The 4th and final pillar of our customer marketing strategy is engagement!

In-person events

In our time, the need to facilitate a face-to-face engagement to effectively deliver a product or service is almost non-existent. While it's not necessary for your team to meet with your client in person to complete an engagement, it can enhance your relationship in ways that cannot be achieved remotely.

By hosting in-person events at a set pace, your team has the opportunity to make valuable personal connections with clients you might not otherwise be able to meet in person. Quarterly or annual user group meetings are a great way for SaaS companies and other B2B service companies to connect with their customers and encourage knowledge sharing within their user base. users.

Positive engagement naturally builds relationships with your customers. Stronger customer relationships protect against churn and leverage customer advocacy, a powerful tool to use when growing your business.

Create a community

Brand communities are an effective way to build genuine relationships between your company and your customers. Customers use these communities to connect, learn how to use your product, and discover how to get more value.

These communities have many benefits. They can reduce support costs, act as a moat to protect against the competition, drive traffic through SEO, improve customer loyalty, and drive growth.

The key is to integrate the community throughout the entire customer lifecycle. The following image shows how you can use communities at each stage. Or read more about the community flier here.

Meet personally

Face-to-face meetings help you build an emotional connection with your audience. They can increase customer satisfaction and provide the opportunity for in-depth discussions.

The downside is that meeting in person is not scalable. But it's still a good marketing strategy for key customers.

Create a superuser program

Superusers and brand advocates are a valuable customer segment. These users are industry experts and often showcase their expertise by helping others and sharing first-hand experiences.

These customers tend to be more vocal than other users and stay up to date on the product roadmap.

Leveraging these personas can be a brilliant way to engage with and inspire other users. Use your productivity, knowledge, energy, and networks to promote the company.

Distribute Gifts

Giving out free gifts is an easy way to connect with existing customers. It will make them smile and help them remember your brand.

It's not a subtle form of compromise and it won't make up for bad experiences elsewhere. But it is a good way to stand out and build relationships.

Surprise and delight customers

Surprise and delight your customers by offering them unexpected rewards. This strategy fosters a deeper relationship with your brand.

These are some of the most used tactics to surprise customers and offer pleasant experiences:

  • Random Acts of Kindness: Provide one additional free use of the product.
  • Invite exclusive experiences: like an event.
  • Giveaways and personalized gifts: base them on a customer's purchase history.
  • Additional support: go beyond what is expected.
  • Delighting customers can also increase word-of-mouth referrals as people discuss your product in their network.

Collect customer feedback

Collecting feedback is the easiest way to ensure customers respond to your engagement efforts.

If you don't check your metrics, you can't be sure your efforts are working.

Create comment channels

The key to collecting customer feedback is making it easy for customers to do so at relevant touchpoints.

While it can be tempting to send out complex surveys, customers are more likely to respond to a quick, one-time question about a recently completed task.

Here are some of the most common ways to collect customer feedback:

  • Use a feedback collection widget embedded in your website or product.
  • Distribute feedback surveys after customer support interactions.
  • Send surveys via SMS links to a customer's phone number after they contact support.
  • Use your customer community to generate feedback (here's how).
  • Add survey questions to your knowledge base.
  • Collect data on user behavior from analytics tools.
  • Organize a customer panel for focus group-based feedback collection

Close the loop

Collecting customer feedback is only the first part of the process. You also need to close the loop.

Do this for:

  • Acknowledging the comments.
  • Setting expectations.
  • Be transparent about the feedback prioritization process.
  • Inform customers with updates based on their feedback.
  • Note that only 47% of customers believe that brands act on customer feedback. Closing the circle shows customers that you are listening.

Apply game mechanics

Gamification can be a good way to drive engagement. Features like rewards, points, progress bars, and unlock levels add an extra layer of stickiness to your product.

Consider integrating game tactics into your company's website, product, online community, or learning management system.

Use gamification to educate customers

Use gamification to encourage interaction during onboarding. It can be an effective way to drive customers to learn more about your product, thereby improving customer success.

A good example of this is the LinkedIn profile taskbar. It shows how complete a new user's profile is while laying out the next steps they need to take.

Wrapping up

Customer Marketing is a powerful tool in your arsenal. It takes effort to shift priorities and philosophies to become more customer-centric but it will be worth the trouble. Customer Marketing statistics show the value proposition in the whole program. If you apply all these programs/strategies to your business, you will soon see unprecedented growth coming your way.

Download the A Comprehensive Guide to Customer Marketing for SaaS now

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