We all realize that customers who are fully engaged are more likely to continue to be loyal customers. So, it’s easy to see how customer marketing is set to play a defining role in how B2B businesses attract customers in the near future.
B2B Customer marketing is vitally important in retaining customer bases in any kind of business, whether corporate or more entrepreneurial start-ups.
So, what exactly is it and why is it so important to ensure your business remains competitive and doesn’t lose important customers to others in your industry?
Let’s start this article by examining the brief answer as to what customer marketing is and how all businesses should be harnessing its power in order to retain all-important customer bases and remain at the forefront of their industry.
What is customer marketing? Having a robust customer marketing strategy is imperative in an ever more competitive marketplace. Retaining the customers you have will ensure ongoing sales and success. Customer marketing is also useful in attracting new customers to your brand and helps to build loyalty and trust.
Now we’ve looked briefly at this important topic for anyone in the competitive playing field of B2B business, in order for us to understand a little better, let’s start by taking a look at exactly what customer marketing is.
What is customer marketing?
Unfortunately, many businesses are not maximizing the value of their current customers. We can understand this, by looking at recent research from experts which uncovers that over a third of the companies surveyed aren’t realizing the true revenue potential of their existing customer base.
In a nutshell, customer marketing is a type of marketing that is primarily focused on your current list of customers rather than future prospects.
Customer marketing refers to any marketing activity or campaign directed at existing customers.
This kind of targeted marketing will have a series of important outcomes if a successful marketing strategy is put in place which can:
- Encourage customer retention
- Develop and maintain the loyalty of customers
- Creates brand evangelists
- Grows a vibrant community around your offering
The meaning of Customer Marketing can vary considerably, depending on the industry and company.
customer marketing is a type of marketing that is primarily focused
on your current list of customers rather than future prospects.”
Some may have more of a focus on the customer’s journey, or maybe a greater interest in brand advocates while others will be concentrating on upselling or cross-selling.
This kind of marketing includes any type of marketing campaign that is designed specifically for existing customers. The easiest way to think about customer marketing is to understand that you are looking to create strategies aimed at them.
Let’s take a look below at how we can meet those needs.
How do we find out what our customers want?
Finding out exactly what your customers want, right from the first touchpoint to any kind of after-care or service is simple if you are able to identify their needs.
There are many ways in which you can start to create a picture of how your customers react to, purchase and otherwise use your service or brand.
There are a number of ways in which you can identify your customer’s needs. This could be a combination of the below:
- Keyword research One of the earliest ways to determine your customer’s needs is to conduct keyword research. Many customers use Google as their first port of call when searching for or requiring an answer regarding a service or product.
- Taking note of social media mood Learning what people are saying about your brand or industry is a really useful tool for devising an effective social media strategy.
Focused listening will tell you which social networks your audience is most actively using and the general overall mood and feeling that surrounds your brand. It’s also useful to find out how your customers feel about your competitors and your industry overall.
- Customer focus groups A focus group may sound an old-fashioned way of getting information from your customers, but even in this more technological age, it can be a useful way of finding out your customer’s needs.
Focus groups can more easily be explained as a kind of group interview. By observing and recording the interactions, a focus group can help us to appreciate how people think and feel about an experience, issue or service.
Like any other research or evaluation, you carry out, it’s primary purpose is to find out how your loyal and current customers feel about your offering.
Once you have your crucial data to keep your customers coming back for more then make sure you deliver on the following:
- Collect customer feedback make sure you include a plan to effectively use the feedback once it’s been collected. It’s easy to collect it than abandon it before any changes have been decided upon.
- Effectively distribute any information and data that has gathered from your customers, make sure this information is shared with those who matter, such as relevant stakeholders and senior management.
Businesses that have developed a robust methodology for how they collect and share customer insights within their organization will create the best environment for meeting customer needs quickly and effectively.
- Design the features and products your customers want once you have the important information from your customers, ensure you follow-through by using that crucial data to design the kinds of products and features they expressed
- Make sure you deliver Once you have uncovered your customer data, if they are asking for something, however big or small, make sure you deliver.
So, let’s take a little closer look into why it’s so important to introduce a stellar customer marketing strategy into your business.
“Design the features and products your customers want”
Why do we need customer marketing?
With the face of the retail and consumer space becoming more digitally and technologically advanced, it’s more challenging than ever before to attract new business.
According to a study by industry experts, it was found that those customers who enjoyed a strong relationship and a personal attachment to a brand delivered a 23% increase in sales compared with an average customer.
Another report describes how marketing to your existing customers can yield on average. These figures demonstrate clearly the need for a great customer marketing strategy within your business. addition to the fact that attracting new customers is less profitable, it’s also more challenging than ever.
So the above shows fairly clearly that when you have managed to secure the elusive new customer and sign up to your brand or service, it makes sense to do whatever you can to retain those customers.
Your customers demand special treatment
You will also find that not only customers who have given you their hard-earned cash require your attention; you will also find they demand it too.
It does, of course, seem like a no-brainer to market specifically to your existing customers, often it can go underneath the radar in terms of spending precious resources such as time and money. It can be very easy to overlook your existing customers in the hot pursuit of new business. While explicitly marketing to your current customers
“It can be very easy to overlook your existing customers
in the hot pursuit of new business.
So now we’ve seen why it’s important to create marketing campaigns around those customers who have purchased from you previously, let’s take a look at what you will stand to gain by doing so.
What are the benefits of customer marketing?
The benefits of customer marketing:
- Less customer churn By making sure you listen and respond to your current and previous customers you will be in a better position to retain those customers. It’s not news to most business owners that it can cost a lot more to acquire a new customer than simply retain one who has purchased from you before.
- Renewed contracts In addition to being more likely to renew their contracts, highly satisfied customers are also more likely to renew contracts or provide your business with the opportunity of upselling.
- Increase in revenue Keeping your current customer base engaged and happy means more money in the company coffers. in your pocket in the long run. Really getting to know your customer base increases the likelihood of forming a long-term meaningful relationship with them.
- More referrals According to a recent report by McKinsey word-of-mouth or WOM is the most important factor driving between 20%-50% of all purchasing decisions.
Actively curating a base of satisfied customers is possibly one of the best ways you can grow your business through referrals, bringing a raft of positive attention to your brand or service.
- Appeals to existing and potential new customers Creating a customer-centric marketing campaign has the advantage of not only ensuring your current customers remain happy and loyal, but can also help to uncover new prospects at the same time. The customer marketing shows a positive track record and can help increase conversions with those who previously may not have known your company.
“With the face of the retail and consumer space becoming more digitally and technologically advanced, it’s more challenging than ever before to attract new business.”
So now we’ve seen some of the benefits of creating a marketing program aimed specifically at your current customers, let’s take a look at some ways of getting started and find out exactly what it is your customers want or need.
Great ways to get your customer strategies started
To ensure your important client and customer base continues to be loyal to you will depend a great deal on your marketing efforts.
Sometimes it can be tricky to reach your existing customers in ways that show true value, an appreciation of their loyalty and also devise unusual marketing campaigns which perhaps have an element of surprise.
So, if it’s proving difficult to get started, you could start first with the marketing channels that you already have up and running in which to address your crucial existing clients. Some of these channels might include:
- Online community
- blog content aimed at existing customers
- Online events and promotions
- Direct mail
- Email and newsletter communications
- Social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
Already having these channels working will make it easier to ride the wave and give your customers something truly pertinent to their needs or wants.
For instance, if you are sending out a monthly newsletter it may be an idea to devise a section of the newsletter devoted to ‘10’ pain points you know your customers experience. Or maybe you could give details of a webinar where they can speak directly to you with their questions.
The clear message is that a customer-focused marketing strategy is designed to retain those hard-won consumers by learning as much as you can about their wants, needs, desires and crucially, their behavior.
As modern consumers are demanding more in the way of transparency from the brands they are loyal to, it’s especially important to meet their needs.
It’s a crucial element of your marketing strategies to make sure your key customers are at the forefront of your marketing to leverage a major impact on the generation of revenue and continue to remain relevant and competitive.