When you have customer success, you have business success. So how do you show your customers you care?
Just like customer service, customer marketing is customer-centric. You want to make their lives easy with the solutions you offer. When done right, customer experience takes on a whole new meaning.
Customer marketing has endless benefits, but we go over six main benefits.
We also have eight steps to follow to create an effective customer marketing strategy. This strategy will get your customers buzzing about your business and keep them coming back for more.
What is Customer Marketing?
To make a long story short, customer marketing is when you market to and prioritize your existing customers instead of prospective ones.
You direct all promotional and marketing campaigns towards those customers.
It has several goals:
- Customer engagement
- Customer relationship management
- Improve customer loyalty
- Promote customer retention
- Refine brand image
- Upgrade the community that surrounds your business
As a business owner, you want your current customer core to remain loyal. If new customers constantly buy your product or service, that’s all good and well. But it means nothing if you cannot retain them.
Successful customer marketing strategies understand and host productive dialogue with its customers.
Without customer marketing, you sink profits and revenue. You also encourage your customers to root for the opposing team. Namely, your top competitors in the industry.
What Does a Customer Marketer Do?
A marketer in general is a broad term.
According to Indeed, they create and enact strategies that promote their brand. This generates profits.
They have to collect and analyze data and identify their target market. They also do the following:
- Run advertising campaigns
- Monitor website ROI
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Generate sales leads
- Conduct email marketing
- Collect market research
- Create buyer personas
That’s a lot of responsibility. And customer marketers get even more into the nitty-gritty.
Influitive says that there isn’t really an explicit definition of a customer marketer. This is why they defined it themselves.
A customer marketer is:
- A pioneer. They give their business a competitive advantage in the market
- Customer engagers. They use marketing strategies to build relationships with each customer. They want to increase their company’s brand advocates
- Someone who gives their company value. They boost customer advocacy and capitalize on opportunities to sell
- Creative types
- Bridges. They bridge the gap between customers and company employees
What Are the Benefits of Good Customer Marketing?
As you can see, there are a lot of benefits if your customer marketer excels. But we zero in on six in particular.
Quality customer marketing is good for customer advocacy. Marketers listen to and address customer concerns.
Since they build relationships with customers so well, they are able to connect with them.
They do this with digital marketing on social media platforms the customers already use, for instance.
Eventually, the marketing expert starts to generate a good reputation for your business. Word-of-mouth marketing and five-star reviews boost customer attraction and retention.
It Retains Customers
So how do you retain those customers? Customer marketing is the simple answer.
G2 reminds us of the classic statistic: “it costs five times as much to acquire a new customer than it does to retain a current one.”
So when you keep a customer, you have a more capable budget. You can focus on other costs.
Customer marketing also reduces churn. Customers have higher standards now than they did, say, 10 or 20 years ago. They know what they want. They know they want you to listen to them and respond accordingly with a solution.
If you don’t, they can just go to the next company now. Somebody will have a solution for them with their products or services. Don’t you want to keep them as a customer instead of letting your rivals profit?
Imagine this scenario: you hear about a new product from a friend. Let’s pretend the product is a small kitchen appliance.
The appliance already makes a good impression because your friend recommended it. So you go on an online supplier website and read the product reviews. There are almost all five-star reviews. Naturally, you buy the product.
Think about if your business had just as many referrals.
If your customers are satisfied, you will generate customer loyalty, get customer referrals, and have repeat customers.
This happens easily if you know how to create a custom marketing strategy.
Most businesses focus on customer acquisition rather than customer retention. Your competitors may offer cheaper prices on their products or services since they want more customers. But you can do just the opposite of them. Work harder and generate results.
Once you retain customers, listen to customer feedback. Respond to it. If you improve your products or services according to what customers think, you get more revenue out of each customer.
For example, let’s say you sell a monthly or yearly subscription to an online service.
If a buyer offers you feedback and sees where it can improve, make the steps to improve that area. Then, once they feel like you actively listened to them, they most likely renew their subscription.
That’s more money in your business’s pocket.
Your brand image is the collective opinion of your brand. It’s not what you think it is, it’s what everyone else knows it is.
Do you have a positive brand image or a negative one?
Unless you’re perfect, you might have a mix of the two. And we can’t think of any perfect brands.
This is where brand resilience comes in. Let’s pretend you had a mixup. You had a small PR issue. Now let’s pretend that because of customer marketing you have a loyal customer core.
If you focus on those genuine customer relationships, that core will not just pack up and leave because of one mistake.
Product marketing and content marketing are sure ways to boost sales. But you have to combine them with customer marketing for real results.
With product marketing, you position your products or services so that people will buy them. With content marketing, you use your resources to create and distribute content online to boost sales.
But what if you ignore your customers? What happens when you neglect their needs?
Odds are, they don’t want to close a sale with you.
Employ customer marketing and you might be surprised at how much your sales increase.
Here’s How to Create a Customer Marketing Strategy
Now, you know how important customer marketing is. You know that it can boost revenue, referrals, and retention rates.
So let’s put it into action. Here, we have eight effective strategies for customer marketing so that you can see the benefits happen for you.
Okay, so you have customers. They buy your product or service once in a blue moon. But do you have brand advocates?
Brand advocates are your customers who like to buy what you sell. And buy again. They post glowing reviews about your company. They engage with your social media content. They tell their friends and family about your business. They probably use your goods every day.
So how do you build them? How do you sustain them?
Check out your reviews. Who do you see who posts on a regular basis?
To retain them, make sure that you reciprocate. Engage with them, too. If you have a podcast, invite them as a guest. Use them as a case study and post their testimonials on your social media pages.
If you have an upcoming webinar, also invite them to speak there.
Highlight Customer Success Stories
We all love recognition. If you succeed at work, it feels nice when your manager shouts you out.
Customers are just the same. When they use your product and it really helps them achieve their goals, notice them. Put a blurb about them in your weekly email newsletter. Give them a shout-out on any or all of your social media networks.
This excites other potential and current customers. They see that they can succeed when they use your products or services. They also realize that you will recognize them if they do.
Again, read reviews and reach out. Most customers will be happy to help.
Generate Online Reviews
Now, you have to generate those online reviews.
Remember that kitchen appliance scenario? You read reviews before you buy something. That’s an almost universal truth.
Reviews aren’t just beneficial for customers. They also help you and your business.
They are one of the only ways to get honest constructive criticism. They also spread the word about what you offer to other potential customers.
We know this sounds crazy, but negative reviews are not a bad thing. They are a chance to improve.
Reach out to your reviewers, negative and positive alike. A happy customer could be a success story and a dissatisfied one could be a chance to fix the problem.
Host Customer Events
Events are fun for both customers and business employees. They are also a way to get face time with valuable customers.
You could meet for a happy hour, a client dinner, a video chat, or a conference. Events foster beneficial relationships for everyone involved. It shows that you value your customers as people, not just for their wallets.
Make Use of Social Media
Social media is a great tool. It’s not just for pictures of your dinner or photos of family vacations.
Use it for customer engagement. The simple fact is that most customers in the digital age already have and use social media platforms to stay connected with the rest of the world.
Customer marketing isn’t about cold calling and e-mail spam, it’s about engagement and customer service.
Run campaigns on social media. Your buyers or potential buyers already scroll through their feed. So your products or services will already interest them more than an unsolicited conversation.
It’s also an inexpensive way to market. Most social media is free, so you don’t have to pay for advertising tools.
If you post consistently with relatable content, it pays off.
Offer Free Trials
Free trials could mean better leads. Here are some benefits when you offer a free trial:
- It builds trust and loyalty with your customers because it shows them that you believe in the power of your product and want them to do the same
- Free trials give customers a chance to weigh the benefits of your product with that of your competitors
- They create a natural routine as your customers use them, so they don’t want to break that routine when their free trial is up
- It’s an easy way for customers to try something new and like it without spending money
Yet again, free trials show us the power of customer marketing. All of those benefits are customer-centric. They focus on how the features of your service turn into benefits for them.
Collect User/Customer Feedbacks
Customer data, like user feedback, is vital to customer marketing. You have to know the facts of how your customers fare when they buy with you. Otherwise, it is just speculation that gets you nowhere.
What is the status of their lead? What is their buying pattern? How does their buying pattern reflect their future moves with your business? Where can you cross- and up-sell?
Feedback gives you the facts. It also shows you each customer’s individual needs. Address those needs before anything becomes a full-blown problem and you can retain the customer. You also have the chance to improve any issues they tell you about in their feedback so that the next customer has a smooth buyer journey.
Optimize Your Customer Loyalty Program
Let’s paint a picture: it’s your birthday. You open your email and see a birthday-month coupon in your inbox from your favorite brand. You’re probably excited. You feel valued as a customer.
Why is that brand one of your favorites? Because they do things like offer personalized discounts.
Loyalty programs work in a similar way. It feels like a game sometimes. How many points can you get before you level up?
Also consider company anniversary gifts, referral codes for brand ambassadors, or giveaways.
Celebrate your customers with a loyalty program. They will celebrate you and your company in return.
Customer marketing is relatively new. But it already proves itself as an effective strategy to grow revenue and brand resilience, build reputation, and more.
If you don’t feel comfortable with it yet, Selling Revolution is here to help. Our services include marketing, sales, and company performance. But we also do so much more. Check out our featured media and blog for all of your business needs. To meet with our experts, book a brief call today.