The Latest from the ABM Experts
March 22, 2017
Customer Marketing: The Missing Piece of the Account-Based Marketing Puzzle
Written by Shauna Ward
Category: Account-Based Marketing
What is Customer Marketing?
“Customer marketing is built around activities designed to drive retention, loyalty, advocacy, growth, and community participation for current customers.” – Influitive
Customer marketing tactics include:
- Onboarding email drip programs
- User conferences
- In-person training and workshops
- Customer-only webinars
- Customer newsletters
- How-to resources such as video tutorials, checklists, and step-by-step guides
- Brand ambassador programs
- Direct mail such as holiday cards and branded swag
Why Customer Marketing is the Missing Piece of the ABM Puzzle
In a survey conducted by BAO, 74% of marketers said one of their primary goals of account-based marketing is to increase ROI — but only 18% said they use ABM to improve customer engagement.
That’s a mistake!
Leaving your customers out of your account-based marketing program is a huge missed opportunity. Consider the oft-quoted statistic from Gartner Group that 80% of a business’ profits over time come from just 20% of their customers. If you’re putting all your resources into acquiring new customers rather than building solid relationships with your current clients, you’re missing out on a ton of potential revenue.
To tap into that hidden revenue, marketers must work with their customer success counterparts to focus on the customer journey rather than just the buyer’s journey. After all, the goal is for those potential buyers to eventually become clients, so it’s crucial to your business to continue to engage with them throughout the customer lifecycle.
Account-Based Advertising is Central to Customer Marketing
It’s tempting to assume that advertising dollars should only be spent on demand generation because B2B marketing has traditionally focused on filling the sales pipeline with as many leads as possible — but that’s simply not true.
When you take an account-based approach to business, it becomes clear that satisfied customers are not just clients; they’re also your best salespeople, as well as prospects for upselling, cross-selling, and renewals.
So, where does digital advertising fit into all of this?
Highly targeted digital ads are one of the most effective ways to reach your target accounts, including your client accounts. Of course, I’m not advocating for replacing email or phone communications with ads. Rather, digital advertising should supplement your one-to-one outreach and nurturing emails. That’s because:
- The average office worker deals with 121 business emails per day — and ignores a good portion of them.
- Many people ignore phone calls from numbers they don’t recognize, especially at work.
- You don’t have the contact information for every individual at your customer accounts.
Account-based digital advertising solves all these problems.
It allows marketers to cut through the inbox clutter and reach not only the end users and points of contact at customer accounts, but also other key individuals. With an ABM platform like Terminus, B2B marketers can target all the stakeholders at their customer accounts. So while your customer success team talks to their points of contact on a regular basis, your marketing team can disseminate important information, product offerings, and educational content to everyone else. This is especially important when you’re dealing with enterprise accounts with various divisions or child companies.
3 Ways Customer Marketing Generates Revenue
For the purpose of an account-based marketing program, we can break customer marketing down into three major categories: customer advocacy, upselling/cross-selling, and land and expand campaigns. Let’s take a closer look at these three customer marketing tactics and how they can generate revenue for your B2B organization.
1. Customer Advocacy
Referrals are where the money’s at. Turn your customers into advocates for your brand by providing them with an excellent customer experience, asking for (and actually listening to) their feedback, and providing them with opportunities to highlight their businesses.
Make a VIP list of customers that are perfect fits for your ideal customer profile and invest in them to create customer advocates. Leverage these successful clients for case studies, speaking engagements, testimonials, and referrals. Explore the Terminus Cloud for ABM to find tools for turning your customers into advocates for your brand.
The goal of renewal and upsell campaigns is to increase renewal rates and contract values of
your current customer base. This campaign strategy requires close collaboration between your
marketing, sales, and customer success teams.
In order for an account-based cross-sell or upsell campaign to be successful, you need to combine marketing initiatives like direct mail, email nurtures, and advertising campaigns with personal outreach from your customer success team and/or sales reps.
Tip: To execute a successful upsell campaign, identify successful customer accounts that pay for the highest tier of your solution. What characteristics do they share? Then, go into your CRM and pull a list customer accounts that pay for lower tiers and match these characteristics.
3. Land and Expand
Selling to enterprise accounts can be tricky, especially when they’re divided into smaller divisions or subsidiaries that operate independently and often have different points of contact.
This is where you’ll want to “land and expand.” If you’ve done business with one division of a complex enterprise company and are hoping to expand into others, you can use ABM technology like Terminus to present digital ads to those target divisions’ key decision-makers. These ads are especially effective when they’re hyper-personalized, highlighting case studies and testimonials from your target buyers’ coworkers.
As you expand your relationship with different departments or divisions within an enterprise company, you will evolve from being just another vendor to being an invaluable partner that’s embedded in the DNA of their business.
Learn More About Customer Marketing + Account-Based Marketing
Want to learn more about running a successful account-based marketing program with a focus on customer marketing? The Blueprint to Account-Based Marketing e-book is full of worksheets, tips, and everything you need to plan, execute, and measure a successful ABM strategy. Click the banner below to download it now.