9 Steps to Help Drive Your Customer Marketing Initiatives

June 6, 2018 Heidi Bullock

Many of us have heard that marketing is now the steward of the customer journey.  There is a lot of exciting development around Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) and technology that helps us measure customer success.

Yet, even with marketing owning the journey, the translation of that idea to reality is often another thing.  You frequently visit a marketing team and 20 people are assigned to acquisition/demand gen, and the customer marketing team is notably smaller. Yet you can argue getting this function right is critical for growth and long-term success of the company.

If you currently own customer marketing or have recently inherited it, here are a few simple tips that can help you drive the right business impact.

1) Set up a framework for your organization. How are you organizing customer marketing?  It shouldn’t just be advocacy. For example, at many organizations advocacy exists but there is no dedicated marketing energy to adoption, retention, and expansion.  Understand what moves the needle the MOST for your business and make sure there is focus on it.  Advocacy is great, but not if adoption is broken.

set up a framework

2) Have clear goals for customer marketing. For example, say your company is introducing a new product. As part of your Plan of Record (POR) there should be a cross-sell goal that that team is incentivized to hit (marketing and sales).

have clear goals
3) Segment and prioritize your customers – they are not all the same. Marketers do a nice job with segmentation for acquisition, but this same discipline sometimes drops off with customers. Segment based on health, company size, role.

segment and prioritize

4) Think about how teams are evaluating interest in new products. Many marketing organizations use some type of scoring to show there is interest – think about having distinct models for new products so internal sales teams can correctly identify which product there is interest in.

distinct models for new products

5) Consider your systems. Often companies defer to CRM as their system of record but valuable information is also stored in marketing automation. If you set up an account foundation, you can ensure ALL critical account data is visible by everyone that touches the account (marketing, sales, CS).

build an account foundation
6) Be sure to also tier your customers. If you are tiering accounts – this should also persist. In the example below, you can assign programs and investment based on the tier of account.

customer program entitlements

Download our Account Entitlement worksheet here.

7) Manage outbound communications with a clear process. Many different teams interact with customers. How can you ensure that customers are not overloaded with a wide range of communications? Communication limits can be set in your marketing automation systems, but that won’t help with sales and CS. Set up a simple meeting with key stakeholders (ex: sales, marketing, CS) to ensure communication limits are agreed upon and adhered to. Decide what makes sense and when – don’t inundate your users with product announcements, tips, and a user group meeting all in the same week! You use Google calendar there should be programs clearly marked and agreed upon in advance.

8) Design programs for high value. Your customers EXPECT you to know them and what they need. It even more important to be personal, relevant, and timely. Make sure minimally your top accounts get the ‘white glove’ treatment. Here is an example of a play our customer success team would run for onboarding. The point is it is from key people and highly personalized – but done at scale.

design programs
9) Continue to measure and iterate. Customer initiatives take require investment just like other marketing programs. It is important to understand what is working or not. This is valuable to understand so you spend your energy on the right tactics, not more. If you are ‘tagging’ programs for a particular product line, make sure you review your marketing initiatives to understand if they are working.

measure and iterate

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