Many companies spend a vast amount of their marketing budget on acquiring new customers.
While this is a smart way to grow your business, it isn’t the only way to keep your company and its products/services front and center.
Regardless of your marketing efforts, if your new customers don’t stick around for the long haul, you’ll soon find yourself scrambling, or worse – out of business. Instead, consider investing in customer marketing.
What is customer marketing?
Instead of focusing on prospects and marketing to their needs, customer marketing focuses on your current list of customers. The goal of these marketing campaigns can be to increase customer loyalty, retention, advocacy, and community participation, while also improving the customer experience.
Customer marketing is designed to help you communicate and engage with your customer base and improve various customer relationships. With customer marketing, your customers get the most value out of your products, and in turn, remain in business with you for the long-term.
For the most part, fully engaged and bought-in customers spend more and stick around longer. Whether you go the direction of ads, emails, social media campaigns, or special offers, understanding how to speak your customers’ language is a must.
While to some companies, getting your marketing team or customer success team to focus specifically on current customers feels like a no-brainer, sometimes it’s easy to overlook your current buyers as you pursue new ones. When you ignore your existing customers, you could be leaving valuable revenue on the table – or worse – it could be traveling to your competitors’ pockets.
How to create a customer marketing strategy
It’s clear that a customer marketing strategy is a must, no matter the size of your business or the industry. If you’re unsure where to start, we break down specific strategies you can take to ensure your current customers stay happy and keep them coming back for more.
Collect customer data for relevant messaging
Unsure exactly what your customers want? Their data will show you.
This is where your CRM can come into play. When you utilize the analytics or reporting feature, you can see information like the customer journey, if their lead status has changed, and enable predictive modeling to get a better idea of how the customer may act in the future.
There’s also the opportunity to see post-sale metrics, like:
Customer service requests
Cross-sell and up-sell opportunities
Having this data will make your customer marketing efforts feel more personal, as they focus on specific customer needs. If the messaging they’re seeing from your brand isn’t relevant they’ll tune it out – or worse – unsubscribe, fail to renew their contact, or stop engaging altogether.
One of the best ways to find real customer data is by reading through the reviews on G2, which will tell you exactly what people think of your product. This will help you to understand if your message is resonating, or if people are saying they thought one thing going into it, but after using it, are feeling differently.
Build brand advocates
All customers are valuable to your brand, but are all customers created equal?
The customers who really love your products, the ones who use your software daily, and rave about you on social media, aren’t just important because they’re more willing to spend money – they’re important because they’re advocates for your brand. You can even ask them to be a guest in an upcoming webinar.
Your customer marketing strategy can help you pinpoint exactly who your advocates are. Once you do, you can turn them into case studies, testimonials, and referrals for other potential customers.
Not sure where to find your brand advocates? G2 is where they’re at.
We ask reviewers if they’re willing to be a reference for a product when they leave a review, so that gives your business a convenient list of customers who are already an advocate for your brand and its product.
Plus, if you already know that a customer is an advocate and they’ve left a review, you can reduce a potential burnout for that customer as they shouldn’t need to do reference calls anymore – you can just use their review! It’s even easier when the customer has left a video review, as prospects can still get the same story and information without the hassle of asking a customer to interrupt their workday to jump on frequent pitch calls.
Highlight customer success stories
When you have a customer who has truly knocked it out of the park, make sure your other customers know it. Put that customer in the spotlight, whether it’s in your company newsletter or on social media.
Showcasing various successful customer stories can be both engaging and insightful for current and potential customers.
Unsure how to go about this? A great way to find out which customers have achieved success using your product is to read the reviews on G2! There, you’ll be able to read real stories and examples of how customers have found success using your product, how it’s solved a problem they were experiencing, and if they have a favorite feature.
Then, once you get the reviewer’s permission, you can choose to use this review in your marketing strategy as a way to show others just how great your product or service can be.
Generate online reviews
How often do you check Yelp before making a dinner reservation? When was the last time you bought something on Amazon without checking reviews?
It’s probably been awhile, which goes to show how powerful a review can be.
Reviews hold a lot of weight, not only for customers, but for you as you do customer marketing. They can offer a candid opinion of your organization and its services, as told straight from the customer while building trust and credibility among your target customer base.
Keep in mind that no business or product is safe from the dreaded negative review. Instead of dwelling on it, see it as an opportunity to follow-up with an honest reply that shows you’re willing to solve the issue in a customer-focused way. You can also view it as a chance to potentially make changes to your product or service.
If you know you have a satisfied customer, reach out to them in hopes they’ll become a resource for a positive review. If so, you can leverage the review as a way to generate more sales. Or send them to your G2 Profile where they can leave a review for other real users to see before buying your software or service.
Tip: Unsure how to apply customer reviews? Find out how they can be your guiding light, even in the times of a crisis.
Host customer events
A customer event is what you make it.
With so much of business happening over the internet or by phone, meeting a customer in person can go a long way
Whether it’s a small client dinner, a monthly meetup using video conferencing software, or a fully-remote conference like Reach 2020, it’s always in your best interest to make the effort and get to know your customer on a more personal level and seal the relationship as you move forward.
One of the ways we at G2 do this is by implementing either in-person or virtual review booths. We’ve done nearly 200 booths, and roughly 25,000 of our over 1 million reviews have come from them. Our most successful review booth to date generated roughly 3,500 reviews, giving the customer new insights into exactly how their customers felt about their service.
Create loyalty programs
Do you have a favorite brand or business that sends you a freebie on your birthday? Or what about offering you 15% off your next purchase when recommending their product to a friend? How many punch cards are in your wallet for 10% off your next sandwich?
This is all how brands create loyalty programs. And truth be told, whether they’re in-person or digital, a freebie, giveaway, or reward is always appreciated. All are excellent ways to renew interest around your product while showing that you're keeping the customer and their needs in mind.
The same can be said for referral codes or discounts as a way to reward current customers while also encouraging new ones to seek interest in your service.
Not sure where to start? Send a gift to a company on their anniversary, major milestone, or the anniversary of them working with your company. Whichever option you choose is a great way to give customers a reason to come back and spend more with you, all while viewing your business or product in a positive light. A loyalty program won’t cost you much in terms of your budget, but they can go a long way in your customer marketing strategy as a way to make the customer feel appreciated.
Benefits of an effective customer marketing strategy
Now that we’ve covered the strategy and tactics involved with how you can get closer to your customers, it’s time to break out the advantages you’ll experience once you’ve won over the customer.
Better customer retention and reduced churn
You’re probably familiar with the statistic that it costs five times as much to acquire a new customer than it does to retain a current one.
Because of this, keeping your current customer base engaged and happy means more money in your company’s budget.
When you take the time and make an effort to listen to your customers and act accordingly, you are able to keep more of them for the long haul. If a customer feels like they’re not being listened to or like they aren’t getting their needs met, they become former customers – fast.
One of the ways G2 can help you reduce customer churn is through buyer intent data. Since you usually don’t know if a customer is churning until it’s too late, G2 buyer intent can tell you when your current customers are actively researching any competing solutions or companies. This gives you the chance to reach out, solve their pain point, and keep them as a customer.
The G2 Story
Unsure how to make this apply in real life? Here’s how a real G2 customer made the most of buyer intent data:
Customer X was able to see Disney appear in their Buyer Intent, looking at their competitors. Since this is usually a sign that a customer is about to churn, Customer X took action right away, got Disney on a call to check-in and see how the account was going. Because they acted fast, they were able to save Disney as an account and not lose out an a massive customer churning to one of their competitors.
More referrals and positive word of mouth
How many times have you chosen a business or product because it comes highly referred to by a friend or family member? Chances are at least once.
Having a solid base of satisfied customers is the best word of mouth you can ask for. Brand advocates in varying industries are likely to share their positive experiences with others, which results in more positive attention or your business and its product. Having a fully built-out referral program can go a long way in your customer marketing strategy.
As you boost customer retention rates and actively respond to feedback regarding any improvements your company or brand should make to its product or service, you are likely to also see an increase in revenue per customer. The happier they are with what your business is providing, the more likely they are to not only come back for more, but also renew if it’s a subscription model, so be sure to check-in often.
of loyal customers say they not only make frequent purchases from brands they’re loyal to, but they go out of their way to buy from them.
No brand is perfect. At some point in time, you’re going to make some sort of mistake or blunder.
Maybe not as bad as Pepsi’s ad featuring Kendall Jenner or when Peloton came under fire for a seemingly sexist Christmas ad, but it’s likely to happen.
If a misstep or blatant mistake were to occur, customers are more likely to forgive a company or brand they feel they have an authentic connection with or who they’re loyal to. This is why a loyalty or rewards program can go such a long way in terms of customer marketing.
It’s time to make it personal
Applying these strategies, and using G2 to help, can make a big difference in boosting client and customer satisfaction with your brand and its services. As a marketer, focusing on your customers and their success after they’ve signed the contract, and using your product, should always be top-of-mind. There’s a lot of ways you can focus your marketing efforts to be personalized. Once you find a strategy that works best for your company, don’t be afraid to have some fun and make it your own.
Discover more about what G2 can do for you over on Seller Solutions! It's easier than you think to connect with 5 million buyers and counting.
Mara is a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at G2. In her spare time, she's typically at the gym polishing off a run, reading a book from her overcrowded bookshelf, going on walks with her rescue dog Zeke, or right in the middle of a Netflix binge. Obsessions include the Chicago Cubs, Harry Potter, and all of the Italian food imaginable. (she/her/hers)