Customer marketing encompasses a suite of tools, processes, and strategies aimed at reaching, connecting with, and maintaining engagement with existing customers. The objective is not only to maximize returns from each customer but also to generate new business from established relationships. Despite being one of the most effective strategies for sustainable business growth, only 3.9% of customer marketing professionals believe their companies fully understand the discipline, representing a significant missed opportunity for organizations.
Understanding the Unique Lens of Customer Marketing
While the term “customer marketing” might imply that all marketing revolves around the customer, it specifically focuses on existing customers. Many entrepreneurs and marketers erroneously devote all their energy to acquiring new customers, neglecting the principle of the 80/20 rule, which suggests that 80% of revenue comes from 20% of customers. It seeks to enhance revenues by fortifying relationships with this crucial customer segment.
How Customer Marketing Works
At its core, customer marketing aims to enhance and leverage current customer experiences to boost retention and growth. When executed adeptly, it can significantly amplify a company’s sales and market reputation. Successful customer marketing hinges on accurate audience segmentation, effective customer engagement, and the continual maintenance of a customer advocacy program. It strategically utilizes current customers as marketing assets, although it can be challenging to manage and implement.
The effectiveness of customer marketing generally boils down to several factors:
Knowing the Customer Through Buyer Personas:
Effective initiatives hinge on your ability to identify and engage the right individuals, making the use of customer personas crucial to guide your customer marketing campaigns.
Serving the Customer Through Service and Support Excellence:
Investments in customer service are vital as customer marketing aims to build brand loyalty and facilitate evangelism, both of which depend on customer experiences.
Listening to the Customer Through VoC Programs:
Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs, which collect and archive customer feedback, are vital to the success of any customer campaign.
Rewarding the Customer Through Loyalty Incentives:
Implementing customer loyalty programs, such as offering free merchandise, gifts, or early product releases, should always be considered to foster and enhance customer loyalty.
Mobilizing the Customer Through Referrals:
A well-structured customer referral program can transform loyal customers into vocal evangelists, incentivizing the dissemination of positive, organic, customer-led promotional messages.
(Also Read: How Important Is Customer Focused Marketing?)
Key Customer Marketing Examples
There are many ways to engage with current customers, so they add exponential value to your business, and not all of them are complex or prohibitively expensive. If you are looking to get started with CM, try rolling out:
Influencer marketing involves compensating customers with a loyal following to promote a brand.
Organizing events on topics of interest to customers can enhance relationships and develop a loyal customer base.
Positive customer testimonials can enhance a company’s reputation and attract new clients.
Social Media Strategies:
Engaging with customers on social media fosters strong community relationships.
Periodically distributing an email newsletter with company updates and exclusive sales maintains customer interest.
6 Key Benefits of Customer Marketing
Investing in a customer marketing strategy enables companies to:
Attending to and listening to existing customers enhances retention.
Satisfied customers are more likely to extend their contracts and be open to upselling or cross-selling opportunities.
Advertising to your current customer base allows you to analyze their pain points and preferences using real-life scenarios.
Effective marketing messages can enhance customer experiences and inspire additional transactions.
Mobilize Your Data:
Allocating funds toward your own database becomes crucial as new data rules restrict traditional marketing.
Gain from Advocacy:
Customers promoting your brand to their communities through their own voices is invaluable.
Final Thought: Customer Marketing is a Team Sport
It is a cross-functional practice that demands inputs and collaboration from the entire marketing team, spanning conversion optimization, email advertising, content marketing, social presence, and event activation. While aligning so many moving parts can be challenging, when executed correctly, it yields substantial dividends, formalizing the goals you’re already targeting – namely, retention, loyalty, and lifetime value.