Customer marketing may seem like an obvious job title. After all, marketing’s all about the customer - right?
Well, the answer to that's yes, but this role isn’t about marketing to new customers, but to your existing ones, and it’s a vital step forward for businesses looking to ensure success.
In this article we cover:
- Why customer marketers are important,
- What their relationship with other departments is,
- We share the best principles of a successful customer marketer, and
- A few key tactics to get you started.
What is the significance of a customer marketer to marketing strategies?
Influitive’s 2022 State of Customer Marketing Report found that 98% of executives rated customer marketing as either very important or important to the overall success of their organization.
With industry leaders now realizing the potential of maintaining and supporting their existing customer relationships, customer marketers are increasingly becoming a part of the action.
Maintaining customer retention and establishing customer loyalty is where customer marketers thrive. They deal directly with existing customers, building trust, developing valuable customer-business relationships, and solving problems.
It’s in talking with existing customers that the successes and failures of your whole marketing strategy are revealed. Existing customers already have experience with your brand journey, and know what they do and don’t like about it.
Knowing what parts of your marketing strategy get these particular customers to keep returning, is the key to making your whole approach more efficient.
The relationship between customer marketers and other departments
With customer marketing still being a relatively new practice, many aspects of the role were previously taken on by other marketing positions such as customer success, or sales. Therefore, there’s a lot of overlap between these positions.
Customer marketers handle the customer relationship begun by product marketers and monitored by customer success. The journey the customer takes that results in sales is carefully coordinated by these respective departments at each step of the way.
Where customer marketing differs from these departments is in how the relationship between business and customer is handled. Customer marketing is not so often about the product itself; you aren’t trying to sell them something. Nor are you just asking for feedback about the product.
Oftentimes, this relationship is formed around customer retention and advocacy. The first aim is to retain the customers you already have, and the second is to make it worth their while to stick around.
Advocacy comes in many forms, most notably in creating exclusive content, experiences, and rewards for long-time customers. This is only successful when you know your customers inside and out, and can supply them with the goods they will want.
Best principles of a customer marketer
Customer marketing may seem like an overwhelming task to take on at first, but if you keep these key ideas in your mind while creating content for your audience, you won't stray too far off the mark.
Get them to understand your brand
This means getting them to learn who you are as a company. If they only know your product and are in the dark about the hard-working teams behind it, chances are they may be less invested.
Keep it personal Whether you're a B2B or a B2C business, we're all human, and we're interacting with other human beings. Understand that each of your customers has their own unique goals and journeys when it comes to using your product; no customer is a perfect carbon copy of the other.
Get them involved
Make your customers feel like they're part of something meaningful. Customers are far more likely to be invested in your journey when they feel as if they are a part of it.
Invest in your customers
A relationship goes both ways. Let them know you care about their careers and goals by making content they are interested in.,
Consider building a membership program or championship program where you can reward their advocacy with rewards, exclusive content, and courses.
Curious to hear what current customer marketing experts say? Our sister company, Customer Success Collective has an in-depth Q and A where industry professionals answer some of these burning questions.
Important practices to implement into your customer marketing strategy
Creating a customer marketing strategy from scratch can be an overwhelmingly big task. So we’ve put together a few key ideas to help you get started.
These are the basics, so always think about how you can develop from these, and how you can tailor your approach to suit you and your customers.
- Surveys and Reviews. These may seem like simple steps, but its surprising how often they are overlooked. These types of resources are invaluable to a customer marketer. They can ensure that all of your customers get a chance to have their voices heard, and make it easier for you to find the most pressing pain points to address.
- Build your community. A great place to start building a customer-business relationship is to make your presence felt. Being constantly active on social media lets your customers know that keeping them informed about the goings-on in your business is your priority. It's a good place to get conversations started.
- Case studies. It's a well-known fact that customers are more likely to trust other buyers than most other forms of marketing. Case studies are a way to show customers a detailed showcase of all your happy previous and current clientele. Customer marketers can identify who the best people are to approach for these studies; with a good understanding of your current customer base, you can better market to others.
- Find affiliations. These are current customers that would be willing to reach out to other potential customers for you. This can be creating a buddy system where introducing a friend offers more. Most won’t do this without some kind of incentive, so it's good to think about what you can offer in return. Remember to think about your current customer base and what rewards would suit them. And don't be afraid to ask them too!
- Educational programs. This is content best suited for existing customers and is a way of giving back to them, thanking them for their continued commitment to your brand. You can invest in your customers in a way that doesn’t have to be discounts or offers. This type of content is likely to make customers take notice, as you're putting actual quantifiable time into them.
- Advocacy programs. This is for customers that not only make regular purchases from you but that’re also vocal about their love for your brand. These folks form the backbone of your customer ecosystem and are people you'll want to keep in touch with.
Advocacy programs are a way of rewarding their loyalty to you, be it in the form of a gift card, charitable donation, VIP experiences, and much more.
They’ll also be the best people to ask about contributing to your company (through surveys, case studies, etc.). They want to know what’s going on behind the scenes and feel like they're part of the community that makes the brand what it is.
So now you know the basics of starting your customer marketing journey for your company. If you’re looking for some tips and tricks to turn your customer marketing strategy from good to great, have a look at our article on 'The secrets of successful customer marketing'.
Here you will learn:
📚 How to specialize content that suits this type of audience,
📈 How to increase sales by optimizing how you use your existing customers,
🔍 How measuring performance can improve your strategies, and
🤝 Why collaboration is the most important skill for a customer marketer.