CMOs know they need to get a handle on the customer experience—and fast.
Without long-term engagement strategies that deliver the right content at the right moment to increase customer loyalty and delight, brands lose valuable customers and the chance to leverage positive customer sentiment to attract new buyers.
But where do you start? How do you overcome the complexity of your solutions, your customers’ ever-changing needs and organizational silos to create meaningful customer relationships at scale?
Lori Wizdo, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, says it starts by replacing product-centric go-to-market tactics with a new approach.
In her most recent research report, Scale Your B2B Customer Obsession With A Go-To-Customer Strategy, Lori outlines how you can begin to build a Go-To-Customer (GTC) strategy that aligns your teams and makes customer obsession across your organizations a possibility instead of just a pipe dream.
Access the entire report for free here, or read on for a quick summary of some of Lori’s key insights.
1. Establish simple buyer archetypes
Get on the same page about your customers by creating a simple archetype to understand their buyer journey.
You can do this by mapping your offerings by solution complexity and decision complexity. Once you understand these two factors, your teams can align around the buyer journey milestones you know prospects must take.
“Buyer journey patterns provide a basis for marketing planning and sales marketing/alignment because the archetype modelling reliably predicts a number of buying process contexts,” says Lori.
(To learn more about the GTC Strategy Matrix and buyer archetypes, download the report.)
2. Place advocates at key points in the buyer’s journey
“Buyers seek advice from other people at some point in the buying process and during their lifetime as a customer,” says Lori. Some buyers seek recommendations before they research a vendor. Others want to see solid reviews on analysts websites so they can get buy-in.
New customers also value post-sale relationship building—and not only with your brand. Connecting with existing advocates early on can help new users get up to speed faster and see more value from your solution in the long run.
No matter your buyer type, there’s a way for advocates to help at every stage of the customer lifecycle, including:
• Spreading word of mouth about your brand on private social networks and review sites—which is where buyers start their research
• Easing buyer fears with references and case studies during the buying process and helping turn new customers into successful users
• Turning new customers into successful users by sharing best practices and ideas
Work with your customer success teams (you could start by mining your NPS data) to find your happy, successful customers and deploy them through the customer lifecycle. (Learn more about how to leverage customers advocates in this guide.)
3. Plan your content accordingly
With your archetypes in hand, your sales and marketing teams can figure out what content is needed to speed up parts of the buying process. Buyers seeking an easy solution need to know product benefits and what differentiates you from competitors early. More complex solutions (especially in emerging markets) will require thought-leadership content to inspire buyers to make a big change.
The same goes for content after new customers are onboarded. This is the perfect time to increase customer advocacy by sharing inspirational tips and tricks with ambitious customers, or giving your technical practitioners an in-depth, searchable knowledge base to learn how they can master your solution.
They key? Include existing customer advocates in your content to make your content more genuine and trustworthy.