Customer marketing, otherwise known as customer relationship marketing (CRM), is the act of strengthening profitable relationships with existing customers. Therefore, it is any marketing activity where the focus is a group of current customers.
It is no industry secret that acquiring a new customer is 5 times more expensive than retaining a current patron. As such, it is important to keep existing customers happy. There are many ways to do this. Some of those methods evolved over the years as customer habits and behaviors change.
However, there seems to be a lot of argument about which team in the organization should be owning customer marketing. But the consensus seems to lean towards the customer success team. In this article, we will look at the reasons why this is so.
Reasons Why Customer Success Should Spearhead Customer Marketing
Customer marketing is a complex process that involves communicating with the audience in the way they like, need, or want. Because of this, there always seems to be a new trend on how to best go about it, propelled by changes in technology or customer behaviors. Whether teams actually jump on the wagon of those trends does not matter, because their responsibilities remain the same:
- Encouraging brand loyalty
- Helping customers achieve success
- Increasing referrals
- Engaging and communicating with customers
- Improve customer satisfaction
There are other things it needs to do, of course, and the above are only a few of them.
But why keep on marketing to people who have already bought from or who keep on buying from you? One reason is that they are, at present, loyal to your brand. They have established trust in you. The second reason is that it is less expensive to market to them. They are even more likely to convert each time.
More benefits, aside from those mentioned, are to be had with customer marketing.
Benefits of customer marketing for customer successes
1. Additional referrals: Word-of-mouth marketing remains one of the most powerful marketing methods. Consumers are easily swayed in their purchasing decisions by what their friends and relatives say. They are even more likely to listen to their peers online. And even to influencers!
2. Contract renewal: Are you offering a subscription service or a contractual service? With customer marketing, your existing, satisfied patrons are highly likely to renew their contracts with you. You can also discover opportunities to cross-sell or upsell in the process.
3. Reduced customer churn: When you do customer marketing right, you will see less customer churn.
With the above, it is easy to see that including customer marketing in your overall strategy can bring many benefits to your organization. The job understandably falls to the marketing department. But let us face it: There are many teams in any organization. And there is a long-standing argument about which team should own customer marketing.
It varies from company to company. Others say it should be housed with the customer success team. On the other hand, other people say the better home is marketing. The voice of those for the customer success team taking ownership is strong, though. After all, it is the unit mainly responsible for customer retention. And CRM is all about making current patrons stay loyal.
5 Reasons Why Customer Success Should Own Customer Marketing
1. They know customers best
The customer success team has the most interactions with customers. This means they can identify who the top customers are. They are also the most aware of customer likes and dislikes. With the data they have, they can assist customer marketing in creating the most relevant and persuasive messages.
Of course, such is only possible when they share information with each other in a streamlined manner. This is possible by allowing them to have access to the same inbox. You can make sure that happens with the best customer support software for businesses.
2. They can help with understanding customers better
Understanding customers at a deeper level is a requisite for customer success. The customer marketing team can benefit from that, as they can use what they learn for customer engagement. At the same time, they can employ their newfound knowledge to ensure that at-risk customers change their minds. As well, customer marketing and customer success teams can work together to change the customer lifecycle for the better. In this way, they can contribute to the improvement of the overall customer experience. This should lead to higher customer retention.
3. They know how to connect with the audience
As mentioned earlier, the customer success team is intimate with the audience. They know things that, sometimes, other teams like customer marketing are unaware of. When the two work together, the customer success team can share insights with the customer marketing team about how to approach the audience directly.
By doing so, there is a higher chance of more specific targeting. Hence, customer marketing can identify the best products for upselling and cross-selling—or before that, determine whether either is a good idea.
4. They can provide value
Customers are tired of seeing, reading, or hearing about how great a product’s characteristics are. Instead, what they want to know is what value the product can offer to them. The customer success team can provide insight into that. They can aid customer marketing in creating value- or solution-focused messages. Therefore, existing buyers know the benefits they will get from a product as soon as they become aware of it up to the point they make a purchase.
Moreover, the rules of marketing and PR have changed. One needs to keep the other aware so that their messages are aligned. Together, they can produce consistent messages in any part of the customer journey. In this way, they are more likely to convince current buyers to buy again.
5. They can point out content needs
Above, we talked about value-focused messages. Those can come in different forms such as banner ads, videos, knowledge-base articles, and push communications. Or, they can be in long-form content for blogs or summarized messages for socials.
Customer marketing teams may scramble for content every time so they can keep the audience engaged. But when they work together with customer success teams, they can acquire ideas about what kind of content or topics to publish. This is because the latter knows what the customers are looking for exactly.
When they can translate that into interesting content, they can keep customers engaged. This is especially true when customer marketing teams manage to hit the right buttons such as channel and form.
Break Down Silos
It is easy to bundle two or three teams together and leave the rest in the dark. At times, this is a mistake that some organizations make. No matter where you end up housing your customer marketing, make sure they remain connected with other areas.
After all, what truly matters is that it is knitted together with a team that has a strong foundation—and of course, well-funded. The latter is truly important because, at times, your business would have to shell out for marketing campaigns. Do not fret, though. As we said earlier, less money would come out of your pocket when you are marketing to existing customers. Plus, you get potentially higher ROI, too!
One more thing. Make sure that you put your customer marketing in a home that works best for its function. But even if you put it in a place other than the customer success team or even the marketing team, just make certain that they are still in sync every step of the way. This is because when they are attuned, they can better execute strategies to reduce churn and increase customer loyalty. They have a lot to learn from each other as well. Thus, when they work in tandem, they can achieve better and more consistent messaging and be more strategic as well.