How to do Customer Marketing

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 6.22.46 PMThis is the 29th post of a 50 article series for beginners building marketing at B2B startups.

The marketing and selling process does not stop once a prospect becomes a customer. Especially if our business has recurring revenue (i.e. customers pay us monthly and can leave us anytime) it is critical that we continue to market new products and valuable content to our customer base. To keep things simple, I categorize customer content marketing into 3 buckets:

  • Content about the overall space and industry
  • Content about how to maximize product value
  • Content that drives upsells of new products or services

Each of these are an important part of the customer marketing mix. Let’s breakdown each:

Content about the overall space and industry

This may be very similar content that is used for inbound marketing to attract targets, convert them to leads and then turn those leads into customers. Everyone who matches our target persona is likely interested in the top of funnel content we create.

For example, in my business selling mobile apps to gym operators, content about technology for gyms is relevant to my prospects and customers. This makes it easy to share the same content with both.

Content about how to maximize product value

Most products require some training, and likely have a set of best practices that if used, make the product work really well. The marketing team should partner with customer success to deliver content that educates the customer-base on those best practices, and ensures they are continuing to be nurtured after purchase. This process ensures we don’t end up with a “shelf product,” that is, a product that the customer purchases but doesn’t end up using.

For this marketing mix, consider:

  • Webinars that demonstrate how different aspects of the product are used
  • Case studies from how other customers have succeeded
  • Articles about customers using the product

Everyone always likes to feel like they are in good company. By producing articles about customers that highlight their success, it makes that customer feel great to be touted and it gives other customers confidence that their peers are succeeding in using our product.

Content that drives upsells

One of the most important aspects of customer marketing is driving upsells. If we offer additional products, add-ons or services, our current customer-base is a perfect target market.

For each additional product or service, we need to follow a similar inbound methodology of educating our customers about the new product and driving them to reach out (likely to their account manager) to discuss it. These add-on campaigns need to have the full power of a marketing mix: email, content, social media, retargeted digital ads and landing pages.

Best Practices

To get started with customer marketing, consider the following best practices:

Keep tight alignment with Customer Success

As the marketing team, we need to work closely with account managers to ensure that our messaging is on point, the timing of our campaigns is relevant, and the team is educated on how to respond to inquires. The Product Marketing function typically owns managing this alignment.

Treat it as a separate funnel

Marketing to customers can be just as impactful as marketing to prospects. All of the same rules of building an inbound machine apply, except we get to skip the step of converting targets to leads. We have the leads since they are our customer list — our goal is to educate those leads and move them through the funnel until they are ready to discuss upsell products.

Measure and improve

Like any of our other marketing activities, we should test a variety of channels to engage with our customers, and leverage the expertise of our account management team on how best to communicate.

This post is part of a 50 article series on startup marketing

Greg Skloot is a technology entrepreneur and marketer. He is currently VP Growth at Netpulse, the #1 provider of mobile apps for health clubs and a $40M VC backed software company in San Francisco. At Netpulse, he leads marketing, operations and strategic growth. Previously, Greg was CEO and Co-Founder of Attend.com, where he built the initial product, raised $3M and hired a team of 30. Contact Greg at skloot.org/contact.



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