A Modern Marketing Map for Customer-centric Success
You know that your customer is fundamental to your strategic success. At the
Customer-core. Customer-centred. Customer-centric. Customer-obsessed.
Digital tools and channels have dramatically transformed the way buyers choose to purchase. They’re more
They’re preoccupied with their products, their marketing, their sales, their success. They’re preoccupied with themselves. But now it’s time to look at everything through the eyes of the customer. Your success starts with knowing thy buyer.
Pillar 1. Influencers
Establishing relationships with industry influencers is the first essential step in this modern marketing map. These are the people your potential
Influencer marketing has the power to humanize your brand and foster customer engagement in a much more organic way; the key is to accurately identify the influencers, or “
Reaching out to and engaging with influencers doesn’t just benefit marketers. Increasingly, salespeople aren’t just selling; in their efforts to add genuine value and educate the buyer, they’re becoming deep Subject Matter Experts, and should be learning from “smarty pants people” too!
When I was a sales rep at Eloqua, I considered SiriusDecisions to be the premiere research analysts, the smarty pants people, in the sales and marketing industry. As a kind of qualifying question, I would ask if my potential buyers were familiar with them; if not, I would share their content on modern marketing, because I knew it was the best in the field. I needed my buyer to become more knowledgeable, because the more informed they were, the more prepared they would be to purchase my product. I promoted SiriusDecisions heavily, joking that I was their best salesperson! But I wasn’t paid to promote them; I simply knew that their content and industry expertise would genuinely help my customers, as well as me.
According to McKinsey peer recommendations generate more than twice the sales of paid advertising...Tweet This
Pillar 2. Content
Self-empowered modern buyers are actively going out and seeking knowledge, trying to find their own solutions. Consequently, the problem that sellers and marketers are facing is that these buyers are no longer responding to cold outreach and traditional broadcast marketing techniques.
Call, email, call, email = ignore, delete, ignore, delete.
Traditional tactics aren’t working, as buyers turn to search engines and social networks to self-educate through the consumption of digital content. The important question is; what kind of content? After all, nobody Tweets your data sheet!
It’s important to align content to not only different stages of the buying
Above all, you should look to create content that tells a story and is human, in a variety of formats. It could be a how-to video, an instructional webinar or podcast, a whitepaper (if your target audience is B2B), an ebook, an infographic. The format you select will ultimately depend on that buyer persona, and where they are in their customer journey. It’s important to not only create
Pillar 3. Community
I am a big believer in ecosystem and partnership. At Eloqua, for example, we founded a community called Topliners. It was an online space where our customers could interact, where our employees were engaged and our partners educated. We shared inspirational success stories, facilitated supportive forums and published informative content. We even hosted offline events to bring our community together.
Beyond facilitating valuable communication, we were able to segment our community based on industry, geography, whether they were B2B or B2C. This allowed us to build detailed customer personas and helped us to better understand what they cared about, the challenges they were faced with. Not only did we facilitate the customer conversation, we listened to it, and joined in. When nurtured properly, a community has the ability to produce authentic sharing, learning,
A company that has excelled at promoting a customer-centric community is Gainsight, who is helping to define and grow the customer success movement. A core piece of their mission is to build the “biggest community of Customer Success folks around”. They do this in four ways;
- Their Customer Success University, which offers a series of e-learning modules to help Customer Success Managers upskill and provide more value to their employers
- Pulse Local, a networking community with local chapters that hold meetings and networking receptions to complement their online discussion community.
- Pulse Conference, an annual conference that
favoursthought leadership and relationship building over product-centricity.
- Career Hub, job postings of companies looking to hire Customer Success professionals.
By creating opportunities to connect customers and cultivate a sense of community, you can enhance the ongoing effectiveness of your marketing strategy, build your brand’s reputation, earn the trust of your customers and drive revenue!
Pillar 4. Advocacy
Your best salespeople are not on your payroll. They’re your customers, who are willing to say good things about you. Buyers today not only have more choice, they have
The traditional perception of customer advocacy is something like a reference program, which is based on gathering references to help sales reps enhance your company’s credibility and acquire more customers. But what does a customer reference program offer the customer in return for their reference? It’s a one-way approach that offers no benefit or incentive to the customer.
I think the best advocacy programs are those that find ways for you and your company to provide value to your customers. Examples of this would be if your customers are quoted or referenced in the
The key to developing advocacy is clear communication. It’s not
If you want to turn a potential buyer into an actual advocate, you have to design your entire process to create advocacy. Advocacy is not random, and it’s not by chance. It’s about people, about the relationships you create. You need to craft experiences that evoke emotion. Advocacy is
The most effective marketing strategies are driven by a customer-centric culture. A customer-centric organization is where every process starts and ends with customer success in mind. It’s a culture, not an event or a
About Jill Rowley - Evangelist and Start-Up Advisor
After 6 years in management consulting, 52 quarters in software sales at Salesforce and Eloqua, a year leading Social Selling at Oracle, Jill Rowley provides #SocialSelling evangelism,
Jill is passionate about culture, customers, content,