Customer marketing - A framework to drive expansions!


Customer success has been all the rage in the industry today. The genius of businesses in separating out sales or new revenue from relationship building & nurturing is something we need to give our industry gurus major credit for.

And the next logical step is to define customer marketing — marketing that speaks to a customer who is already on-boarded and nurtures them through a framework built for up-selling, cross-selling and expansions.

Now the secret sauce of growth in a business lies in one WORD “UPSELL”. When you watch intelligent marketers like RUSSEL BRANSON and his webinars on exponential growth, we can sense the level of money that fast growing businesses make through up sells, cross-sells and expansions.

Now, is there a framework that CSMs that marketers can follow to nurture existing customers?

Of course there is.

A very simple bullet list of powerful content for customer marketing is:

  1. Monthly product deep dive calls dedicated to discuss new features in the products

  2. QBRs to include updates on new product launches & releases, with an emphasis on continuous innovation

  3. QBRs that discuss value added services and the benefits realized

  4. Professional services catalog and conversation

  5. Roadmap presentations in key discussions with the help of Product management

  6. Case studies for social proof & benefits derived by other customers

  7. Proven product metrics that matter to the customer

  8. Competitors Vs Own product performance

  9. White papers and solution papers, Point of view documents contextualized with the help of Product marketing

  10. Webinars on industry trends and the company’s take on the same

How can this content, which is produced for customers that are mature in the product buying cycle, narrate into the overall marketing objectives and Goals?

The following metrics can really do well and can be shared goals among customer success, product marketing & product management

  1. Expansions: Customer marketing done right, should lead directly into expansions & up-sells.

  2. Gross retention: Customers that understand and appreciate the business you are in are less likely to churn

  3. Product adoption: Customers that understand more about the product and the value it provides are likely to use it more resulting in increased licenses or deployments

The marketing function, mainly for a subscription based software products should bring traction towards these metrics.

Now, how does marketing adapt itself into delivering this? The following simple tools can drive results:

  1. Customized newsletters generated together with Customer success managers. Create a template for each customer

  2. Put up a customer portal on the company website and drive customers to this micro-site

  3. QBRs are a great place to present and educate the customers on overall company direction and marketing & product management should participate in such meetings

Any other thoughts and suggestions? Let me know! Write to me subha@robin.io

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