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Watch this on-demand webinar to see the three best marketing plays to boost marketing performance for your L&D or training company. We’ve tied them up in a nice bow for easy viewing. Check it out!

In this post, we’re excited to share the insights from three top marketing experts who bring real-world experience and actionable advice to the table.

Each will share their favorite marketing strategy for generating more leads, customers, and revenue.

Meet our panelists:

Together, we’ve curated three impactful plays that can transform your marketing game. From optimizing email marketing strategies to leveraging Account Based Marketing (ABM) and harnessing the power of Customer Marketing, these plays are tried, tested, and proven to drive results.

Join us as we uncover practical tips, insights, and strategies to boost your marketing performance and take your business to the next level. Let’s dive in!

We’re all familiar with the Pareto Principle, commonly known as the 80/20 rule, suggesting that 80% of your profits stem from just 20% of your customers – your prized “best” customers. Their value shines through their Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

Now, let’s ponder: Do you have a clear vision of who your next best customers will be? These are the ones poised to replace your current top customers or amplify your profitability. It’s crucial to deploy targeted strategies to pinpoint and nurture these future top customers, even before they formally become clients.

The most efficient and effective avenue for this journey is through Account Based Marketing, or ABM. While it demands resources, it yields substantial returns. In essence, it’s a smart move.

Peeling Back the ABM Layers

ABM is a meticulously targeted, personalized, and measurable process that centers on a specific group of high-potential customers-to-be, immersing them in a tailor-made customer experience. It’s a strategy crafted to drive revenue and profit acquisition. Let’s delve deeper into ABM’s essence.

Here’s a word mosaic, a blend of three-letter acronyms buzzing around marketing. For now, focus on these key ones:

  • ABM: Account Based Marketing.
  • ICP: Ideal Customer Profile (not insane clown posse). It’s a detailed snapshot of your top customers.
  • TAM: Total addressable market. Your ICP likely resides within this sphere.
  • CLV: Customer lifetime value. The metric that translates into revenue. How long does the customer stick around, and how profitable is the relationship? The goal: happier, long-lasting customers who buy more.

The hard truth is that achieving ABM’s success demands tight-knit coordination among marketing, sales, and soon, Customer Success, to uphold an increasingly personalized customer journey. The buzzword here is EEW – Effective Engagement Workflow.

Your ICP is ABM’s North Star

Your ICP serves as a broad-stroke blueprint of your top customers, setting the stage for differentiating the gold from the gravel in your TAM. It’s the guiding star that steers your ABM prospecting efforts.

Not every intrigued prospect will transform into a loyal customer. Your TAM includes a subset of your ICP, but it also harbors a subset we playfully term FaM (Fog a Mirror). Interestingly, in fledgling organizations fixated on sales volume, many end up with a surplus of FaMs. The ICP acts as your ABM navigator.

Unveiling the Three Tiers of a Successful ICP

  • The first tier operates in broad strokes: firmographics (industry, revenue, employee count, location, etc.). Interestingly, a client of ours discovered that delving deeper here, especially into HR budget allocation, signaled a company’s alignment with our ICP.
  • The second tier lays out the prerequisites or why they stand to benefit from being a customer (e.g., companies with robust legal departments benefit from our software).
  • The third tier takes an educated guess at which titles to target and why (e.g., SMEs or subject matter experts, key decision-making advisors).

Personalization, particularly the ability to personalize, is a cornerstone of ABM. This hinges on the data we gather through analysis and increasingly through two-way communications based on trust. We must understand the specific concerns and use cases to make personalization a distinguishing factor, honing in on these companies and executives.

Dear Santa

The chart below illustrates the personalization journey within ABM.

At the left end, armed with just our ICP, personalization is akin to “Dear Santa,” as we’re still exploring. We start offering more tailored content based on assumptions, aiming to foster engagement.

We devise a preliminary buying journey and employ content marketing to fill that journey with what prospects need to advance and engage with sales.

The next step involves qualitative research to craft specific personas: who are these decision-makers, and what are their concerns and needs?

Subsequently, we engage in real conversations, learning and tailoring the customer experience to suit the company, the customer, and the buying team. After all, B2B has always been, and always will be, personal.

This is where marketing and sales must collaborate and synchronize to deliver an increasingly personalized experience. They must share intelligence, strategize, and implement tactics to understand and fulfill the prospect’s needs while articulating solutions effectively.

As if dealing with customers wasn’t enough, now marketing and sales must collaborate?

The seamless integration of marketing and sales warrants a separate discussion. But here are three cues to set the stage:

  • Leadership must lead by example.
  • Shared metrics are crucial.
  • Compensation must align across teams.

As you inch closer to converting prospects into customers, delve deeper into the personalized customer experience by introducing the Customer Success team.

The End Game

I was part of a team conducting NPS (Net Promoter Score) research, coupled with qualitative analysis. Instead of just asking if customers would recommend us, we probed why.

In one instance, I interviewed the C-suite decision-maker of one of our best customers. When asked about the most critical benefit, his response was succinct: “Our salesman. He’s part of our team, helping us solve problems. He knows what we need and delivers.”

That’s the pinnacle ABM can lead you to – a more resourceful and efficient use of resources with the highest ROI among marketing strategies. Discover, invest in, and create your next, best customers through ABM.

Gone are the days when managing our email inbox was a breeze. Now, juggling multiple inboxes amidst a flood of incoming emails, including spam and phishing attempts, has become a time-consuming challenge. However, amidst this chaos, email marketing continues to thrive as a vital component of a comprehensive marketing strategy.

The Marketing Rule of 7 (Approaching 8)

The marketing “Rule of 7,” which is inching towards 8, emphasizes the importance of multiple interactions (about 7 or 8 “touches”) for a message to resonate with an individual. This underscores the significance of an omnichannel approach, where email marketing plays a pivotal role alongside social media and advertising.

Why Invest in Email Marketing?

Investing time and resources in email marketing yields several benefits. Firstly, it maintains consistent visibility even if an email isn’t read immediately, thus sustaining a connection with recipients. Secondly, email marketing is cost-effective compared to other marketing avenues, making it an attractive option for businesses.

However, the success of email marketing relies on a well-crafted strategy rather than spamming tactics.

Here are four proven steps to enhance your email marketing ROI:

  1. Craft Actionable Messages: Craft compelling messages that encourage action. Utilize content from your website to maintain consistency and credibility in your emails. This strategy also extends to social media posts.
  2. Keep Emails Concise: Focus on no more than two topics per email and keep the content short yet informative to drive engagement. Incorporate enticing calls-to-action (CTAs) to boost click-through rates creatively.
  3. Command Attention with Subject Lines: Craft attention-grabbing subject lines that are short and creative, ideally less than 80 characters. Utilize online tools for subject line testing to optimize open rates.
  4. Analyze Results: Evaluate audience behavior and metrics like bounce rates and click-through rates to glean insights for future campaigns. Engage with recipients who interact with your emails to move them through the conversion funnel.

Remember, email marketing is a long-term strategy that requires consistency and creativity. While immediate results may not be evident, persistence pays off in the form of sustained audience engagement and lead generation.

In conclusion, email marketing remains an invaluable tool in the marketing arsenal, offering cost-effectiveness, reach, and potential for generating leads, making it a cornerstone of a successful marketing strategy.

In the realm of B2B marketing strategies, Customer Marketing shines as a hidden gem, often overshadowed by the pursuit of new leads and logos. Yet, it holds the key to unparalleled profitability and sustainable growth, making it a crucial focus that no business can afford to overlook.

The Neglected Gold Mine of Customer Marketing

Surprisingly, many marketing professionals fail to prioritize Customer Marketing, despite its immense potential. Few companies have a proactive Customer Marketing strategy in place, even though it stands out as the most lucrative of all marketing endeavors. Especially for businesses operating on limited budgets, Customer Marketing should take precedence over other initiatives.

The Lure of New vs. the Value of Existing

The allure of new growth through fresh leads and acquisitions often blinds businesses to the goldmine that is their existing customer base. Consider these compelling statistics:

  • 44% of companies prioritize customer acquisition, while only 18% focus on customer retention, a glaring misalignment in priorities.
  • Acquiring a new customer can be up to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one, highlighting the cost-effectiveness of customer retention strategies.
  • The probability of selling to an existing customer is significantly higher (60% to 70%) compared to selling to a new prospect (5% to 20%).

Moreover, a mere 5% increase in customer retention can translate into a substantial profit boost ranging from 25% to 95%. These numbers underscore the untapped potential within existing customer relationships.

Decoding Customer Marketing

Customer Marketing encompasses several vital strategies:

Customer Retention:

  • Initiate renewal campaigns tailored to your product or service cycle.
  • Foster community development to encourage engagement and product utilization.
  • Implement loyalty programs offering incentives and exclusive benefits.
  • Focus on product education and onboarding to maximize customer value and satisfaction.
  • Conduct Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys regularly to gauge customer sentiment and address concerns promptlycustomer retention

Customer Referrals:

  • Leverage satisfied customers for external referrals to other potential clients.
  • Encourage internal referrals within larger organizations for account expansion and growth opportunities.
  • Implement incentives for customers and internal teams to facilitate referral activities

customer referrals

Upselling Customers:

  • Identify opportunities for traditional upselling, cross-selling related products, and expanding accounts within the same organization.
  • Offer exclusive offers and rewards to loyal customers to incentivize continued engagement and purchases

Quick Steps to Jumpstart Customer Marketing

To kickstart your Customer Marketing efforts effectively, consider these actionable steps:

  • Implement a regular NPS survey to gather valuable customer feedback and insights.
  • Develop a robust customer education program to enhance product understanding and usage.
  • Provide internal incentives and training for referral programs to drive referral activities across teams.

The Key Takeaway

In the grand scheme of marketing investments, Customer Marketing constitutes a mere fraction (5% to 20%) of the cost of acquiring new customers. This makes it a strategic imperative for businesses looking to maximize ROI and foster long-term growth. By prioritizing Customer Marketing, you unlock a wealth of opportunities within your existing customer base, paving the way for sustained success and profitability.

Wrap it up: Embracing the Power of Smart Marketing

As we wrap up this dive into smart marketing moves, it’s clear that the magic happens when you blend innovation, strategy, and getting things done. Whether it’s diving into Account Based Marketing (ABM), fine-tuning Email Marketing tricks, or tapping into the goldmine of Customer Marketing, businesses can ride the waves of the marketing world with gusto, paving the way for long-lasting success and growth.

Gordon Johnson has been a marketing leader in the corporate L&D industry for over twenty years. His specialty is developing transformative marketing strategies that generate qualified sales opportunities, employing the latest digital marketing channels, coupled with traditional techniques to achieve industry-leading brand awareness, widespread web presence and high-impact value propositions. Other marketing concentrations include content marketing, messaging, social marketing, positioning strategy, analyst relations, events, customer success, and lead-generation.

International author, lecturer and consultant, Scott Hornstein has worked with clients in all phases of marketing strategy, research, and implementation. He has worked with companies large and small to build profitability, by improving marketing performance, and reengineering the customer experience to boost satisfaction, referrals, and customer lifetime value.

Barbara Sanner is the Founder of Complete Marketing Solutions. They specialize in business-to-business marketing for organizations around the world, delivering marketing strategy and implementation, from advertising to webinars.