Shipping them to sales (and hopefully converting them).
Wash, rinse, repeat.
Today, things have changed. To be sure, customer acquisition is still important. But just as important – arguably more important – is how customers are treated once they become … well … customers.
That is, once the pomp is done – the courting, the promises, the signatures, the honeymoon – it’s suddenly just your company and your bona fide customer. Looking at each other.
As a modern marketer, what are you doing to keep the customer relationship alive?
According to Forrester Research VP and principal analyst, Laura Ramos, the answer is “not enough” and it’s the focus of a new on-demand webinar hosted by our own CMO, Atri Chatterjee: Marketing Automation – Beyond Customer Acquisition.
In this lively, interview-style discussion, Laura and Atri discuss how today’s marketers must expand their purview, not only being suppliers of leads, but also being drivers of post-sale customer engagement.
And worth mentioning: the presentation is tailor-made; it was crafted from actual questions pre-submitted by B2B marketer attendees. Maybe even from you.
Here’s a peek at what you’ll see and hear in less than 60 minutes:
Buyers are in the driver’s seat
Mobility’s enthusiastic, worldwide embrace – particularly when coupled with social media – has enhanced and potentiated the power of digitally savvy consumers in ways that continue to blindside marketers.
The new normal is “connectivity” and “immediacy” of information, wherever and whenever. And woe to the business that resists delivering to consumers’ new expectations.
Atri and Laura discuss what marketers need to focus on to stay competitive.
The sales funnel should be killed
Ok, maybe that’s a bit harsh. But the takeaway is that the concept of “funnel” is outdated and should be retired. Why?
“Because at the end of the funnel, your customers drop into space,” says Laura. “Where’s the continued engagement? Nowhere.”
According to Laura and Forrester, B2B marketers are in a unique position to create a new paradigm: a closed-loop cycle where customers are given new opportunities to discover (and rediscover) ways to engage with your brand, products, and services. So they will be motivated to make new purchases, maintain warm fuzzies for your company, and even advocate for you.
Discussion abounds about how and why marketing holds the reigns to make this happen.
Marketers are hard-wired to be shortsighted
It seems acquisition marketing is a hard habit to break, even among marketers who understand the importance of – and proclaim commitment to – customer-retention marketing.
The big tell? Consistent research that shows B2B marketers continuing to use (and rank highly) acquisition-specific tactics as solutions for customer retention.
(Insert a Bronx cheer here.)
To be fair, Laura says B2B marketers are doing an “ok job” with their customer marketing investments, but they could and should be doing more. She follows up by providing a sneak peek at data results from an upcoming and unpublished Forrester report. (Spoiler alert: the slide speaks to marketing automation investments.)
If you use marketing automation only for leads, you’re losing 50% of your investment
Agreed to by both, the value of marketing automation is that the technologies can be applied to acquisition and retention in a single platform, at a single cost, and with a lot benies, including:
- Better-qualified leads
- Lower cost per lead
- Understanding who your best customers are and how to find more like them
- Learning what the customer journey looks like at all stages
- Learning what motivates customers to re-purchase from you
Watch for more
If any of this sounds helpful or interesting or both, I encourage you to watch the webinar today.
You’ll not only hear a great conversation by two proven leaders in the field, you’ll get a set of tips and steps to help you craft and create your customer-retention plan, and measure it.
Added bonus: There are also examples of successful campaigns to spur the creative juices.
Remember, happy customers are not only less expensive to maintain, they also spend more on repeat purchases.
It’s a beautiful thing.