Are You Focusing on Prospects and Ignoring Customers?

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Traditionally, most marketing resources (and many of our conversations about using Marketo) have been focused on the lead generation phase of the customer lifecycle. We don’t always spend much time on upsell, cross-sell, customer satisfaction, and advocacy. Gartner Group, however, estimates that 80% of a company’s future profits will come from just 20% of existing customers.

Given those statistics, as marketers we need to make sure that we’re putting an adequate amount of effort into:

  • Improving overall retention and upsell rates
  • Reducing the manual effort required to upsell and retain existing customers
  • Maintaining and growing customer references

What are some of the ways you can focus on your customers within Marketo?

First and foremost, if my workshops with my clients are any guide, a shocking number of us must admit that we don’t know who our customers are. The data that tells us someone is a customer frequently lives in another system that’s not connected to Marketo or it requires a combination of information from multiple systems so we don’t exert the effort to integrate that. As a customer, imagine how frustrating this is: “Stop emailing me with offers to join. I’m already a customer!” So, the first step is to agree on some rules about how to identify who is actually a customer and get your data in order so you have everything you need to execute those rules.

If you know who your customers are, you’re ahead of many. Now you have to decide what to do with that information. Again, think about what you like as a customer – to feel like the company cares about your business. You don’t want your customers to say: “The only time I hear from you is when you want me to renew and pay you more money.”

Consider a couple of these ideas:

  • Set up an onboarding/welcome nurture program for new customers
  • Set up an upsell/cross-sell nurture to existing customers to encourage them to buy relevant products/services similar to those they already own/use and to provide them with useful information about how to get more out of the stuff they already have
  • Set up a renewal/retention program with reminders and thank you emails
  • Set up a new scoring model just for customers to help track engagement and predict renewal/upsell
  • Set up a domain/account scoring process to identify new leads that come in and are associated with existing customer accounts so you are messaging properly to them right off the bat
  • Set up a customer reference/advocacy program – even with something as simple as the referral offers from the social tools
  • Extend your acquisition model or build a new customer model to track and report on customer onboarding, upsell, cross-sell, and renewal

It’s always really refreshing to see people putting some thought into managing the customer experience, not just the prospect lifecycle. If you have other ideas or want to share how you’re using Marketo for your customer lifecycle, please share!