Is all your marketing expenditure all spent pre-sale? Is it all about building the sales funnel? Is it about delivering sales support? Is it simply a lead generation tool?
Well, it’s time to think again.
Good marketing today can support you through the entire lifecycle with your client. It can help you understand your customers’ needs more deeply. It can help you to turn your customers from simply buyers of your products and services, to advocates for your entire business and brand.
I had a coffee with Chris Bantock of BeSeen Marketing today. We’d met at a networking event and decided to meet up for a coffee and chew the fat. When you get two marketer’s together is that a proposition of marketers?
Both he and I are always surprised how little marketing time and money is invested in the customer post-sales. With the challenges of B2B prospecting becoming harder and the plethora of traditional and digital communication channel available to businesses, why do so many fail to love their customers as much as they should do?
It’s well-established that it can cost five times more to attract a new customer, than it does to retain an existing one. Yet, many marketing departments are only measured by how many leads are poured into the top of sales funnel, not the happiness of their customer base.
But research done by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company, shows that “increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%”. So how can this be achieved?
The answer is to ensure your marketing team are focused in understanding your customers’ needs at a very deep level. Why not ask new customers why they bought from you immediately after they have signed the deal? If you have loyal customers, take them out to lunch and find out why they are so loyal and why they value the relationship with you? Surely, if one customer likes something about you, it must apply to some others too? Marketing should be about why customers buy, whereas sales are focused on selling.
Also, you might find out that what they value, is not what you thought it was. This must then influence your value proposition as you have identified a new need that you can satisfy. You might even find this new need can create a whole new market segment that you can develop.
Chris agreed. “the customers that are going to succeed in today’s super-competitive marketplace need to be relentless in their marketing. They need to consider marketing throughout the customer’s total lifecycle, not just the sales cycle. If you do, your customers will act as your second sales team. If you get it right, the payback can be fantastic”.
So consider marketing to your customers post-sale, perhaps not by bombarding them with offers, but sharing valuable information with them or building relationships that go beyond the transactional because, in the end, you’ll make more money by offering them genuine value.