B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast
B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast

Episode 2097 · 2 months ago

3 Steps to Better Customer Marketing

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, we talk to Nicole Smith, VP of Marketing at Tackle.io

Yeah. Hey everyone welcome back to be, to begrowth. I'm Olivia Hurley with sweet fish media and today I am joined byNicole smith from tackle io Nicole. How are you doing? I'm doing great. Thanksfor having me here today. Olivia. Oh my gosh! Of course, my pleasure. Well I,I'm so excited for this conversation before we hit record. We were talkingabout some trends you were seeing in the market. We were talking about waysthat you thought people could adjust what they're doing to win even more. Um,and one of those things was you've noticed that people don't focus oncustomer marketing until there's a churn issue. So I'm wondering, what doyou suggest instead? Yeah. So I really think, you know, you should start withthe customer. I think it's important to always be doing customer marketing. Ithink it's just so easy, especially in like the B two B startup world to, youknow, focus on the sales and top of the funnel and that's what so many metricsare driven off of. But you know, if you're going to start building amarketing team or you already have a marketing team or maybe you'rerequiring one, like take a step back and think about like how are wesupporting our customers from the marketing perspective? We have someonededicated to doing marketing for them. And if not, then this is probably agreat episode to think about, you know, some things that you can be doing andlike how those will impact some of your growth metrics for your company as well.So let's break it down to the bare bones here. What is customer marketingand how is it different than regular marketing? Sure. That's a greatquestion. So when I think of customer marketing, I think of everything postsale. So after that deal closes, that's really what I think customer marketingstarts and picks up. And so customer marketers are really going to befocused on the retention and expansion efforts. So helping with Upsell andcross sell opportunities and supporting, you know, the customer success team andhelping to keep those customers so that...

...no insurance. And then you know,regular marketing, I think of that as everything like, you know, that's thedemand to inside of things and helping move those prospects from the top ofthe funnel to the middle of the funnel to the bottom of the funnel that theydo convert and it's using content and enablement to drive them through thosestages. I love it. That was so succinct. So why do people generally neglectcustomer marketing until there's red flags and, and the turn issue? So Iwill say I was guilty of this for a long time. And so this might be, youknow, another reason I'm passionate about it, but I really didn't realizelike how big of a problem it was until I was at a company before tackle and wewere a customer success platform actually, but I have spent so much timebefore that in the Martek space and everything, there is focused on thebuyer journey, you know, we were, it was all marketing automation tools inyour text check and you know, how do you move buyers through that, how doyou get them to sales and get them to close and lead scoring and leadnurturing and that's what like marketers were supposed to understandand be obsessed with and then you know when I got to my last company it waslike wow there's a huge gap here and you know that's what the whole platformdid was how you know, how can you make sure these customers are churning, whatare the sides of, you know, this customer success team is reallyimportant, but it's not just a customer success effort, it's an effort for thewhole organization. Uh understanding that, you know, you need to priority,like marketing needs to focus on them, product needs to focus on them. I meansales needs to be focused on them too. And I think, you know, the real reasonthat they're neglected so much. It's just because like that acquisition sideis prioritized and there's sometimes confusion over who owns it in anorganization. You know, sales reps sometimes have responsibility for thoseup selling cross sell opportunities. Um account managers, you know, customersuccess there supporting customers, but...

...sometimes they don't always have likerevenue goals tied to that. You know, product wants to make sure everything'sworking right there, getting user feedback and so everyone's gettingthese different, you know, sets of feedback and talking to customers indifferent ways, but no one's really putting that all together and sayinglike, okay, we need to be doing this and putting a program around it. Andthat's where I think it's, you know, you need someone that can take thatcollaborative problem approach and understand what the customers need andreally put together a program based on that. So if somebody wants to forayinto this world, how do you recommend they alter the focus? So before evenstep one, how do they turn the ship? So I think you really have to make it atop down initiative in your company because if like the leadership team andC suite isn't on board, then it's just not gonna work. So if you're doingsomething like okay, R. S or B. Two moms that your company, so differentversions of goal setting, you should have something that focuses on, youknow, your customers, you know, maybe it's a retention and expansion goal. Iprefer those over turn. Um, you know, instead of focusing on like loweringyour turn rate because I think turn can be a really reactive measurement piece.So I would rather focus on like those positive metrics and then I think it'swhat's important to you and something we do a tackle is like we have thedifferent functional teams, each create their own, we use okay ours but createtheir own like goals and key performance indicators based off thatmain company goal. So, you know, I have a goal around that, you know, salesdoes customer success, does product does and then we're all collaboratingtogether to make sure, you know, our effort to line and that we're not, youknow, doing overlapping work, but there's like one owner of all of thisand how are we all working together to...

...hit that company goal? So I thinkthat's really important that it's top down and lead and that you kind ofunderstand there's not going to be one size fits all too for every companythat depending on your, you know, average deal size and who yourcustomers are, you know, what industry they're in, that you're probably goingto have to just kind of experiment and figure it out as you go along a littlebit as well. So what results have you seen from taking this approach andfocusing on customer marketing? You know, there's been a lot of differentresults over the years. I'll talk about one that I think is really great thatwe've seen a tackle, we have some of the strongest like advocates ever. Um,I think from focusing on our customer marketing and just being really strongin this area. So one of the things we've done is um, during the pandemicand Covid times was we started having these virtual wind nights for prospectsand opportunities, so people that were in the sales funnel and we decided like,let's, you know, instead of these people just hearing from tackle of whytackle is great and why you should be on cloud marketplaces. Let's invite afew of our customers to this session as well. And if they want to share, youknow, talk about their experience with marketplace and tackle, they can dothat as well. But we set it up kind of an intimate event with about, you know,30 people on a total of an hour and a half a solemn, let us through sometastings and we didn't prep customers were just like, hey, come have wine andjoin these conversations. And it turned into something we just didn't expect. Imean our customers would come on and just sing the praises of tackle. Theywould, you know, and all we did for them and the prospects ended up notasking tackle any questions. They would just start asking customers questionsabout their experience. And it was so cool to see this effect of like kind ofbuilding this community and you know, us not having to go into somethingthemselves because no one wants to hear from us more. They've already talked toour sales team, but just getting to...

...hear it from people that have alreadyworked with us was just pretty amazing. I think now we've done eight of theseso far just because they've been so successful. And just again, it's in avery natural way just not having another salesperson talked to you andsaid someone who's in their space and they can understand like, okay, they'vedone this and this makes sense and this is how they've been able to, you know,see positive results. I think that's one of the coolest things I've seenover this past year. Hey, everybody Logan was sweet this year. You probablyalready know that we think you should start a podcast if you haven't already.But what if you have and you're asking these kinds of questions, how much hasour podcast impacted revenue this year? How's our sales team actuallyleveraging the podcast content? If you can't answer these questions, you'reactually not alone. This is why cast it created the very first contentmarketing platform made specifically for B two B podcasting. Now you canmore easily search and share your audio content while getting greatervisibility into the impact of your podcast. The marketing teams at driftterminus and here at sweet fish have started using casted to get more valueout of our podcast. And you probably can too, you can check out the productin action and casted dot us slash growth. That's C A S T E D dot us slashgrowth. All right, let's get back to the show. Oh, that's fascinating. I'vemet so many people are going to want to replicate that and try it forthemselves. Should, who doesn't love a Y night? So now let's get tactical forsomebody wanting to follow what you're saying. What is step one? What step tokind of walk me through some of those first for scepter. So the first step isI really think you have should have someone that's dedicated to customermarketing. I've tried to do it where...

...it's like someone in my marketing teamsjob as part of like their other responsibilities like in contentmarketing do it and I just don't think it works. I think it has to besomeone's full time role to own this. Like it's just as important as demandgen marketing or content marketing as well. I mean but I think just so manypeople don't prioritize that as a role. So the first episode dedicating so intothe role. The second step is really segmenting your customers and figuringout the right programs that are going to work for them. So I think you knowyou can look at your customers and say okay we have a lot of enterprisecustomers so they need to be more high touch. So maybe the things that we dofor them or things like these kind of virtual wind events um Or we createmore of like a customer advisory board with them if they're you know reallyspecial customers so we can you know hear them. We've done things back whenwe were traveling more which will happen again now but our C. R. O. Wasgoing and going to our customer sales Kickoffs and he would actually dotraining for customers at those events um to train them on tackle and usinghow to market place. So things like that are great like just those kind ofone on one personalized training if you have a tech touch like lower tier ofcustomers, you know maybe it's those like premium or you know some of thefree trial or even like that smb group you can do things like in app messagingmore online training or just kind of like email communication for them andthings like that. And then if you have that like maybe it's a middle segmentof customers who you know, will be high value, but they need more nurturing,think of things that you can do, like an LMS with some online training ordigital content. We've also done things like an office hours, so we set that upwhere we were um every month. We were we do two of these sessions wherecustomers can come and ask us anything on specific topics. So something likethat can be really impactful as well um...

You know and just webinars or evensetting up a user group. So I think, you know, it's kind of grouping yourcustomers and figuring out what works for each segment and how to approachthem with those different marketing aspects because it's definitely not aone size fits all for all your different customer base and you reallyhave to like think about what's gonna work for all of them. And then I wouldsay the last step is really like tracking and measuring your data. Sojust like you do for prospects, you should score them and track customerslike look at what content they have engaged engaged with. Like are they notlooking at something that they should be looking at and then you have moredata on your customers than you do on anyone at the top of the funnel who's,you know, just a prospect and you know, hasn't converted yet. So you know, youcan look at an app things with different tools, you know, like Pandoand things like that. Like to understand is like the frequencychanging in which they're looking at your products. Are they not utilizingcertain features? Like if so maybe there's a need for more accustomedcommunication or you know, sending them a video on, how do you utilizesomething? Or again, inviting them to like a special office hours on thattopic. And then I like to, you know, identify customer needs and like lookat things like, you know, if you have gone or course or something like that,you know, setting up certain tags in there and you know, so filteringcustomer calls to maybe understand challenges that might be coming up andthat should probably help you create content as well to say like, okay, thisis a pain point with this part of the product. Maybe we need some moretraining to address that and you know, that's all. Also things you can look atin your crm if you know, people are detailed note takers in that area andyou know, maybe groups some of those people, if there are challenges into auser group and, or you know, send out surveys like, you know, mps and seesack and help you also gauge some of that. But I think like, you know, voiceof the customer through all those...

...different ways, whether it's like gongor surveys and you know, just listening and understanding can be super powerfulin helping you understand, you know, that's what you need to do to kind ofcourse correct on this. Oh my gosh, that is gold dust. So step one is tohave a dedicated customer marketing person. Step two is to determine andcategorize your current customers into categories and two sides into needs.And then three is to score them like you would your prospects. Oh my gosh,fascinating. That's such a good place to start. So for somebody who is Goingto implement three step process, what's a warning sign that they're getting itwrong? Yeah. So I think, you know, some warning signs could be like peoplearen't engaging with the content that you're sending. And I think some ofthat happens if you're using really template ID communications, um, youknow, if you're treating customers like strangers, which, you know, you havemore, again, you have more data on them than anyone else. So I think it reallytakes some extra time. And this is again where I see people struggle withcustomer marketing, is that like you have to build a communication on likeyour individual and account needs. It can't just be like a mass email blastthat you're sending out, inviting all your customers to one webinar and it's,you know, making sure, you know, even doing things like if renewal andexpansion rapid is the relationship, make them the center of an emailinstead of, you know, myself. Like, I don't need to be sending an email tothese customers for something. So I think things like that, if peoplearen't responding, they're opting out of things. That's a pretty bad sign.And another thing that I think is that again, it can be a retroactive thing,but if you turn is going up again, that's something I don't like to lookat. But well, obviously every business should look at it. But I think it'ssomething that, you know, if that is the case, like you want to understandwhy customers are leaving before you do,...

...which is why, you know, all of thisdata is good to understand. But sometimes what I've seen with that isthat the buyer is not the end user and so people are trying to create contentor repurposed content from the acquisition stage and the people thatthey're marketing to in the platform so they might have all the contact and thecrm from the people that were in the sales cycle with them. But then thepeople that are used, actually, the users of the platform are completelydifferent users and they've never really been in contact with them andthe marketers are still sending all this content to people that don'treally, you know, care, they're not using the product day to day. They justsigned off on like the purchase order and everything like that. And so theend users feel really left out of this and they need help and support and withlike more nurturing from marketing. So I think that's kind of one of the signstoo that I see is like you're talking to the wrong people in your marketingefforts as well. So out of all of the, like I said before gold dust thatyou've left in this conversation, what is the one big takeaway you would wantpeople to get from this episode? I think probably that the better youunderstand your customer, it's just going to make your marketing moreeffective um and it's really going to help your entire buyers journey becauselike I said, you're going to have so much data on your customers and thenyou can really use that to work with the rest of your marketing and salesteam and really help shape like your ideal customer profile more effectively,which is just going to allow. I think it just helps the rest of your, youknow, messaging efforts or demand jin efforts and everything you're doinglike a count based efforts to resonate more with the information youunderstand. So I would say not only is it going to help you, you know,everyone will say, you know, it caught, there's that famous stats that it'slike I think it cost five times more to acquire a new customer that does toretain an existing one. So not only that stat but it's also just going tohelp you make the acquisition cost a...

...lot less expensive if you actually haveor taking that data that you gain and using it effectively in the virusturning Nicole. Thank you so much for joining me today. Where can people goto learn more about you and tackle? Sure. So they can probably learn moreabout me. The best place is probably linked in. I try and post um you know,as actively as I can and then um to learn more about tackle, you can visittackle dot io well thank you so much for joining me on the to be growth.Thank you so much for having me Olivia. Such a fun conversation. Yeah. Mm mm. Yeah. For the longest time I wasasking people to leave a review of GDP growth in apple podcasts but I realizedthat was kind of stupid because leaving a review is way harder than justleaving a simple rating. So I'm changing my tune a bit. Instead ofasking you to leave a review, I'm just gonna ask you to go to be be growth inapple podcasts, scroll down until you see the ratings and reviews section andjust tap the number of stars you want to give us no review necessary. Supereasy. And I promise it will help us out a ton. If you want a copy of my book,content based networking just shoot me a text after you leave the rating andI'll send one your way text me at 4074 and I know 33 to 8.

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