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

Episode 2097 · 10 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 be growth. I'm Olivia Hurley with sweet fish media and today I am joined by Nicole smith from tackle io Nicole. How are you doing? I'm doing great. Thanks for 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 talking about some trends you were seeing in the market. We were talking about ways that 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 on customer marketing until there's a churn issue. So I'm wondering, what do you suggest instead? Yeah. So I really think, you know, you should start with the customer. I think it's important to always be doing customer marketing. I think it's just so easy, especially in like the B two B startup world to, you know, focus on the sales and top of the funnel and that's what so many metrics are driven off of. But you know, if you're going to start building a marketing team or you already have a marketing team or maybe you're requiring one, like take a step back and think about like how are we supporting our customers from the marketing perspective? We have someone dedicated to doing marketing for them. And if not, then this is probably a great episode to think about, you know, some things that you can be doing and like 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 marketing and how is it different than regular marketing? Sure. That's a great question. So when I think of customer marketing, I think of everything post sale. So after that deal closes, that's really what I think customer marketing starts and picks up. And so customer marketers are really going to be focused on the retention and expansion efforts. So helping with Upsell and cross sell opportunities and supporting, you know, the customer success team and helping 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 the demand to inside of things and helping move those prospects from the top of the funnel to the middle of the funnel to the bottom of the funnel that they do convert and it's using content and enablement to drive them through those stages. I love it. That was so succinct. So why do people generally neglect customer marketing until there's red flags and, and the turn issue? So I will say I was guilty of this for a long time. And so this might be, you know, another reason I'm passionate about it, but I really didn't realize like how big of a problem it was until I was at a company before tackle and we were a customer success platform actually, but I have spent so much time before that in the Martek space and everything, there is focused on the buyer journey, you know, we were, it was all marketing automation tools in your text check and you know, how do you move buyers through that, how do you get them to sales and get them to close and lead scoring and lead nurturing and that's what like marketers were supposed to understand and be obsessed with and then you know when I got to my last company it was like wow there's a huge gap here and you know that's what the whole platform did was how you know, how can you make sure these customers are churning, what are the sides of, you know, this customer success team is really important, but it's not just a customer success effort, it's an effort for the whole organization. Uh understanding that, you know, you need to priority, like marketing needs to focus on them, product needs to focus on them. I mean sales needs to be focused on them too. And I think, you know, the real reason that they're neglected so much. It's just because like that acquisition side is prioritized and there's sometimes confusion over who owns it in an organization. You know, sales reps sometimes have responsibility for those up selling cross sell opportunities. Um account managers, you know, customer success there supporting customers, but...

...sometimes they don't always have like revenue goals tied to that. You know, product wants to make sure everything's working right there, getting user feedback and so everyone's getting these different, you know, sets of feedback and talking to customers in different ways, but no one's really putting that all together and saying like, okay, we need to be doing this and putting a program around it. And that's where I think it's, you know, you need someone that can take that collaborative problem approach and understand what the customers need and really put together a program based on that. So if somebody wants to foray into this world, how do you recommend they alter the focus? So before even step one, how do they turn the ship? So I think you really have to make it a top down initiative in your company because if like the leadership team and C suite isn't on board, then it's just not gonna work. So if you're doing something like okay, R. S or B. Two moms that your company, so different versions of goal setting, you should have something that focuses on, you know, your customers, you know, maybe it's a retention and expansion goal. I prefer those over turn. Um, you know, instead of focusing on like lowering your 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's what's important to you and something we do a tackle is like we have the different functional teams, each create their own, we use okay ours but create their own like goals and key performance indicators based off that main company goal. So, you know, I have a goal around that, you know, sales does customer success, does product does and then we're all collaborating together to make sure, you know, our effort to line and that we're not, you know, doing overlapping work, but there's like one owner of all of this and how are we all working together to...

...hit that company goal? So I think that's really important that it's top down and lead and that you kind of understand there's not going to be one size fits all too for every company that depending on your, you know, average deal size and who your customers are, you know, what industry they're in, that you're probably going to have to just kind of experiment and figure it out as you go along a little bit as well. So what results have you seen from taking this approach and focusing on customer marketing? You know, there's been a lot of different results over the years. I'll talk about one that I think is really great that we'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 strong in this area. So one of the things we've done is um, during the pandemic and Covid times was we started having these virtual wind nights for prospects and 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 why tackle is great and why you should be on cloud marketplaces. Let's invite a few of our customers to this session as well. And if they want to share, you know, talk about their experience with marketplace and tackle, they can do that 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 some tastings and we didn't prep customers were just like, hey, come have wine and join these conversations. And it turned into something we just didn't expect. I mean our customers would come on and just sing the praises of tackle. They would, you know, and all we did for them and the prospects ended up not asking tackle any questions. They would just start asking customers questions about their experience. And it was so cool to see this effect of like kind of building this community and you know, us not having to go into something themselves because no one wants to hear from us more. They've already talked to our sales team, but just getting to...

...hear it from people that have already worked with us was just pretty amazing. I think now we've done eight of these so far just because they've been so successful. And just again, it's in a very natural way just not having another salesperson talked to you and said someone who's in their space and they can understand like, okay, they've done 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 seen over this past year. Hey, everybody Logan was sweet this year. You probably already 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 has our podcast impacted revenue this year? How's our sales team actually leveraging the podcast content? If you can't answer these questions, you're actually not alone. This is why cast it created the very first content marketing platform made specifically for B two B podcasting. Now you can more easily search and share your audio content while getting greater visibility into the impact of your podcast. The marketing teams at drift terminus and here at sweet fish have started using casted to get more value out of our podcast. And you probably can too, you can check out the product in action and casted dot us slash growth. That's C A S T E D dot us slash growth. All right, let's get back to the show. Oh, that's fascinating. I've met so many people are going to want to replicate that and try it for themselves. Should, who doesn't love a Y night? So now let's get tactical for somebody wanting to follow what you're saying. What is step one? What step to kind of walk me through some of those first for scepter. So the first step is I really think you have should have someone that's dedicated to customer marketing. I've tried to do it where...

...it's like someone in my marketing teams job as part of like their other responsibilities like in content marketing do it and I just don't think it works. I think it has to be someone's full time role to own this. Like it's just as important as demand gen marketing or content marketing as well. I mean but I think just so many people don't prioritize that as a role. So the first episode dedicating so into the role. The second step is really segmenting your customers and figuring out the right programs that are going to work for them. So I think you know you can look at your customers and say okay we have a lot of enterprise customers so they need to be more high touch. So maybe the things that we do for them or things like these kind of virtual wind events um Or we create more of like a customer advisory board with them if they're you know really special customers so we can you know hear them. We've done things back when we were traveling more which will happen again now but our C. R. O. Was going and going to our customer sales Kickoffs and he would actually do training for customers at those events um to train them on tackle and using how to market place. So things like that are great like just those kind of one on one personalized training if you have a tech touch like lower tier of customers, you know maybe it's those like premium or you know some of the free trial or even like that smb group you can do things like in app messaging more online training or just kind of like email communication for them and things like that. And then if you have that like maybe it's a middle segment of 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 or digital content. We've also done things like an office hours, so we set that up where we were um every month. We were we do two of these sessions where customers can come and ask us anything on specific topics. So something like that can be really impactful as well um...

You know and just webinars or even setting up a user group. So I think, you know, it's kind of grouping your customers and figuring out what works for each segment and how to approach them with those different marketing aspects because it's definitely not a one size fits all for all your different customer base and you really have to like think about what's gonna work for all of them. And then I would say the last step is really like tracking and measuring your data. So just like you do for prospects, you should score them and track customers like look at what content they have engaged engaged with. Like are they not looking at something that they should be looking at and then you have more data 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, you can look at an app things with different tools, you know, like Pando and things like that. Like to understand is like the frequency changing in which they're looking at your products. Are they not utilizing certain features? Like if so maybe there's a need for more accustomed communication or you know, sending them a video on, how do you utilize something? Or again, inviting them to like a special office hours on that topic. And then I like to, you know, identify customer needs and like look at 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 filtering customer calls to maybe understand challenges that might be coming up and that should probably help you create content as well to say like, okay, this is a pain point with this part of the product. Maybe we need some more training to address that and you know, that's all. Also things you can look at in your crm if you know, people are detailed note takers in that area and you know, maybe groups some of those people, if there are challenges into a user group and, or you know, send out surveys like, you know, mps and see sack and help you also gauge some of that. But I think like, you know, voice of the customer through all those...

...different ways, whether it's like gong or surveys and you know, just listening and understanding can be super powerful in helping you understand, you know, that's what you need to do to kind of course correct on this. Oh my gosh, that is gold dust. So step one is to have a dedicated customer marketing person. Step two is to determine and categorize 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 Going to implement three step process, what's a warning sign that they're getting it wrong? Yeah. So I think, you know, some warning signs could be like people aren't engaging with the content that you're sending. And I think some of that happens if you're using really template ID communications, um, you know, if you're treating customers like strangers, which, you know, you have more, again, you have more data on them than anyone else. So I think it really takes some extra time. And this is again where I see people struggle with customer marketing, is that like you have to build a communication on like your individual and account needs. It can't just be like a mass email blast that 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 and expansion rapid is the relationship, make them the center of an email instead of, you know, myself. Like, I don't need to be sending an email to these customers for something. So I think things like that, if people aren'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 look at. But well, obviously every business should look at it. But I think it's something that, you know, if that is the case, like you want to understand why customers are leaving before you do,...

...which is why, you know, all of this data is good to understand. But sometimes what I've seen with that is that the buyer is not the end user and so people are trying to create content or repurposed content from the acquisition stage and the people that they're marketing to in the platform so they might have all the contact and the crm from the people that were in the sales cycle with them. But then the people that are used, actually, the users of the platform are completely different users and they've never really been in contact with them and the marketers are still sending all this content to people that don't really, you know, care, they're not using the product day to day. They just signed off on like the purchase order and everything like that. And so the end users feel really left out of this and they need help and support and with like more nurturing from marketing. So I think that's kind of one of the signs too that I see is like you're talking to the wrong people in your marketing efforts as well. So out of all of the, like I said before gold dust that you've left in this conversation, what is the one big takeaway you would want people to get from this episode? I think probably that the better you understand your customer, it's just going to make your marketing more effective um and it's really going to help your entire buyers journey because like I said, you're going to have so much data on your customers and then you can really use that to work with the rest of your marketing and sales team 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, you know, messaging efforts or demand jin efforts and everything you're doing like a count based efforts to resonate more with the information you understand. 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's like I think it cost five times more to acquire a new customer that does to retain an existing one. So not only that stat but it's also just going to help you make the acquisition cost a...

...lot less expensive if you actually have or taking that data that you gain and using it effectively in the virus turning Nicole. Thank you so much for joining me today. Where can people go to learn more about you and tackle? Sure. So they can probably learn more about 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 visit tackle 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 was asking people to leave a review of GDP growth in apple podcasts but I realized that was kind of stupid because leaving a review is way harder than just leaving a simple rating. So I'm changing my tune a bit. Instead of asking you to leave a review, I'm just gonna ask you to go to be be growth in apple podcasts, scroll down until you see the ratings and reviews section and just tap the number of stars you want to give us no review necessary. Super easy. 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 and I'll send one your way text me at 4074 and I know 33 to 8.

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