Staying ahead of the pack as a marketer is no easy task. There are always new strategies, new tools, and new channels to experiment with. Marketing practices and tactics continue to splinter into different disciplines. Customer marketing, retention marketing, and growth marketing in the SaaS space are all interesting facets for marketers because they shift the focus from the buyer to the customer. This means moving away from traditional buyer journey (lead generation) strategies to post-sale strategies that target customers as they move through the customer journey.
In the Age of the Customer, good business (and good marketing) is all about being customer-centric. That means more companies are developing approaches and programs that are unique to their customers. But what does it take to ensure marketing teams have the information they need to make decisions about post-sale activities and spend? Certainly marketing plays a big role in every stage of the buyer to customer journey, but to do post-sale marketing well, marketers need a few basic tools: user intelligence, targeted engagements, and customer health.
In the same way they need to collect lead data to ensure pre-sale efforts are relevant, marketers also need customer data to ensure their post-sale communications are effective. For SaaS marketers, this means understanding how customers are (or aren’t) engaging inside the product. Datapoints from this view can lead to compelling discoveries about how the product is marketed, how it fits into different industries or markets, and how to use the product to drive success for customers.
With this intelligence, marketers focused on post-sale activities can set up campaigns that are triggered by events that take place within their product. They can also set up campaigns to be triggered by customer success teams or customer success data. For instance, customer marketing teams may want to implement a campaign that prompts customers to leave a review on a third-party site following a positive NPS survey. In turn, this gives pre-sale marketers reviews and testimonials they can use in collateral and other efforts. It’s a win-win for everyone.
User intelligence also helps marketers understand how buyer’s personas transition when they become customers, as well as gain insight into who your best customers are and help define an ICP that can be replicated to target new customers in marketing/sales process. This complete end-to-end view of a customer gives marketers an incredible amount of insight into behavior and user attributes that can inform pre-sale marketing tactics. The more marketers know about the buyers who become customers, the better programs they can create to attract, retain, and expand those buyers.
For SaaS product marketers in particular, often the best way to reach customers with relevant communications is while they’re in the product itself. Pre-sale marketers spend time sending nurture emails, developing social media posts, and attending tradeshows because their pool is scattered across a variety of channels. But for post-sale marketers, the target audience (customers) is more contained in only a couple of usable channels: in-product and via email.
In-product engagements can do great things for customer-centric marketers, like offer the ability to collect customer feedback or send relevant marketing materials or promotions. For example, customers at UserIQ have seen great success using in-app messages to announce webinars and training sessions with some customers increasing their average number of sign-ups by up to 3x. Just as in the pre-sale stages, post-sale marketers need good user intelligence in order to make strategic decisions about the communications they deliver. This helps them hone their channels, message, and timing so they can hit the coveted “right message, right user, right time” trifecta.
Customer health is not traditionally a metric that marketers are thinking about, but for the post-sale stages, it’s actually critical. That’s because healthy customers should be receiving different marketing engagements than unhealthy customers. This works pretty similarly to lead scoring and can even be used to trigger campaigns and automation rules to execute when customers hit certain health scores, like issuing a “red alert” notification to the assigned CSM when a health score is low or delivering an NPS survey when the score is high.
Since customer health scores are closely correlated to the the propensity for churn or growth, understanding health scores and implementing strategies that combat churn or promote growth is critical for SaaS businesses.
Marketers who want to keep pace and stay agile in their efforts are looking to tools that give them better access to the customers they’ve worked hard to obtain. That access can provide a whole new world of understanding for marketers about the customers they have and they customers they want to have.
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