We’re in rough economic waters.
Marketing teams across industries and regions now have to plan for driving growth, but with tighter budgets and smaller teams.
In this backdrop, focusing on your existing customers is the smart – if not vital – investment.
Increasing customer retention by 5% can boost profitability by 25% to 95%. Moreover, acquiring a new customer costs over 5X more than keeping existing ones.
When engaging with your brand, customers spend a small portion of their time in the acquisition or prospecting stage. Rather, they spend most of their time as…customers!
Once they’ve signed on, you need to start building a relationship with your customers.
Not only will this drive growth through retention, upsells, and cross-sells, but it’ll also unlock a new asset for net-new customer acquisitions. How? Through customer advocacy. This is when your customers speak for your brand, products, and services to their audiences and beyond.
The Struggle to Achieve Real Customer-Obsession is Real
While more companies see that customer-obsession is their key to growth, achieving it effectively is far from easy.
Organizations struggle with scaling their customer advocacy efforts without burdening their customers. They lack the tools to engage their customers across multiple touchpoints. And customer marketers relied on manual, disjointed processes.
Ultimately, teams were driving customer marketing and advocacy in an ad hoc fashion and weren’t really locking onto their original goals or unlocking their potential.
Some even fall into the risk of just extracting value from their customers. They’re not focusing on creating relationships, returning value, or building communities. The result is that companies are not nurturing the seeds for customer loyalty and customer-driven growth.
Be it to scale up an existing program, right the ship, or even start off on the right foot, more and more companies are looking to dedicated platforms for customer marketing, communities, and advocacy – such as Influitive.
To help potential Influitive customers assess the true cost and value realization of adopting our platform, Forrester ran its Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study. Using five real-world Influitive customers, Forrester built a composite company with the following attributes:
Building a framework based on our customers’ experiences, Forrester found that Influitive customers can generate the following benefits in the first 3 years of implementation:
To see the complete breakdown of Forrester’s framework, calculations, and analysis, download the complete report here. But here’s a high-level look at how Influitive delivered these gains:
Increased Customer Retention
Influitive increased customer retention by up to 5% over 3 years:
- 1% in Year 1
- 2% in Year 2
- 5% in Year 3
This shows us that Influitive’s impact grows over time. It also reduced customer churn by 3%, which Forrester valued at $2.6 million. In Year 3, Influitive also drove an additional $20 million in revenue for the composite company.
Influitive helped drive these results across several key areas.
First, Influitive made the customer onboarding process enjoyable and engaging, and it helped the customer marketing teams deliver value right from the start.
Second, it helped teams create processes that customers would likely stick with. Long-term customers, for example, can get more value from the product through better access to training/educational resources, tips, and support.
Third, customers in the community had a quantifiably better experience. The CSMs/AEs can vouch for this shift through higher NPS scores, higher renewal rates, and faster renewals.
Enhanced New Customer Acquisition
The composite company would generate over $2 million in revenue. This is from up to a 3% increase in the SQL-to-Win conversion rate, and Forrester attributed 60% of that to Influitive.
In terms of top-of-funnel (ToFu) brand awareness, Influitive’s gamification and rewards features encouraged customers to deliver acts of advocacy.
Key top-of-funnel (ToFu) customer advocacy actions included giving testimonials and writing online reviews on sites like G2 and TrustRadius. Influitive also scaled customer-led marketing and customer-generated content efforts, like guest blog writing, event speaking opportunities and social sharing/amplification.
Influitive also helped drive key bottom-of-funnel (BoFu) gains. These included connecting the prospects with references from existing customers. It also helped increase conversion rates into sales wins.
Optimized Customer Marketing Spend
Influitive helped the composite company optimize its customer marketing spend by up to 15%.
The composite company generated direct cost savings by decreasing its content creation and customer marketing spend. Instead, it got the additional brand reach with earned media (e.g., customers sharing and engaging on social media).
The composite company also generated cost savings by improving its customer satisfaction rates. The CSM/AEs got early visibility into who their engaged customers were and were also able to improve their level of communication with customers.
Finally, by improving customer engagement, the composite company also acquired many unique, high-quality content pieces. Customer user-generated content (UGC) like reviews, testimonials, and thought leadership played a big role in influencing purchasers.
Over 3 years, these efficiencies amounted to $140,000 in gains for the composite company.
Increased Internal Efficiencies
Using Influitive, the composite company’s customer-facing teams saved 1,680 hours per year.
They achieved this by streamlining processes for creating content, identifying their most willing and engaged customers, sourcing references, and getting product feedback. Over 3 years, the composite company saved about $68,000 in labor costs.
Additional Influitive Benefits
Besides quantifiable benefits, Influitive also helped the composite company generate these key qualitative outcomes as well:
While these are not directly measurable, they support many critical goals, including:
- Driving cross-sells and upsell opportunities
- Finding high-caliber talent from among customers
- Creating engaging communities
- Nurturing strong relationships between the brand and customers as well as between customers themselves
The total 3-year cost of adding Influitive was $689,000. The software itself cost $167,000, while the implementation, management, and training cost $445,000.
The composite organization drove $3.14 million in benefits, delivering a NPV of $2.45 million and ROI of 355%.
Overall, Forrester’s TEI™ report shows us that investing in Influitive is a smart step, especially in economic turbulence or uncertainty. It helps optimize marketing spend and drives many key efficiencies for your marketing and customer-facing teams.
However, most importantly, Influitive helps marketing teams become truly customer-obsessed.
They get the tools they need to nurture communities, deepen relationships with customers by delivering value from day one, and generate the content audiences want to see all from within one platform.