Meet The New Rising Star In B2B Marketing: The Customer Marketer

When it costs 6X more to attract a new customer than it does to keep an existing one, does it still make sense for marketers to focus mainly on generating new leads, rather than nurturing current customers? (Nope!)

As more and more companies turn their focus away from short-lived marketing campaigns, and towards building ongoing relationships with customers, the role of the customer marketer is changing—and becoming more important than ever.

According to the 2017 State of Customer Marketing Report, 93% of B2B marketers believe that customer marketing will become more important over the next year—an 8% increase since 2014—and 62% plan to increase their staff or budget in the area over the next year.

The growing need for meaningful customer engagement is why we’ve re-released The Rise Of The Customer Marketer eBook. In it, we’re sharing new strategies, tactics and resources for how customer marketers can drive top-line business value—including the metrics they can track to show the ROI of their efforts.

The Rise Of The Customer Marketer
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If you’re not sure how this shift in strategy will benefit your business (or how to convince others on your team), read on for insights from experts who live, work and breathe for the customer.

Why customer marketing is increasing in importance

“In the age of the customer, your competitive advantage is going to come from your ability to better connect with and serve empowered customers,” says Laura Ramos, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research.

Why so much focus on the customer? It’s simple: fully engaged customers spend more, stay around longer, and ultimately, turn into advocates for your brand, using their social power to recommend, refer and ultimately sell your product or service for you.

Longer sales cycles in SaaS (software as a service) and subscription-based business models have also made it essential to invest in customer relationships over the long-term in order to grow revenue. This happens in two ways:

  1. When customer marketers build strong relationships with advocates, they can leverage social proof to efficiently close new business and improve brand perceptions.
  2. Stronger relationships mean less customer churn and more opportunities for upsell/cross-sell revenue.

These factors would explain why 60% of respondents to the 2017 State of Customer Marketing Report say that customer marketing is very important to their revenue.

Report: 2017 State of Customer Marketing
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“The customer marketer is no longer a tactical role checking off boxes like references and referrals,”  says Amy Rosenberg, Community Marketing Manager at Namely. “Now, they are strategic partners to every department, thinking long-term and finding ways to involve customers in everything from product roadmaps to user conferences to content creation.”

To help you better understand this fundamental strategy shift, and the exciting opportunities it poses for companies, download the updated Rise Of The Customer Marketer eBook, which features:

  • The role of the customer marketer: then vs. now
  • Key metrics for customer marketing success
  • A crowd-sourced list of tools and must-read resources
  • Top challenges facing customer marketers today

More resources for customer marketers:

This blog was originally posted on September 24th, 2014, and was updated on April 19th, 2017.