Most conversations I have with marketers revolve around how to feed the top of the funnel and help prospects become sales-ready leads that their salespeople willingly pursue. It's one of the things I help them focus on doing.
The problem happens when that becomes the sole focus of marketing.
I was catching up on my blog reading and came across this statistic in a post over on Copyblogger in the second in a series of posts about lessons learned by Dan Kennedy, who - in case you didn't know - is one of the most highly paid copywriters of all time.
"A staggering 68% of customer loss is due to indifference."
Wow. I have to say that set me back.
It's not that they're angry, dissatisfied or looking for something new. They simply don't care about you and have no reason not to leave except for inertia and status quo.
That's frightening. Go look at your revenues for this year and see where they're coming from. Is the majority from net new customers or from existing ones?
I'm betting that the majority is from your existing customer base. Right?
What would happen to your business if 68% of your existing customers went away? Bet that would be ugly, huh.
Marketers need to create content and nurturing programs specifically to transform indifference into engagement. Actually, the best case is to continue engaging them seamlessly as they become your customers-without ever stopping. Engagement is not just for pre-sale initiatives. And I have news for you, memory doesn't last long. You have to continuously provide valuable ideas to push the needle on affinity.
The issue I see most is that marketers with limited resources are trying to employ prospect content in their customer communications. Not to be harsh, but really, why should they care?
Even if it's content about another product or solution than the one your customer is currently using, the way they think about it will include tie-ins with their current situation - which is already being impacted by the solution you provide.
The secret to customer marketing is to realize that they know more than prospects. You've got to go up-level to add value. And, just because they've pulled out their wallets does not mean they've lost their perspective. They still care more about what your solutions enable than the feeds, speeds and features. It's just that now they care about those benefits as an expansion to the good stuff they're already getting from being your customer.
If you think about it in this light, your customers require content that's different than what your prospects need to choose to buy in the first place.
So, how do you know what kind of content customers need?
- Go ask your customer service reps about the questions they're getting. Then go ask your sales reps what needs they're meeting with cross-sell and up-sell.
- When you do customer interviews for case studies, ask them where they want to go in the future and figure out how you can help. Those are the kinds of customer stories your customers are interested in hearing about.
I talk a lot about creating buyer personas and mapping content to buying stages. Don't limit yourself to only doing this exercise for prospects-do it for customers, too. As you extend the way you look at customers from pre-purchase across the lifecycle, you just may start to get that 360 degree view of the customer that's been bandied about for awhile, but has remained so elusive for most of us.
Just as answering one question can open the door for a new question to arise, solving one problem (original choice to buy) can illuminate a new opportunity or challenge the customer may now be prepared to address. It's just a new problem-to-solution scenario begging for content to show your customers the way forward. Whether that means buying more from you or perfecting the way they use your product to get even more benefits than they thought possible.
Consider that a monthly customer newsletter is not enough.
- Are you offering webinars designed for customers with "insider" tips and tricks?
- When's the last time you created a video just for customers?
- How many "advanced" educational articles do they have access to?
- What kind of online dialogue can you stimulate based on their interests?
What are you doing to shift your content to engage your customers and abolish that 68% indifference that can tank your future growth potential?
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