The CMO who exclusively focuses on new lead generation is falling behind the market, their competitors, and their peers. This myopic view only focuses on one stage of the Customer Lifecycle. Conversely, revenue driven CMOs are making massive impacts to their company’s growth by managing customers and their expectations across the entire customer lifecycle. Need a compelling event? Look no further than the countless business model shifts towards recurring revenue models. It has never been more important to build marketing capability that spans non-traditional stages of the customer lifecycle. Now is the time for you, as The CMO, to create powerful competitive advantages through balancing investment and focus across acquisition, retention, expansion and advocacy.
What Does it Mean to Take Ownership of Customer Lifecycle Management
The science behind CLM involves a deep and broad understanding of your buyers and customers. It is essential that you understand the journey of your most desirable customers, including their behaviors, emotions, and needs. To gain a comprehensive view it is also important to understand the potential buyers who didn’t become customers – and where they “opted out” of extending their journey with your organization.
Taking ownership of CLM aligns the objectives of your organization with those of your customers. Being “stage appropriate” with such objectives during each step of the journey ensures your customer and your organization are interlocked and share the same understanding. When done well your marketing efforts are executing on human-centric design that leverages analytics and qualitative insight. Ultimately this informs your actions, outcomes, and measurement as a world class Marketing organization. The CMO that nails this is the one that transcends the role, and represents the customer to all departments across the organization.
How to Start Taking Ownership of the CLM
Before getting started make certain you are effective by completing these 4 steps:
- Use segmentation to understand where the revenue potential is. Prospects or customers? Which segment represents the ideal prospect/customer? If customers, to what extent should you focus on retention vs. expansion within the existing customer base? My colleague Will McCartney’s article can you help you get started: “Why Detailed Account Segmentation is 10x More Valuable than TAM”
- Understand the end-to-end journey: buyer + customer for your most important customers. Use this video to get started: “Increase the Impact of Customer Success by Mapping the Customer Journey”
- Understand the personas that are involved throughout the end-to-end journey. Use this blog to help refresh the personas you have: Do Your Buyer Personas Need a Facelift?
- Conduct a touchpoint analysis across the customer lifecycle. Look for moments that matter for the customer, and hone in on what the customer needs to drive an extraordinary customer experiences (CX). Leverage SBI’s article on “Touchpoint Analysis – Your Key to Unlocking the Secrets of the Customer Journey”
Once these 4 steps are complete, you know where in the CLM to focus, and why. You’ll have a sense for the experience you want to create, the customer outcomes needed and the objectives for each stage. Understanding the buyer behavior helps you determine how the buyer wants to engage. You are now equipped to move from a generic traditional marketing approach to a customer driven, targeted marketing approach.
Here is a simplified version of what that looked like for one of SBI’s past clients, a B2B SaaS provider:
When Marketing took ownership of the entire CLM, the results were telling:
- Increased Marketing Sourced revenue by 200% while maintaining Marketing spend
- 7 straight quarters of 30% CAGR
- 3x company valuation in 12 months
- Increased renewal rates and reduced churn
- Increased rep quota attainment
- Reduced employee turnover
If you need more incentive to take action, there are plenty of perspectives that support taking ownership of CLM:
- Check out this article from Act-On. Specific evidence includes:
- “average-performing marketing departments spend over two-thirds of time and budget on acquisition – that’s an incredible amount of time and money for only one portion of the customer lifecycle!”
- “Average marketers also acknowledge challenges in customer satisfaction. For example, only 68% of their customers are happy, and only 30% of the revenue Average marketers drive comes from existing customers. In contrast, Top Performers drive 50% of revenue from existing customers (1.6 times more than Average firms)”
- And this one from Marketo says this:
- “According to data collected by Gartner, about 80% of a company’s future profits come from 20% of its existing customers”
- Once you’ve executed steps 1-4, download and use the “Revenue Marketing CLM Tool.” It will help you lean into the next evolution of your Marketing capability, and take ownership of Customer Lifecycle Management.
When you are ready to go deeper, take a look at a more comprehensive set of GTM tools to drive impact, starting with building out your Advocate marketing as a first step. Incorporate stories into references and case studies – and when advocates are ready, referral programs. If you would like to see examples, you can download the Advocate Marketing Toolkit.
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