Brands Change Tactics, Increase Focus On Customer Marketing, Advocacy, Study Finds


Brands Change Tactics, Increase Focus On Customer Marketing, Advocacy, Study Finds




by , December 4, 2020

The discipline of customer marketing has undergone a shift during the COVID-19 pandemic, judging by State of Customer Marketing, a study by customer engagement firm Influitive.


In 2017, the top activities conducted by marketing teams were customer references/testimonials (62%), customer user groups/events (45%) and email newsletters (41%). 


This year, newsletters are way down the list, although a higher percentage is using them.



  • Success stories — 83%
  • Testimonials — 79%
  • Advocate marketing — 72%
  • References — 65%
  • Speaking engagements — 60%
  • User groups/events — 59%
  • Online customer community — 56% 
  • Customer newsletter — 55%
  • User/product reviews — 55%
  • Referrals — 47% 
  • Customer advisory program — 39%
  • Customer satisfaction/NPS — 34%
  • Renewal programs — 20%

Email presumably plays a role in the metrics being used to evaluate customer marketer effectiveness. 


In 2017, the top three metrics were up-sell or cross-sell revenue (22%), renewal rate/churn (21%) and customer satisfaction (19%). 


The metrics have changed. This year, they include:


Customer engagement — 63% 


Acts of advocacy — 60%


Number of customer-focused marketing campaigns — 47%


Customer-influenced revenue (via referral) — 47% 


NPS—40%


Customer satisfaction — 39%


Renewal rate or churn — 39%


Upsell or cross-sell revenue — 39%


Product usage/adoption — 39%


Number of referrals — 35% 


Whatever the metrics, 18% are very satisfied with their customer marketing results, while 54% are satisfied, 24% are unsatisfied and 2% are very unsatisfied. 


Overall, 93% say customer marketing is important or very important, while 62% say their efforts in this area have provided moderate to significant revenue gains over the past 12 months. 


Advocacy is increasingly important — 74% of the respondents have a customer advocacy program and 72% have an online community for customers. 


Moreover, 41% say advocacy programs are extremely valuable, 38% agree they are very valuable and 16% find them somewhat valuable. Only 3% say they are not so valuable. 


This year, 17% have drawn a significantly higher number of customer advocates over the prior year. In addition, 48% say the number is somewhat higher, 30% about the same and 3% lower, 1% significantly so. 


For 82%, the marketing department runs customer marketing. The other units include CS (8%), C (7%), product (1%) and other (3%).  


And the teams are relatively small — 45% have between two and five people, and 18% have only one. Another 14% have between six and 10, while 7% have between 11 and 20 and 9% have 21-plus. And 6% of the respondents don’t know. 


The most valuable skills are:  


Relationship-building/communication (tie)



  1. Creativity
  2. Customer service
  3. Project management 
  4. Analytics

These findings are similar to those seen in 2017. That year, digital marketing was fourth and creativity fifth. 


Salesforce is the dominant vendor in providing tools to marketing tech stacks — by far.


MediaPost is a neutral observer and does not endorse these standings. Influitive ranks second in its own listing. But here is the roster:



  1. Salesforce — 87% 
  2. Influitive — 64% 
  3. Marketo — 50%
  4. Gainsight — 31% 
  5. Zendesk — 21%
  6. Pendo — 21%
  7. Khoros — 7.7%
  8. Higher Logic –2.98% 
  9. Vanilla Forums — 2.98% 
  10. Jive — 2.98%
  11. SlapFive — 2.98% 
  12. Crowdvocate — 1.79% 
  13. Hopin — 1.19% 
  14. Insided — 1.19% 
  15. Medallia — 1.19% 

Influitive surveyed 219 customer marketing professionals in August and September. 


 


 


 

MediaPost.com: Search & Performance Marketing Daily

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