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Customer communications: a little effort goes a long way

Feb 14, 2024 | ABM, Marketing

It’s easy to take existing customers for granted. They tend to fly a little below your radar. They’re usually repeat purchasers and are generally happy, if not vocally ecstatic, with your company. However, many businesses make the mistake of thinking growth and increased profits only come from new customers. Keeping in regular marketing contact with your existing customers can be much more beneficial than you think.

There is all sorts of potential sitting right under your nose if you only remember to make the most of it. Much research shows the potential of existing customers and that new customers aren’t the be-all and end-all of business development. It’s one of those things that has happened, whether by accident or design: generating demand and attracting new customers has swallowed up marketing budgets at the expense of retention.

According to Marketing Metrics, the likelihood of selling to an existing customer can be up to 14 times higher than the probability of selling to a new customer. And depending on the industry you’re in, acquiring a new customer can cost you five to seven times more than retaining and developing an existing one. Also, as an existing supplier, when an enterprise is considering a new IT initiative and looking for providers, you’re more likely to make it onto their shortlist.

If your existing customers have been with you for some time, chances are they like you and like doing business with you. So it stands to reason that they would want to hear from you regularly. Significantly, customers tend to buy from companies and brands they like and trust. You can build on this with the right content marketing strategy.

What kind of content marketing?

When marketing to existing customers, it’s worth remembering that while their organization might regularly buy from you, that doesn’t mean they know you or your company well. The rise in complex sales made up of multiple stakeholders means not every individual at your customer will know your range of products and services, even though you’re already a supplier. So don’t assume that customer comms is preaching to the choir by default. You may need to tell them some basics about you and your relationship with their employer.

Start by thinking straightforwardly and make a plan to communicate regularly with them.

You don’t need to create new assets from scratch. The newsletter can distill your existing ebooks, blogs, customer wins, and product launches. The art is bringing these together in a short and engaging package, and if time and budgetary resources are available, to do so in a targeted way. For instance, if you have customers in the manufacturing sector, share your relevant customer wins and product lines with them. The same goes for financial services, retail or telecoms. The messages should not be overtly salesy. The emphasis is on informing.

Personalization is a big part of this equation. There are lots of stats around this issue. For example, customers who have bought from you previously are more open to repeat purchases. You have a 60-70% chance of converting existing customers, versus a 5-20% chance with a new customer. And personalization works: according to Accenture, 58% of buyers will switch half or more of their spending to a supplier that excels at personalizing experiences without compromising trust.

An account based marketing (ABM) approach to customer comms can be a worthwhile path. Targeting particular individuals in existing customers using data gathered through your sales teams or other sources helps you fine-tune sales and marketing projects, so why not communicate with them using that too? A regular newsletter that leverages your existing content and highlights stories that tally with targets’ interests and reading habits can be an effective tool.

Something else to bear in mind is basic cost factors. If you have existing collaterals and content you can re-purpose or tailor slightly, do so. Electronic assets are more cost-effective than printing glossy magazines and sending them to customers by mail. Always examine where and how to get the most bang for your buck.

Making the most of what you’ve already got

It might sound obvious. You already have these customers in place, and certain stakeholders there will have liked and trusted you enough to buy from you at least once. Research by Bain & Co found that loyal customers will spend 67% more in their 31st to 36th month with a company than in the first six months of a relationship.

So don’t focus solely on getting new logos on board. Of course that is important, but so is what politicians call looking after your base. In addition to being easier to do, you also open up opportunities for upselling and cross-selling. And further to that, existing customers can double up as brand advocates: existing customers are 87% more likely to purchase upgrades and new services than new ones, and around 77% of them will recommend a brand to a friend after a single positive experience .

But they need to hear about you. Your company is good at what you do, so remind your existing customers of that regularly. Keep in touch, tell them what you’ve been up to, remind them why they like you and like hearing from you. Your boss will thank you for it as your customers’ loyalty grows and your bottom line goes on improving. Talk to Futurity about your content marketing strategy and ABM today.

Is your ABM campaign not yielding the expected results? Executed correctly, ABM can be an effective tool in the B2B marketer’s toolbox, but it can also be costly and underwhelming if you don’t take the right approach. Creating correctly targeted content is the key to success.

Download our guide to demystifying ABM to find out how to:

  • Research and select the best targets for your ABM campaign
  • Develop buyer personas that are interested in your products and services
  • Create targeted messages that resonate with your audience
  • Build the content mix that keeps your readers engaged

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