Content CreationMarketing Strategy

What Is Customer Success Marketing?

By November 20, 2015 No Comments

Think back to the last time you purchased software. The sales collateral was sleek and sexy, until you swiped your credit card and the lackluster, frumpy “user guide” landed in your hands. You tossed the guide aside and went rogue—until nothing worked as expected.

Customer experience shouldn’t dead-end at the sale. Studies show that attracting a new customer costs five times as much as keeping an existing one.

Furthermore, as author Emmett C. Murphy found in his book Leading on the Edge of Chaos: The 10 Critical Elements for Success in Volatile Times, companies that focus on customer experience see up to 25% higher retention and revenue.

While customer experience is a team effort, customer success marketing is a key player in delivering and scaling these efforts. So why do so many companies still have a blind spot when it comes to marketing after the sale?

What Is Customer Success Marketing?

Also referred to as customer marketing or retention marketing, customer success marketing is the intersection of product, marketing, and customer success. While their counterparts in product marketing serve the sales team to drive conversions, customer success marketers support the customer success team to drive retention.

“Companies that focus on customer experience see results of up to 25% higher retention and revenue.” —Emmett C. Murphy

Customer success marketers help maintain a consistent experience throughout the customer lifecycle. Developing collateral and communications with customers at scale, these marketers work to ensure that customers see value in the product, renew or purchase from the company again, and advocate the product to their network.

Types of content owned by this team may take the form of:

  • Onboarding materials, presentations, and email nurture tracks
  • Ongoing product communications, highlights, and positioning
  • Customer events, webinars, and case studies

How Does Customer Success Marketing Fit Into the Organization?

At Kapost, our marketing team is organized into three key areas focused on different stages of the funnel: content marketing (awareness and consideration), product marketing (comparison and consideration), and customer success marketing (purchase and ownership).

Tightly aligned with product marketing to ensure a consistent story, our customer success marketing team meets regularly with leaders from customer success and product as well.

“Attracting a new customer costs five times as much as keeping an existing one.”(Lee Resources 2010)

Customer success marketers may also roll up to the Chief Customer Officer or VP of Customer Success, depending on the company’s organizational structure. While this works as well, it’s important for these marketers to stay tightly aligned with other marketing departments to ensure a consistent voice and brand story.

Which Traits Make a Great Customer Success Marketer?

Considering the addition of a customer success marketer to your team? Here are four qualities to look for in the ideal candidate:

  • Customer-centric—The customer must be at the center of every decision the marketer makes
  • Empathetic—The marketer must understand the customers’ needs and challenges
  • Team player—Customer experience doesn’t happen in a vacuum, so marketers need to be able to work nicely with other departments
  • Storyteller—The marketer must be able to weave the story from the buying phase through to the customer phase

Who owns the post-sale marketing experience at your company? And which organizations do you think have strong customer success marketing in place? I’d love to hear your input in the comments.

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Brit Thompson

About Brit Thompson

Brit designs and develops programs to help customers become kick-ass modern marketers. When not studying up on customer experience, Brit can be found hiking with her dog, practicing her vinyasa flow, or planning her next trip abroad. Drop her a line at @britmorse.