Customer Marketing as a New Demand Generation Channel

In 2018, Hubspot’s CEO Brian Halligan introduced the marketing flywheel with a premise that customers are an input source that feeds growth, and that marketing should invest more in customer marketing, more in customer advocacy, and more in creating delightful onboarding for new customers.

Funnel and flywheel
Source: Hubspot

However, if customer marketing efforts are only to drive advocacy then you're missing out on a high-volume, low-cost lead generation channel.

On average 30% of people change their jobs every year (source: Salesforce). This also applies to your customer contacts, who can champion or purchase your product again, and again, at their next companies.

These contacts are those whom you have spent time and resources to acquire and nurture. But once they leave their current organization to a new one, most of your communication with them is gone.

30% of your customer contacts change their jobs every year

Some argue that if you build strong customer advocacy then they will continue to proactively promote your product in their future organizations, and will reach out when they're ready to buy again.

While this could be true for your most loyal customers (i.e. those who consistently give a 10 in your NPS (net promoter score) survey), the others are likely not as proactive in reaching out to you.

Instead, they could be evaluating other options to see what else is out there, especially if your competitors contact them first with a compelling offering.

Lead generation is a key growth challenge

As your company grows, marketing is tasked with sourcing even more high-quality leads to meet the new and higher revenue target number, while maintaining or lowering cost per lead.

Therefore it comes as no surprise that most B2B marketers cite generating high-quality leads as their number 1 challenge across company sizes, according to surveys by Marketo and Vital.

Graph1_new (1)
Source: Vital

Re-engaging previous customers and users to drive growth

Comparing to typical marketing lead sources, your customer base is the only source that naturally grows as your company grows.

And since these leads already used your product in the past, they are more likely to buy quicker (and more) compare to your average leads.

At UserGems, we've seen companies running "rekindle the flame" nurture campaigns with content such as, "How to succeed in your new role as X", to continue the engagement with those contacts and bring them back into their funnel.

A Marketing Metrics study states that “the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5-20%.”

Similarly, the probability of acquiring a previous customer again would be higher than a first-time prospect, and therefore resulting in a lower cost of acquisition.

Sample emails

Scenario: A customer switched to a new prospect account

Hi Kyle

Congratulations on your new role at {account.name}! We will miss you at {previous.company} but we're excited for your next chapter and hope that ACME can continue helping you achieve your goals in this new role.

Congrats again and please don't hesitate to reach out if I could be of help.

Scenario: A customer switched to another customer account

Hi Kat,

Congratulations on your new role at {account.name}! Hope you're settling in nicely.

We will miss you at {previous.company} but we're excited for your next chapter at {account.name}, which is also another customer of ours! Let me know if you need anything and hope that ACME can continue partnering with you.

Who should you track?

You're probably wondering how many additional leads could be generated from this play.

Many people instinctively assume that they want to track one contact for each customer account (i.e. the decision maker, the target persona).

However, you also want to track your power users / product admins - who might not be the budget holder but are the daily users of your product.

As more and more executives rely on their teams for tool recommendations, these users not only can connect your team to the right decision maker but also champion for your product during the evaluation.

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What is UserGems?

UserGems is a lead generation and prospecting automation tool to help marketing and sales teams drive bigger pipeline and faster sales cycle.  

Whenever your customers change their jobs, UserGems automatically surfaces them as new leads in your CRM along with their new email addresses, and notifies your reps. This allows your team to be in front of the buyers at the right time, and ahead of the competitors.

Want to work with us? We're hiring!
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