Customer Marketing and Customer Success: It Just Makes Sense

3 minute read

May 25, 2022

Customer Marketing and Customer Success: It Just Makes Sense

Earlier this year, we released an eBook titled The State of Customer Success 2022. Within that book, we spoke to multiple customer success leaders who discussed the advent of customer marketing as a customer success responsibility.  

Customer marketing seems like one of those initiatives that falls between department responsibilities; it doesn’t quite fit the RACI matrix. Without a customer marketing department or team, it’s not clear where it lives, or who owns it.  

However, it appears quite logical that customer marketing would live with the customer success team.  

Why, you ask?  

Because customer success KPIs align almost identically with the outcomes of customer marketing, and it falls directly into customer success metrics already in place.  

Customer Success KPIs=Customer Marketing Outcomes 

Companies that ask employees to own metrics that are outside of said employees’ control are going to find themselves in a predicament. 

If a team or an individual cannot account for the result, expecting them to use that KPI to prove success is not going to be beneficial to anyone.  

So, let’s break it down to brass tacks.  

Customer success can directly contribute to retention rates, adoption and expansion.  

Successful customer marketing initiatives lead to improved retention and an uptick in adoption and expansion. 

Doesn’t it just make sense to ask customer success to own the foundation of these types of programs? 

While they don’t need to provide the material – customer success is the source of the information that builds the material.  

Customer success teams know a company’s customers inside and out. What are their goals, what is the existing value they get from a solution, and what is their future expectation from the solution?  

Having a deep knowledge of the customer journey and where the gaps are in information as well as knowing the customers that need extra personalization or attention is key to providing the right type of content at the right time.  

It simply makes sense that customer success teams own customer marketing (or at least does the groundwork to support it). 

And no, this isn’t adding onto a CSMs workload – it’s simply utilizing the knowledge they already must support other departments.  

Customer Success and Marketing Alignment 

Horizontal departments are quickly becoming necessary in B2B businesses – not simply for customer marketing purposes, but for overall organizational goals to be met.  

Silos and miscommunications (or no communication at all) between teams can lead to inconsistencies in customers’ understanding of a product or solution which in turn can lead to churn.  

If marketing runs a campaign that a brand can’t deliver on, customers are going to be feeling unhappy with their brand experience.  

A customer marketing campaign must run on mutual understanding and this understanding must begin with customer success.  

To accomplish this, CSMs need to see customers as more than just a metric: they need to see customers as an untapped resource that can further improve metrics. They need to build a broader perspective of how customers can bring value.  

CSMs should, daily, be identifying the customers with the most interesting or successful case studies, those who have rare or unexpected use cases, or the parts of the customer journey that have underdeveloped content or educational material. 

This is nothing new. Success teams have always been required to do this; the only difference is sharing it with the marketing team in an efficient, strategic manner.  

Recognizing the benefit of customer marketing to the department’s deliverables is just the beginning. Developing a strategy that sees a brand’s customer base scale requires companies, and specifically customer success teams, to see customers as an available operative resource, rather than as a metric or quota. 

Want to know more about customer marketing and customer success? Download our free eBook here

 

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Nuala Cronin

Written by Nuala Cronin

Nuala is the Content Marketing Manager at Vanilla by Higher Logic. She has adored writing since a young age and graduated with a Master's Degree in Publishing and Literature from the National University of Ireland, Galway.

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