Use Marketing Automation to Improve Lifecycle Management

One of the biggest challenges cited by B2B marketers is quality lead generation. Net new demand generation is a compelling reason for companies to purchase marketing automation solutions. But to maximize the use of the system, marketers need to think beyond lead management to increasing the loyalty, satisfaction and spend of their current customers. The CMO Council report, Routes to Revenue, found that, “76% of senior marketers believe they are not realizing the full revenue potential of their current customers.” That same report “revealed that making communications more personal and relevant, as well as more targeted and timely, was among the top strategies for realizing greater revenue and profitability from existing customers.”

Marketing automation is the platform B2B marketers need to leverage in order to put those intentions into practice consistently. But to improve the customer lifecycle, the focus of nurturing and content marketing needs to change from what’s important to pre-sale Leads to what matters most to customers. These are two different audiences.

The best part is that—with marketing automation—marketers have insights about customers that don’t exist for prospects. Examples include full profile information, purchased products and services and even related case studies. They have customer service and support records and salesperson and/or account manager feedback. They also have a continuous online activity history that can provide clues to future interests.

By applying this information, highly relevant and personalized drip campaigns can be created to help specific customers gain additional value from their investments in your products. But, it’s critical to think about the starting point. Your customer has already solved the problem you address for your Leads. Therefore, the content you use must address what comes next. Obviously this will not be the content you use for lead nurturing.

Instead, focus on how you can help your customers take advantage of future opportunities by expanding how they partner with your company. Just as in lead nurturing, marketing automation software can show you which communications and content your customers are responding to. The same principal you applied for conversion triggers in lead nurturing campaigns can be applied in customer campaigns to create that timely and targeted interaction that marketers state is a key objective to increasing customer revenue streams.

Leveraging your marketing automation solution to manage the entire customer lifecycle—from pre-sale throughout the relationship—can now become a standard practice, instead of a nice to have. The key is to create a customer-focused communications process, executed with marketing automation. Continue to engage customers after the initial sale by showing them how to get even more value than they signed on for in the first place. You’ll see better ROI from your marketing automation solution and additional ways to prove the contribution your marketing programs make to increased company revenues.