Your Biggest Asset: Existing Customers

It’s no surprise that growing companies have new customers on their mind. Naturally, if you want to build your business, you need to attract new prospects and nurture them along the sales journey. In fact, generating more leads that are qualified is the number one perceived benefit of marketing automation software, according to a survey of more than 50,000 B2B marketers from Pepper Group.

However, just because you focus on new prospects doesn’t mean you can overlook or ignore your biggest asset — the customers you already have.  According to the Gartner Group, 80 percent of your future profits will come from just 20 percent of your existing customers. And, a Bain & Company/Harvard Business School study found that increasing customer retention rates by 5% boosts profits by 25% to 95%.

Some marketing teams may assume that if a buyer has already converted, a marketing automation solution isn’t useful in terms of keeping them coming back time and time again. But lead nurturing is only one goal of marketing automation: The right platform takes advantage of the entire sales cycle, allowing marketers to tailor content to each audience segment and move prospects and customers from awareness and interest to repeat buyers, referrals, and advocates.

Think Ongoing Customer Engagement for Long-Term Loyalty

Want to gain loyal, repeat customers? The value of developing and retaining meaningful relationships with your customers cannot be overstated.  A recent report from Boston Retail Partners reflects this and found that 76 percent of brands say customer experience and engagement are a priority.

Today’s B2B customers, accustomed to greater personalization and engagement from brands, have also raised their expectations. More than half of B2B buyers cited personalized recommendations across interactions as a capability they want B2B suppliers to offer, according to a recent Accenture/SAP study. And personalization was the second biggest factor influencing repurchase.

Marketing automation can play a powerful role in staying connected to your customers and managing customer relationships. Here are some essential ways marketing automation can keep your existing customers happy and loyal:

1. Stay in touch. Marketing automation can help you engage with existing buyers through triggered emails, social media responses, and custom content. You can also analyze the buying cycles of your customers and automatically remind them when it’s time to renew or what they might want based on previous behaviors. 

2. Sell other products and services. Just because a customer has made a purchase doesn’t mean you can’t use their customer information and purchase history to encourage additional sales in other categories. With marketing automation, you can cross-sell or upsell other products and services for increased revenue — improving the odds that customers will stick with your brand.

3. Offer better customer service and experiences. Today’s customers want personalized experiences and a high level of customer service — including timely responses to questions and issues. With marketing automation, you can tailor email campaigns to existing customers, whether they are engaged or lapsed — or provide better, faster feedback to your social media fans and followers. You can also gain additional insights about current customers through surveys, polls and questionnaires that are easy to create and frictionless to share.

4. Lead scoring. An integral part of marketing automation, lead scoring continues to be essential well after closing the first deal with your customer. The insights you glean from lead scoring data can help you build a ranked pipeline report of upsell opportunities, based on a customer’s interactions with your messaging and levels of engagement.

Engage and Nurture Audiences at Every Notch of the Sales Funnel

While it’s easy to prioritize prospects, successful marketing automation means going beyond lead nurturing to boosting engagement with existing customers to whom you can sell additional products and services. Generating leads at the top of the funnel and closing deals with new buyers is a must, but to take full advantage of your marketing automation investment, you need to go farther.

Real Magnet’s easy-to-use, comprehensive marketing automation platform can help you generate ongoing revenue from your business — with campaign templates that walk you through the entire process of an automated marketing campaign to target existing customers. And, an infographic reporting approach allows marketers quickly discover the most important engagement metrics and use data to help cultivate loyal, ongoing customer relationships.