My Thoughts on Adrath Albee’s Marketo Summit Session:
“Courageous Tech Marketers Grow CLV by Keeping Customers for Life”
There’s no shortage of information out there about the power of retaining customers (and growing their customer lifetime value – “CLV”), so I was curious to attend this session and see if there was anything new to learn on the topic. Turns out, there was!
Adrath Albee, CEO & B2B marketing strategist for Marketing Interactions, is a wealth of information and offered some key points on retaining customers and growing CLV. I’ll try to share a few of them with you now.
All You’ve Gotta Do is Keep Winning (Them Over)
The core of Adrath’s session was built around how the subscription and recurring revenue business models that countless B2B and SaaS companies rely upon require a new sales and marketing approach. The days of locking customers into a contract and resting on your laurels are over (thankfully for all of us) and now we have the challenge of wooing customers constantly.
This might sound disadvantageous for marketers, but Adrath actually framed it in a positive light. Needing to keep customers happy means you’ll be in touch with them more, get more feedback, be able to improve more regularly and be more prepared to meet their needs (and those of others who come after them). Adrath reminded marketers that, “while buyers might consume 6 to 10 pieces of content before becoming a customer, your customers have a constant need for information and will consume as much as content that is helpful to them is available.”
It might be more work, but it also likely means more revenue, overall contentment and a better brand image. Isn’t that preferable to a wriggle-free contract that a customer is indentured to? Adrath and I agree it is.
Relevance and Engagement
What keeps customers, even more than stellar products and services, is a top-notch customer experience. This isn’t news to any of us, but Adrath emphasized the roles of relevance and engagement in this pursuit. She repeated that customers should have memorable, enjoyable experiences at each stage and on every channel they go through.
One of my favorite points she made was about building the “problem-to-solution story.” It makes so much sense, but sometimes marketers forget how much storytelling matters in a great experience – and what should be at the crux of it.
Sure, your brand history has a time and place, but sharing your story doesn’t mean blathering on about your founders and humble beginnings. Instead, it means making the connection, in an artful way, between the problem(s) your customers have and the solution(s) you provide.
Reinforce this story through your content. Adrath says that each content asset must have a purpose and play a role in the customer journey. Read that again. Each content asset. Even if you’re planning to write a cool blog about your favorite new trend, it should never become a content asset if it doesn’t have a clear purpose in the buyer journey. Sorry (but hey, it’d probably be a great addition to your personal blog.)
It’s an Ongoing Conversation
The other main point Adrath made in her session that really struck a chord with me was the idea of our marketing efforts being part of an ongoing conversation. So often, we think we need to sell someone in a single blog post or infographic. Not so! Adrath talked about achieving a consistent flow with your audience, through which you deliver “education, expertise and evidence” about why your brand is the best fit for them, based on the needs they need to have fulfilled. Marketers should be asking deeper questions to “extend the storyline to extend the narrative.” Adrath provided 6 excellent questions that guide that process:
This means becoming more conversational in your communications. Regularly reach out to customers, find new ways to incorporate the “problem-to-solution story” you’ve built and make sure your salespeople and customer service reps have the content they need to do the same. This will help you reach customers at every single stage throughout their lifecycle, with just enough of a nudge to move them toward the next one. It will also help keep them for the long haul.
Adrath was delightful to listen to, and I feel more equipped after her session to “courageously” keep customers for life. Hopefully, you do too.
For another great guide on extending the narrative with customers, check out LeadMD’s guide: “Client Checkups: Benchmark Behind the Scenes.“
Meet Justin Gray
Justin is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO and founder of LeadMD, the world’s largest revenue operations agency having implemented over half of the Marketo user base. Justin has made a career of launching successful companies and scaling them, with successful exits of over 200MM+ in the last decade. Justin’s latest endeavor launched in 2016 when he co-founded Six Bricks an online learning startup designed to combat employee and customer churn through experience-based education. Over the past 10 years, Justin has emerged as a strong voice for entrepreneurship, marketing and culture. As a recognized speaker, Justin has been published over 350 times in industry publications and holds his own column, Tribal Knowledge in Inc., while writing for Entrepreneur, Tech Crunch and others. Justin and his wife Jennifer met over marketing and three years later welcomed their son, Grayson, into the world in April of 2017.