Prior to her Content Marketing World session, Ardath Albee conducted an online survey of B2B marketers and found the following top 3 goals for customer retention:
- 74% Increase Customer Renewals
- 74% Cross and Upsell
- 72% Engage Customers in Dialogue
And what about creating different content for acquisition versus retention? What did the survey reveal about this? This is good background for thinking about how content can support customer retention.
- 57% Create Different Content for Retention
- 41% Sometimes Create Different for Retention
You don’t always need separate content because customers and prospects are similar and have similar challenges across the whole buyer journey. This means solving business problems, but also learning more about your products and services.
Customer retention is about helping customers find more value than they purchased from you. And remember that a customer’s status quo is different. They solved their problem they originally purchased the product for.
Create a continuum from prospects through customers, where you need buyer personas as well as customer personas. The survey found that 33% of marketers do not consider segmentation or personalizations for customers.
Sales and Marketing Alignment
Solicit sales feedback on the use of content to make sure you are creating content that supports customer retention. If salespeople think the content sucks, they are not going to use it. Salespeople will never read you content, but they will use the right content. Create cliff notes for the salespeople so they know the details about the pieces marketing is creating. And make sure it fits on one page. This will help them use content. Not just effectively, but use it at all. Here’s a list of the kinds of elements that go in the cliff notes:
- Key Points
- Conversational Prompts
- Related Offer
- Goal for Call (for Inside Sales)
Customer Retention Drives Lead Gen
Converting an existing customer is 60-70%, while the probability of converting a new prospect is 5-20%, according to Marketing Metrics. So rather than focus so much energy on new prospects, make sure marketing is paying attention to retention. And how does retention drive lead gen? Happy customers become advocates. Advocacy results in referrals. Referrals help generate quality leads.
One final thought as to why customer retention contribute to the bottom line. According to Bain and Company, increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits 25-95%.