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Lifecycle Marketing Marketing nurturing RC-SaaS Lifecycle Marketing SaaS Marketing SaaS sales

3 Steps to Lifecycle Marketing Success

SendEmails-Lifecycle

Introduction

Congratulations, as a marketing professional you’ve successfully recruited a qualified customer base: people who audited your product and ultimately chose you above the competition. It’s no small feat, but there’s no time to rest on your laurels – you’re only halfway there.

As your prospects cross the threshold and transform into customers, they continue to demand a certain level of nurturing, attention and engagement, dictated by need and identified through usage. With an understanding of your customer’s lifecycle profile, product consumption and usage, you can launch the right Lifecycle Marketing programs to reach out and expand customer value across your entire customer base.

What is Lifecycle Marketing?

Lifecycle Marketing refers to marketing and sales campaigns that address your customer’s needs and requirements as they evolve over time.

These programs offer great rewards because of two simple marketing principles:

  1. You can often generate more revenues from existing customers (as compared to prospective customers); and,
  2. The revenues you generate come at a much lower investment cost (so you enjoy much more profitable revenues).

With these two principles at play, activating Lifecycle Marketing campaigns to an existing and continually growing customer base significantly increases your chances for generating more revenues, over time.

How to be successful with LIfecycle Marketing?

Your customers’ needs run the gamut: newbies have different needs than veterans; small businesses require different attention than enterprise. By using the knowledge you have about your customer’s profile you can launch Lifecycle Marketing campaigns that serve each client’s individual needs. If you engage a broad spectrum of client needs with generic emails, at best your success rate will be hit-and-miss, at worst, just miss. Directing marketing campaigns to specific users based on who they are (their profile) and where they are in the customer lifecycle (their actual usage of your product) will transform your marketing campaigns into meaningful and engaging initiatives. Whomever the customer may be – timely, topical and encouraging emails will help your clients use your product successfully, as needs and requirements change over time.

3 Steps to Lifecycle Marketing Success

Lifecycle Marketing relates to marketing programs that are anchored to your customer’s needs and usage. Here are some basic steps for conducting Lifecycle Marketing programs with your customers. The first two steps can be implemented immediately with your existing e-mail marketing or marketing automation system, whereas usage-based campaigns can be configured with Totango’s capabilities.

Step 1: Value Communication
First and foremost, communicate with your customers regularly about the value you are generating on their behalf. This form of communication not only acts as a testament to your company’s and product’s ongoing improvement, it also expresses your dedication to continually deliver value to your customers.

Value-based Lifecycle Marketing Campaigns could include:

  • New features you have added, improved or bugs you have fixed
  • New content you have generated such as presentations, videos, white papers
  • Events that you are organizing or attending where customers might meet you

Many companies roll-up all of this information in a weekly or monthly newsletter on behalf of the customer.

Step 2: Product-based Upselling
Upselling works best when you offer additional products that speak to your customer’s needs and usage. You can learn a lot about your clients, based on which product they have purchased and how long they have been paying customers.

Product-based Lifecycle Marketing Campaigns:

  • Focus upselling campaigns on customers who have already purchased at least one product; customers who have already purchased a product from you are more likely to purchase another.
  • Offer a special purchasing opportunity based on seniority to customers using a paid product for a prolonged period of time
  • Generate a special complimentary bundling offer for a purchased product with a product not yet purchased.

Step 3: Usage-based Programs
If you know exactly how customers are using your product in relation to their usage cycle, you know exactly when to send them what message in regards to content, events, features or other offers. Totango monitors this type of product and feature usage and can trigger e-mail marketing campaigns to optimize your Lifecycle Marketing.

Usage-based Lifecycle Marketing campaigns:

  • Trials phase: customers who registered for a free trial but never logged in should receive a different value e-mail than those who are actively engaged during the trial. Those that started a trial and abruptly left should receive yet another message. By seeing exactly where a trial user gets stuck you can send helpful tips to move the prospect along. Very active trial users could receive content related to pricing or purchasing of paid licenses.
  • Onboarding: Regardless of how user friendly your product is, every user feels like “the new guy” when they start using your product. Some of your users may have trouble getting acquainted with your feature set, while others may not understand the best ways to the get the most value from your product. You can always stay one step ahead and recommend the next best action for your customer. If you pickup where new users are getting stuck you can e-mail helpful tips and assistance before distress signals are sent out.
  • Land & Expand: upselling campaigns are more successful if you can send the right offer at the right time. If you monitor how actively a customer is using particular features or the product as a whole you could identify the best time to initiate the conversation about additional purchases.
  • Customer success: identify a decline in usage as a preemptive measure for alerting you of customers at risk of abandoning your product. Use this knowledge to reach out and proactively retain your customer base.

Conclusion

Rallying in your customers and generating a customer base is more than half the battle. Once they’re in your domain, Lifecycle Marketing programs help you optimize revenue potential by engaging customers as their relationship with your product builds over time. Start with the basics of value communication and build up your programs to product and usage-based initiatives. Your customers will feel that you’re catering to their needs, and your business will reap the rewards.

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Customer Analytics Customer Engagement customer success integration Lifecycle Marketing Marketo RC-SaaS Lifecycle Marketing User Engagement

Successful Lifecycle Marketing through Innovative Marketo & Totango Integration

Marketo Logo

We are excited about our integration with Marketo to help companies with lifecycle marketing (marketing to existing customers).

Combining the capabilities of Marketo with Totango leads to the automatic customization of content, timing and type of Lifecycle Marketing campaigns targeted at existing customers.

Account nurturing should not stop when a customer buys from you. On the contrary: revenues from existing customers can far exceed revenues from new customers and these revenues are less costly to attain. Therefore, use Totango to understand how your existing customers are using your software and to automatically create usage-based cohorts.

Totango significantly enhances the native capabilities of Marketo, helping to drive adoption and usage of SaaS products. The result: better relationships with clients, increased revenues, customer success and lifetime value.

Lifecycle Marketing: Challenge & Solution

Challenge:
Oftentimes, customer nurturing activities abruptly stop when a prospect or customer starts using a trial or paid service. To continue to nurture the relationship with customers, businesses must create effective Lifecycle Marketing campaigns that engage, support and serve customer needs as their usage evolves.

Challenges in creating successful Lifecycle Marketing campaigns:

  1. Accurately assessing customer needs and behaviors; and,
  2. Following through with timely, relevant customer engagement initiatives.

Solution:

Totango – Marketo: Working Together

Totango automatically calculates a customer engagement score for each account, based on real time streams of user actions (showing how people are using the service and where they get stuck), and customer demographics collected from CRM systems, help desk systems and billing systems. This score, as well as specific customer actions, can be used to segment users into activity-based cohorts, which in turn can be leveraged for automated and customized sales and marketing campaigns.

Totango Marketo Integration

Examples of activity-based cohorts include:

  • Users who signed up for a trial but never activated
  • Users who are more active than the average activity
  • Users who display similar behavior to the most successful customers
  • Users of a particular feature
  • Users who logged in once but never returned
  • Users who referred other customers

Totango Marketo use case examples:

Trial Conversion: Trial users still active on the 3rd day of a trial are 4 times more likely to convert into paying users. Checking in with these active trial users increases trial close rates by 70%. Totango identifies who the most active trial users are, and Marketo reaches out to them at the right time with the right message.

User Onboarding: Totango analyzes where customers are getting stuck while using the product or service, and Marketo sends helpful tips at the right time to get them back on track.

Upselling: Totango finds users who are using a particular feature and are likely candidates for purchasing additional module(s) and/or finds highly engaged users who may be interested in expanding their deployment, and Marketo executes the upselling campaigns.

Customer Success: Cancellations are almost always preceded by a period of non-use. Totango identifies a drop in usage for a particular customer, and a Marketo campaign can be used to proactively reaches out to the customer before it’s too late.

Totango, a Complimentary Platform to Marketo

Totango serves businesses who operate in a no-touch or low-touch environment. We aim to help businesses gain a better understanding of their clients, so that businesses can serve their customers better. While Totango aggregates data and translates it into meaningful insights, Marketo translates Totango’s insights into meaningful actions. Together, the two platforms create a holistic, customer-centric work methodology that encourages context-driven, customized and automated marketing and sales intitiatives targeted at existing customers.

Marketo/Totango Integration Details:

With the Marketo and Totango implementation, Marketo smart campaigns are created to target certain behaviors, detected by Totango, by users of the cloud-application. The two systems seamlessly communicate through Salesforce.com.

  • Once installed on the cloud application, Totango monitors user actions and determines the nature and level of engagement of each user. When a configured behavior is detected (such as first usage of a specific application module or a drop in usage) the Totango record is updated with the appropriate Totango Insight.
  • Totango synchronizes information with Salesforce.com in near real time, updating Leads and Account with Insights as they happen. Marketo, in turn, seamlessly integrates with Salesforce.com and uses this information (alongside any other) in campaigns and programs.
  • A Marketo email campaign is created using Totango Insights as part of the campaign’s Smart List.

For more examples and documentation, please visit this Lifecycle Marketing article

View ebook on Totango-Marketo Integration, The New Generation Lifecycle Marketing:

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b2b sales Best Practices client lifecycle customer lifecycle Lifecycle Marketing RC-SaaS Lifecycle Marketing saas best practices SaaS sales saas top 10

The Top 10 Requirements for an Effective Client Lifecycle

Customer LifeCycle

1. Must be a corporate wide initiative – not just a client services initiative.

Without Board and CEO level visibility, buy-in and sponsorship this type of corporate-wide initiative can be challenging to have all key stakeholders involved and invested. Although it is often lead by the client services team, a multi-departmental approach is necessary for it to be highly effective.

2. Each Department Leader has a key role to play

In a successful Client Lifecycle program, the leaders in departments such of Sales, Marketing, Product Management and Client Services all have a role to play at some point. Their contributions provide the pieces to the puzzle for a client when they are decided whether or not to renew.

3. Market and Promote your client lifecycle program

When you develop and execute on a truly unique approach to client engagement that will absolutely be a differentiator from your competitors, brand it. Market it. Don’t be afraid to let people know that your whole company has an approach that will make your clients successful with your product & service over the long haul. This added visibility also provides the appropriate amount of pressure to make sure your organization sticks with it.

4. Have a designated owner who acts as a “quarterback” of Client Lifecycle program.

Coordinating multiple stakeholders does require ownership for a client lifecycle program. The Executive owner is often the most senior client-facing (post-sale) executive. Depending on the size of firm, this would be the CEO, COO or VP of Client Services. This executive owner should be responsible for client retention. From a client to client perspective the owner should be a post-sales account manager, often referred to as a Client Advocate, Client Account Manager or Client Success Manager who is measured on retention, and not new sales revenue.

5. The Client Lifecycle activities should support the three main criteria that a client will use when deciding to renew:

Although this is a potential point of debate, from our experience there are 3 key factors that your client assesses when deciding to renew business with you:

  1. Is your organization meeting or exceeding their current business needs / business drivers;
  2. Does your client have confidence that you will continue to meet their current, future and evolving business needs business drivers, and;
  3. The client is confident that they picked a market “winner” not a market “loser”. For example, even though RIM continues to be quite strong on meeting the business needs of the corporate user community, they will still lose many clients because they are now perceived , wrongly so, as a market “loser”. No one will want to be the one that made the decision to go with a market “loser”.

Each of these three areas must be proven, measure, re-evaluated over and over again throughout the client lifecycle to ensure that the elements your can control or influence are in your favor when they are making a renewal decision. There are other factors outside of your control, but they are just that, outside of your control.

6. Should leverage, and take advantage of, your ability to use client driven referrals to generate new business.

This should be an obvious, but many companies stop at having a logo on a website, or perhaps a case study, as a method to use an existing client as a reference. The reality is, that if you are doing a great job for your client, many of them would take a call from a prospect, or even better, refer you to a peer from another organization who would also benefit from your solution. As a former colleague of mine used to say, “Don’t ask, don’t get”. Understand, per client, what type of reference they are willing to be, and leverage it – but don’t take it for granted either. You need to continue to earn their reference.

7. Should concentrate on user adoption and overall usage rates

The user community within your client’s organization can change frequently due to layoffs, new hires, mergers, and other business events. You client lifecycle approach must have a deep understanding of the user community and adapt to a changing and evolving user base within the client’s organization. A strong client lifecycle approach is highly proactive in tracking usage & adoption and stays on top of the shifts in user community and reacts accordingly. A fantastic product that could help you get great detail on usage iswww.totango.com . It gives a level of usage intelligence that is invaluable.

8. Should provide client intelligence on the renewal health of each client

Having a client lifecycle program that measures, among other possible things, business driver attainment, Vendor-Client interactions, client’s willingness to be a market reference and usage rates provides an ongoing scoring ability to gain a solid understanding of the likelihood of renewal. Doing this in regular intervals gives you plenty of time to change the course for any client who is on the path of not renewing.

9. Measurable with centralized access for all stakeholders

A successful client lifecycle program is like a hub on a wheel with information “spokes” going to and from all key stakeholders in the your organization. Each group will benefit significantly from the knowledge/intelligence gained about client activities, successes, failures etc. In our experience, it can have a profound effect on who you market to, how your market to them, what the actual development priorities should be, etc. With one of my clients, it provided great clarity into a market segment that just wasn’t right for their solution. They pulled all Leads, Opportunities with prospects from this segment, and they exited gracefully from existing contracts that we knew were doomed to fail.

10. Proactive in nature,

If your sole interaction with your clients is reactive by definition it’s a failure. Getting ahead of a train, is far better than being run over by it.

 

This blog was first posted at ServiceVantage by Jeff Bennett, Founder and CEO. His company, ServiceVantage, which has helped technology clients to maximize recurring revenue, strengthen client retention and increase client-driven referrals via a unique client lifecycle approach since 2002.