With the start of the new year, marketers will be facing new challenges.
As a kick-off, step away from your data, analytics, existing marketing plans and deadlines and spend 20–30 minutes answering one simple question: what will you do between now and the end of the first quarter of the year to strengthen your relationship with your existing customers or community?
Don't forget the re-purchase phase
In B2B, it typically takes 6–8 touches to generate a viable sales lead! But so often marketing and sales focuses on moving the prospect beyond the interest phase of the buyer journey to the purchase phase that existing customers get pushed to the side of our thoughts.
Just because a client chose to hire you or buy from you last year, it doesn't mean they aren't open to the tantalising benefits and offers from your competitors.
So it's vital you make sure that customers feel that you can continue to address their needs and wants, provide solutions to the problems they might be grappling with, over a sustained period.
You need to make them keep wanting to buy from you.
Or to put it another way, don't make follow-up sales campaigns something that gets tagged on to the work you do. Be strategic about nurturing your relationship.
Take Action in Q1
There are twelve weeks between now and the end of Q1. I would recommend you brainstorm and think through things that you or your colleagues could be doing to build a better relationship, particularly if you work in B2B.
For example, connect with your existing customers on LinkedIn or Twitter and actually reply to their posts. Demonstrate your engagement with them outside of your regular business contact.
And don't just do this once. Make time to do it regularly between now and the end of the quarter.
And what's more, don't just nod your head, say “yeah, yeah, yeah” and not even try it. You'd be surprised how much people appreciate it when you genuinely take an interest in what they do.
Really understand your client's business
At Moondog, we pride ourselves on really getting to know the industries our customers work in. That way, we can refer them to whitepapers and ebooks, podcasts and blog posts that they might not necessarily find. The aim is to make ourselves even more invaluable.
(As an aside, we also use the same technique to stay in touch with past clients, touching base to recommend an article or ebook, showing that they're still in our thoughts!)
If your client has a blog or publishes other forms of content such as a podcast or video series, familiarise yourself with it and comment on it next time you interact. Use your CRM to track your conversations.
If you've never done so before, invite them to a webinar, a breakfast seminar or even a game of golf if that's your bag, and use this opportunity to really address any additional questions or issues a customer might have.
The bottom lines is to carefully plan for frequent and meaningful follow-ups – depending on the perceived value of your customer!
Go all the way!
Finally, I would say it's definitely worth digging deeper into a company to build relationships with different stakeholders.
There's nothing worse than having a relationship with just one member of your client's team because it puts you at risk. If the contact moves on to pastures new, there may be no one in-house who knows of the true value you bring.
From the get-go of the first quarter of the year, I wish you a very successful term !
God fortsättning! as many of us say the first week after New Year in Sweden.