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The Green Sheet Online Edition

December 22, 2014 • Issue 14:12:02

Boost Your Biz: Customer marketing bolsters bottom line

Companies large and small are seeing a direct link between customer marketing and higher revenues. As an ISO or merchant level salesperson seeking to generate more revenue from existing merchants, you can apply the principles of customer marketing to your business, too. While most sales organizations tend to focus on feeding the sales funnel, marketing to existing customers can be a cost-effective bottom line booster.

An October 2014 benchmark report by Demand Metric Research Corp. titled, Customer Marketing: Improving Customer Satisfaction & Revenue Impact, surveyed organizations about various customer marketing strategies. Ninety percent of those respondents said they use some form of customer marketing; 53 percent experienced moderate to significant revenue gains as a result of these initiatives.

Linking actions to results

The activities most frequently linked to positive revenue impact are:

  • Customer referral programs: Advocacy programs, systems and measures designed to stimulate customer referrals organically
  • Customer satisfaction programs: Formal programs implemented by organizations to measure customer satisfaction, understand the reasons for dissatisfaction and properly address them
  • Renewal campaigns: Preprogrammed campaigns to encourage contract extensions and renewals

Ignoring bottom-line results

Surprisingly, despite the positive link between the above strategies and revenue, respondents indicated they are employing a number of strategies that ranked lower in their ability to boost revenue. These less effective strategies include customer and user group events, testimonial programs, online customer communities, and cross-sell and up-sell campaigns, which ranked 5, 7 and 8, respectively, in the ranking of customer marketing activities.

In addition, organizations ranked renewal/churn rate as the most critical metric for measuring customer marketing effectiveness.

Refining staff training

Consider adjusting your customer marketing strategies and staff training to achieve optimal results. "Employees are the front line for executing a customer marketing strategy, and when they are trained with the critical skills and equipped with enabling systems and resources, the revenue impact potential is significant," the report stated. Critical skills employees should possess that were cited in the report include relationship building, communication, customer service, digital marketing and creativity. end of article

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