The Marketing Strategist:
ITSMA Research: Customer Engagement, Expansion, and Advocacy
June 11, 2014
So far this year, ITSMA has explored four of its six research themes for 2014
: moving from marketing activity to business outcomes, realizing the promise of data and analytics, selling with thought leadership, and increasing relevance with persona and business-to-individual (B2I) marketing. Our next research topic, marketing to existing customers, will focus on what marketers are doing to stay in the hearts and minds of their existing customers and continue to win business with them.
In the world of B2B services and solutions, marketing’s job is not done when the deal closes; it’s just beginning. Upwards of 95% of business can come from existing customers. Landing a customer is the first step in gaining their trust and earning the right to upsell and cross-sell. Getting this new business requires loyal customers who will advocate for you within the client organization and beyond.
ITSMA’s annual Professional Services Brand Study shows that it is possible for a services provider to enjoy high brand awareness while customers have a limited familiarity with the firm’s breadth of capabilities and offerings. When customers have an incomplete view of what you can do to address their issues, they are less likely to engage and advocate. The key to capturing and keeping their attention is to become a trusted partner and use existing engagements to learn about new needs. Whether the goal is to change perception in order to compete in a new category of work, convert your happy customers into hardcore advocates, or even to make things right with detractors who’ve had a bad experience, the key is building loyalty. (Watch your inbox for an invitation to participate in our upcoming survey on this important topic of engagement with existing customers, expansion, and advocacy.)
ITSMA’s Relationship Model/Buying Process
(Click for larger image