As Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), you have great influence over the brand and ultimately Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). Activate the brand to increase the lifetime value of your customers.
Brand: Your Most Powerful Tool
One of a CMO’s most important responsibilities is to shape the brand. As steward of the brand, you should identify and evaluate all customer touchpoints. Brand touchpoints go beyond marketing materials to include the office environment, customer service protocols, email communications, voice communications and social media presence.
Top CMOs set the bar for brand loyalty. No one else will care more for the brand than you do. Take the time to evaluate each touchpoint. Identify successes and points of breakage, and adjust the marketing team’s strategy as necessary.
How to Create Loyal Customers
Customer loyalty is critical to the success of your go-to-market strategy. It’s also critical to your marketing budget. It costs between four and ten times more to acquire a new customer.
When you market to loyal customers, you’re farming rather than hunting. It’s much easier to reach those customers.
To create loyal customers, your job is to make them believe what you believe. Do this by ensuring your company is behaving authentically. Each customer touchpoint should be a consistent experience that fulfills the brand promise. Everything from customer service to post-sales communications should be authentic to the brand.
Make Doing Business Easy
The cost of maintaining the customer relationship is two-way. It costs your company – but it also costs the customer in time and money. Lower the perceived cost of maintaining the relationship by ensuring all transactions are trouble-free.
Zappos online shoe store is a great example of a company that does this well. They start by making it easy for the customer to find products. Their ordering and shipping systems are simple and swift. And if the customer needs to return a product, Zappos provides a pre-paid shipping label. The entire customer experience is consistent, authentic to the brand and efficient.
Authenticity, consistency and ease of doing business – these are the keys to customer loyalty.
Successful Product Development Starts With Brand
As CMO, you are keenly aware of the scope of your brand. Buyers also have a sense of that scope. For a new product to be successful, you must have buyer permission. The new product must make sense to buyers within the scope of your brand. Customer loyalty slips when a brand operates outside of that scope and permission.
Related: 10 Marketing Automation Hacks
Impress upon product management that new products cannot conflict with buyer permission. Without this permission, customers may experience confusion around the brand. Time to sale will increase – which may spell launch failure.
To introduce a new product that is outside the scope of your current brand:
Build a bridge from current, successful products to the new product. Lead customers to where the brand is evolving.
Remove customer perception roadblocks. Target marketing efforts to assuring customers that the new product fulfils the brand promise.
Making Your Brand Story Believable
Customer advocates are the pinnacles of customer marketing. They extend your brand authentically by publicly and enthusiastically telling your story.
When you leverage customers to advocate for your product, your brand story becomes more believable. So make sure you are embedding customer marketing into the go-to-market strategy. Make it easy for customers to express their satisfaction publicly.