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Customer Marketing Is Back (Did It Ever Really Leave?)

September 17, 2013 | By Bob Peterson

One of the most popular topic areas within the account-based marketing service at SiriusDecisions is customer marketing. B-to-b companies of all sizes and industries are attempting to meet the challenges of focusing on customer marketing and where it fits in the organization chart.

One of the fastest-growing topic areas within the account-based marketing service at SiriusDecisions is customer marketing. From startups to venerable blue chip organizations, b-to-b companies of all sizes and industries are striving to meet the challenges of focusing on customer marketing.

Why are so many companies suddenly focused on gaining a better understanding of the view from the customer’s chair? Whether it’s a hangover from the recession or simply the realities of a more competitive business climate, it seems companies are spending more effort to align their resources to meet the needs of their customers.

A typical catalyst for investment in customer marketing is a change at the top of the marketing organization. Often, a new CMO or other senior marketing executive wants to see a reinvigorated customer marketing effort. The executive’s rationale for wanting to increase investment – likely transported from his or her experience at a previous organization – is a clear vision of the value that a customer-focused approach can bring.

Our clients report various objectives for their customer marketing functions. Some are seeking to quell customer attrition problems. Some are hoping to jumpstart upsell and cross-sell activity in their base. Some are trying to establish a more rigorous retention process. Others aren’t necessarily trying to address a particular problem, but they see a focus on customers as a way to differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace.

After deciding to focus on customer marketing, the next challenge many organizations face is determining where customer marketing fits on the organization chart. Even more importantly, how will this function interact with the existing infrastructure in a way that isn’t too disruptive and complements what’s already working?

Regardless of companies’ reasons for investing in customer marketing, it’s exciting to see this resurgence. In this day and age, this type of investment is a bet well-placed.

Bob Peterson

Bob Peterson is a sales and marketing thought leader with more than 20 years of experience working in mid- to large-sized global organizations, with emphasis on the financial services and software sectors. Bob has particularly focused on developing account-based marketing strategies to help sales and marketing organizations forge tighter alignment.
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