In the subscription economy, marketers must dedicate time and energy to nurturing their current customers.
If you sell using a subscription model, then your future revenues depend heavily on the success and loyalty of your current customers. The potential payback for marketing to those customers is huge.
It sounds both simple and obvious. Yet in many businesses, marketing practices remain unchanged while revenue models are shifting. Many marketers are so focused on generating leads that they don’t have cycles for their current customers. Some marketing teams abdicate responsibility for the customer relationship at the moment of the sale.
The Subscription Marketing Shift
The shift in revenue models requires a corresponding shift in marketing practices. Let’s look at how traditional, established marketing practices need to adjust as businesses shift to subscriptions:
- Traditional: Dedicate most of the marketing budget to lead acquisition.
- Subscription: Develop and implement strategies to nurture customers.
- Traditional: Hand off prospects to Sales and, once they sign up, to Customer Success teams.
- Subscription: Work with Customer Success teams to help new customers realize success quickly.
- Traditional: Ask Sales or Customer Success teams for a list of customers to hit up for a customer success story.
- Subscription: Create programs to proactively identify and nurture advocates and super-users in the customer base.
- Traditional: Use customer success stories to pitch prospects on how great your solution is.
- Subscription: Highlight the successes of your customers to other customers as well as potential clients.
These new practices span a wide range of marketing activities, from helping customers achieve success quickly to adding value outside of the solution itself. I’d suggest that they can be grouped together in an umbrella marketing category called Value Nurturing. Put simply:
Customer value nurturing is the practice of helping the customer realize value from your solution.
Value nurturing is the next logical step after lead nurturing:
I’ll be blogging more about value nurturing strategies in the weeks and months to come. My book on Subscription Marketing discusses strategies for value nurturing in detail. If you’re interested in exploring these topics with me, be sure to sign up for my email list.
Image: Paweł Bukowski on StockSnapIO
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