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From nominating to analyzing, Orca is there to guide you through your customer marketing journey to ensure you have the industry's best practices implemented


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B2B Customer Marketing Strategy

November 22, 2023

B2B Customer Marketing Strategy

Customer marketing is a critical component of any successful B2B marketing strategy. This method leverages a resource that you already have—satisfied customers—to show the power of your brand’s story. With customer marketing, you can take exciting testimonials and integrate them intentionally into the rest of your marketing plan. The majority of buyers (92% according to a Nielson report) trust peer-to-peer referrals (or earned media in the digital space) over advertisements.

In this blog, we’ll dive deeper into the steps of creating a B2B marketing strategy and how customer advocacy fits in as a key component We’ll also answer questions like:

  • How do you target customers for B2B marketing?
  • What are current B2B marketing trends?
  • What’s the best B2B marketing strategy?

What Should a B2B Marketing Strategy Include?

An effective B2B marketing strategy should include three key parts:

  • Your Marketing Goals: These are the metrics that your initiative should achieve to support your company’s growth. Common marketing goals include increasing conversion rates, decreasing cost per conversion, and increasing brand awareness. Your company might also set a goal to drive program adoption and nominate or identify new customers for your customer advocacy program. These marketing goals will guide the direction of the rest of your strategy, so ensure they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely (aka “SMART” goals). Using Orca’s dashboard, you can highlight specific objectives like:
  1. Number of customer reference calls
  2. Value added by customer advocates
  3. Total revenue tied to advocacy activity
  • Your Target Market: Next, you need to determine ideal characteristics of customers. These are the people that will be most likely to take actions that support your marketing and business objectives. Your target market research should include both demographic and psychographic data to define the most specific ideal customer profile (ICP).
  • Your Marketing Tactics: Now that you know who you want to market to and what actions you want them to take, you can choose a combination of tactics that will achieve your desired results. Depending on your specific situation, the following B2B marketing examples could help you achieve your goals:
  1. Customer marketing
  2. SEO content marketing
  3. Organic social media marketing
  4. Retargeting ads
  5. Search engine and social media ads
  6. Direct outreach
  7. Email campaigns

How Do You Target Customers in B2B?

When determining your target market in B2B, you want to choose an audience that is:

  1. Receptive to your messaging. Finding an audience that shares your business’s values will result in higher conversions. These customers will also be more likely to serve as advocates for your brand in the future.
  2. Able to take action. Even if someone sees the value in your offering, they might not be able to actually make the purchase. Ensure you are connecting with decision makers.
  3. Likely to take action. Identify which problems your audience is experiencing so you can present your service as the specific solution they’re searching for. This will motivate buyers because they won’t have to figure out how to make your offering work with their business—you’ve already connected the dots for them.

As we mentioned earlier, B2B target market segmentation should focus on two key components that define your audience, which are demographics and psychographics. 

Demographics refer to the statistical data relating to the population and particular groups within it. In B2B marketing, company industry, segment, and job title are especially important because they signify how much decision making power that person may have. However, other data points like age and education level can impact which type of messaging they will be most receptive to. Using Orca, you can leverage your customers’ demographic data to evaluate which existing customers will be the best advocates for your brand and your ideal potential customers.

Psychographics are a person’s behavioral habits. This category includes information such as someone’s values, interests, hobbies, lifestyle, attitudes, or social status. Each of these data points are another possible connection waiting to be made. As a B2B marketer, you should pay special attention to a potential customer’s values to see if they align with those of your company. Plus, discussing hobbies and interests is another way to build a positive and trusting relationship.

Combining demographics and psychographics helps to create a well-rounded and specific ideal customer profile. Consider the following hypothetical B2B target audience examples:

  • SaaS Marketing B2B Ideal Customer Profile (ICP): Executive account managers who are 35-45 years old and work at SaaS marketing companies with an average yearly revenue of $1 million to $5 million. These customers are financially conservative, value family, and tend to enjoy expanding personal collections.
  • All-in-One Manufacturing SaaS ICP: Team managers at manufacturing plants in Pennsylvania who use multiple software platforms to handle employee scheduling, shipping, inventory, and more. These customers value transparency and innovation, and they enjoy the outdoors.
  • Outsourced IT Services ICP: CEOs of companies with 50 employees or less and that don’t have an internal IT team. These customers have been promoted from within the company, have a basic understanding of IT, and have personally experienced the challenges that mismanaged IT can cause. They are also active on LinkedIn daily.

To conduct target market research, your team can interview current ideal customers, send out surveys to potential audience members, and use targeting tools that are included in platforms like Google Ads and LinkedIn Ads.

How Do You Attract New Customers in B2B?

According to this study, 90% of people are more likely to purchase from a brand that a friend has recommended to them, which makes word-of-mouth referrals an ideal B2B marketing tactic. While you could sit and wait for your customers to decide to refer their connections to you (which is what 82% of businesses currently do, according to HubSpot), you can benefit far more from a proactive approach. That’s exactly what customer marketing provides.

Customer marketing is the intentional act of turning satisfied customers into advocates for your brand. A customer marketing strategy puts your customers’ stories at the center of your brand messaging. You can promote these positive stories with the following methods:

  • Customer appearances on your podcast
  • Video testimonials on your website
  • Guest writing opportunities on your blogs
  • Referral programs

Managing a customer marketing strategy can get complicated. Scheduling guests for content contributions and asking for referrals is difficult to track, and without the right tools, you might actually turn loyal customers away rather than attracting new ones. That’s why using a platform like Orca to manage your customer marketing strategy is so critical. In essence, Orca makes it easy to measure customer impact, reach out to loyal customers, schedule reference calls, and track participation. Specifically, Orca adds the following features to your Salesforce ecosphere:

  • Advocate programs that make it easy to launch initiatives and track results.
  • Loyalty programs to encourage active participation from satisfied customers.
  • Rapid adoption capabilities to ensure ease-of-use through Salesforce.
  • Real-time metrics that enhance your ability to adapt your strategy to drive results.
  • Native security features that protect 100% of your data and your customers’ data from the start.   

How to market to B2B buyers is not a single tactic ordeal, however. While customer marketing can yield impressive results (such as increased ROI and enhanced brand reach), this method works best as part of a comprehensive marketing strategy. For instance, consider pairing customer appearances on your podcast with tried-and-true B2B marketing campaign examples, like posting to social media and publishing email newsletters.

What’s Trending in B2B Marketing?

The marketing trends that you need to be aware of for B2B in 2023 are customer marketing, automation, influencers, and podcasts.

  • Customer Marketing: This strategy allows you to take what you’re doing—providing best-in-industry service for your customers—and leverage success stories to achieve your marketing goals. Customer marketing is an actively growing competitive advantage, due in part to the relationship-centric approach. When businesses invest in nurturing customer relationships, the end result is mutually beneficial. 
  • Automation: In a creative endeavor like designing and implementing a marketing strategy, you don’t want to waste time on menial tasks. Fortunately, multitudes of software platforms exist to automate these tasks, so you can focus on what’s important. More technology isn’t always a perfect solution, however. If you are constantly adding new platforms that come with a steep learning curve and don’t integrate with each other, you may be adding more work than you’re saving. That’s why Orca seamlessly integrates with Salesforce, one of the top software ecospheres for marketing, sales, customer success, and so much more. Book a demo to see how easy it can be. 
  • Influencers: Influencer marketing has taken the B2C world by storm and has become a key component of social media marketing. But what about in the B2B space? Influencer marketing is highly effective. According to LinkedIn, 74% of B2B marketers are making major changes to incorporate influencer marketing. Why? Because this tactic generated approximately $11.7 billion in revenue during 2022. This group also includes customer advocates, who you can encourage to share their positive experiences online.   
  • Podcasts: According to MarTech, 43% of B2B customers rely on podcasts for content related to decision-making. That makes podcasts just as relevant as social media, webinars, and email newsletters when it comes to B2B marketing. Podcasts are effective because they are a vehicle for spreading educational branded content. You can teach people how to solve their problems, and while doing so, your audience associates your brand with the solution.

What Is the Best B2B Marketing Strategy for 2023?

Customer marketing is one of the best B2B marketing ideas for 2023 because it combines tried-and-true tactics with trending B2B strategies. Testimonial pages on websites, referral incentives, and content marketing can add value on their own, but customer marketing puts you in charge of your ROI.  

Orca streamlines the process of turning your satisfied B2B customer examples into champions for your brand by improving: 

  • Communication with current and potential customer advocates
  • Scheduling for customer marketing activities
  • Management of advocate campaigns

Our users have found that references have an 80% likelihood of influencing B2B decision-making. They’ve also experienced an average of:

  • 21% higher win rates
  • 9% shorter sales cycles
  • 12% higher average sale prices

Orca makes it more efficient to collaborate with customer advocates to create impactful results. Schedule a demo today to see how.    

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