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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


Bringing customers into the program shouldn't be the blocker. Whether you have an existing pod, need to find new ones, or just want to see what our classifier will produce, Orca has made it easy to expand your customer marketing pool.


Advocates only make an impact when your colleagues can utilize them. Orca's native Salesforce functionality seamlessly integrates into existing sales and customer success motions to ensure adoption and utilization.


From finding your best advocates, to determine which awards return the highest ROI, Orca enables the pandora's box of data analytics for your customer marketing program

Customer Marketing

November 22, 2023

Customer marketing, a vital strategy for B2B organizations, has the power to transform satisfied customers into customer advocates. The impact of these advocates cannot be underestimated, as acts of advocacy, such as peer-to-peer referrals, remain one of the most potent channels for acquiring new customers. A Nielsen report reveals that a staggering 92% of respondents value personal recommendations from acquaintances more than any other form of marketing. By fostering a customer-centric approach, businesses can cultivate stronger connections with consumers, paving the way for unparalleled customer experiences and business growth

As we delve deeper into the realm of customer marketing, we must consider the implications of this transformative approach on both businesses and consumers alike. A future where businesses prioritize fostering genuine relationships with their customers may bring about a paradigm shift in marketing strategies, elevating the importance of customer satisfaction and loyalty above traditional advertising techniques. This new landscape would not only empower consumers but also challenge businesses to constantly innovate and adapt to the evolving needs of their clientele. 

In this article, we will explore the various facets of customer marketing, dissecting the strategies, tools, and principles that have the potential to reshape the way we think about customer engagement and advocacy. Through a comprehensive analysis, we aim to demonstrate the immense potential of customer marketing to revolutionize the B2B landscape and redefine the dynamics of the buyer-seller relationship. 

Using a customer marketing solution like Orca, a native Salesforce application, allows you to be more intentional and involved with your advocacy efforts—leading to stronger relationships, more strategic customer initiatives and greater business impact. But why should you invest in customer marketing?

In this guide to customer marketing, we will be answering these questions:

  • What are the steps on how to do customer marketing?
  • What is the importance of marketing to customers?
  • What are customer marketing strategies you can use?
  • Are there different types of customer marketing?

What Is Customer Marketing?

In essence, customer marketing is a relationship-centric approach that emphasizes the nurturing of long-lasting connections between businesses and their clients. By fostering high levels of engagement and understanding the evolving needs of their customers, companies can unlock the full potential of advocacy-driven growth. The true value of customer marketing lies in its ability to create a virtuous cycle, where satisfied customers not only remain loyal but also actively contribute to the business's success. This approach challenges businesses to redefine their marketing strategies and invites them to ponder the profound impact of customer-driven growth on the future of commerce.

Customer marketing transcends the act of merely catering to existing customers; it aims to transform them into trusting partners who benefit from fostering a relationship beyond the everyday customer.  Those customers become advocates who drive conversions, lead reference calls, engage in case studies, speak at events, and provide peer-to-peer referrals. This strategic approach recognizes that the most effective marketing often emerges from the authentic endorsements of satisfied customers.

What Are Customer Marketing Trends?

According to Hubspot, in 2022, 18% of marketers focused on “increasing engagement, and strengthening brand loyalty through customer relationships.” With this low percentage, it’s clear that businesses can invest more time and resources into customer marketing. However, Hubspot also notes that marketers plan to spend more time fostering relationships with customers to increase brand loyalty in 2023. Not only that, but Business Wire states that 77% of B2B marketers think that personalization strengthens connections with customers. 

Businesses that prioritize their customers’ needs and wants—or ARE customer-based—are 60% more profitable than those that don't. Since businesses can utilize customer service as a strategy for both acquisition and retention, those that put their customers first are more successful. Plus, customers are more loyal and likely to spend up to 10% more at businesses that provide excellent customer service, according to Forbes

What Is the Role of Customers in Marketing?

The involvement of customers in marketing is crucial, as they serve as advocates for businesses that have made an investment in fostering mutually beneficial relationships.. According to one study, peer-to-peer marketing accounts for 13% of consumer sales and $6 trillion of yearly consumer spending. The significant influence of interpersonal communication is demonstrated by the fact that a substantial majority—88%—of consumers exhibit a high level of trust in referrals and references from industry peers and people they know. 

When customers willingly share their knowledge and actively participate in events or case studies, it creates a beneficial synergy for both your business and customers. By allowing them to showcase their experiences with your product and highlight its positive impact on their operations, this fosters a genuine connection that can play a pivotal role in maintaining existing and attracting potential customers

Overall, nurturing customer advocates will result in: 

  • Improved customer loyalty
  • Heightened revenue growth
  • Sustained and fruitful business partnerships
  • Elevated customer success

Using solutions like Orca for customer marketing and reference management, you can streamline communication, scheduling, and feedback collection for processes like customer reference nominations and advocate requests. With 100% native integration through Salesforce, you can prioritize your customer marketing and fuel growth.

What Are the 2 Types of Customers in Marketing?

There are two types of customers in marketing: business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C). The distinction between the two is rather straightforward:

  • B2B: Businesses that sell their products or services to other businesses.
  • B2C: Businesses that sell their products or services to individual consumers.

So what is the meaning of B2B customers and B2C customers?


B2B marketing is any marketing plan or piece of content targeted towards a business. In B2B sales, customers purchase products or services for business purposes rather than for personal use. B2B customer marketing aims to increase other businesses' awareness, interest, and demand for the products and services that they offer. One objective of B2B marketing is to enhance brand recognition among other companies, sell them on the value of your product or service, and ultimately turn them into customers. One significant distinction between B2B and B2C marketing is the strong focus on developing connections with key decision-makers, such as executives, managers, and procurement experts, as opposed to individual consumers. B2B marketing appeals more to logic rather than emotion and that decision processes for businesses usually take longer than for B2C customers.

To build better B2B customer relationships and advocacy, Orca offers solutions to source and manage references, schedule events, and gather feedback.


Instead of targeting big company customers, B2C marketing focuses on raising consumer awareness, interest, and demand for a business’s products. B2C buyers are frequently influenced by factors including pricing, ease of use, emotional appeal, and brand recognition. In order to capture potential consumers' attention and establish a personal connection with them, B2C marketing efforts frequently make use of creative and visually appealing content. The dynamics of B2C sales can be highly volatile, with customer behavior exhibiting sudden shifts in their buying habits. This necessitates businesses to strategize and effectively engage their intended audience in order to adapt to their needs.

What Is a Customer-Based Marketing Strategy?

Effective customer-based strategies are ones where a business takes into account both the value that it provides to the customer and the value that the customer provides to the business. Ultimately, customers are an investment, and your business must evaluate the possible return just like you would with any other investment. Allocating both time and financial resources towards a current customer may yield future benefits for your business. The reason for this is that a customer derives value from a company by using their products or services. A company, on the other hand, receives value from a customer through the generation or profits over a period of time. The acquisition of brand advocates who actively refer colleagues to your product or service can provide significant value to your business. Investing in customers by providing better products, expanded services, and other endeavors can enhance value for both your business and your customers.

A study by Bain & Company emphasizes the importance of customer retention. It found that increasing customer retention rates by 5% can lead to an increase in profits ranging from 25% to 95%. This underscores the potential value of adopting a customer-based marketing strategy that prioritizes long-term relationships over short-term sales.

Customer marketing strategies start with defining customer profiles and end with advocacy, but what are the steps you can take to funnel prospective customers into advocates?

  1. Identify your ideal customer profiles to help focus on which customers would benefit from using your product or service.
  2. Invest in brand awareness for customers to understand the value your business offers.
  3. Engage prospective customers to understand their pain points and how your product or service can solve those problems.
  4. Lead new customers through the process of purchasing and implementing your product or service.
  5. Provide onboarding tools and resources to help customers integrate your product or service into their business processes and operations. 
  6. Retain customers by providing excellent customer experiences, while listening and understanding their feedback, concerns, and continuing needs.
  7. Highlight customer success stories to share how businesses have prospered using your products and services.
  8. Build brand advocates that share your business through word-of-mouth marketing strategies, leading to more awareness and prospective customers. 

Each step requires businesses to have an in-depth approach to supporting customers through their journey. That leads to insights like the effectiveness of communication and understanding needs of customers. In an article published by the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, it states that “these insights share a focus on consumers as the unit of analysis: data about needs, costs of purchase and ownership, convenience, and communication effectiveness can be collected for each consumer.” The formulation of a robust customer-centric approach involves surpassing standard procedures in order to not only attract new customers, but also retain existing ones and transform them into brand ambassadors.

How Does Customer-Based Marketing Apply to B2B Companies?

Customer-based marketing in B2B companies centers around understanding individual customer needs, tailoring marketing efforts to specific customer segments, nurturing relationships, and delivering long-term value. By adopting a customer-centric approach, B2B companies can enhance customer satisfaction, differentiate themselves in competitive markets, and drive sustainable growth.

What makes B2B customer marketing strategies successful? Your business needs to:

  • Actively engage and invest in customer relationships
  • Listen to and act on your customers’ feedback 
  • Provide personalized and exceptional service
  • Foster a brand that enables advocates to share their story on your behalf
  • Embolden advocates to speak alongside your business
  • Facilitate  a program to turn customers into advocates
  • Energize the right customers at the right time in their customer journey
  • Understand your customers’ needs beyond the solution your business provides

Your current customers have a great deal of potential to grow your advocacy program and expand your business. Customer marketing aims to strengthen your connection with your core clientele in order for the business to reach more customers. By simply maintaining communication through methods such as content marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing, you can develop and nurture these vital relationships, ultimately leading to mutually beneficial relationships that generate positive business outcomes. While research shows that up to 30% of customers churn globally, Gartner found that prospective customers are more likely to use your product or service with a referral.

One way to develop a customer marketing strategy is to build a B2B relationship-focused model. In other words, you center your efforts on repeat business and long-term customers in order to secure new ones as you expand your organization. By fostering brand ambassadors for your company, you can create a ripple effect of peer-to-peer referrals, enhancing your visibility and presence in the market. When creating a B2B relationship-focused model, typically businesses that meet your ideal customer profile (ICP) will be a great place to start fostering relationships. With Orca, you’ll have access to data that helps you carefully craft a B2B customer marketing campaign that can drive more customer engagement and accurately track the impact of that effort.

It’s noteworthy that B2B businesses have the capacity to engage with each customer on an individualized basis, thereby fostering customer retention and cultivating loyalty among new customers. This tailored customer experience approach can strengthen existing relationships and enhance the long term value for the customer and the business.

Ultimately, a good business strategy benefits from implementing B2B customer-based marketing. It enables companies to: 

  • Provide goods and services that are personalized to the needs of their customers 
  • Set themselves apart from competitors
  • Establish lasting connections with customers and promoting customer loyalty
  • Generate brand ambassadors and customer loyalty

Consider a fictional SaaS company specializing in malware protection. Most businesses seek defense against viruses and unauthorized access to sensitive information. If this SaaS company's product effectively prevents or mitigates such incidents, satisfied clients will readily share their experiences with other businesses, attesting to the product's superiority. This word-of-mouth marketing is particularly valuable when these clients refer colleagues to your business over competitors offering similar products. Without their advocacy, your company might struggle to reach its target audience through traditional marketing channels such as social media or paid ads.

As a B2B customer advocacy program, Orca helps businesses build an arsenal of brand ambassadors using recruiting methods like advocate campaigns, loyalty programs, and community dashboards. Using these tools, you’ll find better retention, increased volume of referrals, and targeted customer feedback all integrated within Salesforce. That means all of the information is in one spot, allowing for easy customer advocacy marketing management.

How to Do Customer Marketing for B2B Businesses

Traditional B2B marketing contains many different advertising channels, such as paid ads, content marketing, and email campaigns. But how do B2B advocacy marketing strategies work? 

  1. Create value for your product or service and encourage customer reviews by consistently offering the best product on the market. By evaluating the quality of your product or services and doing focus groups, you may discover what separates your items from the competition. This leads to better customer experiences, bringing more advocacy. Orca can help you launch external loyalty programs and internal adoption programs so you can ensure that your customers find value in your offerings and adopt your product. 
  2. Provide a memorable brand experience to ensure businesses feel welcome and have positive interactions. B2B companies are frequently evaluated by their customer experience team’s interactions. Because of these interactions, it’s imperative that your team delivers exception service.
  3. Always maintain a customer-first approach so customers feel prioritized and valued—which leads to a boost in loyalty to your brand. By listening to your customers and explaining how you can address their needs, you can establish a connection with each business you work with.
  4. Use platforms that encourage advocacy by implementing a simple solution where customers can easily provide feedback. With a platform like Orca, your customers can provide feedback that you can effortlessly track, making it easier to build brand advocates.
  5. Invest in ICPs and communicate with them on a regular basis—leading to better connections and greater passion toward your product or service. You should encourage the same enthusiasm in prospective customers by maintaining consistent contact and in-depth relationships with the customers who already enjoy your product. This is called lead nurturing. With status reminders and account advocacy in Orca, you can maintain communication with your customers and manage which ones are advocating your brand at any given time.
  6. Reinforce customer loyalty by introducing programs that reward customers that refer other businesses to your product or service. Referrals play a big role in acquiring new customers.  

When it comes to encouraging brand loyalty and advocacy, maintaining a customer-first approach is the most effective way to increase excitement about your business. Without a personalized experience, businesses might find themselves feeling unheard or that their issues are not being addressed. Prioritizing customers by allocating your time and effort can quickly result in positive word-of-mouth interactions between them and prospective customers. 

Overall, each of these steps ensures the success of your communication with your current and new customers. Reinforcing your ability to provide excellent customer experiences, create value for your business, and focusing on brand loyalty will help drive your business and create awareness of your products and services.

Why Is Marketing Important for Businesses?

Businesses can use marketing to implement programs that promote brand recognition, engagement, and sales. Marketing endeavors aid businesses in achieving their target ROI potential by building brand awareness, emphasizing products and services, and investing in customer experiences. Even though advertising dominates the marketing landscape, marketing also entails:

  • Customer advocacy programs to gain word-of-mouth promotion
  • Public events that allow prospective customers to learn more about your business
  • Market research for precise performance and engagement monitoring
  • Reference programs to support sales efforts and enhance customer relationships
  • Product design to ensure it meets the needs of the customers
  • Streamlining your workflows to better connect with customers

But what is the importance of marketing to customers and businesses using customer-based marketing? Here are 3 reasons why marketing is important in a customer based strategy: 

  1. Building customer satisfaction and loyalty is essential to a customer-marketing strategy, because that means customers stick around and trust your business. It also means that customers will advocate for your business with colleagues who might have similar needs to solve their problems.
  2. One of the main goals of customer-based marketing is brand recognition. Generating buzz may have a significant impact on your business and recognizing your company and what it offers is essential. When more people organically become aware of your brand and its products and services, it attracts customers.
  3. The most significant benefit of customer-based marketing is revenue and growth. You may connect to both current and prospective customers with engaging customer experience methods that introduce your goods or services in exciting and interactive ways. This leads prospective customers to your business and provides them a solution to their specific pain points. 

Customer-based marketing enables companies to differentiate themselves from competitors. Businesses can enhance the relevance and appeal of their offerings to their target market by prioritizing the needs of customers. This can be achieved through expanding customer outreach, cultivating brand awareness, and promoting customer retention and loyalty. And the importance of customer service in marketing cannot be understated, as it leads to better customer engagement and advocacy.

Brand Advocacy Examples

To better understand customer marketing and brand advocacy and how it can impact businesses, here are a few customer success stories from Orca:

Drift listed requirements for reference and marketing requests, but the customer advocacy team was spending hours reviewing, sourcing advocates, and fulfilling requests. Unfortunately, once those requests were fulfilled, there were no insights or follow-up from customers who had been contacted. Using Orca as a tool, Drift was able to bring the conversations to Salesforce, leading to clear request requirements and status updates. That led to the Sales and Marketing teams to reduce unnecessary follow-ups and wasted time.

Lev found that growing a sales team (and a recent acquisition) led to struggling communication between sales and prospective customers—like connecting reference calls with requests. Because of inefficiencies in tracking content requests and no centralized structure to maintain customer advocates, there was noticeable customer burnout. With Orca, Lev had all of the contacts and data needed to connect with prospects and customers quickly, rather than be caught up in the pipeline. This led to a growth of over 250 advocates for their business.

Buildr lacked a helpful and easy way to onboard new hires and needed a centralized, real-time pool of customer references (advocates) for sales, marketing, and customer success. To fix this, Buildr used Orca for analysis of advocate data to recognize and understand how effective customer references can help new hires better serve their current and prospective customers. 

Each of these companies were struggling with implementing successful advocacy, but with the help of tools like Orca, they were able to introduce simple solutions to their existing problems. This led to a boost in operational efficiency and customer advocacy.

How Do You Turn Customers into Advocates in B2B?

Customer marketing tools like Orca help B2B companies organize, track, and measure customer programs. Turning customers into advocates in the B2B context involves building strong relationships, providing exceptional experiences, and actively encouraging and fostering growth opportunities for customers. At Orca, we provide an intuitive, easily adoptable, and flexible platform intended for use by Marketing, Sales, Customer Success, and other departments to help you engage customers and fuel growth. As a native Salesforce application, We believe that B2B customer advocacy programs are invaluable to gaining insights and increasing customer experiences.

With Orca, you’ll be able to:

  • Automatically track fatigue of your customers so you don’t overuse them
  • Automate workflows so you can nurture advocates throughout their customer journey
  • Quickly streamline nominations by tagging what’s important to cut time and increase efficiency

Because brand advocacy is rooted in customer to customer marketing, your ability to track how your customers are advocating for your business is invaluable. If you’d like to book a demo visit our website to book a 30 minute session with one of our customer marketing experts. 

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