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less time spent fulfilling advocate requests with enhanced communication


less time scheduling reference calls with streamlined workflows


less time requesting and collecting feedback with automatic requests

Swim with Orca

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

How Do You Create a Customer Marketing Plan?

November 22, 2023

As the B2B space becomes increasingly competitive, the need for advantageous customer marketing strategy intensifies. Far too often, businesses forget that customers can, and should, play a highly active role in raising awareness and establishing the credibility of a brand. To get ahead, companies must reexamine the role of a customer in marketing. Customers are more than passive purchasers—they are your greatest allies. 

Gartner research finds that B2B buyers spend nearly half of their time conducting independent research before committing to a purchasing decision. Much of that time is spent reading trusted reviews from other B2B buyers. In fact, recent studies indicate that 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to sign a deal after reading a trusted review. Suffice it to say that strong customer relationships are a powerful tool to have in your marketing arsenal. 

It is for these reasons, and many others, the power of customer advocacy should not be overlooked. But where should a company start? You must begin by crafting a foolproof customer marketing plan.

What Is a Customer Marketing Plan?

Ultimately, your plan is the crux of your customer marketing framework.  Without explicit goals, and measurable steps to achieve them, optimal customer marketing outcomes are inevitably compromised. The prime directive of a customer marketing plan is to develop strategies for identifying right-fit customer advocates and showcasing genuine connections between customers and businesses All while ensuring that leadership supports the program from top to bottom—easier said than done. To ensure success, you must follow six crucial customer marketing plan steps.

What Are the Steps in a Marketing Plan For B2B Customer Marketing?

With so much to consider, and so much at stake, crafting your customer marketing plan can be intimidating. To help you get started, Orca outlined the 6 stages of the marketing planning process for B2B customer advocacy. 

  1. Select Your Advocates | In this stage, you will begin to consult various metrics and personal characteristics to identify your advocates. These metrics might include: 
  • Net promoter score
  • Obtained success
  • Usage
  • Ideal Customer Profile fit
  • Location / Product / Segment / Tenure

Typically, gathering all of this information takes a significant amount of time. However, platforms like Orca automate the advocate identification process and simplify monitoring and updating your book of advocates—saving time and ultimately better serving the customer. 

  1. Categorize Your Advocates | Categorization is key when selecting ideal users throughout this process. Not all customers are suited for the same type of advocacy. Segmenting customers into separate groups makes it more efficient to identify which kinds of customers are best suited for specific advocacy categories. In some cases that is simply categorizing them by different types of activities like reference calls or product feedback. In other cases, common customer categories include: 
  • New customers
  • Passive advocates
  • Active advocates
  • Influencers
  1. Craft Your Campaigns | Next, you can begin to integrate various customer advocate campaigns into your marketing workflows. For example, if you are hosting an event with a customer advocate, run a marketing campaign highlighting that customer. Another way to engage advocates is through a discovery campaign. Share upcoming opportunities with your advocates about ways they can get involved. That could include speaking engagements, community networking events or a product focus group. To assist with this stage, Orca’s seamless interface automatically tracks response rates and lead generation in Salesforce so you won’t miss a beat.
  1. Create Incentives | When looking to drive activity and maintain interest in advocates, a little motivation goes a long way. Some popular methods of incentivization include:
  • Loyalty programs
  • “VIP treatment” with deals and bonus product/service offerings
  • Discounts 
  • Access to exclusive content
  • Team raffels
  • Surprise and delight, a small token of appreciation goes a long way
  1. Track Your Progress | As you craft your campaigns and incentive packages, it is vital to measure your success over time. To accomplish this, you require instantaneous access to current metrics. Orca integrates with your current tech stack to ensure that all metrics for your customer marketing efforts are accurate and accounted for. Having all of this critical information in one space makes it easy to visualize your analytics. In addition, the historical tracking of campaign success and gifting opens the door for more strategic planning for future efforts. For example, powerful metrics to track might include:
  • Number of advocates in the program, month over month
  • Average contract price with and without advocates
  • Revenue influenced by reference calls
  1. Ensure Adoption Within Your Organization | Without everyone on board, your program may struggle. To sell your strategy internally, your plan must be engineered to tell the full story of your customer marketing initiatives and explicitly outline the benefits for all departments. Here are a few examples of why different departments would be interested in your customer marketing plan:
  • Sales | Advocates help drive sales, increase ASP, and decrease time to close.
  • Marketing | Advocates can be used to drive event signups, content creation, or community engagement. 
  • Customer Success | Generate and drive nominations of new advocates joining the program. Long-term, leveraging advocacy initiatives help boost renewal rates and reduce churn.
  • Product | Advocates can be used for feedback in focus groups which provides the valuable insight needed to perfect a company’s solution. 

How to Establish Executive Buy-In For Your Customer Marketing Plan

To effectively launch any customer marketing endeavor you must achieve executive backing. But how can you wow the C-suite and get them to approve your plan? Here are four essential steps to keep in mind as you craft your pitch. 

  1. Explain the need for customer marketing by presenting supporting data and examples of what your competitors are doing.
  2. Highlight examples of past customer marketing success, and be careful to select examples that relate to specific company growth or revenue goals as well as how the customer benefitted from the situation.. 
  3. Present your plan in full and be prepared to go in-depth, especially regarding ROI and time saving potential. 
  4. Introduce a pilot program to evaluate the feasibility, viability, duration, and cost of your proposed solution.
  5. Involve other departments in the ‘pitch’ of the program to highlight cross departmental value and collaboration.

Ultimately, the key determinant for executive buy-in is care for the customer and data—lots of it. In the past, businesses have relied on disparate tools to track their customer advocacy metrics, an approach that can quickly become cumbersome. Orca aims to solve this issue. Our platform integrates directly with your Salesforce account and enables you to track your engagements, set parameters for how often you can reach out to customers, and more.

B2B Customer Marketing Examples

Part of your customer marketing plan must be dedicated to creating a diverse set of customer engagement methods. In this area you have a variety of methods to choose from; here are a select few. 

Social Media | This is one of the most popular and simple tactics used in customer marketing. Encouraging your customers to share your content on their social profiles requires little commitment on their part, but can significantly boost your brand awareness and credibility—especially if your customers possess a large following. For your reference, here is a social media post Orca created to highlight an upcoming event hosted by our partners.

customer marketing plan

Events | Building strong relationships with customers can often lead to cross-organizational collaboration. For example, if you want to highlight a particular win, specific project, or overall successful partnership with a customer, inviting them to a speaking engagement could be enticing. Not only do you get a chance to highlight your company's good work, but it also gives the customer a chance to gain brand recognition as well—it’s a win-win. Some examples of high-value engagements are:

  • Webinars
  • PR events
  • Podcast episodes

Case Studies | Case studies offer many benefits. From the customer perspective, they provide a chance to highlight the customer’s business and success with a project. From your perspective, case studies are a way to highlight your company’s capabilities and showcase a positive partnership. Some key case study ingredients include:

  • Showing tangible results 
  • Clearly explaining the ROI your solution provided
  • Illustrating time-to-value
  • Recognizing your customers’ good work

Customer Loyalty Is a Terrible Thing To Waste—Harness Its Power With Orca

Our mission is to help customers leverage your relationships and powerful customer data to accelerate business growth. Our user-friendly, Salesforce-native interface allows for quick adoption and provides a streamlined workflow that aligns with your sales cycle. But what about features? Our platform optimizes critical advocate tasks via streamlined communication, scheduled events, and gathered feedback. These automations save time and help you better nurture your customer advocates to achieve:

  • More closed deals
  • Stronger and longer customer relationships
  • Effective customer engagement 

But this is only the surface of what Orca can do. Experience the full solution and sign up for a demo today. 

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