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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

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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

What Is a Customer Marketing Plan?

November 22, 2023

When it comes to business operations, marketing is a prime example of why it's not good to put all your eggs in one basket. That’s what drives modern B2B marketers to continually experiment with new strategies, looking for ways to attract and engage new customers in a cost-effective way. They might do some targeted email outreach, for example, or invest in paid social ads. These strategies have their place, but the transactional nature has the potential to dissuade current customers and potential prospects.

Enter customer marketing, also known as customer-based marketing, customer advocacy or customer-first marketing. A customer marketing plan is a B2C or B2B marketing strategy designed to attract, engage, and retain customers by creating targeted initiatives that focus on building relationships with customers that positively impact their experience with your business as well as increase their brand loyalty. 

As such, it involves identifying customer segments, creating specific marketing messages and tactics to engage those segments, and measuring the success of the plan. The ultimate goal of a customer marketing plan is to increase customer retention, reduce churn, and drive revenue growth by creating long-lasting relationships with customers. The plan should take into account the customer journey and provide a seamless experience across all touchpoints, from initial contact to post-purchase support.

What Is the Point of Customer Marketing?

The point of customer marketing is to maximize the impact of a company’s overall efforts with a powerful strategy that leverages existing customers’ experiences to drive company growth.. Organizations that create successful customer marketing programs benefit in a number of ways. For example, a customer marketing plan can…

  • Complement and enhance other marketing strategies.
  • Deepen relationships and provide new channels for growth.
  • Build trust in your brand and how it takes care of its customers.
  • Increase average sale price, reduce customer churn, and speed up the sales cycle.

What Is an Example of a Customer-Based Marketing Strategy?

One of the most common B2B customer marketing strategies is the creation of video testimonials, a bite-sized snippet where customers enthusiastically discuss the difference working with your brand has helped them achieve. This is just one example, though. Several different customer marketing examples that fall under the umbrella of customer marketing, with a few of the most commonly-used including the following:

  • Case Studies | Companies publish case studies to show the real, quantifiable value one or more successful customers have experienced with their product or service. When listing features and benefits on a website doesn’t tell the whole story, a well-executed case study can make a strong argument.
  • Customer Reviews or Testimonials | Modern B2B customers are often quite savvy and somewhat distrustful of being “marketed to.” When companies are able to identify their happiest customers and encourage them to leave a detailed review or testimonial, it allows them to essentially say “you don’t have to take our word for it” and instead let the customers—now brand advocates—tell their stories.
  • Referral Programs | A referral program provides a framework for existing customers to recommend the company or product to other, similar businesses. 

In addition to these familiar examples, brands can also explore more innovative opportunities, like…

  • Producing video testimonials, where customers can directly tell their stories.
  • Soliciting reviews on industry-recognized websites like G2 or the Salesforce AppExchange.
  • Organizing a customer advisory board, enabling more in-depth customer discussions, which can help generate actionable insights for attracting new customers, increasing conversions, and so on.

When you also consider that, according to Gartner, a vast majority (90% or more) of customers “trust product recommendations from other people over brands vouching for themselves,” the value of these customer-centric marketing tactics becomes clear.

How Do You Write a Customer Marketing Plan?

Creating a customer marketing plan starts with defining the initiative’s key objectives, and then tailoring your strategies to those objectives. How do you attract new customers in a B2B setting? Here’s a quick rundown of your steps to create and implement an effective customer marketing plan:

  1. Consult Internally. Gather feedback from your internal stakeholders, making sure to solicit top pain points, feedback, and concerns from prospects and customers. 
  2. Design & Build. Map out your ideal process, using the information gathered, and create a written, step-by-step guide. 
  3. Refine. Share the process with your team and any key stakeholders. Iterate and tweak, testing for different scenarios and integrating changes. 
  4. Consult Holistically. After the process has been refined, it’s important to gather additional feedback from all stakeholders. 
  5. Socialize. Find ways to get in front of people by planning and scheduling regular communication touchpoints. 

What Are the Key Challenges in Customer Marketing?

Like any marketing strategy, customer marketing isn’t without its challenges. Fortunately, with a customer marketing and reference management application like Orca, they can be easily mitigated.

  • Tracking Customer Usage and Managing Overuse | You won’t want to enlist the same customer(s) over and over as you develop and implement customer marketing strategies. Orca’s platform enables you to track customer advocate requests automatically and helps you identify new referral candidates, reward those who do participate, and manage advocate overuse.
  • Metrics, Metrics, Metrics | Robust reporting and analytics empower businesses to highlight the impact of their customer advocates on overall growth. By tracking and reporting customer activity, marketing teams can better understand the power of a reference program or a customer led marketing campaign. In addition to reporting capabilities, Orca’s platform is also a Salesforce-native application, further streamlining your ability to efficiently run your customer marketing plan and know that it’s working. 
  • Getting Executive Buy-In | The best way to get the C-suite to buy into a customer marketing initiative is to, as much as possible…
  1. Present a compelling plan that outlines the potential business opportunities and outcomes.
  2. Make it feel more real by pointing to examples of your most successful customers and brainstorming different ways to leverage their viewpoints and experiences.
  3. Point to competitors that are using customer marketing tactics and outline the importance of competing on the basis of customer experience and insights.
  4. Quantify the potential return on investment, including potential project timelines, milestones, and so on.

Optimize Your Customer Marketing Plan with Orca

We built our platform to empower marketers with the tools, workflows, and metrics they need to develop and implement a customer marketing strategy that drives results. Whether you’re just getting started with customer marketing or have been looking for a way to elevate your B2B marketing strategy framework to another level, you can count on Orca. Learn more about the key features and capabilities here, or click the “Book a Demo” button to see it in action.

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