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What Is the Impact of Customers in the Field of Marketing?

November 22, 2023

Modern marketers have a wide range of philosophies and strategies available to help them attract, engage, and retain customers. But how do you know which ones will work best for your business? If you don’t have an infinite budget for a trial-and-error approach, there’s an emerging methodology worth considering: customer marketing.

“Customer marketing” describes a form of marketing that aims to build and nurture relationships with existing customers, leading to high-ROI outcomes like positive reviews, referrals, testimonials, and more. It’s all about showcasing a brand’s devotion to its customers’ success and satisfaction.

This article will discuss how your current customers can influence future customers and provide a few tips outlining how to make a customer marketing plan.

What Is Customer Impact in Marketing?

As it relates to customer marketing, “customer impact” refers to the benefits and outcomes an existing customer has experienced as a result of making a purchase with your brand. Too often, brands take the easy bait and settle for making broad claims within their website copy or marketing materials, promising things like “transformative results” instead of really delving into what makes their happiest customers feel the way they do.

What’s needed instead—and far more influential—is a more specific perspective that shows that the brand understands and values its customers. Brands need to show examples of success rather than just promising it. If existing customers’ stories can be a part of it, even better. 

Why is the customer so important in all of this? Because modern consumers are wary of companies’ traditional, overt marketing efforts. By contrast, they place much more trust in organic reviews or referrals that come from fellow buyers (rather than from the companies trying to sell to them). In fact, according to data collected by Social Media Today, “78% of B2B marketers say that referral programs generate good or excellent leads.” Additionally, over half of the companies in the study found that referral programs also increased the volume of leads while reducing the cost-per-lead.

In fact, that’s precisely what customer advocacy is all about. It’s the marketer’s savvy way of saying, “don’t take our word for it; listen to what our customers have to say.” When existing customers share success stories or offer referrals, prospective customers can see and even feel their enthusiasm. That goes a long way in inspiring others’ buying decisions.

What Is the Most Important Thing to Customers?

Before you can attract new customers through customer marketing strategies, you’ll need to explore what factor(s)—related to your brand or what it sells—are most pivotal in customers’ buying decisions. 

For example, you might think about the last few customers who have signed or renewed a contract. What influenced those decisions? Consider these customer impact examples that center around key factors that influence consumer purchasing decisions:

  • Were they able to see cost or time savings that other solutions couldn’t match?
  • Did they see differentiators in your product or service that made it a more compelling option than competitors’ solutions?
  • Did they have a particularly positive experience with your brand in general?

As you explore the answers to these questions, you can start segmenting your customers into groups based on their priorities. Whether you define 2 or 10 types of customers, the process of developing individualized customer profiles can further inform your customer marketing strategy.

The more you’re able to understand what means the most to customers, the better-positioned you’ll be to effectively court new customers. 

How Do You Assess Customer Impact?

You don’t need to overthink assessing customer impact—the best thing you can do is ask questions and listen carefully to the answers. There are plenty of natural opportunities to gain insight into how customers feel about your brand, such as at contract closing, during onboarding, during QBRs, and so on. 

Identify customers who are having a positive (maybe even less than positive) and productive experience with their purchase, and encourage them to talk about how they’re doing business differently now than they did before they were aware of your offerings. Without an effective customer marketing program, these activities are largely left to chance—but leaving customer satisfaction up to “chance” is a dangerous prospect that may or may not lead anywhere. When you know who your happiest customers are, though, you can solicit the kinds of stories that can form a solid foundation for customer marketing activities, which we’ll discuss next.

How Can Customer Impact be Leveraged by Marketers?

Once loyal customers or brand advocates have been identified and engaged with, you can leverage their insights into powerful marketing collateral in several different ways. The most common include:

  • Customer reviews or testimonials, where individual customers can share perspectives on their experiences and results.
  • Case studies, which can showcase one or more customer success stories to vouch for prospects that your company has delivered on its value propositions.
  • Customer referrals, where especially-happy customers take the extraordinary step of recommending your business to their friends or colleagues.

It’s not always easy to find the right customers to target, which leads many companies to wind up asking and re-asking the same customers for input over time. While some customers might be game for this, others might start to feel put-upon after a while. That’s one reason why a modern, flexible customer advocacy platform like Orca is so impactful—it avoids customer advocate fatigue and helps you find excellent candidates you might have otherwise overlooked.

Learn more about the wealth of features our platform offers, and how they can help you design a customer marketing plan that effectively leverages your existing customers’ positive brand experiences, or click the button on our website to book a demo today. 

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