How do you approach customer marketing when this falls on Customer Success to own?

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Jeffrey Nadeau
Jeffrey Nadeau Member Posts: 28 Thought Leader
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edited October 2023 in CS Org Conversations

Right now, we are in the process of creating Lifecycle Campaigns to be able to reach our users in a more automated way to increase adoption and drive value. We currently do not have someone dedicated to this role and I will be doing this myself for now (I am at a small sized start-up)

We are keeping the marketing simple (I like to think of this as a the crawl, walk, run approach and we are crawling right now). -- We use Intercom for in-app engagement and will be using this for emails as well.

Is this common for CS to own or have you found eventually Customer Marketing should belong to someone on the Marketing team?

 

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  • Effie Mansdorf
    Effie Mansdorf Member Posts: 76 Expert
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    edited June 2020
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    I've never heard of CS outright owning marketing activities. However, most CS initiatives are related to ultimately marketing your products. I would say the following activities can be done without a marketing team, that can be considered marketing, while focusing on CS journey such as advocacy and value:

    • Newsletters - this should be send out on a regular basis focusing on product updates ( what value it gives), version upgrades and overall events.
    • Webinars - short how to webinars to increase adoption of your product, while focusing as always, on what value a feature brings
    • references - setting up a reference program for sales references, white papers, quotes, logo etc'...

    All the above for my team, are part of customer journey that is owned by CS and driven by marketing. Both groups share KPIs that are related to the above initiatives, which ensures that the teams work well together for a common goal.  

  • Angela Guedes
    Angela Guedes Member Posts: 10 Contributor
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    edited June 2020
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    We went down that path at Typeform. Eventually we created a Customer Marketing function within Customer Success to focus on retention and growth. We have the same function in Marketing to focus on Demand Generation and Acquisition. The reason why we split was because when Customer Marketing lived in Marketing it was hard to get retention programs prioritized, so little was being done. To be clear, both teams are small: a shared copywriter and designer and one lifecycle/CRM specialist in each team.

  • Chad Horenfeldt
    Chad Horenfeldt Member Posts: 57 Expert
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    edited June 2020
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    This is helpful Angela and good topic @Jeffrey Nadeau . we’re having a tough time here as well. It comes down to department goals. Thanks for bringing this forward. 

  • Andreas Knoefel
    Andreas Knoefel Member Posts: 74 Expert
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    edited June 2020
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    This is a very mature incarnation of Customer Success. If you don't have an efficient and large enough CS organization to specialize, it's too soon to take on that role as well. You may find my blog post on the maturation of CS operations helpful, where CS owned marketing is in one of the steps: https://cstuners.com/the-journey-to-operational-excellence-customer-success-from-early-teams-to-mature-operations/

  • Jeffrey Nadeau
    Jeffrey Nadeau Member Posts: 28 Thought Leader
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    edited June 2020
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    Thank you for sharing @Effie Mansdorf, luckily our marketing team owns Webinars so we don't need to take that on.

    I think it will be something I own for now and over time can decide which team should take it on full-time as there is value in having a dedicated role for customer marketing.

  • Jeffrey Nadeau
    Jeffrey Nadeau Member Posts: 28 Thought Leader
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    edited June 2020
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    Thank you for your insights @Angela Guedes very helpful to see how you approached this.

    Your reason for taking it on because of lack of attention is the same reason why I am looking to own this as well for right now. 

  • Jeffrey Nadeau
    Jeffrey Nadeau Member Posts: 28 Thought Leader
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    edited June 2020
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    Thank you @Andreas Knoefel I will be sure to review this information.

  • Josh Buckley
    Josh Buckley Member Posts: 4 Navigator
    edited June 2020
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    We’ve had a customer marketing function in customer success for a couple of years focusing on adoption /retention marketing programs.  the value of being part of customer success is shared KPIs & processes with the CSM team.  Through personal research (events, talking to peer companies), this model is common for bigger companies trying to scale tech touch CSM to a large # of customers. Agree that for a start up, it could be part of a central marketing team and aligned KPIs are important. Hope this helps. 

  • Jeffrey Nadeau
    Jeffrey Nadeau Member Posts: 28 Thought Leader
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    edited June 2020
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    This is helpful. Thanks @Josh Buckley we are focused on tech-touch CSMs to large number of customers so good to know that's where you've seen it too. It's a joint effort between CS and Marketing but we have more resources in CS at this time to take it on so that's where we are heading for now. 

  • Anna Alley
    Anna Alley Member Posts: 70 Expert
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    edited June 2020
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    We just started a similar initiative this year exactly due to growth and scaling the CS function. We have one team member on the CS team who partners with Customer Marketing, but own identifying the types of communication and touch points we want to generate communication. We're working to automate a lot of these through Marketo so it doesn't require manual pulling of contact lists (4 month check in before Renewal, 30 days after Onboarding, and specific product use cases like a new Portal Admin). We're hoping to also get budget approval for something similar to Intercom - looking at most likely using Chameleon instead, but they're very similar.  Our biggest challenge now is tracking the impact/engagement as a result of these communications. We want to ensure we're not over-emailing our customers and that these are providing actual value to our customers in the Tech Touch model.

  • Jeffrey Nadeau
    Jeffrey Nadeau Member Posts: 28 Thought Leader
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    edited June 2020
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    Thank you @Anna Alley. We also use Chameleon which our Product team owns for product walkthroughs. We will also need a way to monitor all of the messaging customers get and will be using Google Docs for now since we have messages coming from different places. 

    We use Intercom for Conversational Messages and Chameleon for Product Messages, if that helps you how to think about the two tools differently. 

  • Kimberly Ross
    Kimberly Ross Member Posts: 7 Contributor
    edited July 2020
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    The only time I have seen CS own any marketing so to speak is when they were involved in customer/client training. CS took the lead on webinars showcasing updates/enhancements to the SaaS solution and offered training/office hour sessions. It could be used as a collaborative approach with Sales to create an up-sell/cross-sell program showcasing additional modules/solutions, and/or a way to seek referral business. 

    Good Luck! Please connect with me on LinkedIn if any of you would like to brainstorm on other ideas and approaches.