Ep. 20 | Amrita Chandra Of CrowdRiff On Executing Customer Success-Focused Marketing Programs

Today's episode features CrowdRiff's Head of Marketing Amrita Chandra. Amrita shares the importance of embracing the fundamentals of marketing and why talking to customers in a more personal way is more important than ever in B2B SaaS marketing. She also discusses the importance of building customer success-focused marketing programs--including the surprising insight that creating a frictionless cancelation experience can actually accelerate your sales cycle.


Pre-Show: Balancing The Quantitative And Qualitative In Marketing and Product Design

Is being too data-driven holding businesses back? Experimentation can only help you make a better version of what you're already making but it can't tell you if you're making the right thing in the first place. Is data supporting or distracting your marketing and product design processes? Bill and Sarah discuss a few recent articles and podcasts that call into question the role that qualitative data should play in building and marketing products.

Recommended Reading/Listening

Confessions Of A Content Creator: I Don't Care About Data By Jay Acunzo

Death By Optimization By Paul Lambert

Hunter And Craft Radio - Episode 24 Featuring Amrita Chandra

Analytics Are Important, But Don't Forget The Fundamentals of Marketing

Start by talking to customers and having good qualitative information. Just because something is hard to measure doesn't mean it isn't important. There may be things data can't tell us. Data can tell you what happened in the past, but isn't as great at showcasing the reasons why. Find ways to understand the why behind the data.

Balancing Analytics and Fundamentals: A Concurrent Process

Before you start doing anything, understand where you want to go and how you want to get there. Put tools in place to measure that. Have data be your baseline to see going forward if work done as a marketing team is moving the needle in the right direction. And talk to customers! Learn from them to understand the lay of the land by getting out and doing qualitative research.

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Ep. 20 #HelpingSells Radio | @AmritaChandra Of @CrowdRiff On Executing #CustomerSuccess-Focused Marketing Programs: http://bit.ly/2bsT7lM

Acquisition Of New Customers Can't Be The Only Focus Of B2B Marketing

Every time a subscription comes for renewal, there is an opportunity. If you forget about the experience that your actual customers are having, you're spending a lot of money on acquisition and the top of a funnel when it's a leaky bucket. If churn outpaces acuiqition, you're sunk. Everyone talks about products and servics they use, and your cusotmers will talk to otherw who you want to do business with. If they don't feel excited about your product, it's a big risk to you.

Recommended reading: Subscription Marketing and our podcast with the author, Anne Janzer. 

Marketing Plays A Key Role In Ensuring Customers Are Successful

In SaaS marketing, especially with products at low price points, the cost of stopping using it is low. Those products are even at greater risk. Marketing can play a role in retention by ensuring communications during onboarding are tied into getting them to experience the value of the product as soon as possible. Marketing needs to work in concert with Customer Success and make sure that you're giving your customers the tools to be successful. Ensure through good communication customers are always aware of different ways they can use the product across the lifecycle beyond purchase.

Should Marketing Own Customer Communication?

It can be defaulted to marketing because they're the ones making the promise before purchase. They have processes, systems and programs in place to communicate with people. Their names are in our databases and we've sent communications to them prior to purchase. The infrastructure can mean it ends up in marketing department even though there are great people only focused on Customer Success where that's their priority. Marketing is torn: we have to think about new and existing customers. We may not have the same priorities. If marketing owns it, they have to buddy up with the product team to ensure promises being made can be delivered upon. Align priorities within departments and remember: the customer is first but you have business goals.

Your Content Should Help People Before They Become Customers

Intercom in particular does a great job at helping even before you become a customer. Great content marketing starts with utility. You can't make the conversation just about you and your product. 

Customers Are Your Best Ambassadors

Give your customers venues to be in the spotlight. People care about what peers are doing; when your customers are successful, find ways to publicly recognize them. 

Customer Research Can Prevent Churn

Basecamp did user research and found that customers were canceling but wanted to come back later. By talking to customers, Basecamp retains customers by implementing a "pause" feature. The other extreme is the New York Times that makes it easy to sign up for digital subscriptions but makes it very hard to pause. Make cancelation or pausing frictionless; you can even advertise this in the sales cycle, too, as a key differentiator. Your customers won't make your life hell by constantly coming and going; it provides peace of mind to know you can do something, not that you'd necessarily use it.

Check out CrowdRiff.com and find Amrita on Twitter

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Sarah E. Brown and Bill Cushard

Written by Sarah E. Brown and Bill Cushard

Helping Sells Radio co-hosts, Bill Cushard and Sarah E. Brown, are Rocketeers based in Palo Alto, CA.