This is the final episode in our Deep Dive podcast series, which explored the 5 customer journey states. Previous episodes examined See, Think and Do.This episode is all about the importance of personalized content for the end phase of the buying journey: Grow and Give. We will discuss the goals, appropriate content, targeting methods, and measurement for the current customers that comprise the Grow and Give states.
Overview of Previous States (04:55 – 07:42)
- Find a high-level overview of all 5 journey states in Episode 16
- A Deep Dive Into See State (Episode 23) – the audience is qualified, but not thinking about purchasing your product/service or changing vendors.
- A Deep Dive Into Think State (Episode 27) – the audience is qualified AND thinking about purchasing or changing vendors, BUT has no timeline or commitment to do so
- A Deep Dive Into Do State (Episode 31) – the audience is qualified AND has a commitment to themselves or someone else to purchase within a specific period of time
- Grow – the happy and loyal customer
- Give – the happy and loyal customer who believes in your product or service so much they would refer a friend or family member
- Read Steve’s blog, “See – Think – Do: A Framework for Understanding Your Prospect’s State of Being” as a reference.
The Importance of Targeting Grow and Give (07:45 – 12:00)
The first rule of many businesses is to retain current customers and build a loyal following. Yet, many companies focus solely on customer acquisition rather than customer retention — even though it can cost 7 times more to acquire new customers. Oftentimes, companies stop nurturing their newly acquired customer after the sale. This is a huge mistake because the probability of selling to a current customer is higher than a new prospect. Plus, it’s cheaper.
The Goals For Grow and Give (12:05 – 14:40)
- Goals For Grow
- Reinforce the brand and its key message and create “stickiness”
- Increase revenue through upsells and cross-selling
- Goals For Give
- Give customers the tools and messaging to spread the word of our products/services by using language in alignment with our brand, and motivate them to do so.Charity Break – Set Up For Students (20:45 – 21:40)
Appropriate Content For Current Customers (14:45 – 26:15)
- The purpose of content for Grow:
- Reinforce the brand’s personality and core values so that customers remember why they love our products or services. Examples include:
- Mailchimp email newsletter
- Zoho product suite blog post: Our Product Strategy: How Zoho Services Fit Together
- Sony PR: Six things you didn’t know you could do with PlayStation VR.
- Reinforce the brand’s personality and core values so that customers remember why they love our products or services. Examples include:
- The purpose of content for Give:
- Reinforce the brand’s personality and core values so that customers know how to talk about us and use the correct verbiage. Examples include:
- Mailchimp email newsletter because it demonstrates product features while reinforcing that core brand philosophy
- Nimble regularly asks its users to leave reviews on sites like G2Crowd
- Reinforce the brand’s personality and core values so that customers know how to talk about us and use the correct verbiage. Examples include:
- Content and call to actions can differ between the Grow and Give states.
Charity Break – Books For Africa (26:30 – 27:20)
Targeting Methods for Current Customers (27:25 – 39:10)
- Email Marketing
- Direct Mail
- Mobile Messaging (SMS)
- CRM to target social media advertising (Facebook, Twitter)
- CRM to target web/mobile display advertising (AdRoll)
- Targeting current customers varies depending on the sales model.
- Direct – easy because existing databases can be leveraged
- Distributor – more complicated, but offer rebates, coupons and discount codes work well. Warranty registrations are another good targeting method.
- When determining if a customer is in the Grow or Give state, we can detect these signals in our marketing automation and via retargeting based on the content they engage with on a website or social media.
Measuring Success (39:15 – 44:00)
- Attributable revenue from marketing activities
- Churn rate
Summary (44:05 – 45:45)
- Current customers fall into one of two states – Grow or Give
- Grow are those customers that have purchased your product and would choose to do so again
- Give are those customers who have purchased your product and love your product so much they tell others about it
- The content we create to support our current customers should:
- Reinforce brand personality and core value proposition
- Make the ask clear and obvious
- Create a sense of urgency, if possible
- Reinforce the purchasing rationale so they can justify the emotional decision they made to themselves and others
- Targeting methods will be the same for both Grow and Give and are largely database driven
- Ability to use your database depends on if you sell directly.
- Attributable revenue from marketing activities
- Churn rate
- Social advocacy
We hope you want to join us on our journey. Find us on IterativeMarketing.net, the hub for the methodology and community. Email us at [email protected], follow us on twitter at @iter8ive or join The Iterative Marketing Community LinkedIn group.
The Iterative Marketing Podcast is a production of Brilliant Metrics, a consultancy helping brands and agencies rid the world of marketing waste.
Onward and upward!
Steve Robinson: Hello, Iterative Marketers! Welcome to the Iterative Marketing podcast where each week we ‘Give’ marketers and entrepreneurs actionable ideas, techniques, and examples to improve your marketing results. If you want notes and links to the resources discussed on the show sign up to get them emailed to you each week at iterativemarketing.net. There you’ll also find the Iterative Marketing blog and our community LinkedIn group where you can share ideas and ask questions of your fellow Iterative Marketers. Now, let’s dive into the show.
Hello everyone and welcome to the Iterative Marketing podcast. I am your host Steve Robinson and with me as always is the tenacious and perseverant Elizabeth Earin. How are you doing, today Elizabeth?
Elizabeth Earin: I am well. How are you, Steve?
Steve Robinson: I am great. This is the season for New Year’s resolutions now that we are finally past the holidays, right?
Elizabeth Earin: Yes, yes, few weeks into the year. So, did you make any resolutions and how is it going so far?
Steve Robinson: So, I am one of those people that’s always trying to improve myself, so I don’t really – I have resolutions all year long that I fail on, rather than just all at once at the beginning of the year, but in this instance, unfortunately one of those like I had an anti-New Year’s resolution this year.
Elizabeth Earin: Really?
Steve Robinson: So in December, probably around November, I fell off in going to the gym, right? Just because things got busy with the holidays and life and business and everything seemed to gang up on me to keep me from going and then I fell off the wagon and in December, I am like, holiday madness is going to end, I can get back on the wagon to start going to the gym and then I started thinking about all of the droves of people that go to the gym in January and how miserable it is and it totally deterred me from actually to go back to the gym in January, so I almost had an anti-New Year’s resolution in that I decided I was going to procrastinate on starting going back to the gym until February if nothing more out of convenience.
Elizabeth Earin: That actually makes a lot of sense. I also had a New Year’s resolution of leading a healthier lifestyle, although my working out did not kind of stop or slow down in November, I think mine slowed down more in August, so I have got some ground to make up, but I completely understand where you are coming from. My other one is, I had two, leading a healthier lifestyle, not necessarily working out but leading a healthier lifestyle, and to I have – we have talked about this before but I buy books. I buy books by the drove and I don’t read them as quickly as I buy them. So I put my stack of books on my nightstand and I am making sure I read a certain number of chapters every night, no matter how tired I am so that I can start getting through these books. So those are my New Year’s resolutions this year.
Steve Robinson: So if you are reading a certain number of chapters regardless of how tired you are, the goal then is to get through the books, not to necessarily remember anything that you read?
Elizabeth Earin: Well, very rarely is my tiredness a factor, usually I end up reading more, but it’s easy to say Oh! I am too tired tonight and instead I am just going to watch some TV or play on my iPad, so it’s always the book and not other technology, so…
Steve Robinson: So then you get into it and you are like, no, I am not that tired at all, this is really interesting, Oh! wait, it’s too late, I should have been asleep an hour ago.
Elizabeth Earin: Except for I have been reading this book literally, I think I have been reading it for a year and a half, it’s nonfiction and it’s about blizzard that hit the Midwest in the 1800s and literally getting through a chapter is like, it takes – it takes a long time to get through a chapter. So, my goal is I need to finish that book, it’s called The Children’s Blizzard. It’s very interesting but Oh! my goodness, it’s like the slowest going book I have ever read in my life, so, that’s, if I could finish that one, that would be a huge accomplishment.
Steve Robinson: Excellent. Well, keep us posted.
Elizabeth Earin: Yeah, yeah.
Steve Robinson: What are we actually talking about today?
Elizabeth Earin: Today we are talking about our ‘Grow’ and ‘Give’ journey states and this sort of concludes this deep dive series that we have been doing. We started with ‘See’, moved to ‘Think’ and moved to ‘Do’ and now we are in our final portion where we talk about ‘Grow’ and ‘Give’.
Steve Robinson: And we have kind of got a normal rhythm to this series, so we start talking about what do goals look like and objectives behind the ‘Grow’ and ‘Give’ journey states, what are we trying to accomplish with our audience, what sort of content do we need for each of these journey states, we will talk about the targeting and then last but certainly not least will discuss measurement and what metrics and KPIs are most important and why.
Elizabeth Earin: So before we dive into ‘Grow’ and ‘Give’ let’s just give a quick overview for anyone who may be tuning in and this may be the first deep dive episode they listen to, or since we have split this up and had other odd podcasts in between, just as a quick reminder, so when we take a look at our journey states, if you were looking for some high level coverage, I recommend checking out Episode 16 or if you would prefer sort of a quicker overview, Steve wrote a phenomenal blog called See, Think, Do: A Framework For Understanding Your Prospect’s State Of Being, and that really summarizes all of the journey states very concisely.
Steve Robinson: Thank you for the compliment. We will link to that blog and the blog post in the show notes, but will run through the different journey states really quickly here just to give you the top level definition of each one. So when we look at our ‘See’ state, those are individuals who are qualified, they could buy our products or our services but they are not even close to being in market at this particular point in time or they have got a vendor that they are happy with and they are not looking at all to change vendors. We do deep dive of ‘See’ state in Episode 23.
Elizabeth Earin: When we look at our ‘Think’ state these are prospects that are qualified and thinking about purchasing or changing vendors but they don’t necessarily have a timeline or a commitment to do so, and we talk about this in depth in Episode 27.
Steve Robinson: Then some of our prospects will move into ‘Do’ state and these are people that are not only qualified and they are interested in our product or service but they made a commitment to themselves or to somebody else or they have a definite timeframe in which they are going to make a purchase or vendor change. We talk about this is Episode 31.
Elizabeth Earin: And finally we get to what we are talking about today, ‘Grow’ and ‘Give’. Now, these are sort of different. When we are talking about ‘See’, ‘Think’ and ‘Do’, those were our prospects and leads, when we get into ‘Grow’ and ‘Give’ these are our actual customers or current customers, so ‘Grow’ is sort of that first state and these are happy and loyal customers, they are buying from us and they would choose to buy from us again.
Steve Robinson: We call it ‘Grow’ because these prospects have an opportunity to ‘Grow’ into our organizations, so they can ‘Grow’ their relationship with us becoming not only more loyal but also buying more and different products and services from us along the way. This is different from our ‘Give’ state, where not only are they growing into us, but now they have come to know, like, trust, and love us, our brand to the extent that they want to ‘Give’ back to our brand. So, they can give back to us whether it’s referrals or reviews or just social advocacy, but they are eager to help us out. I am sure we can all think of brands that if asked we would be glad to help out because they mean something to us.
Elizabeth Earin: And as we talk through this today you are going to notice there is a lot of similarities between ‘Grow’ and ‘Give’, so that’s why we have sort of combined this into one episode rather than diving into each of these separately.
Steve Robinson: Yeah. And we will talk about it later but ‘Give’ could almost be looked at as a subset of ‘Grow’ but there is a reason why you want to keep them separate. We will talk about later. Why is it important for us to target ‘Grow’ and ‘Give’?
Elizabeth Earin: That’s a really great question and I think lot of times when we are talking with customers and in past lives with other companies we have worked with, the first rule of a lot of businesses is that it’s important to retain current customers and build a loyal following, but a lot of times that said, it isn’t necessarily done and it’s really interesting when you start to look at some of the metrics. 63% of marketers felt that new customer acquisition is the most important advertising goal, but that doesn’t necessarily make sense when you look at the fact that companies that are focusing in acquisition more than customer retention can spend up to seven times more to acquire those new customers than to retain their current customers and grow that customer database and so ‘Grow’ and ‘Give’ are important because it’s more profitable for your business, it’s better for your business if you focus on retaining and growing these customers rather than always trying to go out and find someone new to add to your database.
Steve Robinson: Yeah. Just to nail that on a little further, there was a stat we ran across from Bain & Company that said that increasing customer retention by only 5% can actually increase profits by up to 95% and churn or this loss of customers and having to go and regain ground on customers is a constant battle and a lot of organizations are waking up to just exactly how much revenue they are leaving on the table by only providing one product or service to each customer instead of providing their full suite or gamut of services to each customer, but what’s funny is this growth into the existing customer base, customer loyalty and customer retention, generally the organizations that we have worked with or worked for in the past see that as a role of customer service or may be of their distribution channels but not necessarily a role of the company itself, and not a role of sales and marketing, it gets passed off to this customer service department without any marketing support which I think creates two problems. One, you have a disconnect in that messaging, so you have the marketing messaging and then all of a sudden you are shifted over to the customer service messaging which could be entirely different if there isn’t any continuity there, and maybe it’s a different brand and a different value prop that’s being pushed over on the customer service and, two, you are just missing a huge opportunity because everything that works well in marketing to obtain that customer can also work very well to continue to grow that customer, to drive referrals, to increase customer loyalty and reduce churn.
Elizabeth Earin: Definitely that’s a great point and it’s hard because yes it is important to bring new lifeblood into the organization, it’s important to bring in those new customers but we don’t have to choose one or the other, we don’t have to just go after new customers or just retain, we can do both. We just aren’t, or a lot of organizations aren’t, and it doesn’t make sense because the probability of selling to current customers is much higher than selling to a new prospect and not only that and I don’t have the stat right off in my head right now but the current customers are going to buy more than new customers are, because again they know you have delivered in the past, they are comfortable with you and so the likelihood of them buying more at higher values is much greater.
Another reason why just leaving this to customer service to try and do your cross-sells and up-sells just doesn’t make a lot of sense is because it comes back to what we have talked out in previous episodes is that your prospects are emotional creatures, they make their buying decisions based on emotion, and so if you are not reinforcing your brand personality the aspects of your brand that made them fall in love with you the first time with your current customers, they are not going to remember why they fell in love with you and they are not going to be as apt to buy more from you, and so it’s that very same emotional trigger based marketing that you did to hook them in the first place becomes just as important to retain them and cross sell them and up sell them and that’s not something that customers service is really designed to do.
Elizabeth Earin: If this is something new for your organization and not something you have done before, when we get into the measurement section of today’s podcast, we will give you some specific metrics that you can use to speak to the C-Suite and put it in terms that they understand and can get behind but we will get there in a little bit.
Steve Robinson: So, what are our goals when we are looking at using marketing within the ‘Grow’ state and the ‘Give’ state?
Elizabeth Earin: So when we are looking at ‘Grow’, really our core purpose here is we are looking to reinforce the brand and its key message.
Steve Robinson: That creates a stickiness, right? It comes back to that statement of I am reminded why I fell in love with you in the fist place and I can continue down that journey of building up that good emotion and good feel for that brand so that I am more apt to buy from them in the future.
Elizabeth Earin: That in turn increases revenue and makes this audience more open to upsell and cross-sell messaging which in turn also increases revenue.
Steve Robinson: So as a brand component which is that know, like, and trust business, you can also have direct response component within ‘Grow’ where we are actually asking this audience to pull out their wallets and give us more money, right?
Elizabeth Earin: And this is measurable. Again, we will get to that in a little bit.
Steve Robinson: How about ‘Give’? How is ‘Give’ a little different?
Elizabeth Earin: So when we are looking at ‘Give’, what we are really looking to do here is make sure that our customers have the tools and messaging to spread the word about our products or services and not only spread the word but do so in a language that’s in alignment with our brand and is motivating them to do that.
Steve Robinson: Right. So when we are motivating them we could be motivating to post a referral or to refer our product or service either online or just in person over the phone or in an in-person meeting, it doesn’t have to be digital. We are also looking to get more reviews posted to sites, and this is becoming more and more important both from an SEO standpoint but also from just the way the buyers buy today and you are seeing even B2B services coming up with review sites today, so reviews are becoming more and more important and then finally through social advocacy or amplification, so we post something, we want our most loving customers to go out and share that content, we want them to come to our defenses should somebody bad mouth us out online somewhere and to do so, we need to arm them with the right messaging to do it.
Elizabeth Earin: I think it’s important to note here that asking isn’t a bad thing, it’s a good thing, we want to ask them. I have multiple brands that I love but I have got so many other things going on in my life that the last thing on my mind is writing them a referral, but if they ask me to do it, it’s like, Oh! yeah, you have been good to me, I want to give back to you and especially if they make it easy for me to do by sending me an email and I just have to click a link, they have removed some of those barriers and they are more apt to take that action.
Steve Robinson: So if those are our goals, what sort of content either paid or organic type of content do we need to get in front of people in ‘Grow’ and ‘Give’?
Elizabeth Earin: So when we are talking about ‘Grow’ again we want to reinforce that core brand personality and value so that the customers remember why it is that they love us.
Steve Robinson: And then we don’t want to stop providing values, so we talked a lot when we talked about particularly ‘See’ and ‘Think’ states that we really wanted to add value to the prospects world and we can do that in even greater ways when we get into ‘Grow’ and ‘Give’ because they are customers, so we can help them in ways that directly touch our product or service and helping them apply our product or service better to better their worlds, right? So, we are adding value to their world at the same time and in doing so we can actually throw in not so subtle calls to action for cross-sells and up-sells because hey, here is how you can use our service to better you world but then if you upgrade to this, you can do in even better or more impactful ways.
Elizabeth Earin: I think we use Slack internally, we are sort of Slack addicts, and Slack is great at this and if you think about it, if you have never used Slack before and you start hearing about all these features, it’s not going to make sense, it’s not going to resonate, it’s not going to stick with you because you don’t know what they are talking about, but Slack has this great way, with the Slack part of weekly updating you with new things that Slack can do and you become I guess more and more sucked into the Slack world and realize you can never live without it again and I love what they have done with their ‘Grow’ content.
Steve Robinson: ‘Give’ is a little bit different. So I remember our ‘Give’ audience they already love us. That doesn’t mean we don’t need to remind them to love us and why they should love us but they already love us but we are going to put that brand content in front of them for a slightly different reason in this case, it’s because we want to be armed with that messaging verbatim if possible, as they go out and spread the love to others, so if they are giving us a referral we want them to put our brand in the same light that we do, so that there isn’t any dissonance when that referral comes back to our website or picks up the phone and calls us.
Elizabeth Earin: And while we are doing this we are going to continue to provide value to these customers while we are encouraging these referrals and reviews and social engagements that are going to extend their brand network, the key there again though is continuing to provide value to these customers.
Steve Robinson: So let’s go through some examples of content that we could use from a paid or organic standpoint for both ‘Grow’ and ‘Give’. Do you have any examples for ‘Grow’ Elizabeth?
Elizabeth Earin: Yeah. I mean I think one of the easiest ones out there are email newsletters and I think MailChimp is a phenomenal example of this where they are showing a lot of brand personality and subtle reinforcement of their core value proposition which is ease of use.
Steve Robinson: I would hope that MailChimp who send out their world on email would know how to do email right, but they actually do a really good job of this, of making you understand, more importantly feel what it feels like to work with MailChimp in every email communication that they send. I think a great example of, and we will link to in the show notes of sort of the cross-selling upselling while adding value. If you have ever touched a Zoho product, Zoho is a broad suite of products that can all work independently to support a business but they can also work together and so Zoho published a comprehensive blog post on this topic but they put out other content regularly as well that helps you understand how their products link together and can work together to get people, once you are into the Zoho ecosystem you buy one product. They don’t make any money when you buy one product, it’s when you buy 15 of their products that they start to make money, so they do a great job of once you are in, getting you cross sold and up sold on the other Zoho products.
Elizabeth Earin: Now, these two examples are focused on digital but our ‘Grow’ content can extend to other channels and other mediums, and I think Sony has a great example of this or provides a great example of this and they had an article in a publication recently that talks about the six things you didn’t know you could do with Playstation VR, now I am not a Playstation person so I can’t speak to this necessarily but what was great about this content is it really reinforced the value of this product and not only that but we are sharing with people who are already customers, new things that they could do with it that they may not have known about.
Steve Robinson: Right. Because your ‘Grow’ content doesn’t necessarily have to be selling something new, if your customers, your prospects aren’t using the products and services that they bought already to their fullest potential then they are less sticky and they are more apt to go with another product. They may even put down your product and pick up another one for a feature that they didn’t know was already in your product. So, they switch towards this because they thought they could get something else that they needed that they could have already gotten with yours if you had informed them on how to use it right.
Elizabeth Earin: And again this appeared in a publication, so this has that third party validity here, where it’s not coming from Sony, even though based on the article it probably did come from Sony or Sony was actively involved in it but the fact that it was published in a different publication just sort of adds that extra level of credibility to it.
Steve Robinson: So let’s talk about some examples of ‘Give’ content and here again on an email side, I think MailChimp does a great job with ‘Give’ in that most of their emails not only are helping you use the product better but they are also reinforcing just that core value proposition of ease of use as well as being fun and playful in the process in a classic MailChimp sort of way and so they are helping their audience who are avid MailChimp users, not only grow into their product under ‘Grow’ but under ‘Give’ they are giving exactly the words and phrases to use to talk about MailChimp in the future.
Elizabeth Earin: Now, one of the other things we talked about in ‘Give’ is asking for referrals and I think Nimble does a great job of this in that they are regularly asking users to leave reviews on sites, and they even go as far as to mention exactly which boxes to check in the actual review.
Steve Robinson: Yeah. And we will post a screen grab of a Nimble email in the show notes as well, so you can take a peek at that, but it’s very specific instructions, easy to follow call to action with a button right there to click to do it, so they are taking all of the friction that they can possibly take out as well as letting that person know exactly what you want them to say. It’s down to the simple trick of, if you are looking for references for yourself personally, either you got to get a new job or in business you write the reference from the person that you are asking it for and say, hey, can you tweak these words into your own because it reduces that friction and you are more likely to get the reference. You can do the same thing as a business and say, hey, here is what you need to click, here are some examples of what some other people wrote, can you please write something nice about us and they are going to do it.
Elizabeth Earin: So Steve let me ask you a question because as we are talking about this, something our listeners might be wondering is, typically when we are talking about journey states we only want to target and send content and messaging to one journey state at a time but when we are talking about ‘Grow’ and ‘Give’ these are current customers and obviously we want to keep up selling to them and cross selling to them, but if they are ready to give a referral we want to ask for that too. Can someone receive both ‘Grow’ and ‘Give’ content?
Steve Robinson: The short answer is yes, but in reality you want to take a look at priorities because you have a finite audience of customers and there is only so many times you can ask them to do something before you are going to hit some level of fatigue with that, right? And if you look at what are the benefits of an incremental increase in revenue off of one customer that has an impact once, but if you can turn a customer into a true advocate and get them to refer more business to you or close more sales that can have a far greater impact from a revenue standpoint than simply growing into an existing customer, so it makes sense to prioritize and take your ‘Give’ audience if you can identify them and ask them to post the reviews, to give the referrals and do those activities that are going to have longer lasting greater impact and then focus your grow asks, of growing into the product to your ‘Grow’ audience and get the most out of those limited opportunities you have to approach your customer base and ask them for more.
Elizabeth Earin: I think that the reason that that worked so well is because when we look at effective content for ‘Grow’ and ‘Give’ there is overlap between the two, in both cases, the content needs to be reinforcing brand personality and core value proposition so we don’t have a dissonance there, we have got equal playing field that we are trying to accomplish the same thing with both ‘Grow’ and ‘Give’ content. We are also making sure that our content is making an ask and not only is the ask clear and obvious but we have given them a path to accomplish what that ask is, whether it’s providing what the next steps are to make that next purchase or like the Nimble example where we have a button and we say, just click here to leave us a review.
Steve Robinson: We also want to create a sense of urgency if possible and so you look at things like this is where you might have a special insight or sale for your existing customers but it has definitive end date to get them to cross sell or up sell into another product or in the case of an ask for referral or a review maybe you incentivize that with a token gift card but you have to do it by a certain date in order to get it.
Elizabeth Earin: Now that’s not going to be possible in every scenario but there will be scenarios where it is possible and it feels right for your brand, and so you will have to take that on a case by case basis.
Steve Robinson: And then just like we do in ‘Think’ and ‘Do’ content where we are reinforcing the why with more rational and logical examples, when we are doing cross sell or up sells we have to remember to do the same thing there, so they already love us hopefully, we are looking to get them to continue to grow into our brand but then we also need to back that up with some rational decision making so that if I ask as to why they did this by their spouse or by a boss or by their colleague, they actually have some rational basis for why they bought into your brand further.
Elizabeth Earin: It looks really cool, doesn’t go over well, I can attest to that as having a conversation with my husband about that recently. So when we talk about content differing really like I said, when we started talking about this is that they are very similar, the brand standpoint is the same, and in both cases, we are looking to add value or provide utility. Where we are really seeing a difference here is in the call to action.
Steve Robinson: So when you are creating like a customer newsletter 80% of it is going to be the same, it’s just going to be that bright shine and call to action that you are going to want to swap out. You can do that with a personalization or simply establishing two different lists of your most loyal customers versus ones that you just want them to buy more from you. I think that this brings us to a good point for a quick break, when we get back we will talk about how we actually execute this at a tactical level as far as targeting goes, as well as how we measure for success. So let’s take a moment and go help some people.
Elizabeth Earin: Before we continue I would like to take a quick moment to ask you Iterative Marketers a small but meaningful favor, and ask that you ‘Give’ a few dollars to a charity that’s important to one of our own. This week an anonymous donor from Arizona has asked that you make a donation to Books for Africa, an organization that collects, sorts, ships and distributes books to students of all ages in Africa. Over the past 12 months the charity has sent 2.4 million books, 665 computers and 200 e-readers containing 1.6 million digital books to 21 African countries. Learn more at booksforafrica.org or visit the link in the show notes. If you would like to submit your cause for consideration for our next podcast please visit iterativemarketing.net/podcast and click the share a cause button. We love sharing causes that are important to you.
Steve Robinson: And we are back. So before the break we talked about the goals behind targeting our ‘Grow’ and ‘Give’ states as well as some examples of some content or what that might look like to do so, but we didn’t talk about how to deliver that content, I think that would be a good starting point here. So how do we get this content in front of the right eyeballs of either our ‘Grow’ or ‘Give’ audience?
Elizabeth Earin: How do you want to do it? Because when we first start talking about our current customers the sky is the limit, we have so many ways to reach them and I think we talked about this in a few of our examples but email marketing is in my mind the most obvious choice.
Steve Robinson: I think with most of these tactics it’s going to be database driven, we have a database of these folks hopefully although not always if you have a complex distribution model. We will talk about that later, but hopefully you have a database of your customers and so there is a lot of unique ways to pinpoint your messaging down to exactly who you want to get in front of, email is obvious, direct mail, it’s not dead, there are opportunities to use this very effectively, certainly test and see if it works with your audience or not, but it can be relatively inexpensive because your audience is only your customer base, not the world, and then if you are a little bit more progressive in other way, just reach out and directly touch someone is SMS or mobile messaging and we are seeing a rise of this now more and more with the younger demographic getting away from email and focusing more on SMS.
Elizabeth Earin: Again looking to our database, CRM targeting specifically using that to target social media advertising like Facebook or Twitter, is a phenomenal way to get in front of your audience and introduce not only new messaging but a new channel, a new way to reach them.
Steve Robinson: Yeah. You want to get away from just boosting posts or targeting posts, targeting ads via whatever mechanisms within the system because if you are targeting your current customers you have that database, you can upload that to Facebook, have it do the match in order to go back and build you a custom audience within Facebook or Twitter that you can go and get exactly the right content for ‘Grow’ and ‘Give’, so you are not targeting cross sells, upsells or please give us a referral to people who aren’t existing customers.
Elizabeth Earin: And not only that and on my little tangent here, but you upload that list and you got some really great analytics and you have the ability to do some sort of self checking on the personas that you have developed and see if there are any places that you need to make some changes or modifications, so an extra little added benefit of that CRM targeting on social media.
Steve Robinson: You can do that same CRM targeting also on the web. AdRoll allows you to upload that system as well as I believe that AdWords has a customer match functionality as well where you can upload your lists and target display advertising at them. There are some caveats here though, if your audience it too small, if you are more small business or a boutique firm that only has a handful of customers, you are going to hit limits pretty quickly on the size of your list because you have to have so many matches in order to be able to market to that list. For Facebook it’s like 20 and that’s not that hard to hit for most businesses but for the web you start getting into like 50 people and you start looking at do I have 50 advocates that I can match with an email address to a cookie online, that actually needs having more like 100 advocates and that can be a harder hill to climb for some businesses.
Elizabeth Earin: Web retargeting is another option. Do you want to talk a little bit about that?
Steve Robinson: Yeah. I think you meant paid search retargeting, right? So, we start getting into paid search, Google AdWords actually has a mechanism to show different ads to your customers and this comes through a functionality called remarketing lists for search advertising, which just rolls off the tongue, it’s what most people refer to by the acronym of RLSA, but it allows you to target different pay per click ads to your existing customers so that if they go to Google you or Google relevant product to what it is that you are selling their ads can focus more on reminding them why they love you or maybe ask them, hey, you haven’t referred us lately or can you give us a review or something along those lines.
Steve Robinson: I totally forgot about that and that I think speaks, it’s a testament to how many different options we have here. I was actually thinking of web retargeting where we place a pixel, when somebody there logs into the website or into our support site and then we are able to follow them around the web with different display advertising.
Steve Robinson: If you can get the software developers involved in this you can actually create retargeting pools off of your segmentation within your customer database, so this requires you to have an online presence that somebody has to log into but once they log in, the website has a direct connection back to the database supporting it, so if you have everybody segmented in your database as ‘Grow’ or ‘Give’, now you just push that information up to the website and push the right pixel to the right people and you are guaranteed to get it right because they had to login in order to get the pixel but they have to have a reason to log in to your site and not every business gives them that.
Elizabeth Earin: That’s true.
Steve Robinson: The same thing is true if you have a mobile app. If you have a mobile app, chances are they have authenticated with the mobile app or even just by virtue of having the mobile app you know that they are a customer and now you can send them those notifications, the mobile notifications where it will pop up on their phone, you want to use this with caution and limitation because it could drive people to just uninstall your app but if you use it here and there and you are adding value it can be a valuable way to get in front of your audience as well.
Elizabeth Earin: And then finally website personalization and this requires either a log in, targeting through IP targeting or having a cookie but it allows you to personalize that web experience based on that user, whether it’s their journey state or their persona or a combination of both.
Steve Robinson: Exactly, exactly. Now, this is easy, relatively easy to do if we are selling direct to our customers and we have to ship product to them, so we know their address, or if they have to have a login into our website to buy from us or we have a CRM system because our account people are talking to our customers every day, doing this sort of direct interaction with our customer base and knowing whether they are ‘Grow’ or ‘Give’ is pretty easy but it gets a lot more complicated if you have a complex distribution channel and your product goes to a distributor or a rep then they make a deal with another distributor and then it ends up in retail, the retail outlet finally makes the sale to the customer and you are like, I have no idea where my product went.
Elizabeth Earin: And there are a lot of databases that are in this situation and while it is more work it’s not impossible.
Steve Robinson: Yeah. You really just need to come up with some creative tactics to close that loop and so this is where you get into rebates or warranty cards and other things like that to force that consumer or incentivize that consumer to come back and interact with you online, either prior to the purchase in the case of a coupon or post purchase in the case of some sort of add-on or promotion. My son got the safe version of Exploding Kittens, which is a game put out by the author of the Oatmeal and right there on the top of the Exploding Kittens box there was a – yes, there is a game called Exploding Kittens.
Elizabeth Earin: I have no idea what it is but every time you say Exploding Kittens I can’t keep a straight face.
Steve Robinson: Right there on the top of the box, it was ‘visit our Website for a free gift’ and of course what they are doing there is they are closing that loop because we bought that game through Amazon and Amazon reports a sale back to the publisher and then the publisher may or may not report the sale back to the author and the author really wants the database of who bought his game and this gives him the ability to do that by offering some free offer if you go out and register or just take advantage of it with a unique code allowing you to get that special offer.
Elizabeth Earin: And then I think another opportunity there is looking for co-marketing opportunities with your distribution channel, and that allows you to build that database and those cookie pools and typically your distribution channel is open to having additional marketing help, so it’s not a hard ask but it does require again some creativity and some coordination.
Steve Robinson: Yeah. If you just reach out to your distributors and say, hey, can you give us your database, they are going to be like no, but if you reach out to your distributors and say, hey, we are offering free marketing, ooh, free marketing, okay I will take that, and all of a sudden the nature of the conversation goes completely different.
Elizabeth Earin: So we talked about the different ways that we can reach this audience and market to them, we talked earlier about we got some subtle differences in the content that we put out to ‘Grow’ and ‘Give’, so how do we know if someone is in ‘Grow’ versus ‘Give’?
Steve Robinson: Apparently, we can detect the different types of content that they are engaging with, so if we have content out on our site that talks about our referral program, well, if they are visiting the referral program page chances are that they are at least open to the idea of referring us, so if we have content or blog posts or various things for them to interact with, either coming out through email or direct on the site that indicate that they are at least open to the idea of singing our praises then we can move them from ‘Grow’ over to ‘Give’.
Elizabeth Earin: And just like the bridge content we have used in our other journey states we are going to want to dangle some of our ‘Give’ offers or ‘Give’ messaging to our ‘Grow’ audience so that we are able to identify who is so engaged with our product and tuned to our brand that they want to refer us to their family and friends and again to Steve’s point this becomes their engagement with that content or with those direct response ads, that becomes the signal to our marketing automation that someone has moved from ‘Grow’ to ‘Give’.
Steve Robinson: I like to follow basically an 80-20 rule. So we are going to want to put 80% of our messaging to our current customers that we believe are in ‘Grow’ it should be focused on cross sells, upsells, engaging more with the products or services that they already owned and 20% of that should be driving that referral or review type activity or social advocacy type activity and that’s the bridge content that helps us detect that and then if you do move over to ‘Give’ then we flip that, 20% of our content is now focused on cross sells, upsells to make sure that we aren’t missing any major opportunities there but 80% of our content is now focused on the referral or advocacy type of component and that way we are focusing our priorities where they should be and where we are going to drive the most opportunity or revenue from that audience but we are not neglecting the opportunity to either detect when somebody has made that leap to where they are now in ‘Give’ or losing the opportunity to cross sell and upsell to those that are in that ‘Give’ state.
Elizabeth Earin: Now, if you are running a net promoter score program then typically you can sort of break this out between your ‘Grow’ and your ‘Give’ and that your ‘Give’ audience, sorry, as I get this backwards, ‘Give’ audience is going to primarily be your 9s and 10s and then your ‘Grow’ audience will be on the lower end of that spectrum.
Steve Robinson: Depending on where your bell curve lands on your net promoter score it might be just your 10s, it could be your 9s and your 10s, you want to look at where people are falling but definitely a great opportunity to mine that data if you are already running an NPS program. How do we measure success when it comes to ‘Grow’ and ‘Give’?
Elizabeth Earin: Yes. So, how we measure success for ‘Grow’ and ‘Give’ is actually going to differ based on our two different journey states and this is very important and I mentioned this before but if you are in an organization maybe you are focused on new customer acquisition and you want to sort of change that conversation, talking about these specific metrics is going to appeal to your C-Suite and make it easier to make it happen, so when we are talking about ‘Grow’ there is really two different metrics that we can look at. The first of those is attributable revenue from marketing activities, so this is our upsells and our cross sells, what additional revenue were we able to bring to the table by marketing to our current customers.
Steve Robinson: You have to be a little bit careful here because you don’t want to be taking away credit from those people on the frontlines that might be making some of these sales happen, so if you are an organization where you have your customer reps or your account managers or account executives that are on the front line making and closing these deals you don’t want to necessarily take credit from them but you also want to make sure that you can demonstrate that those people who were cross sold or up sold engaged with our marketing activities here and here and here, right, and show how there is a correlation between the marketing activities they engaged with and the increase in revenue or sales. If you don’t have a frontline then take credit for it all because you don’t have to worry about it, but if you do you have to maybe a walk a little gingerly here because just like you don’t want to annoy sales too badly on taking credit for their work, you don’t want to annoy your customer service or account management or whatever you call that frontline with your existing customers by taking too much credit from them.
Elizabeth Earin: That’s a good point but I think it’s also important to recognize that similar to our relationship with sales, we are not a separate entity from that customer service team or that frontline team, so as marketing where can we identify opportunities to help them to close those sales or to upsell those products or cross sell those products and any time that we can have that brand consistency, that consistency in messaging from what they are seeing online or what they are getting in their emails or even what they are seeing in traditional advertising to what they are experiencing with our frontline team members that’s a huge win and we want to be able to look for that, so similar to the relationship that we have built with sales and the support that we provide to sales we want to find that same opportunity with our frontline team members as well.
Steve Robinson: The other metric for ‘Grow’ because it’s just not growing into customers it’s also retaining customers, so the other metric you want to look at is churn rate and how can you improve or reduce churn rate when it comes to your existing customers using marketing as a vehicle to do that, so that KPI will be another thing that you want to look at.
Elizabeth Earin: So, if you were to go to your C-Suite with these two metrics, I would be very surprised if they were not onboard with looking at potentially expanding our marketing program to your current customers. Now those are our ‘Grow’, what about when we get into ‘Give’?
Steve Robinson: So, in ‘Give’ its straightforward but it can be a little bit harder to attach directly to revenue because our KPIs here are going to be the number of referrals which I guess you can pretty easily attach a revenue number to, but also things like reviews and social advocacy, those get a little bit softer just because you have a million and one positive reviews out on your website or on other people’s websites, being able to attach that back to a revenue number can be kind of tricky but it’s also a vanity metric that the C-Suite probably would appreciate too, so if you can say that you can increase the number of positive referrals and people talking about your organization in a good light that’s something that’s going to interest them.
Elizabeth Earin: In my experience typically the C-Suite is very interested in reviews, and so again may not necessarily tie directly back to revenue but it’s something that I am sure is on their radar.
Steve Robinson: Social advocacy however that is a little different angle, that’s almost an insurance policy in addition to your marketing amplifier because if you can build an army of people who love you, then anytime that organization gets in some hot water online that army will go out and defend it and that can be a hugely beneficial risk mitigation tactic that the C-Suite would also be interested in hearing about.
Elizabeth Earin: Yes, having worked on managing social media accounts before, it’s a lot easier when your advocates come to your defense, you don’t necessarily have to go and respond to someone who is upset or at least you can respond to them and then you have got other people backing you up, it feels pretty good and it makes your job a lot easier.
Steve Robinson: So, let’s summarize what we talked about today. We talked about the different journey states and how ‘Grow’ and ‘Give’ is really your customer base versus all the other journey states being prospects at that point, your ‘Grow’ audience is those that have purchased from you at least once or may be twice but there is more than that they can buy from you and they are also not really in love with you to the extent that they are going to go out and sing your praises yet.
Elizabeth Earin: They are going to be those customers who have purchased your product and are so in love with you that they want to tell others about you.
Steve Robinson: When it comes to content, the content that we create to support our customers universally should reinforce our brand and our value proposition for different reasons between ‘Grow’ and ‘Give’ but either way brand is front and center, we also want to make sure that our ask is clear and obvious in that we are actually asking our customers to do things for us.
Elizabeth Earin: If possible you want to create a sense of urgency and at the end of the day you want to make sure that you are reinforcing the purchasing rationale so that our customers can justify the emotional decision they made not only to themselves but to their friends and family and coworkers as well.
Steve Robinson: When it comes to targeting methods, targeting methods are going to be identical for ‘Grow’ and ‘Give’ and largely database-driven which is both a benefit, either a benefit or a detriment depending on whether your organization is selling directly and you have this massive database to now capitalize on or whether you have to sell through a complex distribution channel and you now have a bit of an effort in front of you to build that database.
Elizabeth Earin: And finally, measurement. When we are talking about ‘Grow’, this is attributable revenue from marketing activities and churn rate and when we are talking about ‘Give’ this is referrals, reviews and social advocacy.
Steve Robinson: I want to thank everyone for making more than a little time for us this week. If you haven’t already please take a moment and go out to iTunes and give us a review, if you do we will give you a shout-out on one of our future podcasts, if you have already I apologize we are short reviews right now, so we are not able to read the ones that are out there but once we can we will give you a shout-out and until next week onward and upward.
Elizabeth Earin: If you haven’t already be sure to subscribe to the podcast on YouTube or your favorite podcast directory. If you want notes and links to resources discussed on the show sign up to get them emailed to you each week at iterativemarketing.net. There, you will also find the Iterative Marketing blog in our community LinkedIn group where you can share ideas and ask questions of your fellow Iterative Marketers. You can also follow us on Twitter, our username is @iter8ive or email us at [email protected]. The Iterative Marketing podcast is a production of Brilliant Metrics, a consultancy helping brands and agencies rid the world of marketing waste. Our producer is Heather Ohlman with transcription assistance from Emily Bechtel. Our music is by Seastock Audio music production and sound design. You can check them out at Seastockaudio.com. We will see you next week, until then onward and upward.