Contrary to popular belief, effective inbound marketing strategy isn't strictly limited to delivering the right message to the right people at the right time.
It's really focused on creating customer success centered marketing strategies – which isn't always easy and usually takes a lot of time to master.
Put too much time and effort into creating sleek sales collateral and you risk disappointing the customer when they buy the product and then get to see your lackluster "user guide." Focus entirely on the product and your customer service might suffer. Focus too much on your internal goals and the entire process is ruined.
No, your attention to customers shouldn't end at the point of purchase. In fact, your marketing needs to intensify after you've made a successful sale.
That's what marketing that puts the customer first is all about – doing everything you can to ensure that your products and services help customers succeed so they keep coming back time and time again. The added bonus here is that all of the pieces needed for successful inbound marketing strategy naturally fall into place to amplify your success over the course of time.
And even though it's not always easy to accomplish, there are strategies you can employ to make sure that customers keep coming back for more. Here's a look at five:
1) Unlock the power of customer-level data
Big data is big business. But when it comes to successful marketing strategies, you're going to want to focus on the individual customer.
Thanks to advances in technology, you can now collect, store, and analyze data on individual customers over long periods of time. This data can prove incredibly powerful because it provides insight into how your individual customers act over time – and you can use that information to up-sell, follow up, and make sure you are meeting your customers' individual needs.
2) Keep an eye on KPIs
They are called key performance indicators, or KPIs, and they are the metrics you need to keep an eye on to truly understand what your customers are doing. Track your customer lifetime values, customer equity, and early repeat ratios. These metrics will tell you how your actions impact customer behaviors. Once you understand how your actions directly affect your customers' actions, you can use the data to provide even better service to your customers.
3) Go deeper
Now it's time to dig even deeper. Start categorizing customers by their actions. Are they "one-and-done" buyers? Are they customers who keep coming back time and time again to get specific brands? Are they more sensitive to price? Once you have these categories fleshed out, you can start looking at how to convert the "one-and-dones" into repeat customers. You can figure out exactly when to follow up with the repeaters. And you can figure out ways to expand the most popular brands.
4) Test, test, and test some more
Once you have the data, it's time to put it to the test. Take the insight you've gained from the data and start experimenting with targeted marketing to select segments of your customers. Test different email sequencing. Test escalating discount offers. Test as many creative marketing tactics as you can – and then keep the successful and ditch the unsuccessful. This will both make your marketing more effective and reduce the amount of unnecessary dollars you're spending.
5) Automate what works
Once you know what works best, it's time to automate it. Find the right automation tools and focus them on your high-value customers. Consider an email marketing campaign that is automatically triggered to send pre-developed emails to customers after a purchase. Automating successful tactics is a great way to develop more meaningful relationships with your most valuable customers.
At the end of the day, you want your marketing to stand out from the pack (in a positive way). Creating strategies that focus on customers is a great way to do that.