B2B Account Marketing (Part 1): Retention – The Buyer’s Journey 20

A new eMarketer report shows B2B’s best and worst habits for retention and advocacy strategies in account marketing. Today’s episode is Part 1 of 2 where we breakdown and discuss the numbers.

The Retention Stage

The Retention stage of The Buyer’s Journey focuses on maintaining relationships with your current customers and clients. Ideally, your clients will be so happy with their experience that they’ll make another purchase from you. But clients and customers don’t always do this without a little push. There are specific tactics that are particularly effective during the Retention stage.

Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda

Jillian Ryan on eMarketer has an excellent 33 page read on B2B customer growth marketing. In particular, we’re focused on the retention strategies and Ryan’s report shows a couple key strategies B2B’s should be doing.

  • 82% of US B2B marketers make regular account updates as a standard part of customer success programs.
  • Tutorials and demos come in at 63%.
  • Live screen-shares to help use the product account for 60%.

Despite these effective strategies being used, Ryan points out that marketers are often far more focused on lead generation tactics. When companies listed their primary marketing objectives for 2018, only 12% said engagement while advocacy (5%) and loyalty/retention (5%) had much less.  Ryan spoke to Sean Geehan, founder of B2B consulting firm Geehan Group, who said that, “renewals can see roughly 30% more margin because an existing relationship is already in play. But closing new accounts, even if the contract value is the same, will get about a third of the profit because of the costs associated with building that new relationship, including demand marketing efforts, on-boarding, training and more.”

Finally, the team discussed another finding reported by Ryan. Ryan found that “only 53% of US B2B marketing executives” use a welcome email “as part of their customer success program, according to December 2017 research from Regalix.” 

The effectiveness of a welcome email to B2C marketing is well known. That makes this data surprising given that so few B2B’s are taking advantage of it. Perhaps this is one way B2B retention marketing can learn from B2C strategies. Check out our next episode, Part 2 of this discussion, where we’ll go in more depth on some B2C’s strategies that B2B’s can use for retention and advocacy. 

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