The Advocacy Channel Ep. 16: What’s New in Customer Marketing and What to Expect in 2023
Welcome to our final episode of 2022!
After so many incredible discussions with customer marketing experts from all over the world, we’re delighted to welcome back special guest Scott K. Wilder to The Advocacy Channel to round out the year.
As the VP of Customer, Partner and Community Engagement at Base, Scott has over 20 years of experience delivering customer advocacy programs for companies like Hubspot, Google, Marketo, Coursera, and Apple.
Scott joined us in Episode 8 to help us understand several important lessons in customer advocacy, and is back to discuss what's new in customer marketing and what to expect in the new year.
Happy holidays from everyone at The Advocacy Channel! We can’t wait to share even more with you in 2023.
Check out the full episode below, or keep reading for our favorite pieces of advice from the episode.
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What trends should we be ready to see in customer marketing next year?
(Listen from 21:40)
What was relevant in customer marketing at the beginning of 2022 might not be anymore, and consumer habits will continue to shift and change. With a new year almost upon us, we got Scott’s take on what customer marketing trends we might see in 2023 and how you can stay ahead of the curve.
Scott noted a few key areas to keep an eye out for, or learn more about for yourself:
Influencers: In Scott’s opinion, most customer marketers don’t do enough with influencers. He recommends taking time to understand the different “flavors” of influencers, such as those on LinkedIn, in Slack groups, and on TikTok or other content platforms. Take time to break down the ecosystem where they interact with followers and how that affects their content.
Experiential marketing: How do you bring together a live activity and an asynchronous activity, and turn that into a complete experience? It’s important to consider how to keep the momentum going after the event is over, whether you’re hosting a webinar, conference, or another kind of meetup.
Scott also recommends thinking about your SEO and how you build out your search, and considering how you can leverage voice to boost your content (ie. listening instead of reading).
“We often don’t talk about the emotional aspect of what we are doing, and how you can use that emotional aspect to bring your customers closer together, or closer to the brand.”
Where can marketers find more resources to drive customer-led growth
(Listen from 10:36)
Since we last had him on the show, Scott has been working on a project to bring together more resources for learning about customer-led growth. While there are plenty of talented practitioners in the customer marketing space, he noticed there was still room to drive awareness and integrate all tools together.
This, combined with the prediction that customer marketers will start to play an increasingly important role in helping a company truly be customer-first, led to the creation of the CLG (customer-led growth) Campus. It’s best described as a community built to empower customer marketers and people in customer-facing roles to learn, collaborate, and grow together.
The driving vision was an integrated experience with all the resources you need to truly be customer-led, including templates, webinars, and courses. Learning paths offer curated content around a single topic, with all content coming from practitioners to help each other out.
Check out the CLG Campus here to learn more about putting the customer front and center through the whole journey.
How can you capitalize on and prepare for a potential economic downturn?
(Listen from 25:00)
Economic prosperity and downturns have been a common discussion topic among businesses this past year, especially with layoffs happening (seemingly often) in the market.
As a customer marketing manager, how can you capitalize on and prepare for potential economic unrest?
Scott emphasizes that while many growth strategies are still focused on the acquisition stage, you should focus on the current customers who are sticking with you. As switching costs become lower and lower, start focusing on retention and those critical programs that will encourage your customers to stay loyal.
If you have a community or user groups, think of how you can get them involved in content creation, and even leverage their experience and knowledge to build functionality:
“At Intuit, not only did we have user-created content but we also had user-created functionality. We had some of our users help create widgets for accounting and things like that.” (27:00)
What’s important to remember here is that while there are financial reasons to justify customer marketing, something that gets lost is the emotional connection behind these customer-focused initiatives. At the end of the day, you’re dealing with people, not just doing the tactical work.
“We often don’t talk about the emotional aspect of what we are doing, and how you can use that emotional aspect to bring your customers closer together, or closer to the brand.” (30:45)
“One of my mantras is: Help them master the product, help them improve their craft, and accelerate their careers. Sometimes as marketers we forget about the last two, but it’s important to help them be better at what they do”
Is now a good time to start up customer marketing in your company?
(Listen from 27:42)
Considering the state of the economy and many companies re-evaluating their marketing budget allocation, is now a good time to start up a customer marketing initiative? Or should you wait until you think you have a better chance of it getting adopted in your organization?
As Scott puts it, if you have customers and want to hold on to them, then do it! To get started, think about what kind of programs you can do to help customers meet their needs and be successful.
“One of my mantras is: Help them master the product, help them improve their craft, and accelerate their careers. Sometimes as marketers we forget about the last two, but it’s important to help them be better at what they do”. (28:30)
Put yourself in the shoes of your customer, and think about how you can help them be more successful in their role. This gives you a much better chance of your programs driving the results and retention you want.
Listen to the full episode for even more expert advice on leveling up your customer advocacy initiatives. Special thanks to Scott for being on the show (again)!
Connect with Scott on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wilder/
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