Customer Success-driven Marketing: Targeting Offline Customers

Customer Success should drive everything your company does, including sales and marketing.

When it comes to targeting customers that aren’t online, first, I’d push back on the assumption that your customers aren’t online.

Second, I’d remind you that Customer Success-driven Marketing means understand the customer’s Desired Outcome so you can craft a message that gets their attention and then understanding where to put that message so they see it.

Let’s dig in, shall we?

For context, on Friday, May 19, 2017, I did a Customer Success Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Facebook live. It was awesome. The video is embedded below and below that is the transcript (edited for better readability) that answers the question.

How do I target my customers when they’re not online?

So this question – How do I target my customer other than cold call if they’re not online and/or prefer to know you in person, for example Farmers? – is not necessarily a Customer Success question. But certainly a Customer Success-driven Growth question. And I work with companies across the life cycle.

I do a lot of, actually a fair amount of work in what I call Customer Success-driven sales. In fact we just had a podcast drop with Bowery Capital today, talking about Customer Success-driven sales. And I’ll post that to all my different social media outlets. So you can listen to that. It’s, I think it’ll be very enlightening.

So Customer Success-driven sales is, you know, again ensuring that we’re doing business with the, with customers that can be successful. That we’re reaching out to, that we’re interacting with and ultimately that we’re closing good fit customers… customers with success potential.

You can buy the best Customer Success software.

You can go to the best Customer Success events.

You can do all the best Customer Success tactics.

But if you’re bringing in bad fit customers, none of that matters. If you’re bringing in customers that have no success potential, why invest in Customer Success? It doesn’t make sense. Obviously, there are lots of reasons why you should invest in Customer Success. So, you should also be making sure that you’re bringing in the right fit customers.

So what I would say, is, so going to answer the question specifically, how do you get in front of customers that aren’t online or in front of customers that … What was the other part of the question? That aren’t online or?

So how do you get in front of people that aren’t online? Chances are, people are online. You may just not be, you may need to get creative. I mean Facebook ads are a huge way to get in front of people. Like, I don’t remember how many, what massive percentage of the Earth’s population are on Facebook. So there’s a really good chance that you can actually get in front of them.

But if not, good old fashioned direct mail works guys. I know a lot of people, I don’t want to say a lot. Actually, I know a handful of people who are just crushing it by sending out real live mail. Right? I was looking to see if I had a piece of mail to show you, in case you don’t remember what a piece of postal mail looks like. It’s like a piece of paper, it’s an envelope, there’s stuff in it. Maybe it’s a bigger envelope with like a book in it.

That stuff is crushing it because, the reason I really wanted to say that I really don’t see a lot of people doing this. And I said a handful is because, not a lot of people are using direct mail. Which means there’s not a lot of noise. And yet I can get something of value directly to the person that I want to get it to. Whereas they’re getting 1000 emails a day from, you know, people reaching out cold. They’re not gonna get 1000 pieces of mail. They’re gonna get a couple.

And if I can make mine stand out, if it’s enough of a high value client, I’m gonna do it Fedex. Or I’m gonna do it DHL. I’m gonna send it, like, I’m gonna make sure that this really really stands out. And then I’m gonna track it. And I’m gonna call them right when I see that it was delivered. Or give them a little bit of time.

So that’s how I would, I mean, you can find that information. You can buy those lists or whatever. Easily. Right?

And so, we want to figure out how to get in front of them. That’s what I would do. Is like, if they’re not online and I can’t figure out how to reach them on Facebook or LinkedIn or something like that. But I would always push back on that and be like you sure they’re not online?

Which goes to the other part of the question. Just because they’re online, or just because you can reach them via FedEx or whatever. That doesn’t mean that you’re gonna be able to close them online. Or that you’re gonna be able to use that FedEx to give them a link to go and buy.

That may be the thing that opens up the conversation with them, but they still might want to meet you. They may still want to buy from you in person. And this goes back to Appropriate Experience. Appropriate Experience is what? It’s across the entire customer lifecycle. And starts with sales and marketing. And it goes all the way through the three, five, seven, ten years or more that they could be our customer.

I had a, I did a workshop in Ireland last year sometime. And, I had a lot of people from Europe there. And we’re talking about the stuff and a guy came up to me and he said, “I have a problem doing business in Spain”. In Spain, and this was this guy’s experience, so again, rash generalization here, but he said in Spain, they like to take three-hour lunches. That’s how, you know, when you’re going through the buying process with a prospect, it’s all about relationship.

They like to take a long lunch and just get to know you. And he said: “What I’m hearing is that’s just part of their Appropriate Experience, and I can’t really fight that.” And I said exactly. That’s a cultural thing. Like you’re probably not in a position to shape their culture yet. Maybe we’ll get there right? Maybe at some point you’ll be in a position. Do that. But right now, not gonna happen.

So, if you want to do business (what I told him). If you want to do business in Spain, in this particular segment at least, you’re probably gonna have to have those three-hour lunches. And if you cannot do a three-hour lunch, you don’t have the resources, you don’t have the time. You can’t go to Spain ’cause maybe they’re not based there. You can’t get sort of in person with the customer.

Then we would say, geographically, regionally, customers in Spain are a bad fit. Now if a customer in Spain comes to him, and says we want to buy from you. He could just straight up say that’s cool. I don’t come to Spain very often so we’re gonna have to do this over the phone. Or we’re gonna have to do this over the Web. He can manage those expectations because they’re coming to him.

But if it’s a situation where they’re spending time and resources and money, trying to get in front of Spanish customers, then they either need to conform to the social and cultural norms in Spain or they’re not gonna be successful. And so, the thing was we’re not gonna target Spain anymore. Because we can’t sell the way they want to buy.

It’s like, when you say, I really want to have a no touch, really like a no touch experience with our customers. I want to just have somebody be able to buy with a credit card. And I never have to talk to them. That’s what you want. That’s how you want to sell.

Your customers, however, want to buy a certain way. And it may not be that credit card. May not be a low touch or no touch situation. You can choose to try to force your method on them. Or you can choose to do business the way they want. That’s Appropriate Experience.

So that’s an example of Appropriate Experience just going across the entire customer lifecycle.

About Lincoln Murphy

I am a Customer Success Consultant focused on Customer Success-driven Growth. I wrote the Customer Success book which you can buy at Amazon. If you need help applying Customer Success-driven Growth principles in your company or would like me to speak at your event, please contact me. Also, connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

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