This is week 3 of my growth blogging series.
3. Stimulate growth within new and existing customer segments through higher brand awareness, reduced churn of existing customers, and dramatically higher levels of customer satisfaction, delight and advocacy.
Winning net new names requires different approaches and is between 4-9 times more difficult (depending on the research you look at) than up- or cross-selling into existing accounts. Penetrating the market and winning market share from the competition as well as growing in the installed base, have some things in common though. And this is ultimately the product quality – incl. innovative and useful/beneficial feature sets which really solve business issues, ease-of-use for faster user adoption of our products, and maximized return on investments, plus lower total costs of ownership and implementation, and some other solution delivery specific parameters.
Brand awareness could for instance be driven by corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, (funny) viral and social marketing campaigns, and the introduction of topics/products within schools and universities, like free-of-charge product access or elder product versions. Such and other broad measures would assure to be known outside the box and our brand would be understood to be valuable for the entire world, and not only for selective jobs. Companies – people! – would be instantly reminded of us when they might have an appropriate need.
A reduced churn of customers, and higher customer happiness can best be driven by product quality and a highly professional service and support infrastructure/organization. What the sales teams promise and sell, and the product finally does needs to go hand in hand. The product usability and feature set, as well as the response time and provided help when needed (by service/consulting and support teams), must be market leading to keep customers with us, specifically in a cloud/SaaS business, and get prospects convinced when executing proof of concepts.
It’s very useful to make surveys to understand from customers and partners what influences their buying decision, and what product improvements they would like to see…take that, make some nice market messaging around that, collect product/feature requirements from the market/customers/partners and ship them to create the market leading solutions…this will also drive attention among analysts and helps to be recognized for awards. Such awards are specifically helpful to create brand awareness in North America, the United Kingdom, and the Asia, Pacific, Japan regions.
Also methods like MOOCs and social online learning rooms offer great toolsets to stay connected to the market and to existing customers – moderators, admins or bloggers, such as business development and demand gen teams can influence target groups easily and get feedback at the same time. Of course there is even potential for service and support groups to leverage such online communities to help/enable customers. Also partners have great ways for self-enablement (incl. how to sell). Education, such as product trainings, could become more and more a low-cost, maybe free-of-charge topic which customers and partners can access online. This also leads to a great value prop and drives excellent brand awareness in the market, to scale the business.
Looking forward to next week and to get your thoughts.