Align Your Customer Marketing to Business Metrics with TrustRadius
In today’s economy, customer marketing is more important than ever. It’s much more efficient to retain and grow your customer base than acquire new customers. However, you see it everywhere, customer marketing is the first thing to be cut. Why? Customer marketing is seen as a nice-to-have rather than a strategic growth driver for the business.
As a customer marketer, these realities make your job more difficult than ever. This is why TrustRadius loves working with customer marketers to create programs that truly engage and activate the customer base. Now more than ever, customer marketers have to establish themselves as growth drivers for the business. They not only have to retain and upsell the base but also use the customer voice to win new buyers.
Biggest challenges of today’s customer marketer
Today’s customer marketer thinks in terms of volume instead of business impact. How many pieces of content did I generate? How many references do we have? What is the status of our product on a review site? In tandem, customers are becoming more elusive and can easily be distracted by the constant marketing of your competitors. Customer marketers have to adapt to stay top of mind and attribute their programs to business metrics that matter.
Self-service > talking to a vendor rep
Instead of talking with sales reps, buyers are turning to self-service opportunities such as transparent pricing, readily available demos and product specs, and free trials. According to our 2022 B2B Buying Disconnect report, virtually 100% of buyers want to self-serve all or part of their buying journey—this includes your current customer base.
This data means that it’s more difficult than ever for vendors to get in touch with potential customers. It also brings up the challenge of maintaining customer loyalty and mitigating churn, especially if buyers are already too deep in the evaluation process of purchasing another (replacement) software. In fact, because of this need for self-service, buyers are expecting sales to become much more consultative in nature, and are only willing to speak to representatives who can validate marketing claims with social proof.
Buying happens in unstructured committees, making it difficult for expansion
Anyone in the organization is able to research products and influence decisions. So buying, retention, and expansion decision processes have become much more collaborative. In fact, collaboration among buying decision-makers has increased by 33% since the pandemic began.
Although collaboration among the buying committee has increased, it is often highly unstructured. The way buyers organize and share this information is fragmented and has caused major buying shifts. This means that it can be difficult to get in touch with specific points of contact in order to retain or expand accounts and prevent churn. This shift from individuals making purchasing decisions to committees also means that customer marketers will need to start thinking beyond their primary points of contact in order to keep them as customers. Since buying committees are more broad now, it’s imperative for customer marketers to reach a broader audience at the company and create advocacy across stakeholders.
Buyers want social proof, and a variety of it
Buyers not only want self-service channels, but they want many of them to be third-party sources, such as user reviews and forums, not just vendor-generated materials. Research from the 2022 B2B Buying Disconnect report showed that the use of vendor materials and resources has declined year over year. In fact, five out of six vendor-provided information sources saw drops in usage from 2021 to 2022. So you need your customers to help attract new buyers as well as influence current customers to stay and grow their relationship with you.
Millennials and Gen Z are becoming more influential on the buying process, and when asked which resources were most impactful, these two generations were the most likely to respond with “user reviews.”
Because of this need for third-party validation, along with a diverse buying committee, customer marketers face the challenge of collecting excellent social proof for several buying personas, then making this material easy to distribute. It also gets difficult to figure out how to identify testimonials and user reviews that shed positive light on your product, all while being authentic to an audience in search of validity.
How TrustRadius helps
Start with the basics of a review site (house your company’s profile and collect customer reviews) and transform them into helpful tools for customer marketing teams. We focus on taking the reviews on our website and turning them into a plethora of useful assets and data, all contributing deep insights into the journey and intent of your customer.
Of all the TrustRadius solution modules, here are the ones other customer marketers have the most success with.
- Custom questions
- Review generation and refresh
- Reference generation and management
- TrustQuotes Library
- TrustRadius awards
- Premium content assets
- Downstream intent data
You can build out a review management program with TrustRadius, choosing target customers to review your product, then sending them a branded landing page with custom questions.
By using custom questions to direct your users as they write reviews, you can tell a genuine customer story, but with the framework that your sales and marketing teams need. Responses to custom questions also allow you to rapidly build an approved quote and reference library and develop helpful assets such as use cases, case studies, and testimonials. These responses lend themselves to a tailored go-to-market differentiation strategy, allowing you and your team to present direct quotes to customers that back the claims made in your sales and marketing messaging.
Review generation and refresh
The review generation program and refresh feature gives customer marketers opportunities to collect new, up-to-date reviews from existing customers. Our review generation programs make it simple to reach out to customers and collect valuable reviews. We offer resources such as customized landing pages and even TrustRadius-managed outreach campaigns to use in tandem with the custom questionnaire, helping you collect the right details from your customers.
The refresh feature helps you gain additional insights from customers who have submitted a review in the past. This especially helps if you’ve made new changes to your custom questions or if you want customers to dive deeper into a particular section or answer an additional custom question. Refreshing your reviews helps by collecting new information on how users are interacting with a new feature or getting more recent insights from a user who left their initial review a long time ago.
No other review site allows you to develop custom questions to highlight the use case and features you want to be known for as well as refresh content. We know how valuable reviews are and we want them to work for you.
Reference generation and management
Through TrustRadius’ reference identification, buyers who leave reviews can also opt-in to be contacted and used as official references in the future. This allows you to identify customers who are willing to participate in case studies, provide more in-depth feedback, attend events, etc.
Our reference identification tool organizes candidates in a dashboard and allows customer marketers to reveal the identities of hand-raisers who are anonymous on TrustRadius’ public-facing site. We also give them the ability in the vendor profile to download this list of reference candidates as a spreadsheet for easy organization and internal distribution.
With the TrustQuotes Library, you can easily tag reviews to create a library of easy-to-access customer quotes. One of the easiest ways for your organization to access the quotes is with our QuoteFinder Chrome extension. Vendors can easily pull highly relevant quotes during sales conversations and while creating marketing resources. You can search for keywords and pull up relevant, quotable moments from reviews to provide third-party social proof that’s valuable to today’s buyers. Validate your marketing claims by adding customer quotes to things like emails, pitch decks, one-pagers, customer story pages, etc.
TrustRadius awards are a great way to make your brand stand out from the competition within your category and boost credibility with customers. We offer opportunities throughout the year for vendors to earn awards and we choose winners entirely based on customer sentiment. So, in other words, awards are a direct reflection of your relationship with your customers and can be a tangible way to show how your product addresses customer needs. TrustRadius award badges displayed on branded content such as email signatures, RFP footers, pitch decks, one-pagers, etc. are eye-catching. But more importantly, award badges reiterate that your product values the voice of your customer, helps to keep a good rapport with your existing customers, and gives you a way to get a leg up on competitors.
Premium content assets
Because today’s audience puts so much value on reviews and peer feedback, it’s helpful to use content such as awards and customer quotes in ads or landing page content. TrustRadius facilitates the creation of insightful customer quotes with our premium licensed content features. By collecting detailed, meaningful reviews, you not only provide potential buyers with useful information while they are on TrustRadius, you can also create a bank of customer quotes to use across your own channels. As a TrustRadius customer, your team gets unlimited use of all customer reviews and content.
Downstream intent data
Downstream intent data is a collected set of buyer signals from TrustRadius indicating that someone is researching your product or your competitors. It can be gathered from sources such as product profile pages or buyers researching pricing or comparing you to an alternative solution. Our downstream intent data actually allows you to access in-market buyers who are actively evaluating both you and your competitors on TrustRadius.
With the Salesforce Connector, you can integrate downstream intent data into your sales pipeline, optimizing your ABM strategy and mitigating churn risk. Combining the features of Salesforce with TrustRadius’ powerful insights of your customers means you can monitor behavior indicative of churn risks or expansion opportunities.
In fact, TrustRadius customers who integrated our downstream intent data with the Salesforce Connector find that on average, 31% of the accounts researching them on TrustRadius are known accounts in their Salesforce. This means you can identify customers or potential buyers to target based on your TrustRadius presence.
After installing the Salesforce Connector only one month prior, an enterprise client attributed four new accounts and influenced $44,000 in pipeline, which the customer marketer said “paid for the program!” Another well-known revenue intelligence tool discovered that 61% of accounts that were researching them or their competitors on TrustRadius fit into their ideal customer profile (ICP).
Downstream intent data helps customer marketers align their review programs to a company’s bottom line—revenue.
Customer marketing resources
As a customer marketer, you have to align your programs to business metrics that matter. TrustRadius helps you collect the most detailed reviews and valuable social proof, fueling your customer marketing initiatives with rich, usable content.
As our 2022 B2B Buying Disconnect survey also uncovered, user reviews are ranked among the top three ways that buyers research products before deciding to make a purchase. Tech buyers are already on review sites, making the data collected on our website especially valuable. Your programs can be tied to actual revenue, therefore securing you as a growth driver for the company.
After all, your role is vital to the success of the entire business—it’s up to you to help with incoming revenue and retain customers. As you go after these daunting goals, we’re here to help you succeed.
Downloadable checklist to get started
Download our guide 7 Ways TrustRadius Helps Identify and Promote Brand Advocates to learn tactical ways to identify strong customer advocates and keep tabs on churn. We also provide lots of different ways for you to maximize social proof from your star customers across your brand’s external-facing assets. We provide a variety of creative, flexible resources like scorecards, web widgets, downloadable graphics, and so much more.
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