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2017 Customer Marketing Predictions - RO Innovation


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With all the emerging technology, strategies and tactics to activate the voice of your customer, it can feel overwhelming to know where to put your focus. RO Innovation has compiled stats and opinions from some of the top professionals in the industry on what they think is on the customer marketing horizon in 2017.

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2017 Customer Marketing Predictions - RO Innovation

  1. 1. Customer Reference Predictions
  2. 2. 2017 – The Year of the Customer It’s almost 2017 – wow, 2016 went fast! Like us, you’re probably wondering what’s in store for the year ahead. With all the emerging technology, strategies and tactics to activate the voice of your customer, it can feel overwhelming to know where to put your focus. To help, we’ve compiled stats and opinions from some of the top professionals in the industry on what they think is on the customer marketing horizon in the coming year. Cheers to an amazing year!
  3. 3. Buyers Rely on Peers More Than Ever B2B buyers had #TrustIssues in 2016. They were skeptical of vendor sales and marketing messages and began turning to their peers more than ever to help them cut through the noise and make buying decisions. That makes your existing customers – and more importantly their advocacy and reference activities – more vital assets than ever heading into 2017.
  4. 4. Research says so, too! CXO’s make purchasing decisions 25% faster with a good reference. - IDC Research The #1 thing that Buyers said influence their preference to purchase is references… - Gartner Effective customer evidence can reduce the sales cycle by 17-30% - Mainstay Partners Customers are 4x more likely to buy when referred by a friend. - Neilsen 53% of buyers rely on peer recommendations before making a purchase decision. – DemandGen
  5. 5. Source: Inbound Conference, 2016
  6. 6. But forget what the numbers say. What do YOUR PEERS think 2017 will hold?
  7. 7. “When you can tap into and leverage the voice of the customer, that goes so much farther than a salesperson giving you their spiel. When you get to speak to a peer about their experience with the same product you’re evaluating, there is so much more credibility, power and value in that.” Spencer Duncan North American Reference Coordinator, Ceridian Peer-to-Peer Selling
  8. 8. “Prospects put more weight on social proof from their peers than they do anything else. When our customers say, ‘I’ve used this product and I saved X amount of money or time,’ it lends a lot more credibility to our brand. This is why advocate-authored content is critical to reach buyers today.” Chris Peltz Customer Success Operations Manager, HP Software Peer-to-Peer Selling
  9. 9. “Bottom line is this: people buy from people they like. People they trust. They’d rather hear the unbiased, unfiltered story directly from their peer’s perspective because they know it doesn’t have marketing’s spin. That’s the content buyers want now, and why the voice of the customer is more important than ever.” Rae Harrison Manager, Global Customer Reference Program, Palo Alto Networks Peer-to-Peer Selling
  10. 10. “Your best salespeople are not on your payroll. Your best salespeople are your customers who are willing to advocate on your behalf.” Jill Rowley Social Selling Evangelist Peer-to-Peer Selling
  11. 11. “Peer influencers will be measured as one of the highest contributors and accelerators of qualified, interested opportunities for B2B companies. As attribution tracking gets better, we'll be able to quantify just how important peer influencers are, and how impactful they are directly to your pipeline.” Matt Heinz President, Heinz Marketing Tracking the Impact on Pipeline
  12. 12. “While the demand for references will continue to rise, customer marketing and reference programs will still struggle with limited resources. Customer programs will need to make strategic decisions to ensure their programs are providing value and impact back to the business.” Marie Ross Founding Partner, Next Level Customer Marketing Prove the Impact of Customer Programs
  13. 13. “Customer marketers will become more proactive and make Voice of the Customer content easier to share, easier to consume and easier to measure.” Robb Verna Director, Customer 4 Life Marketing, Greenway Health Easy Access and Use of VOC Content
  14. 14. “With the realization that Account Based Marketing can provide big returns, it only makes sense that customer reference or advocacy will become all the more critical. If you want to cross sell and up sell, you’ll need a free-flowing inventory of happy customers at the ready.” Nancy Nardin President, Smart Selling Tools, Inc. Integration with Account Based Marketing
  15. 15. “Customers are talking about stuff all the time, on practically every social channel available. Our job will be to turn all that chatter into productive dialogue. It’s not only about understanding what’s working with our customers, but also what’s NOT working so we can have a conversation with them and improve that to build a happier, stronger relationship with them.” Mary Ketter Global Customer Reference Manager, JDA Software Improve the Customer Experience
  16. 16. “In 2017, there will be a greater focus on customer success and leveraging references. I also foresee more social media vehicles for identifying and activating references.” Abby Atkinson Senior Manager, Customer Reference Program, FireEye Inc. Increased Focus on Customer Success
  17. 17. “Customer programs will continue to form new organizations, separate from the sales and marketing umbrella. These new organizations will have a sole focus around customer success and advocacy to help companies retain customers in our new subscription- based economy.” Kristen Hofstede Founding Partner, Next Level Customer Marketing New Departments Will Form
  18. 18. “The customer reference industry is experiencing major growth as it gets more recognition as part of purchasing requirement due diligence and a driver of sales for organizations.” Barbara Thomas Global Advocacy Marketing Team Lead, Microsoft Growth of Customer References
  19. 19. “Customer marketers will continue to work on the integration of disparate systems that provide customer insights. Incorporating cross-functional data helps provide a more comprehensive view of the customer.” Rich Witmer Director of Global Marketing, Intergraph PP&M Integration of Customer Technology
  20. 20. “In 2017, customer marketing will continue its rise in b-to-b marketing organizations as marketers leverage their knowledge of customer needs to support the achievement of retention, growth and advocacy goals.” Lisa Nakano Service Director, Customer Engagement Strategies, SiriusDecisions Critical Path for Achieving Goals
  21. 21. “Even in the era of VC money and unicorns, no business can survive if it can’t keep customers happy, drive adoption and usage, support customer business objectives and ultimately manage churn while increasing retention and upsell.” Sherrod Patching VP Customer Success, Leadspace Customer Success Plays a Bigger Role
  22. 22. ”The strategic importance of customer references will come to the forefront in 2017 as managers increasingly prove reference efficacy: from impact on demand creation, speed to close, ROI payoff and more.” Jim Mooney CEO, RO Innovation Elevating the Role of Customer References
  23. 23. Subscribe to RO Innovation’s monthly newsletter About RO Innovation RO Innovation is the world’s leading customer reference management platform designed to enable peer-to-peer selling. No other solution simultaneously activates the right content and voice of your customer at the right stage of the buyer’s journey, while providing real-time analytics on new revenue driven by customer advocacy. Learn more at Make sure you stay on top of these trends…and any others that emerge in 2017!