Is Marketo A Secret Weapon For Customer Retention?

8 Dec 2022

Marketo can be a Secret Weapon to Increase Customer Retention

The customer loyalty landscape has changed. 

Pre-pandemic loyalty programs were heavy on discounts; back in 2017, 64% of UK consumers indicated value for money as the biggest driver.

Today, customers are looking for convenience, value, and empathy. They’re not looking to be bombarded with discounts or deals, according to MasterCard’s research.

In our experience as CXM consultants, the best customer retention programs are designed to:

  • Make a personal connection
  • Demonstrate that the brand understands their audience
  • Offer a unique experience
  • Engage at the exact right moment

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, more than 75% of customers have changed their buying habits. Holding on to customers long-term remains a pre-eminent challenge for marketers.

But with the right martech, a customer-focused strategy, and internal alignment, you can build stronger customer connections and increase lifetime value.

Why is CLV important?

Customer lifetime value, or CLV, is a hotly contested marketing metric. Some marketers swear by CLV as a success measure, while others place greater emphasis on revenue.

CLV is important. Whether it’s the most important measure depends on your business goals, but long-term loyalty is always valuable.

An oft-quoted statistic from Bain & Company is that a 5% increase in customer retention yields a 25% profit increase. McKinsey’s research had similar results, finding that the top-performing loyalty programs can boost revenue by 15-25% among customers who redeem points.

But customer retention isn’t confined to loyalty programs. 

Although loyalty programs are effective, other avenues exist to increase retention rates, deepen customer relationships, and deliver against growth goals.

5 ways to increase customer retention in 2023 and beyond

1. Use discounts strategically 

It might seem counterintuitive to lower prices to boost revenue. However, McKinsey’s research found that’s exactly what happens.

Lowering the price of redemptions in loyalty activity can boost sales by reigniting interest in dormant customers. In other words, incentivising loyalty with discounts works. 

There are caveats, of course.

What McKinsey calls “redemption elasticity” seems to work for small price reductions, so there’s no need to offer Black Friday-scale deals.

You also need to know:

  • Which products or services to discount
  • By how much
  • When and for how long

There’s a wealth of data involved in crafting your offer message. Keep reading to learn how Marketo Engage can deliver the insights you need to make those decisions.

2. Make it easy

Customers are experiencing pandemic fatigue. Try to lighten their burden by providing personalised, value-adding customer experiences.

They don’t necessarily need to be purchase-orientated experiences. Instead of rewarding repeated purchases, try to find the experience that will add value to the interaction.

You can use Marketo Engage to:

  • Identify the most engaging channel or activity
  • Uncover insights for cross- and up-sell opportunities
  • Find pain points and barriers
  • Test different tactics 
  • Send behaviour-based communication

Perhaps your customers would prefer free shipping over a bonus gift. Maybe they are still under contract with another vendor, but want to stay connected until the time comes to change.

Customer journeys are non-linear and largely unpredictable. To boost retention rates, you need to anticipate your audience segments and simplify the interaction experience.

3. Test and learn

You don’t need to go all-in with an all-out retention strategy. It’ll catch your audience off-guard and create a kind of customer experience whiplash that ultimately backfires.

Plus, it’s expensive.

  • Start slowly by gathering engagement data and building a strategy
  • Work with other departments – especially sales – to tweak, refine, and test engagement tactics
  • Segment audiences using rich data; micro-segments make for more targeted engagement opportunities
  • Ask for feedback from customers, both directly and by analysing engagement data
  • Use your martech tools like Marketo Engage to build processes, templates and systems that streamline engagement
  • Focus on customer experiences rather than acquisition rates, at least among your test segments

Marketo’s AI-powered analytics provides rich behavioural data that you can use to identify opportunities among targeted segments, and tailor the customer experience accordingly. 

4. Align sales and marketing strategies

Customer retention is a team effort.

Aligning marketing messaging to sales initiatives improves engagement, leading to higher conversion rates and greater loyalty. The experience from the customer’s perspective is consistent, coherent, and continuous.

Marketo Engage is the key to sales and marketing alignment

The platform is designed to bridge the divide and break down data siloes, creating a bi-directional data link between CRMs and marketing activity.

Ingrained intelligence helps you identify high-potential accounts based on best fit, intention, prior engagement, and granular interaction data. From there, Adobe’s Sensei AI powers personalised cross-channel customer experiences – what they call the “white glove experience”.

3. Combine data-driven intelligence with intuition

Martech is a crucial enabler, not a replacement for marketing expertise. 

So much of the customer retention challenge resides in feelings. 

    • Your feelings as a marketer: The intuition and insight you possess about the audiences you know
    • The customers’ feelings: What they need from your brand might have changed, so find out how to make them feel appreciated
  • Salespeople’s feelings: CRM data, enriched with Marketo behavioural insight, can help you connect on a deeper level

Use the wealth of marketing data at your disposal to craft personalised journeys with empathetic messaging. You can time your interactions perfectly with behaviour-based triggers, so the customer always feels like you’re anticipating their needs.

How Marketo Engage brings it all together

At the top of this post, we outlined the components of an effective retention strategy. Marketo Engage has corresponding features that help you understand, engage, nurture and retain customers and key accounts.

Your retention strategy should…

Marketo Engage can…

Make a personal connection
  • Provide salespeople with deeper insight
  • Personalise content on any channel
Demonstrate understanding
Offer a unique experience
  • Segment audiences using AI
  • Make landing pages more responsive and user-friendly
Engage at the exact right moment
  • Send behaviour-based or timed emails with rich content
  • Coordinate online and offline activity
  • Alert sales to hot leads

How are your retention rates? 

TAP CXM helps brands engage with their audiences on a deeper level. Combining strategy, systems, people, and processes, we co-design an approach that works for our clients long-term.

We’ve seen how the world of customer experience management has changed. And we’re proactively working with tools like Marketo Engage to provide richer, more rewarding experiences.

Get in touch to speak with a Marketo expert or see our work in action.

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