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Diary of a first-time CMO - Value customer loyalty

Hey B2B marketers

Here it is. Four years, $50m+ ARR and 200 pages later… My journey as a first-time CMO.

Covering the key learnings I've gathered in four years of leadership. This diary reveals the lessons that helped me scale Cognism from $3m to $50m ARR, build a team from 3 to 39, and transform our set-up from a classic lead gen function to a demand gen engine.

It’s my handbook for B2B marketers looking to thrive in leadership.

(especially if you’re as daunted as I was when I started out!)

Diary of a first-time CMO by Alice De Courcy
By: Alice de Courcy
1 minute read

Value customer loyalty

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Alice de Courcy's LinkedIn post about valuing customer loyalty

If you spend a lot of money on a gorgeous exotic plant, but then don’t take the time to give it water and sunlight, the plant won’t last very long.

Not a great investment… I’m sure we can all agree.

But if you do provide it with the light and nutrients it needs to thrive, it grows and looks beautiful for years to come.

In a roundabout way, that's why customer marketing is so important.

It’s about continuing to educate, excite and nurture the people who have invested in your business, so they want to stick around - and hopefully expand and renew.

You can see that customer marketing is growing in popularity in the B2B marketing world, but it’s still something I think can be massively undervalued.

I’ve definitely been guilty of this too - focusing too highly on acquiring customers and not enough on keeping our current customers really engaged.

But it’s important to keep this process alive, to continue to give consistent value all of the time.

We put so much time, money and effort into nurturing people into becoming customers, it seems such a waste to throw it all out the window after they commit.

Because our job isn’t done.

If you do customer marketing well, you then have a powerhouse brand with hundreds or thousands of brand advocates who can then feed into the content you put out on the demand generation side.

If you think I’m wrong about how many companies do customer marketing, just have a quick search on LinkedIn to see how many people have dedicated customer marketing roles… it’s not that many. And it’s nowhere close to the number of demand gen roles.

We hired a Global Head of Customer Marketing and a Senior Customer Marketing Exec. They work together to enable our customers, while also ensuring our demand generation messaging reaches them.

This post on LinkedIn was simply an appreciation post for the positive experience and treatment I had at Reachdesk (who we’re still a customer of today).

Customer marketing is still a relatively new and emerging focus area for marketing so there’s no set blueprint for how it’s done right now and we’re still finding our feet at Cognism.

But we’ve split it out into four main categories:

  • Advocacy
  • Expansion
  • Retention
  • Community

And within each of those categories, there is a whole variety of activities that can be done.

Of those four, I believe that retention is one of the most important levers you can pull, especially in a B2B SaaS company where you want to scale your growth.

Acquiring new customers is expensive, so it’s unrealistic to be growing at an optimal rate if you’re losing customers through a leaky bucket on the back end.

Retaining them, increasing their LTV and ultimately making your money back from the cost of acquiring them is going to be a lot more successful.

So we want to put as much effort into our customer marketing as we do into our demand generation. That means investing in it accordingly moving forwards.

Want to keep up with Alice's latest CMO advice?

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