3 Things CMOs Should Do During an Economic Downturn

The primary mission of a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is to foster growth, attract new leads, and increase sales by effectively communicating the value the company’s products and services can provide. But during an economic downturn, when companies are cutting costs and putting a halt on investing in new products, the CMO’s focus has to switch from facilitating growth through new customers to promoting growth via the company’s current customer base.   

Let’s look at three things CMOs should do during tumultuous economic times to support their current customer base and promote retention and expansion. 

1. Maximize Your Return on Investments

During an economic downturn, your greatest investment should be in your current customer base. And in order to maximize your ROI, you should be focusing on retention and customer satisfaction strategies. The key to retaining your customers during market uncertainty is to help them see the value they’re experiencing from  using your product. To do this effectively, start by breaking each stage of the customer journey down into a unique customer experience that comes with its own actionable, measurable goals and KPIs for achieving success. From there, you’re able to generate customer momentum and reduce the time-to-value. The sooner your customers see value and experience ROI, the quicker you can strengthen your partnership with them and positively impact customer loyalty and advocacy.

Totango’s composable customer success platform makes it easy to break each stage of the customer journey down with our modular SuccessBLOCs. Each SuccessBLOC features ready-to-use templates, goals and KPIs, segmentation functionalities, workflow automations and campaigns that are based on data-driven best practices. Start at whatever stage of the journey you want to optimize and then iterate and grow from there.

2. Make Your Company Relevant 

The best way to keep a customer on board with your company is to keep them engaged. And the best way to do that is through communication, so it’s important that you promote open channels of communication with your customers to solidify your relevancy for their business and to drive efficient growth. Take some time to think through why your company and your product/service are crucial to the health and growth of their business, and then craft and deliver personalized messages to your customers communicating this information. 


Using a digital engagement model can help you better deliver and scale these important communications. Totango’s Engage Customers SuccessBLOC makes it easy for you to drive customer engagement with automated retention and expansion activities to scale your engagement model and help you stay top-of-mind with customers. With this SuccessBLOC, you are able to leverage data-driven insights and analytics to communicate the unique value of your company and product and implement a proactive customer nurture strategy using automation features that scale to support thousands of customers – all without the need to add more headcount to your team or enlist the support of your IT department.

3. Be Proactive About Customer Health 

Customer health is a critical component of your overall customer success program – especially during periods of market uncertainty. That’s why it’s important to have real-time, complete customer context that enables you to proactively engage with your customers and optimize the value they are receiving from your solution. You can evaluate the health of your customers by measuring key indicators like product usage and engagement, service utilization, customer satisfaction scores (i.e. NPS or CSAT) and outstanding support tickets. 

With Totango’s Analyze Customer Health SuccessBLOC, you can easily and quickly understand and improve the health of your customers. Our dimensional health models enable businesses to understand the health of their customers and engage accounts when their health changes. With this SuccessBLOC, you’re able to capitalize on reference and advocacy opportunities for accounts that are in good health, proactively identify and engage with accounts in poor health to get them back on track, and analyze health by dimension to pinpoint gaps in your engagement strategy and identify where your customers excel in an intelligent and automated way.   

Another way Totango helps you to stay on top of customer health is through our Detect Risk SuccessBLOC. This app gives you instant visibility into customer signals and critical events, alerting you to proactively engage when needed. With this SuccessBLOC, you are able to easily identify customers who may be at risk due to issues like low product adoption, poor financial standing or leadership changes. It also enables you to become more proactive and data-driven by creating a system that automatically alerts you to customers who need your attention.   

Don’t Let an Economic Downturn Slow Down Your Customer Success

While an economic downturn may mean you have to readjust your strategies, it doesn’t mean your growth efforts need to cease. By working to keep the lines of communication open with your customers, investing in customer retention strategies and being proactive about your customers’ health, CMOs are able to continue to facilitate growth and help the organization gain a competitive advantage, no matter what the markets look like. To help accomplish these goals, Totango’s composable customer success platform enables you to empower your teams to mix, match and build a foundation for success in seconds, see immediate results and then scale as you grow. See for yourself by signing up for Totango for free today!


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