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Leading the Industry: Base’s Inaugural Customer-Led Growth (CLG) Survey

Leading the Industry: Base’s Inaugural Customer-Led Growth (CLG) Survey

Recognizing the significance of CLG, Base has undertaken an inaugural annual survey to gauge the state of Customer Marketing and CLG adoption. Dedicated to fueling the evolution of CLG, the report delves into critical questions: How are organizations planning to advance their Customer Marketing and CLG initiatives internally? What hurdles hinder progress, and how can these obstacles be overcome to foster greater buy-in and measurement?

What Are the Top CLG Programs CMOs Invested in During 2022 and What’s Planned For 2023?

TODAY

  • Advocacy (65%)
  • Customer Education (56%)
  • Community (54%)

PLANNED 

  • Reference Management (50%)
  • Customer Advisory Boards (45%)
  • Expansion (44%)

Unveiling the Revenue Reality: Prioritizing Existing Customers for Growth

In the realm of B2B marketing, it was Forrester Research who officially unveiled the staggering reality: 75-80% of organizational revenues are derived from existing customers. But an overwhelming 70% of efforts and resources are dedicated to acquiring new customers, leaving a mere 30% for addressing post-sale customer needs. This disparity calls for a shift in approach and a renewed focus on Customer-Led Growth (CLG) strategies.

Unlocking the Sales Pipeline: The Power of CLG

By nurturing customer relationships beyond the point of sale, businesses can deepen their connection with their customer base and unlock new avenues for growth. We know by now that, when implemented effectively, CLG has the potential to revolutionize the sales pipeline. It fosters reviews, referrals, and customer advocacy, thereby creating a network of trusted voices that bolster brand reputation and generate excitement among potential buyers. Furthermore, maintaining and expanding customer relationships plays a pivotal role in driving higher product adoption, soliciting valuable feedback, and opening doors to cross-selling and upselling opportunities. Ultimately, it leads to improved customer retention and maximized Lifetime Value (LTV).

The Rise of CLG Budgets: Fueling Growth and Measurement

The survey results indicate a growing investment in CLG initiatives, but a need for more strategic implementation is evident. While companies are actively engaging in activities such as advocacy programs, customer education, and community-building, the report suggests that a deeper, more comprehensive strategy is required. Experimentation and exploration of what works best for individual organizations is still underway.

Budget allocation for CLG is on the rise, signaling a growing recognition of its potential impact. In the United States, the CLG share of the marketing budget exceeded 12% in 2022, representing a 35% year-over-year increase. As the CLG industry matures, a shift towards metrics that emphasize ROI is expected. While volume and customer engagement remain important, metrics like upsell and cross-sell opportunities, net dollar retention, and lifetime value are gaining prominence as they align more closely with business goals.

Overcoming Hurdles: Strategies for CLG Success

Of course, challenges persist on the CLG journey. Understanding the Voice of the Customer (VoC), tracking the customer journey, identifying brand advocates, and accessing user-generated content are among the hurdles organizations face. However, the report underscores the importance of a well-defined strategy, supported by a feature rich CLG platform capable of tracking and automating various aspects of the customer journey.

Undoubtedly, embracing CLG as a core strategy requires a shift in company culture and a reshuffling of internal processes and communication practices. Larger organizations are at an advantage in spearheading this transformation, showcasing the impact of their CLG programs. As they demonstrate success, smaller organizations gain confidence and readiness to adopt CLG strategies, ultimately propelling their growth.

Culture Shift: Leading the Evolution of CLG 

Overall, the survey report paints a compelling picture of the untapped potential within Customer-Led Growth. It emphasizes the importance of adopting a holistic perspective that encompasses customer engagement, adoption, education, advocacy, and retention throughout the customer journey. By focusing on customer satisfaction, retention, and value creation, B2B marketing can navigate the current downturn and emerge as a beacon of excellence and resilience. Thought leaders and marketing trailblazers have the opportunity to lead this evolution and we look forward to witnessing its next step.  

Take a look at the full report, here.