At the Subscribed conference in San Francisco last May, I sat down to talk with Zuora about marketing in the subscription economy. Here’s a transcript; the video is below.
In the traditional marketing environment, a lot of marketers only keep their eye on the ball up to the point of the sale. They think about customer retention, but they really focus on lead acquisition, lead nurturing and conversion.
In the subscription economy, your work is just getting started at the point of conversion. Marketing needs to remain involved long after the sale.
[About subscribers and trust]
The difference between a subscriber and a customer is that a subscriber is a long-term relationship. And the relationship needs to ultimately be built on trust if it’s going to remain long term.
That’s a different way of think about people and customers, rather than making a sale.
In the subscription economy, organizational boundaries can present real barriers to the customer experience. If you think about some of the well-known subscription failures – things that have gone wrong – they’re often the case of information not flowing through the organization in a way that supports the customers.
We can’t look to customer service to take care of everything with a subscription relationship. Obviously customer service is critical, and it shouldn’t be an off-to-the-side cost center. It’s part of the customer experience.
[The brand promise]
But at the same time, [customer service and customer success teams are] trying to fulfill the tail end of the brand promise. We set up the brand promise in marketing.
From the customer’s perspective, it’s one promise. It’s one brand. So it’s very important that these teams – marketing, customer success, service, sales – are all working on the same page and collaborating closely.
If you’re interested in more thoughts on the subject, check out the book Subscription Marketing.