Dun & Bradstreet Completes Acquisition of Lattice Engines. Learn More

Expansion Marketing: Why Marketing Is Missing Out On Revenue

Improve Marketing Performance By Targeting Existing Customers

Companies have improved their marketing performance through the adoption of B2B Marketing Automation to reach and attract new prospects. Despite these tools and technologies, very few marketing teams have applied them with the same type of rigor for actually retaining and expanding customer relationships.

According to a recent survey by the DemandGen Report:“The act of managing multiple, disparate systems was cited as the top obstacle to achieving customer marketing goals followed by insufficient data”.

And in most cases, the sales or service groups still have exclusive ownership of expansion opportunities. With such roadblocks, it’s no wonder marketing is so laser focused on new customer acquisition.


For most organizations new customers represent less than 20 percent of total revenue, while existing customers drive the remaining 80 percent. Given the limited capacity of individual sales reps, they must make instinctive bets about which accounts and products to focus on. Compounding the problem, reps also tend to gravitate toward the products and messages they are most comfortable with, meaning that many newer products, services or messaging get limited attention. So what could these missed opportunities be costing?

  • Effective cross-selling and upselling drives significant acceleration in both revenue growth and renewal rates.
  • Customer revenue potential is often three to five times larger than current sales opportunities.
  • Closing a new customer can cost between three to five times as much as retaining or expanding an existing customer.

Why Is Customer Marketing Often Ignored?Marketing Automation Platforms are fundamentally designed around customer acquisition. It’s as simple as that. Features like prospect profiling, segmentation, event management and web analytics are often tuned to gradually collect more information about leads or prospects, but lack capabilities for mining existing customer information hidden in plain sight.

Customer Buying Signals Are Hidden In Plain SightA survey conducted by DemandGen Report and Retail TouchPoints revealed that capturing and integrating customer data is a key consideration for marketers, with more than 49 percent identifying it as a top priority. But some of the most valuable data doesn’t come from Marketing Automation or CRM at all but rather from transactional systems such as order management, call center, or support logs – a rich data source unique to existing customers.

Beyond just activity history, customer expansion marketers also need to look externally at account-level indicators such as hiring trends, office openings, funding events or even social activity for hidden buying signals that could represent good triggers for cross-sell or upsell.

Predictive Analytics Illuminate The Path To Improved Marketing PerformanceBy combining contact and account level attributes, marketers can get a 360 degree view of the customer and apply predictive analytics to identify not just the best opportunities for upsell or cross-sell, but even which products or services represent the best fit. For organizations with complex product and customer matrices, arming sales with the right targets, the right products, and right messaging can finally unlock the full potential of that 80 percent customer opportunity.

Marketing no longer has the luxury of focusing exclusively on customer acquisition. With the right combination of data and predictive analytics, marketers can offer sales reps higher productivity and product leaders the proper attention on the full breadth of product and service offerings.

By tapping into customer expansion, marketing performance can increase and help source a much larger share of total company revenue – the other 80 percent.

Written by

Rob Bois
November 22, 2013