Martech vendors need to engage year-round, not just at renewal time

“We just cancelled a SaaS product we’ve used for three years. Each year, we get the same email from them, a month out from renewal. A new account manager that we haven’t met before, asking for money. It’s the only time we hear from them.”

That’s how Angie Judge, CEO of a New Zealand-based cultural analytics platform Dexibit, lit a fire on LinkedIn that — at time of writing — is still raging. It seems that many, many organizations are deeply unhappy that SaaS vendors, including martech vendors, are failing to engage year-round (especially as they’re able to collect data on usage of their services).

“No health check. No value add. No curiosity at where our company might be encountering new challenges or opportunities and leveling up with our product maturity,” said Judge, adding: “And, this is a five-figure product, not something we pay a few dollars a month for.”

Dig deeper: Real Story on MarTech: Is that vendor a zombie?

Why we care. It’s not news that some martech vendors seem more interested in getting a signature on the contract rather than genuinely partnering with their clients. And there are plenty of good partners in the space too. But this is something SaaS vendors should certainly care about. Judge again: “If this is how your team are doing SaaS success for mid market and you’re experiencing churn, look here first.”

It’s also a topic on which marketers need to make their voices heard to the vendors. And then they got their chance on LinkedIn, they certainly took it.

Not everyone agrees. Of course, there were some contrary views expressed. Software expert Fabian Peter said: “So you are basically turning away from a tool that obviously delivered value for 3 years just because that company did not regularly send you useless ‘customer success’ spam?”

Fintech AI specialist Mark McDaniel pointed out that although “some apps are built around a more full-service client success model; however, they typically come with a higher price tag. Human help is expensive after all.”

Tara Wrigley, an actual customer success representative, expressed some frustration. “To present another side to this, I’m the person who personally reaches out to each one of our customers most months to check how everything is going and to offer help, and most of the time I get no response at all. The persona/role of our customers means they’re often so busy fighting fires that the only time they want to engage is when they absolutely have to — when they need support, or indeed, at renewal time.”

Join the debate. Perhaps many of you have already posted on that LinkedIn thread. It’s active, to say the least. But we’d be interested in hearing from you too. Mail to:

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One Reply to “Martech vendors need to engage year-round, not just at renewal time”

In the world of marketing technology (martech), fostering strong, year-round relationships with customers is essential for long-term success. Many martech vendors tend to focus their efforts primarily around renewal time, but this approach is no longer sufficient in today’s competitive landscape. Here’s why consistent year-round engagement is critical:

1. Customer Success and Satisfaction:

Proactive Problem Solving: Engaging throughout the year allows vendors to address customer concerns and challenges as they arise, leading to quicker resolutions and higher satisfaction.

Value Demonstration: By consistently showcasing the value of their solutions, vendors reinforce the customer’s decision to invest in their technology.

2. Continuous Learning and Improvement:

Feedback Loop: Year-round engagement encourages customers to provide feedback and share insights. This information is invaluable for vendors seeking to improve their products and services.

Stay Ahead of Trends: Vendors can stay informed about evolving industry trends and adapt their offerings accordingly, ensuring they remain relevant to customers’ changing needs.

3. Relationship Building:

Trust and Loyalty: Regular engagement fosters trust and loyalty between vendors and customers. It demonstrates a commitment to the customer’s success beyond the initial sale.

Cross-Selling and Upselling: Vendors can identify opportunities for additional services or upgrades, leading to increased revenue and mutual benefit.

4. Education and Support:

Training and Resources: Vendors can provide ongoing training and resources to help customers maximize the value of their martech tools.

Problem Prevention: Year-round engagement can help customers avoid potential pitfalls or issues by providing guidance and best practices.

5. Competitive Advantage:

Differentiation: Vendors who engage year-round stand out in a crowded martech marketplace, positioning themselves as partners rather than mere suppliers.

Customer Advocacy: Satisfied customers who experience continuous support and engagement are more likely to become advocates for the vendor’s brand.

6. Scalability and Growth:

Scalable Relationships: Year-round engagement strategies can be scaled to accommodate a growing customer base, ensuring that all clients receive adequate attention.

Retaining Customers: Retaining existing customers is often more cost-effective than acquiring new ones. Engaged customers are less likely to churn.

7. Competitive Insights:

Market Intelligence: Continuous engagement provides vendors with valuable insights into the competitive landscape, enabling them to refine their strategies and offerings.

Customer Behavior: Vendors can track customer behavior and usage patterns, helping them anticipate and address emerging needs.

8. Crisis Management:

Proactive Response: In the event of crises, such as data breaches or technical issues, year-round engagement allows vendors to respond swiftly and transparently, mitigating damage to customer trust.
9. Long-Term Partnerships:

Strategic Alignment: Year-round engagement facilitates the alignment of vendor and customer strategies, creating the foundation for long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships.

Customer-Centric Focus: Vendors who prioritize year-round engagement are more likely to adopt a customer-centric culture, which is increasingly vital in today’s business environment.

In conclusion, martech vendors should shift from a transactional approach focused on renewal time to a holistic, year-round engagement strategy. This approach not only ensures customer satisfaction and success but also provides vendors with a competitive edge in the dynamic world of marketing technology. Building enduring, mutually beneficial partnerships with customers is a key driver of growth and sustainability in the martech industry.


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