Beyond the Honeymoon: Developing Relationships with Customers for Better Content

5 minute read

Upland Admin

Here’s some news that isn’t earth-shattering: developing relationships with customers is essential to your success, but it’s the hardest thing to get right. It takes a lot of upfront investment before a lead becomes a customer, or turns a profit for your B2B organization.

Until an organization can lock into a way to make customer relationships mutually beneficial while remaining responsive to changing customer preferences, the “honeymoon” is often short-lived.

Developing relationships with customers is essential to your success

So how can you keep the spark alive while developing relationships with customers and engaging their attention in the long-term? How can you really use your data to predict the behavior of, understand, and get into the minds and hearts of customers?

rose and computer customer relationship

Organize and dive into the story of your data in order to leverage it in creative ways.

B2B buyers conduct about 12 searches before visiting a specific brand’s website. So why not give them a reason to drop on by?

Here are three companies using data to tell stories and create content that connects with customers at the perfect time. Nothing makes a customer happier than getting what they desire easily and consistently in a way that’s interesting.


As a worldwide company that relies on marketing content as a hub of their customer outreach, IBM needed a way to orchestrate cross-channel outreach across the globe. They also needed a way to keep employees in the loop. Simple, right?

It became much simpler once they were able to create a streamlined process for planning and collaboration. Using a centralized calendar and content repository enabled global teams to see the full content lifecycle, and provided the context and key messages for tweaking as needed for different locations.

RELATED CONTENT: Case Study: How IBM Tackled Content Visibility with Kapost

With a solid process in place to systemize marketing content development, IBM now creates twice as much customer-relevant material. They also spend time diving into crafty ways to use their data, engaging clients in ways that matter to them.

In their webcast Predicting Customer Churn in Real Time, IBM talks about how companies can pose questions to customers that allow them to choose between simple, interesting offers while simultaneously using their responses to refine customer offerings. Now that’s a win-win way to go about developing relationships with customers.


The Hootsuite platform gets its juice, creative inspiration, and success by doing one thing very well: promoting customers as part of their marketing content strategy. They are currently a platinum brand because of a) the relationships they’ve built with big-name companies and b) their diverse-yet-targeted marketing strategy.

Co-branding with with highly-recognizable brands is a great way to tap into new networks to expand your brand presence.

Combining videos, hashtag campaigns, a thought-leader platform (Hootsuite University), and gamified social media (Game of Social Thrones), they’ve built dedicated engagement from a diverse range of users. This has enabled them to do something even more awesome: co-brand content with big brands.

The “Customers” page on Hootsuite is a content hub of success stories co-created by customers like Marketo and Monster. These stories include specific stats reflecting how their business improved from using Hootsuite tools.

Nothing builds trust more effectively than letting clients speak to your strengths in their voice. Co-branding content is also a unique way to foster a deeper relationship with key customers, opening up further partnership possibilities. Talk about some serious relationship rocket fuel!


Gamification is a trendy thing to try, but it takes finesse to pull it off as a content marketing strategy with longevity. Blackboard combined an entire buyer experience around content marketing that included prizes, scholarships, sweepstakes, and a brilliant social media campaign around the hashtag #100DaysofLearning, while also making it easy to play. All around, it was an A+ gamification strategy.

The marketing campaign provided an end date (100 days) while also giving people a reason to engage daily for the chance to win simple or high-dollar prizes to generate the desire to “play” with the brand every day.

Building valuable customer relationships takes on more meaning when you can look at the ways you collect, view, and share data within your B2B organization.

This approach aided Blackboard in developing relationships with customers, prospects, and advocates while also racking up some serious user-generated content that was also evergreen, and could therefore be used for other marketing needs beyond the specific campaign.

Building valuable customer relationships takes on more meaning when you can look at the ways you collect, view, and share data within your B2B organization. The essential part is filtering out the content chaos so you can take a clearer look at what customers are already telling you. This allows you to then build marketing campaigns that generate engagement, fill a need, and add a splash of fun.

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