Transcript: Using Retention and Lifecycle Marketing to Increase Customer Loyalty with Kelvin Cornaz-Tranphuoc

On this episode, I was joined by Kelvin Cornaz-Tranphuoc, Senior Director and General Manager of Retention at Rocket Lawyer. I’m really interested in how customer advocacy can play a larger role within the post-purchase journey and how there are so many natural connections to lifecycle marketing, engagement, and retention, which Kelvin is an expert in. Something that I’m starting to see more and more in job descriptions is that customer marketing is becoming a blend of both lifecycle and advocacy, so I highly recommend checking out this episode if you’re at all curious about dipping your toe into those waters. Without further ado, here’s my conversation with Kelvin. 

Margot Leong: Hey Kelvin, thank you so much for joining us today. Really excited to have you with us this afternoon. 

Kelvin Cornaz-Tranphuoc: Thanks for having me. Happy to chat with you today. 

Margot Leong: Can you tell us about your background and, you know, specifically, I would love to understand your journey into where you are now, which is retention and loyalty.

Kelvin Cornaz-Tranphuoc: Sure. I guess I’ll start off by saying, I kind of just fell into what I do today. When I was in college and studying business marketing, I never really thought I would say, Hey, you know, I want to be in retention marketing one day. It kinda just one step led to another, that led to another to where I am today. 

So after college, I went to Chicago and I started working for this digital media agency, which was a great opportunity for me. It really just laid the foundation of what does it mean to be in digital marketing? How do pixels work? How does digital advertising work, et cetera? Chicago was just way too cold for me, so I decided to relocate to Miami, and I worked for a different agency down there, but at that particular agency, I took on more of a strategy and analytics role. 

And then, my next role is really where I started to take a dive into the retention marketing space. So I joined The Art of Shaving, which is part of Proctor and Gamble. And they’re a men’s luxury shaving brand where they have brick and mortar stores, as well as an ecommerce website. They weren’t really doing that much when it came to CRM marketing, so I really got to help build the program from the ground up. 

First, I was taking a look at what they were doing from an email marketing standpoint, they had a list of email addresses, but they weren’t doing that much personalization or segmentation. And then on top of that, they didn’t have the right tools and systems in place, so my first part was just really making sure we had the right data, connecting it to the right tools and systems. So that once we had everything playing nicely together, we could start building out those marketing programs. We built out the welcome program and we had an educational series on how to do the four elements of the perfect shave. And then I was also in charge of seasonal campaigns, like the friends and family campaign that you would typically see within a retail organization and then the Q4 holiday campaigns. 

So I was at The Art of Shaving for a few years, then decided to relocate here to the Bay Area, and I worked for a company called CREDO Mobile. So they’re a telecom, cell phone company, where you can get your iPhones or Androids and then sign up for a data plan. And it’s just like being with AT&T or Verizon. It’s just a smaller carrier. And so at CREDO Mobile, I was their Director of Loyalty and Retention. And so that’s really just where I started to take a super deep dive into all aspects of customer marketing.

You know, people say customer marketing can mean different things, but for me that meant essentially doing the lifecycle marketing. So as they joined , making sure that they understand how to use the products and services that they sent. And then from there engaging them as they get deeper into their lifecycle and making sure that they understand the value of your brand. So it’s content marketing, getting them to just really engage with your emails, come to your site, do the different things that your email programs are designed to do. And then, following them through to the end of their customer lifecycle, so in our case, it’s when their two year contract ends and it’s time for them to get a brand new phone, just really doing the analytics to see who’s at risk of leaving and then going out to those customers to get them to stay.

And then finally, I recently left CREDO and now I’m the Senior Director of Retention Marketing at Rocket Lawyer. We are a online legal service, where we provide contracts at a monthly subscription. And essentially my role is the same thing where it’s just onboarding, engaging with our customers and getting them to stay.

Margot Leong: Got it. Yeah. I mean, I think lifecycle marketing, as we talk about it, right? It’s like, it’s interesting because customer marketing in B2B has traditionally been thought about as more customer advocacy, but then customer marketing within B2C is more thought about as lifecycle marketing. What is interesting is that especially now in B2B, and I know that now in B2B as well, I see the two of them coming closer and closer together. You know, it makes sense for someone who is close to the customer and really cares about their needs to be owning everything post-purchase, right. It’s just that advocacy is typically at the end of that. And so where you are right, is like more than the beginning. And then beginning to end of that, like, that’s the full journey, and I remember when we were talking for the first time, I was telling you about how, you know, like my definition of customer marketing is different from yours and you’re like, wait, what is customer advocacy?

Kelvin Cornaz-Tranphuoc: Yeah, my mind wasn’t blown. I was like, what are you talking about? Customer marketing means engagement marketing, lifecycle marketing. I had no clue about this whole other side of customer marketing that you were talking about, but it definitely opened up my eyes. 

Margot Leong: I was just curious, what do you enjoy about this type of work?

Kelvin Cornaz-Tranphuoc: Yeah, so being part of a few different companies in my past, I have been exposed to the different areas of marketing that you were talking about. You know, I started off working for the ad agencies and while it was great, I felt like I only got a limited view of the client’s business. So, you know, our role was to drive display ads, trying to drive users to click on the ad to then go request a quote on their website. We would be monitoring impressions and clicks, and then we could tell how many quotes were generated. But aside from that, that’s all we were doing. And so we didn’t really know, was that actually having an impact to the business. You know, and I’ve also worked on some programs where, you know, I was in charge of acquisition. So just trying to drive traffic to a brand website and you know, that’s again, just a limited view of what they are doing for the business. 

Compared to retention marketing, you have the full picture. The customers that are coming in, that the acquisition team is, you know, acquiring, then it’s your job to onboard your customers so that they know what your brand is all about. So you have to understand your customer, what are their needs? What are their wants, what are the desires? What do they love about your product? What do they hate about your product? 

You’re taking all those insights and you’re doing a few different things with that. You’re going back to product and engineering and you’re telling them, Hey, our customers are responding positively to this newest feature that we just rolled out. We need to iterate on this and make it better. Or, you know, the opposite. Tell them that our customers need this ability to do X, Y, Z on our website. We just don’t have that today. And our competitors do. So that’s one area. 

And then, you know, you could also, depending on the type of company you’re working for, if you’re working for a retail company, like The Art of Shaving, you’re partnering with the retail team to make sure that all of the stores understand the different types of campaigns that you’re running. What are the promotions? Just so that when a customer walks through the door, that the retail store associates understand what the promotion is all about, et cetera. 

So pretty much what I’m trying to say is just, you get to wear a lot of different hats when you’re in a customer marketing role and you’re working with a lot of different functions within the company, and you’re able to see the value of your work and how it affects the business.

Margot Leong: Yep. Absolutely. So I was curious, you mentioned a piece around, okay, it’s really important to understand the customer. What is involved in, even you understanding those personas, how do you do that work? 

Kelvin Cornaz-Tranphuoc: That’s a great question. So, I mean, I think there’s a lot that you can do to develop your target audience and you can develop the personas. You know, these are things that typical product marketing functions would do. But I also think it’s very key to just take off the hat that you’re wearing – your marketing hat – and put on your customer hat. And actually go through the process yourself, which is easier for a B2C type company compared to a B2B. 

I don’t have as much experience when it comes to B2B, but for example, at CREDO Mobile, buying a cell phone and switching carriers is a very emotional process for consumers. You just have to go through that experience yourself and see what that process is, like, see what your company is offering to your customers and do we make it easy? Do we communicate the right information? What is the purchase experience like, and just really going through that experienceas with your lens on as a customer, instead of the lens of, or the hat that you have on as a business owner. 

Just because sometimes as you’re working through the campaigns or product features, we tend to forget what it’s like to go through as a customer. And then it might not be delivering the needs of what your customers are looking for. So I think that’s crucial to understanding what your customers want is by going through it yourself. 

Margot Leong: Yep. I completely agree. And I think, you know, sometimes, I will go through a product onboarding flow for, you know, our product that I’m trying out. And I often wonder, like, basically the people that have created this product, have they themselves tried to go and sign up for this product? Like, this is a terrible experience. And then, you know, I’ll read the emails and I’ll be like, where’s the context?  So I think it’s really important as you said, it’s developing that sense of empathy as well. 

And I had gotten the chance to interview another lady who runs customer marketing over at Adobe and she was really a huge believer in this idea around developing that empathy where you’re also like, in addition to putting yourself in the state of the customer, you’re also listening to support. You’re reading support tickets, you’re understanding what are the unhappy customers dealing with because you need to understand the lens of the customer completely.  

Kelvin Cornaz-Tranphuoc: Yeah, I agree. Hundred percent. If you have the ability to listen to customer calls when they’re talking to customer support, that brings a lot of insight just to the different needs and wants. 

And another thing I thought of is with all the tech companies in the Bay Area , people are on this agile process where the idea is to be constantly delivering every single sprint and sprints are organized in two week cycles. And engineering and the product teams are constantly talking about, okay, well, what’s the MVP, the minimal viable product. We get into this world of just delivering the basics, just to get this functionality up and running, and then you build upon that over time. 

But I think the downside of that though, there’s a lot of startups out here and they’re trying to bite off a lot more than they can chew. And so, it’s more of the mentality of were we able to launch it. Yes. Okay, great. Let’s move on to the next project or initiative, and we don’t go back and take a look at it with the lens of, hey, you know, yes this is functioning, but is it functioning in the best way possible for our customers?

So I think it’s really key just to understand that experience that you’re delivering for your customers, getting the feedback that you’re talking about by talking to your customers directly or listening to the calls. And you take all of these different data points and you craft your campaigns or you craft your product appropriately. 

Margot Leong: You know, I’ve been at companies where product and engineering, when they decide to ship something, they just ship it. And then they tell you after the fact. And so, the reason why this is not great from a retention marketing standpoint, right, is that we take everything into consideration when we are carefully crafting the customer journey and the emails. And so if there’s a change in the product or there’s a new way to interact with the product, that might break something on our end, in terms of the experience that the person is experiencing in the product versus what they’re reading, say, in our onboarding emails. So have you experienced that before? Or how do you get ahead of that? 

Kelvin Cornaz-Tranphuoc: I haven’t had that experience exactly. And, the roles that I’ve been at, I’ve been working for a smaller company. So I’m not at the big tech companies like a Google or Adobe. CREDO Mobile and Rocket Lawyer, employee size is under 500 and we have the tools in place where we’re able to keep track of the different initiatives that are being worked on. So we use JIRA, Confluence, to track all the different changes that are going on. We do product demos every two weeks and it’s open to the whole company to see what exactly is being released in the next sprint. 

And, you know, if we see something’s changing, then that’s where all the different stakeholders can flag, hey, you know, before we launch this, we need to make some adjustments to the communications that we’re sending to our customers. So thankfully and knock on wood, I haven’t had too many problems in that area. 

Margot Leong: I love that. And I think what’s really key, right, is making sure that there’s as sort of little silos here as possible, right. That’s what it sounds like is that you are a key stakeholder in terms of understanding what product and engineering is doing. Because the communication tweaks that you have to make are so integral. I think that’s just the larger takeaway is that customer advocacy, customer lifecycle, right , it’s super cross-functional. And we have to always know what is going on at different parts of the company, because we are helping to craft that experience that customers have with the product, with the brand. I mean, all of the communications are just part of that, right? 

Kelvin Cornaz-Tranphuoc: Yup. If anything, now that I’m reflecting on this question, I actually think I’m more of the person who has done the roll-outs and not informing our customer service team about, for example, new offers that we would create for our customers. And you would have customers calling in and saying, Hey, you know, I saw this offer for 10% off, you know, I wanted to redeem that. And because the customer service organizations tend to be very large and to communicate or disseminate information to those teams, it takes a few days just because of the different shifts that they have. And so yeah, I mean, I think what’s key though, is to put the tools and systems in place where you can have that knowledge transfer onto the broader organization, as you said, 

Margot Leong: Absolutely. And knowledge transfer. I mean, that’s a beast in and of itself to even figure out, especially as you’re growing and scaling a company. I mean, I’ve definitely been through that and it is very, very hard. 

You know, I see some similarities here, even within advocacy and sort of lifecycle where, because you’re so integrated with product and engineering and at the same time, you work with the customer so often. You mentioned that you are also passing along feedback or thoughts on what would make this a better customer experience overall? Like how do you structure that from a feedback standpoint in terms of talking to those teams? 

Kelvin Cornaz-Tranphuoc: Great question. A specific example that I can think of, what we did at CREDO, as our customers were disconnecting and going to a different carrier, we would then send out a survey to those customers just asking about their experience. And it’s your typical survey, like how satisfied were you when it came to your coverage or what did you think about the price or what improvements could we make? And so we were able to quantify all that feedback and trend it over time, just to see, you know, is anything changing within the industry, et cetera. But we would constantly report out on our – we called it the disconnect survey – results, to the broader team, to the broader company to say, Hey, people are leaving us because of price. What has changed?  Are we too expensive? Do we need to reevaluate? What are the other carriers out there doing?

And one thing that we saw, if you remember a few years back, all of a sudden, one company, I think it was Verizon, came out with unlimited all of a sudden again, where they first came out with unlimited like eight, ten years ago. And then everybody got rid of that. And then all of a sudden they brought it back. Then you saw AT&T, Sprint, et cetera, they were all offering unlimited plans. And yet, CREDO, as a smaller carrier, we didn’t have that. And so we realized to be competitive, we need to also have an unlimited plan. And so that’s how we adjusted. We worked with our pricing and finance team to understand, okay, how do we offer an unlimited plan that also doesn’t break the bank? Because giving unlimited data can be costly.  

Margot Leong: Yep. Absolutely. You know, we really cannot have our heads in the sand when it comes to understanding how our customers are not only interacting with our product, but what are the reasons they may decide to leave our product? Making sure that that is disseminated back to a team that is open to understanding what those trends are. The world is just incredibly competitive now, there is so much going on. There’s so much noise, there’s so many companies that all do similar things. And so I think if you’re just not constantly taking in feedback from your customer, unfortunately you will be left behind. 

Kelvin Cornaz-Tranphuoc: Absolutely. Yeah. Your point about like, why, why are customers leaving? But at the same time, you know, a different way to look at it is why are customers staying? You know, you don’t just need to be getting feedback from the customers that are leaving, but what about your most loyal customers? Why have they stayed with you? What features or what services that you’re offering them, is that why they’re staying and just understanding what that feedback is.

You could do the same thing for your recently acquired customer. So why did they decide to join your company or purchase your product? And then again, communicating that back to the larger company so that, you know, you can build upon that. So I think that’s key, you know, you need to have a customer-centric approach, and you need to make sure your company has that mentality, so that you can grow and sustain as a business.

Margot Leong: I think this is a great segue, you know, you mentioned loyal customers. I think that makes a lot of sense. And that’s something that we absolutely love within, you know, customer advocacy is talking to our happiest  customers. But I was curious, what have you learned over time, you know, if there are any sort of tips or high level takeaways or consistent patterns in terms of how you craft experiences that make customers loyal?  What are sort of the secrets or tips that you can share with us around what companies should keep in mind if they want to turn customers into loyal customers? 

Kelvin Cornaz-Tranphuoc: Great question. One thing I discovered over the years is that a lot of people, when they think about loyalty marketing or retention marketing, it’s about the offers or the tactics you do to save your customers or to get your customers to come back. So you’re pretty much looking at the customer journey towards the end of their lifecycle and seeing, is there anything you can do by, like, can you give them a better offer? Or can you have them speak to one of your retention managers to get, you know, a better experience or a discount?

But really, I think to build a loyal customer, it actually actually starts from the very beginning when the customer interacts with your brand. So, how do they first see your brand, through what advertising channels? And then when they click through or when they start to do their research about your product, what experiences are you putting there for your customer to really just fall in love with your brand? Are you making it simple? Are you answering all the questions or if they have any hesitations, just making sure that you appease those and you give them no doubt and you just give them a flawless customer experience.

And then once they ultimately decide to purchase or join, just making them feel like they are the best, most valuable customer. And giving them everything that they need throughout their lifecycle . And then so when it comes to the very end of their lifecycle or their two year contract, in the case of a cell phone carrier, there should be no question of whether or not they’re thinking about leaving or staying. Because at that point, they’ve already become an advocate for your brand. So it’s not just the offers at the very end, but it’s just the entire experience from the very beginning and making sure that they have the best experience possible. 

Margot Leong: That is music to my ears, Kelvin. You know, it’s interesting. Like when I hear about lifecycle marketing, a lot of times I really only hear about email marketing within that. And you know, a lot of the sort of conventional advice, you know, seems to not necessarily be tied to the entire experience. It’s more around the specific, as you said, tactics around re-engagement, or like how many times do we touch this customer to like, make sure that that we stay top of mind when really, it’s all starts with like, is the product delivering upon what the product is supposed to be delivering on? And if so, are you making sure that every single touchpoint, every single experience the customer has, is consistent with what your brand has promised? The thing is it’s easier said than done though, right? Like there’s so many touch points.

Kelvin Cornaz-Tranphuoc: Yep . You know, their experiences directly with, you know, your website. But then there’s all these other things that you need to consider, like social media. And then, there’s these third party websites. So like Yelp or TripAdvisor. And is your brand being mentioned on those websites and are you properly monitoring those conversations and fostering that to make sure that you have loyal customers there? All the way to your customer service, you know, which is sometimes an afterthought for many brands, but when your customers call in, especially if you don’t have any retail storefronts, like, can you deliver a flawless experience over the phone? And are your agents who are often outsourced to a third party company, are they up to speed with what your company’s practices and rules are? And are they giving the best experience that they can to your customers? 

Margot Leong: When you come in to a new organization, do you typically do some sort of like touch point audit? 

Kelvin Cornaz-Tranphuoc: Yeah, absolutely. So, with me recently joining RocketLawyer , I did that same thing where I did my research as a prospect and I was looking at different areas of the website. And then as I became more and more interested then, you know, I was clicking through, I created different documents. And then I ultimately joined. And I was really just understanding all the different communications and messaging that we were showcasing to our customers. And then at the same time, I was also syncing up with our customer service team just to really understand what are the retention initiatives that we have in place when it comes to customer service?

And the thing that we were talking about earlier, which was listening to many different customer calls, specifically customers who are calling in and were having questions about the service and was thinking about canceling. And then what did the agents do? How did they react and how did they deliver empathy to our customers?

Margot Leong: Got it. And, and I’m curious too is, and I’m sure there’s only so many areas that you’re sort of able to influence or sort of wrap your arms around with you and your team. So I wanted to understand, when we think about retention marketing typically, what are the swimmers lanes, I guess, right. Like, I know this obviously is different from organization to organization, but is it that, you know, you’re sort of coming in and doing the audit of the touch points and then you’re able to own specific channels, like, let’s say like email, as it relates to talking to the customers, and then you you’re able to sort of provide recommendations to other teams in terms of, maybe how to craft their messaging or how to interact with customers? An example I can think of is, oftentimes the people who are writing the copy for, say, the internal product experience are different from the people who are writing the copy and thinking about crafting the lifecycle journey.

Kelvin Cornaz-Tranphuoc: So I think you summed it up perfectly. So, in my experience, and, you know, I have owned specific channels, like email, SMS, et cetera, when communicating directly to the customers. But then there are other areas where I did not own outright, but as an important stakeholder and as someone who’s speaking on behalf of our customers, I was able to advocate and say, Hey, you know, customer service team, like, we see a large percentage – again, I’ll go back to CREDO Mobile as an example. So, we initially did not have a retention team or a dedicated team that was skilled specifically to save our customers. And I was not in charge of customer service, but because we saw a large proportion of our customers would call in to speak to a customer service representative before they would cancel, we realized that we needed to create a program within our call centers and put our very best agents to handle these types of calls. 

So I think, going back to your question, is just being able to have a business case and to have data to support that if possible. You know, if that’s enough right there , then great, then you got what you wanted. If not, try to put together some type of frame or where you can test it out, experiment and say, Hey, what if we just routed a couple of our disconnect calls to some of our best agents, and see if they’re able to save them. And take a look at that data and see if you’re able to have a higher save rate compared to just a regular agent. And then, if that’s the case, then you have your data points right there and advocate for that within the business that you need a dedicated team to go out there and save your customers. 

So I guess what I’m trying to say is just building a case within the organization and showcasing what business impact it could drive. And what would be the key metrics that you would look at? All goes into just helping you deliver what you’re looking to get. 

Margot Leong: Okay. So this is really interesting stuff. I’d be curious to hear about this, because I don’t know that much about customer marketing and B2C, but in B2B, retention is usually punted to the side. You know, growth is sexy. And retention is, you know, usually what happens when you’re like, Oh, we have 20% churn every single month. Maybe we should understand. You know, is that also a B2C thing, or … 

Kelvin Cornaz-Tranphuoc: Absolutely. In my experience, customer marketing or retention marketing often comes second, compared to growth functions or acquisition marketing. And I think it’s because, if I had to put my take on it, acquisition marketing, you do something like you put out an offer or you do an ad buy, and then you can immediately see what the results are. You know, you can see are people clicking? Are people taking that offer? Are they converting? Are they purchasing?

But when it comes to retention marketing, where you have to be focused on your customer experiences from the very beginning, there’s many different factors at play. So, is it your pricing? Is it your product? Is it your website? Is it your customer service that’s causing people to stay or causing people to leave? And figuring out what those triggers are? And then, you know, if it’s pricing, for example, you can make a change, but you might not see the results until days later, weeks later, months later. In the case of CREDO, a lot of our customers were on two year contracts. And so if we made a change, we wouldn’t be able to see the results until many months later. 

So it’s a lot harder to solve. And I think that’s why, by default, companies just put their attention more so into growth and acquisition marketing because you see the results immediately.

Margot Leong: I think that’s a really good point. As you mentioned, there’s just a lot more variables that can affect a customer experience. You know, when we talk about impact, I think it’d be fantastic to understand the ways that you’re proving the success from a retention standpoint, right? What are the metrics that you’re utilizing to measure success in these areas? 

Kelvin Cornaz-Tranphuoc: Yeah, absolutely. So my current company and the previous company are essentially subscription-type businesses. CREDO being a cell phone carrier, you have a two year contract. And here at RocketLawyer , it’s a monthly subscription plan. 

So, with that said, we’re looking at our monthly churn rate. So how many customers are leaving versus how many people stayed? And that’s like the ultimate business metric that we’re taking a look at. 

Aside from that though, it’s also important to see how engaged your customers are. So as you craft these different campaigns or marketing programs, are they engaging with that content? Are they opening your emails? Are they clicking through? Are they coming to your website? If you have a blog, are they constantly looking at the new articles that you’re putting out there? And if so, great. If not, then, you know, what can you do to just really demonstrate the value that your brand is delivering to your customers? 

Margot Leong: Have you ever found it tough sometimes? You know, because you own specific channels and you’re like, I can see specific, you know, I can see, obviously that they’re engaging with these things. I can see an increase there. But then is it hard sometimes to fully sort of roll that into, you know, this is helping us to keep our retention rate high because the retention rate can also be influenced by potentially myriad other factors outside of what you fully own, which is probably going back to the demand, you know, acquisition versus customer marketing question. 

Kelvin Cornaz-Tranphuoc: Absolutely. Yeah. And I’ve tried to solve for this in the past. As you mentioned, you can’t pinpoint it to one exact thing, but there are different things that you can do to see what the impact of your programs are doing. So, typically what we do is we run experiments. And if we were to say, for example, put out a newsletter out there, instead of sending it out to 100% of your email database, divide it in half and only send it to 50% and then do that for a couple of months. So if you send this email out for three months to 50% of your population and the other 50% don’t get it, then you can compare the downstream behaviors of those two customer cohorts.

So of the people who are getting the newsletter, do they tend to come back to your website and purchase additional products? Or do they tend to stay with you longer if you’re a subscription business and compare that customer group compared to the group that didn’t get any of your content marketing. So what do their retention rates look like compared to the people who got the newsletter marketing? And that’s one way to just see if these programs are making a difference to retaining your customers. 

Margot Leong: I’m actually curious, with everything that is happening now with COVID, if you have a certain perspective on whether or not, you’re seeing an increase in of interest in the existing customer, partly just because it’s just so much harder to acquire new customers at this time, right? People are holding onto their money. Businesses are holding onto their money. Everyone is eagle-eyed about spending. So I was just wondering if you are hearing anything around a renewed interest in retention. 

Kelvin Cornaz-Tranphuoc: Great question. I’d say generally speaking, if you’re someone running your business or managing a brand, I think it’s important to keep a pulse on what’s going on in the world and to adapt your strategies, to tailor to what’s going on. So, for example, the company that I’m with, RocketLawyer, we provide legal contracts to our customers. But really, we have this opportunity to be a thought leader and a trusted advisor. 

We adapted our strategy and we recognized that COVID was happening and that there are a lot more questions that our customers were asking. You know, if you’re a small business, what rights do you have as a business owner? Or on the flip side, you know, if you’re an employee, what rights do you have if you got sick?

Again, without giving specific advice to individual users, we were able to put content out there and say like, here are the the top questions that small business owners are asking about COVID and having that content out there and we’re promoting it to our customers. So that they really saw the value that we were delivering as the brand and getting them engaged with that content. And so they realized that over time, Hey, I can actually go to RocketLawyer and I can get all this information and that’s why I’m a customer for RocketLawyer So that’s just one example of what we did to adapt our marketing to what was going on in the world.

So we were monitoring of the customers who engaged with that content, you know, what did their downstream behaviors look like? And we saw the results that we wanted to see, which they stayed with us longer. So, to take a step back, you know, generally speaking, I’d say a key tactic or a key strategy to doing retention marketing is to have a good content marketing program where you’re being that trusted advisor as a brand, that whatever industry you’re in, you are someone who can speak about a particular topic. So crafting those strategies, that content, and showcasing it to your customers is key. And so with COVID going on, we adapted our content marketing to talk about COVID, and then we put that information and we gave it to our customers, and we saw that they were responding well to it. So we kept developing more and more content related to COVID , and we’re seeing that our customers are engaging with it and they’re staying with us longer. 

Margot Leong: First off, I love hearing that and I’m so glad to hear that that is helpful, that that’s working. I was curious about, you know, just in times of high stress, like we’re in now, how do you advise people to think about engagement strategies in general? Do you think it’s more of a function, not necessarily of how often, but just more of are you approaching it in a thoughtful way? I would just love to hear your thoughts here. 

Kelvin Cornaz-Tranphuoc: I think it’s a combination of both. So there’s definitely a threshold where you should not cross that line and overcommunicate with your customers. And I’ve seen some customers email every single day or even multiple times a day. And I think that’s a bit much. I think you need to test into it, come up with an email cadence or a communication cadence to what you can realistically do. Put it out there, see what your engagement is like. And then, you know, see what happens if you increase that frequency or decrease that frequency. And does it move the needle when it comes to retaining your users or engaging with your users? And then, so over time you eventually find what your sweet spot is. 

Margot Leong: Yep. Absolutely. And I can imagine, you’re probably always like have hypotheses that you’re just constantly testing, right. And then you’re listening to the data and deciding whether you should sort of tweak, keep testing or retire. And I think that actually is a great segue to one of my last questions, which is, what do you think are the necessary traits to be successful doing this type of work?

Kelvin Cornaz-Tranphuoc: Yeah. So I’d say if you’re someone who is a blend of being data-centric or data- focused, but at the same time, you’d like to be creative, this field is for you because you get to do just that. You get to work with creative or designers to come up with beautiful creative. And at the same time, as you put that creative out there to your customers, you’re taking a look at how they’re engaging with it. Are those offers working? Are they responding well? Are they not responding well? And then you’re iterating from there. You get to use your left brain and your right brain, and so that’s one of the things I find very exciting about the type of work that I do.

Margot Leong: Yep. Absolutely. So data driven, but also creative. And then what customer advocacy already has, which is this constant customer-centric focus, right. Always thinking about it from the lens of what is the customer going to sort of think and feel when they interact with any of these experiences that we’re crafting basically, right. 

Kelvin Cornaz-Tranphuoc: Yup. And what you mentioned earlier, it’s just really having empathy for your customers and understanding where they’re coming from and understanding the different types of customers that you have and how their viewpoints can differ across your customers. So having the ability to understand all these different things come into play for sure.

Margot Leong: This has been so illuminating, really just helpful to get a wider lens on the definitions around customer marketing and really how lifecycle and advocacy I think can play very well with each other. Especially if people are looking to expand outside of advocacy, try out lifecycle. It seems like there’s a lot of natural adjacencies there, especially if you, you know, are data-driven and want to work that side of your brain a little bit more. 

Kelvin, I really appreciated you coming on and chatting. Last question for you is where can our listeners find you if they’d like to connect with you?

Kelvin Cornaz-Tranphuoc: Yeah. Thanks for having me , LinkedIn is the best place to find me. 

Margot Leong: Okay. Sounds good. Well, thank you so much, Kelvin. I really appreciate it. 

Kelvin Cornaz-Tranphuoc: Likewise. Thank you. 

Thanks for tuning into this episode of Beating The Drum. For more interviews with advocacy leaders and tips on creating customers that will sing your praises, head on over to our website, If you enjoyed today’s show, please subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts and don’t forget to rate and review us. If you know someone that would be a great fit for the show, I would love to hear about it. You can reach out at Take care, everybody.




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