Unraveling the Long-Term Impact: The Consequences of Laying Off Customer Marketing Professionals

March 15, 2024

In today’s dynamic business landscape, the role of Customer Marketing stands as a cornerstone for organizational success. However, amidst the evolving complexities of customer engagement and the intricate interactions of various marketing channels, measuring the true impact of Customer Marketing (CM) initiatives remains a formidable challenge.

In this uncertain terrain, the presence of a seasoned and accomplished customer marketing leader emerges as a beacon on both stability and guidance. Armed with experience and insight, they are able to lead and navigate the nuances of customer relationships with finesse while fostering genuine relationships that transcend mere transactions.

In the intricate web of the modern day ecosystems, the influence of the CM will extend far beyond the conventional metrics. It will permeate cross-functional collaborations, infuse strategic decisions with customer-centric wisdom, and propel initiatives towards meaningful growth. Yet, quantifying these multifaceted impacts proves elusive, often obscured by the nebulous nature of attribution.

Marketing executives often prioritize immediate sales and measurable outcomes by applying a demand generation model to all aspects of their strategy. However, customer marketing focuses on brand awareness, thought leadership, and long-term relationships, which demand a different approach.

While demand generation emphasizes transactions, CM engages, educates, and inspires audiences, impacting brand perception and loyalty. Relying solely on easy-to-measure metrics overlooks CM’s qualitative contributions, undermining its strategic importance. Recognizing CM’s unique role is crucial for a holistic marketing strategy that balances short-term gains with long-term benefits.

Amidst these complexities, the value of a strong and experienced CM leader transcends the conventional confines of marketing, becoming a catalyst for holistic organizational excellence. Their presence not only enhances customer relationships but also fortifies the foundation upon which the businesses thrive in an ever-evolving marketplace. As the gatekeeper of customer-centricity, they herald a new era of strategic foresight, where every decision reflects the enduring commitment to understanding, engaging, and empowering the heartbeat of the organization – the customer.

Here are some key areas where an experienced customer marketer will influence business growth:

Customer understanding.

A seasoned customer marketing lead will deeply understand the organization’s target audience, needs, preferences, and pain points. They can leverage data analytics, market research, and customer feedback to develop insights into customer behavior and trends, which are invaluable for creating targeted marketing strategies.

Imagine launching a new product with the backing of your current customers! Your customer marketing lead can use their knowledge of your customer base to pull in the right customers to support the lunch. Now that’s a competitive edge!

Strategic planning.

A skilled customer marketing lead can develop comprehensive marketing strategies aligned to the organization’s goals and objectives. They can identify key market segments, define positioning strategies, and outline tactics to effectively reach and engage customers across various channels.

As you all know, putting your best foot forward with customers requires experience, knowledge, the ability to make important decisions, leadership, communication, and risk management skills. While a junior marketer can develop these skills over time, your customer’s experience should not be on the line.

Brand building and reputation management.

A proficient customer marketing lead can play a critical role in shaping the organization’s brand identity and managing its reputation. They can develop compelling brand messaging, design impactful campaigns, and ensure consistent brand communications across all touchpoints. This helps in building brand loyalty and trust among customers.

How powerful would it be to have your customers validate your mission, vision and day-to-day values. Making sure your message is clear and focused, confirming your brand is aligned to trust and it reflects your value proposition, but also does it clearly set us apart from our competitors.

Customer engagement and retention.

An experienced customer marketing lead can design and execute initiatives to enhance customer engagement and retention. They can develop loyalty programs, personalized communications, and customer-centric campaigns that resonate with targeted audiences, fostering long-term relationships and loyalty.

Securing customers for life is no small feat and requires effort from both sides, However, it is also about you creating moments that matter where you can stand out! This is where truly getting to know your customers as people will come in handy.

Cross-functional collaboration.

A strong customer marketing lead can collaborate effectively with other departments such as sales, product, and customer support. They can align marketing initiatives with sales objectives, provide valuable insights for product enhancements, and ensure a seamless customer experience across all interactions with the organization.

One of my favorite things to collaborate on is focus groups and betas. Not only can customers help product guide enhancements but they can also with the innovation you are undertaking. We all know no two customers are alike, but what if your customers could help make sure you are staying ahead of the curve while also taking into consideration how collectively you can grow with them.

Measurable results and ROI.

A seasoned customer marketing lead understands the importance of measuring the effectiveness of marketing efforts and achieving a positive return on investment (ROI). They can establish key performance indicators (KPIs), track metrics, and analyze campaign results to optimize strategies and drive continuous improvements.

By fostering a community built on the added value you can provide customers, you will likely have a robust reference pool. I have in the past benefitted from this, where I have placed 98% off all reference calls in a given year. Being able to help influence and drive pipeline is an accomplishment any team would want to be a part of.

Innovation and adaptability.

A skilled customer marketing lead stays abreast of industry trends, emerging technologies, and evolving customer behaviors. They can identify opportunities for innovation, experiment with new marketing tactics, and adapt strategies to changing market dynamics, ensuring the organization remains competitive and relevant in the long term.

This will ensure that future product developments and enhancements are aligned with customer needs. This will have a positive impact on retention, customer footprints, etc., as well as avoiding costly GTM mistakes! All leading to a profound effect on your bottom line.


As you can see, a strong and experienced customer marketing lead brings strategic vision, creativity, and executional excellence to the organization, driving customer-centric growth, and long-term success. Their leadership and expertise play a pivotal role in building strong customer relationships, maximizing brand value, and achieving business objectives.

In essence, eliminating customer marketing people can weaken the organization’s ability to understand, engage, and retain customers effectively, leading to negative impacts on the brand perception, revenue growth, and long-term competitiveness. It is essential that organizations carefully consider the strategic implications and potential consequences before making decisions to reduce or eliminate the customer marketing function.

The consequences of laying off customer marketing professionals

This is a guest blog by Jennifer Susinski, member of the Advocacy Mavens Coalition.

The Advocacy Mavens Coalition is an association of open for contracting customer-led professionals, each with extensive industry experience. We’re experts in building advocacy and community programs, designing experiences, running advisory boards, creating content, managing and migrating platforms, and more.

Our members are experienced advocacy marketing strategists, community and customer success managers, educators, designers, video producers, analysts, and technical consultants. Whatever your program goals, this coalition has you covered!

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