While building loyalty with existing customers continues to rank as a top priority for companies, 2020 was also a big year for acquiring new ones — as well as expanding into new markets — primarily because of the pandemic.

This post is part of ZoomInfo’s 2020 Annual Report series.

As everyday routines began to shift, so did the needs of our customers, and some companies were fortunate (and resourceful) enough to be able to adapt to those new needs.

Consider Zoom Video Communications, which grew its customer base exponentially during the pandemic.

Figure 1: Between January 31 and March 31, 2020, Zoom’s adoption rate grew by 418%. 

Despite being behind GoToWebinar and Cisco Webex in adoption rates, Zoom pulled ahead as the industry frontrunner, seeing a 418% growth in just two months. As we discussed in our article, “What Explains Zoom Video’s Success During the Coronavirus,” Zoom’s growth is not likely attributed to a complex marketing strategy (since the company is fairly minimalist in its approach), but rather a prioritization of product quality and customer experience.

Learn More: What Explains Zoom Video’s Success During the Coronavirus?

Years ago, Zoom’s CEO Eric Yuan stated, “Our philosophy is we really focus on making the existing customer happy. We do not aggressively pursue the new prospect.”

As we head into 2021, a lesson we can glean from Zoom’s growth is that a focus on delivering a quality product and serving the needs of existing customers creates the path of least resistance for market expansion. More broadly, the ways in which companies from various industries have been forced to digitize will likely have lasting effects beyond the pandemic.

Maintaining Brand Loyalty  During the Pandemic

Seeking out and capitalizing on customer engagement efforts should be high on the to-do list of any company considering go-to-market initiatives in 2021. To help meet evolving customer needs,  it’s more necessary than ever to diversify product offerings and amplify cross-selling strategies to reduce risk without spending on additional capital.

While many companies have shifted to selling to a new customer base to survive the pandemic, other businesses are vying for their current customers’ through superior customer experience offerings and strategies aimed at maintaining brand loyalty. 

Since March 2020, brands with loyal following outperformed their competitors, which was evident with the disproportionate growth of Slack, Zoom, ADP, and Docusign versus their category competitors (referenced in Figure 2).

In line with this, ZoomInfo’s analysis of recent web searches conducted by Fortune 500 companies saw interest in customer experience and loyalty rise in the spring of 2020.

Figure 2: Customer experience and loyalty topic searches at Fortune 500 companies show a clear spike in activity after the pandemic’s economic shutdown. Source: ZoomInfo.

Customer Experience Receives Heightened Urgency from Buyers

Almost 10% of the top-earning companies in the U.S. searched for loyalty-related topics online from March to July 2020 — a sign that new or expanded go-to-market efforts may have been bubbling at those firms in response to COVID-19.

To browse through more go-to-market trends and 2021 business predictions, continue on to ZoomInfo’s latest Annual Report: Going-to-Market Smarter in the New Economy.

ZoomInfo’s 2020 Annual Report Series

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