It's time to change a marketing mentality that is 90% focused on acquiring new customers and 10% on keeping them. I define Marketing 101 as "Bringing New Customers" and Marketing 401 as "Bringing The Money."
Here are Four Marketing 401 Ideas:
Idea 1 It's equally important to protect, nurture and grow current customers as it is to acquire new customers. However, this must be done by carefully assessing where the business is in its life cycle. It's all about finding and maintaining the proper marketing balance.
Idea 2 Technology is your friend. Use it to maximize your marketing initiatives. Too often, marketers claim they either have too little data or too much data to make decisions. The challenge is not the amount of data available; it's the amount of information that's available.
Idea 3 Think INSIDE the box. We have always been told to be creative and think outside the box. My suggestion is to focus inside on three elements:
- Focus on your customers which means bringing the first two ideas into play. Your customers are your most valuable asset, and at the same time, your greatest vulnerability.
- Focus on your services and products. Train your teams to deliver 5-star service again and again.
- Focus on your box. Make sure it delivers what your customers want.
Idea 4 Use the power of the 6th Star because 5-star service is never enough. It's the "Thank you", the "We miss you," and the call to action to upsell and cross-sell new products and services. It's the understanding that all customers are not the same and should not be treated or marketed to in the same way. Consider how many times you see high value customers getting the same offer as low value ones. Even worse, consider how high value customers feel when fabulous offers are made to lure new customers while they continue to pay the same rates. And we wonder why customers are vulnerable.
The Marketing Implications
Combining these four ideas requires discipline as we attempt to get granular customer knowledge. The 6th Star strategy can only be successful if you, the marketer, can create a detailed customer profile. Start with whatever you have and build on it. It's wonderful to be able to add lifestyle and psychographics to customers profiles but that is not always possible and should not impede your progress to building relationships with customers.
By Bart Foreman, Group3 Marketing www.group3marketing.com