Focus more on making existing customers happy. When they are, they are more likely to buy more and become a source of referrals
You’ve heard it many times before: it is cheaper to sell to an existing customer… And that is still true. The problem is that most marketers are too busy chasing new customers. As a result they don’t put enough emphasis on taking care of existing customers. That is a mistake.
In my opinion marketing to existing customers is part of your marketing foundation. It is not a marketing trend to focus on existing customers. Commonsense, right?!
In the coming year you’ll want to focus more on existing customers. Apart from standard objectives such as increasing revenue and share of wallet, you’ll want to consider using new measurement metrics: the customer referral rate. Or perhaps the good-ol’ Share of Heart.
With more focus on existing customers, more great opportunities will present themselves. For example using CRM and ERP tools to spot potential churners and then in turn do something to prevent customers from leaving you. (always keep in mind that 68% of customers leave because they were treated indifferently).
Happy customers have no problem referring you to someone else. Especially if you ask them to. Putting referral programs (mechanisms) in place should be a priority for the coming year.
Moreover, your online reputation matters. And it won’t matter any less in the coming year. Marketers should therefore establish measurement goals for online reputation, which would include the ability to listen and react to brand mentions. Preferably in real-time.
4. Get your data in order: one data repository, use progressive profiling along with behavioral
Think of your data as three distinct silos: profile data, behavioral data and transactional data.
If you believe that sending the right message at the right time to the right person is important, you’ll want to consolidate all of your data silo’s. Because if you don’t you won’t be able to get a true 360 degree picture of any given customer or prospect.
Creating a customer profiling strategy is essential. That is, define what you need to know about your customers in order to serve them better. Use progressive profiling and get to a point where you are able to use behavioral data and transactional data along with standard customer profile data.
At every single conference I have spoken at this year, data has been one of the main topics. Marketers agree on the importance of data, yet very few seem to act on it. Of course with a direct marketing and CRM background, I am biased. How you capture data, use data and continously cultivate your data is part of your marketing foundation – don’t see it as part of the latest fancy-pancy marketing trends.
Getting to a point where you have one data repository allowing you to use the customer insight you have to improve the communication with your customers is business critical for any business.
5. Test your way to success: invest more resources in testing
Testing and experimenting goes hand in hand. Facts is that very few marketers test consistently. Sure, some are keen on the typical A/B split testing. And very few use multivariate testing to find the best combinations for websites and other marketing assets.
But we need to go beyond that. As mentioned in point 1 about experimentation, testing and experimentation need to be a deeply integrated part of marketing and communications.
Businesses need to acquire the right skills in order to do testing properly.Lack of skills and resources is often the most common reason for not testing. In my opinion businesses should acquire those skills and allocate resources to be able to incorporate testing as an integrated part of any marketing activity that matters.
But wait, there’s more
I haven’t mentioned CONTENT or METRICS. I haven’t mentioned CONTEXT either. These are obviously all important. I’ll cover my views on these marketing in articles and videos in the coming year.
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