Published October 30th, 2014
Do you want to grow your business, gain more customers, market share, dollars? YES! Of course, you do. We all want to advance our businesses. So, we advertise, sell, promote in new places and in new ways—in the pursuit of new customers.
We all need new customers…and most of us “throw a bone” to the importance of loyalty programs and good customer service (and by that, I mean we talk a good game, but don’t REALLY deliver.) Stop and think about what your favorite organizations are, and why. What has become the reason you stay with an organization “forever” – how and why do they win your business every time? What added value, membership benefits, personalized communication, or perks do you feel you get as a genuinely, especially valued participant?
The truth is sustainable growth requires a healthy, rich environment that produces strength in the connection to your customer base. It is not only about keeping your customer longer, it is core to cultivating depth in your relationship with them. Depth through analysis of who they are, why they need your value, what you can do for them, and in meaningful communication. Your result thereby, will be earning the greatest dollars per customer, increasing your value connection to them, and advancing your right to their influence amongst their personal networks.
Is proper cultivation more work than pushing out a new promotional campaign? Yes.
Is it more expensive to acquire new customers, than cultivate your existing base? Yes.
Is your ROI on cultivation significant? Yes.
Antsy leaders, eager to please directors, and anxious managers very often just can’t seem to take their eyes off of the new shiny “yes” they don’t have yet or fear their competitors will beat them to. However, doing that is not just leaving money on the table with your existing customer, it is diminishing your greatest asset in pursuit of your new customers as well.
Strategic, deliberate, internal marketing becomes external marketing for mitigated cost and maximized effect. Those who truly develop a strong customer understanding and a program that communicates that high value to them, from the consumer’s point of view (I mean, they are truly feeling the love), have something that all marketers and organizations pursue – brand equity with a loyal customer base — who tell their friends why they should love you too.