Quick, pop quiz! No studying, no googling—just based on your experience and what you already know. Answer the best way you can. You only have three questions:
What is the fundamental purpose of marketing?
What is the true value marketing brings to your organization?
What should be the number one goal marketing accomplishes for your business?
We'll give you time to consider your options. Clue, the answer is the same for all three questions. Think you got it?
How many said, to generate leads? Or, did you go with increased sales? What about creating brand awareness or developing your company's public reputation?
Now, each of these answers is valid and is indeed vital. Of course, marketing produces more customers, which in turn drives sales, resulting from greater awareness. However, these goals are not the ultimate purpose of marketing. They are more or less a byproduct of marketing with excellence. There is a prerequisite that your organizations must meet to see these results take place. This first step is the essential reason and the very fabric of marketing.
Can you guess what that is? Anyone? Maybe those in the back? Go ahead, don't be shy. Blurt it out!
If you said to strengthen customer intimacy and to gain an in-depth understanding of your target audience, you've earned your A+ for the day. Said another way, marketing seeks to maximize the customer lifetime value (CLV) of your organization. You see, without this foundation, you can't develop or deploy an impactful, earthshaking, world-changing marketing strategy. Marketing is the building block of your business, and your bricks require a solid, firm ground to stand upon. Being able to define your CLV, in essence, is your ability to articulate and perceive your intended audience's worth.
That means we must approach marketing with a holistic attitude. Acquiring customers, members, partners—however, you coin your audience is good but keeping them is even better. The relationship you build with your audience is not a "hit it and quit it" one. Particularly in today's competitive, limited-dollar environment, you can no longer afford to be an in and out element in your customers' lives. There is merit in building a lasting bridge between your organization and your audience.
Think connective road that withstands numerous conditions throughout the customer's lifetime. If the marketing you are pushing is not creating a path that leads back to you time and time again, you've missed the objective and the entire "why" behind marketing. Your efforts have fallen short, leaving you with tremendous missed opportunities—one being to increase your customer return rate and drive purchase frequency among a fan base already paying attention.
Listen, it cost more to gain a new customer than to lose one. This cost doesn't just add up financially. Please pull out your calculators and begin to tally the time and effort it takes to captive those who aren't already acquired. More work and resources are required to capture new fish, but those already in your tank are in scoop reach.
So, then, why in the world would we allow our current customers to slip away? Let's begin to utilize marketing for its intended purpose to help us map out a route that brings our audience right back.
Ready to market in the way we were meant to? Yes! Good. Let's get into the whats and hows of retention marketing. Enter the next blog to learn more.