You won’t find any jargon on our website except from here The Layman’s Glossary of Marketing Terms (for those that are interested in marketing jargon)!

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    Future goals and objectives for a business generally include the desire to grow. Entering new markets, reaching new audiences and tempting customers away from the competition are all valid, justifiable and achievable goals. But (and it’s a big but), these should never be considered the only opportunities for growth, and unfortunately, this is a mistake we see many businesses making.

    I’m sure you’ve all heard that it costs more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain one? Forbes suggest it costs five times as much in fact. How they get to this figure, I have no idea. What I do know though is that you should never neglect your existing customer base when you plan your business growth strategy, neither should you assume that a customer who you deem to have been ‘lost’ as gone forever.

    Telecoms and media providers (just as an example) put huge importance on retention and win-back strategies. Have you ever tried to cancel your broadband contract? Don’t get me wrong, they’re often flawed strategies, only offering incentives to stay, rather than showing their customers good service and value whilst they’re still in contract. However, there’s a lot we can learn from their intentions.

    If your strategy is to grow your business, you should give due consideration to existing business. It’s as simple as that. Your existing customer base are your bread and butter but also, your advocates and potential referees. So why overlook them in your desire to seek new customers?

    Have you ever purchased something at what you considered a good price, only to find out that the price has been reduced shortly after you purchased it, or offered at a lower price to another type of customer? Bloody irritating, right? Your acquisition marketing strategy shouldn’t irritate your existing customers, they should get (or at least feel like they get) preferential treatment. It costs more to acquire than retain (just a reminder) and they deserve it, for the custom they’ve brought you.

    A retention marketing strategy should be distinctly different from your acquisition strategy, and a win-back strategy needs completely different attention again. Different messages, offers and pricing structures. A well-managed customer account is a customer for life. And, if you have a strong retention strategy, as well as a strong acquisition strategy, you shouldn’t need to invest too much in a win-back strategy.

    When it comes to lapsed customers, you should be asking yourself, and them, why did they leave? Can you learn from them to improve things for your other customers, or can you encourage them back by offering to improve what they’ve experienced? Either way, don’t just dismiss them as dead and gone. Win-back strategies can include ongoing efforts to ensure lapsed customers are informed about what’s different since they left you, tempting them to come back.

    In summary, your target audience should be made up of prospects, your existing customer base and your lapsed customers. Your marketing strategy should consider each of these three types and your messages should be unique to each.