The Strain to Retain: 5 Pitfalls of Ignoring Your Customers

When most people think of marketing, they usually think of appealing to new customers. Marketing isn’t usually associated with reaching out and messaging existing customers — only 18 percent of brands said that the main focus of their marketing efforts is customer retention (as opposed to customer acquisition).

Nevertheless, messaging for your existing clients is just as important, if not more important, as messaging for new clients. If you want to see continuous growth, you must reach out to your community. Today, we will be exploring the top pitfalls of brands who forget to message for their community.

1. Losing Customers by not Messaging

If you’re in the 82 percent of businesses that don’t make customer retention the main focus of their marketing efforts, you run the risk of lower profits.

Increasing your retention rate by just five percent can increase your profits by up to 95 percent. On average, company value is increased by 30 percent with just a 10 percent increase in customer retention.

Not focusing on customer retention will be more taxing on your advertising budget in the long run. This is because acquiring new customers costs 5x more than retaining existing ones — and even when you have acquired a new customer, it costs 16x more to bring them up to the level of existing, loyal customers.

Messaging for your clients and letting them know that you are there for them will decrease your churn rate. It will increase loyalty; when your clients trust you, they will be more likely to stick around.

2. Lowering Your Average Customer LTV

Messaging for your clients is about more than just getting them to stick around. You can increase your average customer lifetime value by carefully crafting a brand message that speaks to them, reassures them, and shows them how you are improving and catering to their needs.

Focusing on increasing your customer LTV shows that you are thinking ahead; focusing only on acquiring new leads is a shortsighted strategy.

Did you know that the average repeat customer spends 67 percent more in months 31-36 than in months 0-6? Messaging for your existing clients is a process of increasing trust and slowly strengthening your relationship over time. It pays out in the long run. It’s not a one-time hack; it’s a lifestyle, so to speak. This has to be who you are as a brand, not some tactic that you are trying out in an effort to increase sales quickly.

When customers trust you, they will buy additional products that you sell, whether that is an upgraded subscription, an add-on, or an entirely new service. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70 percent, compared to just 5-20 percent for new customers.

3. Losing Out on WOM Sales

When customers are satisfied with your services and trust you as a brand, they will recommend you to family, friends, and business associates. Word-of-mouth is often overlooked in the age of digital marketing, but it is still important. It is the primary factor behind 20-50 percent of all purchases.

Word-of-mouth extends beyond the physical into the digital. Forty-three percent of people are likely to purchase a product after learning about it on social media. Ninety-two percent of customers trust recommendations from family and friends above all advertising, and 84 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from family and friends.

By messaging for your existing clients on public platforms, such as your blog and social profiles, you will increase social proof. Prospective clients will see how you interact and care for your clients; you will be able to get reviews and online mentions, which will boost your authority.

4. Not Meeting Unrealistic Expectations

This is something that many businesses and brands overlook. If you don’t message for your existing clients, how can you manage their expectations? How can they know what you are capable of, what kinds of services you offer, and what they should expect from you?

Messaging for your clients starts from the very beginning. They should know what you can do and what is above your capabilities. Unmet expectations lead to negative reviews and feelings of being let down; dissatisfaction leads to a higher churn rate. Open communication shows clients that you are doing exactly what you promised to do, and they will appreciate you for that.

5. Not Improving Customer Service

When businesses don’t pay attention to their existing clients, they often forget about providing quality customer service. Sixty-eight percent of customers will leave if they feel you are indifferent to them. If you don’t provide quality customer service, you are bound to lose customers to your competitors; 66 percent of customers said they switched brands because of poor customer service.

Quality customer care focuses more on just fixing problems when they arise; it involves forecasting problems in advance and providing solutions so that customers don’t experience those problems. This ties into the next point — by messaging for your clients, you can anticipate problems in advance.

6. Not Getting Feedback

An important part of your communicating with your existing clients is collecting feedback so you can improve your services. Messaging for your clients isn’t just about selling stuff. It’s about keeping the lines of communication open both ways. Be there for them; listen to them.

Demonstrate that you want to improve, that you’ll go above and beyond your call of duty to meet their needs. Ask them for feedback so you can learn. Be humble. No business is perfect, and if you don’t message for your clients, you will miss out on the amazing opportunity to improve your service and emerge as a leader in the market.

Wrapping It Up

Tollejo focuses on getting the most out of your existing pipeline. This includes leads already in your funnel and existing clients. For existing clients, your strategy should revolve around two main points: Reassurance and Expansion.

Reassure your customers that you are there for them in times of crisis and in normal times. Expand your capabilities and increase accessibility to help your clients and improve their results.

CMOs prioritise brand strategy as digital dominates post-Covid marketing channel mix

Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are increasing their spend on digital channels as the COVID pandemic has scuppered many 2020 offline campaigns.

As a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, one-third of CMOs (33%) now rank brand strategy as one of the top three strategic priorities – a big jump from 2019, surpassing analytics, personalization and marketing technology.

This is an interesting U-turn in trends as people look for safety and trust in their chosen brands as well as good online experience.

According to analyst Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey 2020, 74% of CMOs say they will spend more on digital advertising. While budgets have been hit in 2020, with 28% of CMOs stating they have cancelled media buys, marketers remain confident on the outlook for paid media in the next 12 months.

“CMOs should tread lightly with their expectations for paid media in the months ahead, as solid investments are likely to weaken,” said Ewan McIntyre, vice president analyst for Gartner for Marketers.

“Marketers remain stoic in the face of adversity and are significantly out of step with other members of the C-suite. We are seeing a significant number of CEOs and CFOs building scenario plans that include a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“CMOs should plan for future budgetary pressures now, rather than gamble on budgets bouncing back.”

The Importance of Brand Storytelling – Your Market Story

The value of storytelling in marketing and branding is widely known. To be able to have customers understand a narrative you build and buy into the idea that your tech brand is a living, breathing entity is priceless.

If you manage to balance fact and emotion into a storyline, your brand can reap the benefits of loyal, high-spending customers.

The brand story is now a necessary compass for your brand’s marketing strategy. In many tech markets, the space is overcrowded and is inundated with statistics, figures and the lowest prices. By choosing a more memorable, thoughtful route, you simplify your proposition and evoke an emotional response from the audience.

The beauty is, no other brand can copy your story. The tech brands that stand out in your head right now are the ones with the most told, most captivating story in their market.

This might be due to history (Zuckerberg in his college bedroom), an ongoing narrative (comparethemarket.com), or past challenges (Netflix and Blockbuster).

Storytelling can not only increase brand favourability but a good market story is known be 22 times more memorable than facts. The tough bit is positioning yourself and clarifying that message in your heads, and the heads of your stakeholders.

Tech products with no story typically fail. Now, for brands to succeed, they need to become human, more than a product or service. And this human’s personality needs to not only appeal to the target market, but to the decision-makers within the market.

Take cloud security – in our document, “Cloud Security 2020: Barriers to Growth”, we outline what is holding brands back and how to overcome these obstacles – many of which relate to the lack of a brand story.

For example, 77% of B2B buyers wouldn’t talk to a salesman without doing their own research. For cloud security brands, and tech brands in general, this means that first bit of brand research is often a make or break to completing a sale.

If your website, or if online earned media, doesn’t translate your market story succinctly and immediately, prospective investors and customers slip through the net and likely never return.

And that’s what is ultimately about, sales. Unfortunately, profit doesn’t always come from emotion. Your story needs to evoke a feeling but also inspire action. New York Times bestselling author Harrison Monarth, states that to inspire action, “you need to wrap your vision in a story that stirs the soul.”

YourMarket Story – Tollejo’s brand story and message framework – achieves just that. It’s about clarifying your brand’s strengths and building a narrative that inspires action from prospective customers, investors, analysts and press.

The product has given FTSE and Fortune League clients competitive advantage, often leading to increased profits and market mindshare as a direct result.

To talk about storytelling with the team, and how you brand may benefit from Your Market Story, contact us here.

The Special Forces CMO: Supercharging Sales in the Face of Adversity

The role of the CMO has been thrown into turmoil this year. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the majority of business’ efforts towards digital transformation and has seen many having to lob some marketing cargo off of the ship.

Experts suggest Chief Marketing Officers should “tread lightly” in the coming months. Some 74% of CMOs have shifted budget to digital advertising, whilst 28% have cancelled media buys.

The future is complex for tech firms, especially in regard to how they present themselves. Both tech and marketing are undergoing generational shifts and a good CMO is proving to be the central puzzle piece for many brands looking to grow.

The term “modern renaissance marketer” has grown from this – a person capable of adapting brands according to societal shifts – “sitting at the crossroads of art and science”.

The notion may seem dramatic, but as we’ve all seen these past six months, a lack of innovation and proactivity can prove fateful. An effective CMO can drive sales and commercial development more than much of a business’ sales staff.

The candidate being described will hold huge budget and customer responsibility and will not typically be found through a standard job advert.

Tollejo’s retention product, “YourCMO”, transforms this process to a painless and efficient parachute drop of leadership directly into your business.

YourCMO drives impact in three distinct ways: integrated performance, marketing transformation and sales enablement. It represents the post-COVID marketing landscape that sees the CMO as the battery to be placed in the back of your brand.

Tollejo’s global network of associate partners specialise in driving business outcomes and remaining resilient and flexible in times of uncertainty. The digital marketing resources at your disposal then keeps you capable of dealing with whatever adversity is thrown your way.

To talk more about what YourCMO could achieve for your business, contact Tollejo today.

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