BACKGROUND IMAGE: iSTOCK/GETTY IMAGES
As Kate Leggett of Forrester Research Inc. has said, "It is the age of the customer," where customers are more in control of their relationships with companies than ever. We might also add to that statement that it is the age of the existing customer. According to Denis Pombriant, president and CEO of Beagle Research, companies derive 80% of their revenue from their existing customer base and only 20% from new customers. Yet marketing budgets are often "flipped," where companies spend the bulk of their marketing dollars on acquiring new customers, not keeping the ones they have.
But these statistics put in high relief the fact that companies have an important job to do, not only in acquiring new customers but also in retaining them, so they need to develop practices that encourage customer loyalty, and certainly not customer contempt and disgust. Many traditional direct-mail marketing campaigns did exactly that.
But in this podcast, Pombriant discusses the importance of customer nurturing to develop long-lasting relationships with customers, brand exposure and loyalty, and why nurturing technologies can make this effort a business process.
"The customer is in control today," Pombriant noted. "The easiest way for vendors to get cross-sells and upsells [is] to keep customers favorably impressed. Their competitors are also trying to sell to their installed customers. Some of this is just playing good defense. It improves the bond between the company and the customer."