Like many initiatives undertaken by a busy enterprise, marketing is subject to natural tendencies that can hinder the overall effectiveness of the effort.
The fact is, we all have a tendency to fall into patterns – to focus on immediate issues while losing sight of the big picture, and to rely on ‘tried and true’ methods that are actually becoming outdated and ineffective.
Here are a few of the common pitfalls that can easily creep into a marketing process. Companies with the will and focus to weed out these issues can greatly strengthen their overall impact and results.
Too much focus on prospecting vs. retention.
Maybe we just love the thrill of the hunt. Somehow it’s much more exciting to go after a piece of new business than to service the heck out of a current customer. The fact is, it’s much easier and less costly to generate additional business from customers and clients who are already loyal members of your tribe.
In his book, The Loyalty Effect: The Hidden Force Behind Growth, Profits and Lasting Value, Frederick Reichheld showed that making loyalists out of 5% of your customers can boost average profit-per-customer by 25% to 100%. When you consider that acquiring a new customer can cost 6 to 7 times more than retaining a customer, the opportunity costs of focusing too heavily on prospecting are substantial. The key is to view and value loyal customers as acquired assets.
The lack of a strategic plan.
For decades, the “we need an ad” mentality has been alive and well. Sometimes the motivator is a sudden deal on ad space offered by a media rep. Other times, it’s driven by the perceived need to respond to a competitor’s latest salvo.
The fact is, it’s usually more effective to create a long-term strategic plan as opposed to the kinds of reactive approaches that even savvy marketers manage to fall into. A solid plan, for both message content and your overall channel mix, is usually the result of deliberate, unhurried thinking. This often leads to surprising questions like: “Why does
it even have to be an ad?”