Monday, May 27, 2013

The easiest companies you’ll ever market (& sell) to are…

Today we have a guest blog from Elizabeth Andreini:

The easiest companies you’ll ever market (& sell) to are…your customers of course! But yet that seems to always be the group that gets the least attention by marketing (and sales). Don’t make that mistake!

Not too long ago I found myself at a company that was suddenly agitated because their customer retention rate unexpectedly dropped by almost 10% in a single year. Customer subscription revenue was a significant part of their total revenue, and actually had more impact than new customer revenue, so the impact to the bottomline was significant. The company hadn’t been paying attention and consistently marketing to their customers because they had been so busy chasing new business. Once the revenue started to drop it took them a while to respond, and by that time the damage was done. While they couldn’t have saved all those customers, neglect had taken its toll.

An unfortunate story and a hard lesson learned.

Once this company started to look at their customer base more thoroughly, the other lesson the company learned was that it was not selling new products and services to their customers, many of whom didn’t even know about other solutions available to purchase. The business was not only losing current revenue, they were leaving new revenue on the table! While retaining your customers is important, what is often even more frequently overlooked is that these same customers are the most fertile ground for new sales.

Your company may not be in that same situation, but are you doing the best job you could to stay in touch with your customer base and consistently market to your customers? Chasing new customers or market segments while neglecting your customer base, leaves your customers unappreciated and makes it easier for your competitors to acquire them.

So focus on chasing after current customers! Market to them! Make keeping your customer base informed about all current and new products and services a priority. Invest time and energize your customer base and you may find they actually help you sell new customers too!

As the CEO, five questions you should ask your marketing (and sales) departments:

1.    What is our customer retention rate and how could we improve it?
2.    How much time and resources is our company spending marketing to our customer base compared to chasing new customers and new markets?
3.    How are we keeping our customers informed about new product and services offerings, and are marketing and sales working together to encourage purchase?
4.    How can we help our customers be better evangelists for our products and services?
5.    What else do our customers need that it would make sense for us to provide them?


As the President of Accelerate Marketing, LLC, Elizabeth Andreini, is the “secret weapon” CEOs turn to at key growth points when they need to transform marketing and product management to grow their customer base, increase revenue & scale their business. In addition to providing experienced executive insight and strategic guidance, Elizabeth often works as an interim CMO or VP to provide the hands-on leadership needed to rearchitect marketing and product management and improve execution from the inside.

Elizabeth Andreini, founder & president of Accelerate Marketing, LLC 
Accelerate Marketing, LLC
Twitter: @acceler8mkting
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