Break out the Rolodex, as we kick off each year we often forget about our greatest and most affordable marketing opportunities – existing customers. As we start 2012, focus on your customers first for two reasons:
- Statistically, professional services firms may lose up to 20% of their clients each year. This attrition alone means that you need to retain more clients and replace what you lose before you ever consider a growth plan.
- Existing customers are the most affordable to reach. A common problem is that clients always view your offerings based on the services that you provided them when they hired you. A regular marketing program to existing customers can expose clients to the leadership that you offer other clients and allow opportunities to cross-sell additional services that they may not currently lean to you for. A basic CRM program, email marketing and social media are three great ways to do this.
With some signs of economic recovery, it is important that your customers understand the full breadth of your services and that they see the wins that you provide your other clients on a regular basis. This way, when they decide to come out of their shell and increase their marketing investments you are the first ones that they call.
What are the best strategies that you have found for retaining existing customers?
I was fortunate to get a chance to participate in Brains on Fire’s 2010 Fire Sessions today and, as usual, they put on an extraordinary event. I started my career with them almost 15 years ago and over the last 10 years have remained great friends with them all and enjoyed watching them spread their passion and find their voice.
Wow, it is a great time to be a marketer. So, we may have missed Madison Avenue, Ogilvy and rubylith, but this could be one of the greatest times ever to be in advertising. Although the foundations of good marketing cross all mediums and are more important now than ever, the ability to deliver low-cost, high impact messaging has been revolutionized with youtube and handheld HD. This video is amazing and should inspire us with endless possibilities for video on the web. If you are not using video to promote your product or service yet, what are you waiting for?
I have to say that it took me a little while to really get a grip on twitter. At the core it is simple, share 140 characters or less. But to be strategic in your approach you need a relevant network to share and follow. Although there are numerous tools to help you gain numbers, quality far outweighs quantity in the twittersphere and the addition of Twitter Lists makes it very easy to do. I recommend a small invest in time, an hour or two per week minimum, to manually search for content relevant to you and your customers and custom build a highly targeted network. Statistically, about 35% of those that you follow will follow you back, an even higher percentage will return the favor if you re-tweet content that you believe your network would find relevant.
Here are 10 steps to help you find relevant follows/followers on Twitter using Twitter Search and Twitter Lists:
It is hard to have a personal or professional conversation these days without facebook or twitter coming up. In an effort to keep my message short and sweet, or twitter-style, I thought this would be an easy way to share how these sites have become part of my daily grind and why. Please share you comments and I will continue to add to my initial list over time.
It is inevitable that I end up explaining the evolution of the web several times a week. Whether with clients, prospects, peers, family or friends, the web and social media have hit a point of intersection where advertisers and consumers are now in the same dialog. Even Googling and facebooking are terms my seven year old uses regularly.
In times past, the “mother-in-law test” as I called it (no offense, Grandma C.), was a litmus test to determine how simple an idea was. I would just ask, “Would your mother-in-law get that idea?” If the answer was “No.”, then the concept was either bad or overcomplicated. Well, here is my “mother-in-law test” for the state of marketing on the web today, so tell me if I have passed my own test.