Should brands prioritise their current customers over the bid for new ones? The Marketing Society Forum
E.ON's latest campaign focuses on loyalty, as the energy firm shuns aggressive acquisition tactics.
YES: Celia Pronto, marketing and ecommerce director, Ford retail group
Customers are becoming more cynical toward brands, particularly over the perceived declining benefits of long-term loyalty.
We in the marketing industry have been guilty of fuelling this by offering incentives such as discounts to new customers at the expense of our loyal ones. However, in this era of transparency via social media, these practices have never been more exposed, making them an unsustainable approach.
Focusing on existing customers will not only drive long-term loyalty – those customers with increased satisfaction will also become brand advocates, effectively acquiring new customers on your behalf.
NO: Chris Lewis, head of marketing, Whitbread
We all know you have to both retain and acquire your customer base. At the most basic level, existing customers like you for what you currently stand for. If they stay, it's for this reason (and/or they're too loyal or too lethargic to switch).
A few freebies might allow you to hold on to a handful of existing customers, but if, fundamentally, a competitor's offer is more appealing, you're toast.
In our information age, customers will readily compare and switch brands, so you will always need a strategy to attract new customers. As for the acquisition offer, extend it to existing customers and fewer of them will leave.
MAYBE: Martine Ainsworth-Wells, founder and director, Ainsworth & Wells
Marketing strategies must always focus on the customer, so it really depends on three factors. If you are a new product or service and don't have any customers, clearly you need to focus on securing some.
If you face aggressive activity from your competitors, it makes sense to protect the customers you have by rewarding them for their loyalty.
If your product is not unique and you need to find a way to differentiate, then loyalty-led marketing could be one solution. However, such marketing is hardly groundbreaking. Didn't we all buy our petrol at BP in the 80s so we could collect those crystal wine glasses?
MAYBE: Nicola Mendelsohn, executive chairman, Karmarama
It depends. Have you got the right customers, do they give you the required lifetime value, are they committed and loyal, or fickle? The danger of facing inwards only is that the brand can lack momentum, fame and noise. It is important to build both brand and relationships. Focusing on only one side does not guarantee the best results.
Be so attractive that new customers will want to join and your current ones become your most efficient acquisition channel.
This article was first published on marketingmagazine.co.uk
Latest jobs Jobs web feed
- Senior Account Manager fishtank 32k to 42k per year GBP, Maidenhead, Berkshire
- Graphic/Web Designer fishtank 17k to 27k per year GBP, United Kingdom
- ACCOUNT DIRECTOR/SENIOR ACCOUNT DIRECTOR - BTL/SP/Brand Experience - London - £45 - £55k plus bonus Judi Patton £45K-55K plus bonus, London/Greater London
- Digital Brand Manager Nike Europe Competitive + attractive relocation package for foreign hires, Amsterdam
- Head of Media, Marketing & Communications PGA Competitive, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
- senior planner > SPORTS BRANDS collectivo Up to £90,000 plus benefits, London
Integrated digital marketing offers huge opportunities to engage, servic...
With UK consumers spending an average of £1,083 a year online, int...
Conversational Mobile Marketing: Engage Customers and Empower Advocates (Expert Reports) External website
The pressure is on for marketers and mobile operators to embrace a strat...
As a nation, the UK is media and technology obsessed with over half of t...
All customers have the potential to become your brand advocates, driving...
A recent Brand Republic survey revealed that 78% of respondents felt und...