Winning Is Hard Losing Is Harder: Getting and keeping Customers Is Key

Most of us in any business know the importance of finding customers. Many strategies are deployed to do just that. Some cast a very wide net in hopes of working the odds. This assumes, that if a very small percentage of a very large market responds you may be able to make money. While others focus like a laser beam on relevant markets targeting larger penetration rates of smaller segments. In this instance they are counting on reaching the right people at the right time, with the right offer and right message or action. Supporting marketing executions may include push and pull strategies. Effective push strategies may include shelf space location, packaging, couponing, store discounts and product bundling. Pull strategies are largely advertising, messaging and promotion driven designed to stimulate demand and drive traffic of interest. This all in an effort to help customers make a choice for your product or service over a competitor and tease out demand. However, very few offerings are about a single purchase or transaction. Some propositions have much longer repurchase cycles than others. However, it require the same attention to the details of the customer journey.

If the average repurchase period for a car is every five years and a new house even longer you can not rely on legacy transactions to insure future pipelines. Much can happen during these lag times. For example, while someone may have been pleased with the initial purchase of a sports car their product requirements may have changed over time. Now married with children a sedan may be in order and the competition may have anticipated the needs and wants of your customer before you have. The result could be a lost sale and impairment to the lifetime value of your customers. In the end you may benefit from thinking about the customer journey and how best to align marketing and customer satisfaction initiatives around it.

What is needed is a  useful tool to help your organization develop strategies and tactics for customer development and management. In other words creating a business model supporting the customer journey or value chain. One such framework is the Find, Win, Keep and Grow model. Its about isolating ideas and innovations to find customers, win them over by purchasing your product or service, keeping them through aggressive customer engagement and retention initiatives and growing the customer relationship through cross-selling, top-ups and add-ons. These activities can take the form of a range of strategic thrusts aligned with each focus area. Examples may include differentiation, speed to market, insights development, cost containment and implementation excellence.

 

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