When I talk about growing revenue from current buyers, CEOs and Owners tell me all the time: “yes, it’s much cheaper to market to current buyers.”
In spite of this belief, I find at least one, and sometimes all, of these three counterproductive marketing practices in their companies. They hinder the company’s ability to generate new revenue from current buyers.
- The barest of efforts: When I ask if they are doing it, most show me the barest of efforts. A half-hearted email here, a phone call there. No one tracks these efforts or their results.
Current buyers are the very best source for new revenue and yet nearly half of companies do not do one single thing to generate it. Those that make the effort spend less than 10% of their budget on it.
- The same marketing messages to current buyers and to prospective buyers: Current buyers want to be acknowledged as such. You need to deliver messages of appreciation first and then “Why stay” messages.
Prospective buyers need to hear “Why change” messages. This means moving them from their personal status quo as a buyer elsewhere. If all your marketing is “Why change” your current buyers don’t hear it.
- Provocative messages rather than status quo reinforcement: Corporate Visions studied the effectiveness of three different messages with current buyers. #1-Status quo reinforcement; #2-Provocative pitch; #3 Provocative pitch with upsell. By a large margin, #1, status quo reinforcement, outperformed the others.
The study concludes that provocative messaging approaches, which are very popular today, are not universally applicable (i.e., with current buyers) and could even backfire.
My work with CEOs and Owners prioritizes heavy investments in marketing to current buyers, with significant differentiation in methods and messages according to buyer segments (Best buyers, Enthusiastic Fans and Regulars).