The Paradigm Shift of the Acquisition Model: The Best Customers Are the Ones That Last a Lifetime

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Author: Matt Zilli

Companies spend the majority of their marketing budgets on customer acquisition, but once acquired, those hard-won customers tend to languish. Marketers invest their hard work and precious dollars in pay-per-click ads, online promotions, and electronic coupons in an effort to get customers to make that first purchase, but once those customers are in the door, they’re left largely to their own devices. And this is particularly prevalent with companies marketing exclusively to consumers.

Yet, nurturing customer relationships is a crucial element of marketing, and budgets need to start accounting for this. One of the biggest trends I see happening now is that companies are finally starting to emphasize this over acquiring new customers. Now marketers are turning their attention to investing in the customer lifetime value (CLV): acquiring new buyers, growing their lifetime value, and converting them into advocates. And thanks to advances in technology, marketers can listen and respond to customers at every stage of their journey, keeping them engaged and helping accelerate them toward purchase decisions.

A Strategic Shift Is in the Air

Companies pour money into attracting new customers with creative campaigns. But up until now, for a lot of companies, the ensuing retention marketing strategy has largely consisted of a lazy combination of phoned-in loyalty programs and generic discounts (10% off for signing up for your daily newsletter? No thanks). Even automated emails have traditionally been one-size-fits-all.

Quite frankly, a lot of this has had to do with the lack of good tools. But as better customer nurturing technology has hit the marketplace with advancements in marketing automation, it’s driving a more intense focus on engagement marketing strategy. In the great nurturing versus acquisition debate, it’s largely about metrics. Today, marketers can finally justify their investments in nurture campaigns because we can measure and track the results of these efforts precisely. That allows marketers to shift focus from just the first click to the entire relationship lifecycle.

Email Is Your Best Retention Ally

One of the biggest drivers of this new focus on the value of the entire customer lifecycle is the introduction of more sophisticated email marketing tools over the last few years. Why the fixation on email marketing? Because it works. When it comes to building relationships with customers over time, email marketing trumps social media: 91% of US consumers use email every day. Furthermore, email has been proven to prompt purchases three times more often than social media—and the average order value is about 17% higher, according to McKinsey.

Email is the perfect medium for retaining customers and nurturing relationships—if (and it’s a big if) done right. With the right tools, email marketing allows you to create custom content series, respond in real-time to customer behavior, and offer each individual customer deals and information about products and services he is looking for at that moment. While other digital marketing mediums can do these things too, email remains the singular medium for marketers to reach consumers when it’s most convenient for the consumer.

Marketers may argue that mobile trumps email these days, but we found in a recent survey that 30% of people disable all mobile push notifications and 50% of people only allow push notifications from apps they love. So while mobile should be a core component of any customer engagement strategy, email still wins as the best place to start.

Over time, the right answer is to combine your nurturing efforts across email, mobile, the web, paid media, and social. Email works best when combined with mobile push notifications and web messages to deliver true convenience for the customer. Almost half of marketing emails are opened on a mobile device—and that number is sure to grow—so optimizing both emails and landing pages for mobile is no longer an option but rather a necessity. Consumers have no patience for poorly-performing pages. They’ll simply switch brands in a heartbeat if they can’t reach a page on their smartphone.

Happy Customers = Loyal Brand Advocates

It’s far easier (and cheaper) to sell to happy, existing customers than to find new ones. When you gain the loyalty of a current customer, you don’t just reap the rewards of continued purchases from that person; you also get his vocal advocacy as he endorses your brand to his peers and social networks. Every “Like” you get on Facebook is potentially viewed by that person’s entire social network, acting as a digital stamp of approval.

The takeaway: it’s not acquisition versus engagement. It’s acquisition as a first step to better engagement. Shift your mindset away from having to choose between these two paradigms, and instead start focusing on the big picture, and you can have it all.

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The Paradigm Shift of the Acquisition Model: The Best Customers Are the Ones That Last a Lifetime was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. | http://blog.marketo.com

The post The Paradigm Shift of the Acquisition Model: The Best Customers Are the Ones That Last a Lifetime appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.


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[Ebook] Transformational Inbound Marketing: Your Secret Weapon for Customer Acquisition and Retention

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Author: Dayna Rothman

Inbound marketing is a proven and powerful earned strategy for creating brand awareness and generating leads. With inbound marketing, you can attract people to your brand through great content, which serves to engage customers.

For marketers today, inbound marketing is more necessary than ever. Why? Buyers are not just reading catalogues and going to malls—they are online—and spending more time doing their own research prior to making contact with your brand. So you need to be found, and inbound marketing helps you do just that.

With that being said, traditional inbound marketing approaches have some limitations. They can be very focused on acquisition and lead generation. They can also be broad and not very personal. Today’s buyers are simply more sophisticated, and they expect an ongoing, personalized dialogue with a brand on their terms. Traditional inbound marketing, with its often broad-based approach, doesn’t serve this need.

Transformational Inbound Marketing

The concept of what we call transformational inbound marketing goes beyond traditional inbound marketing techniques. Unlike traditional inbound, transformational inbound leverages valuable content to attract and retain customers throughout their entire lifecycle, not just before they are a customer, but even after becoming one. Additionally, transformational inbound goes beyond traditional methods with a greater emphasis on personalization and relevance.

To learn more about this method of inbound, download our brand new ebook: Transformational Inbound Marketing: Your Secret Weapon for Acquisition and Retention.

4 Pillars of Transformational Inbound Marketing

Transformational inbound marketing is comprised of:

  1. Valuable content that is entertaining, educational, and inspirational, created to nurture buyers throughout their customer lifecycle
  2. Two-way communication: marketers listen and respond to buyers in a relevant, personalized way
  3. Attracting customers via content, social, SEO, blogging, and other inbound channels
  4. Combining paid programs with traditional inbound tactics to amplify and increase reach

At its core, transformational inbound marketing focuses on the customer lifecycle, while traditional tactics focus only on the initial interaction. Transformational inbound seeks to listen and respond to buyers’ needs with a more personalized experience.

Why Traditional Inbound Marketing Alone Isn’t Enough

On its own, traditional inbound marketing can cast too wide of a net. You may connect with a lot of potential prospects, but are they the right buyers for your product or service? At a certain point, it becomes necessary to enhance your approach. You need to extend your focus beyond acquisition, embark on a two-way conversation with buyers, nurture them over time, and add a paid element to your programs for a full-funnel view of inbound.

Additionally, on its own, traditional inbound doesn’t allow for specific audience targeting, nor does it drive people to action. Remember—once you’re out of sight, you’re likely out of mind.

By taking a full-view of the customer and embarking on a multi-faceted approach to inbound marketing, you can more effectively drive inbound leads to become customers and eventual advocates for your business.

To learn more about this method of inbound, download our brand new ebook: Transformational Inbound Marketing: Your Secret Weapon for Acquisition and Retention.

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[Ebook] Transformational Inbound Marketing: Your Secret Weapon for Customer Acquisition and Retention was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. | http://blog.marketo.com

The post [Ebook] Transformational Inbound Marketing: Your Secret Weapon for Customer Acquisition and Retention appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.


Marketo Marketing Blog

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