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How to get more out of existing customers

10/03/2014

Much of the debate and analysis in the marketing sector takes place around a now-familiar concept - how to bring in as many new customers as possible. However, it can be equally important to ensure your organisation is doing everything it can to retain and engage with your pre-existing base, especially in the current economic climate.

With acquisition costs on the up and tightening of budgets across the marketing world, it is clear that firms will be able to get a great deal out of value by maintaining strong links with their existing customers.

Maximising profit from this part of the business is an efficient way of taking advantage of untapped revenue and ensuring rivals do not benefit from customers leaving and moving to a similar operation.

One way for firms to maintain strong relationships in this area is to concentrate on developing and marketing new products that can improve the consumer experience, meaning that marketers may find roles of this kind on the up in coming months.

Either creating new products or re-jigging existing ones to make the prospect of renewal more attractive is a highly effective way of keeping customers on board; however, these developments need to be matched with a strong marketing strategy, particularly if firms wish to convince people to switch from an existing service to a slightly adapted one.

Although the benefits of such a change could seem obvious to the company, the reality is that most consumers are highly swayed by the concept of brand familiarity as well as an unwillingness to rock the boat, meaning well-crafted advertising is needed to overcome their inherent conservatism when it comes to making a shift.

The ability to up-sell new products will not only aid retention, but drive up the amount of income each customer is worth on average, and as such is a considerably value-adding innovation as long as it is carried out properly.

Businesses need to be wary that they do not annoy their consumers by pestering them about potential upgrades; however, generating novel ideas is worth nothing unless they can be monetised through increased sales.

One way in which they can do this is to work with customers to see how best they can improve their processes; this is an especially prevalent trend in the B2B sector, where organisations can share their expertise with each other, adding value to both companies. In financial services firms, a B2B2C model can see a great deal of mutual benefit to both groups.

For marketers, it is important to draw on existing information to leverage the best possible outcomes out of existing customer groups - this can involve big data analytics, or be carried out on a smaller scale, but either way it is crucial to be aware of previous trends in order to make informed decisions about new products.

By developing understanding and insight within their organisation, marketing experts will be able to reduce costs in the long term as well as drive up retention, ultimately becoming a more profitable proposition for any potential clients.