Growth marketing

How to Tell if Your Company Has a Marketing Problem

Written by Kevin Barber / April 23, 2014

is the Founder & Director of Lean Labs. He has over a decade of professional experience in Internet Marketing and his top skill is surrounding himself with passionate designers, developers, and inbound marketers.

Kevin has been married 10 years, the father of 3, and he recently relocated to Costa Rica. He enjoys reading professional development books, cycling and motorcycling. Connect with Kevin on Linked In.

What if you could evaluate whether your company's marketing was missing one of its key objectives in less than 2 minutes? Let me show you how.

99% of companies focus marketing efforts on their front door. Visits. Leads. Customers. KPI's are normally CPA (cost per acquisition) and conversion rate. Virtually all marketing activity is laser focused on these objectives. This is natural because it's the marketing department's job to deliver growth.

But with all of the attention on the front door, who's watching the back door? Who is ensuring that once they get into your restaurant, they enjoy their meal? Not to mention the waiter, the atmosphere, the menu, the wait, and the bill. What really matters to a restaurant business is whether that customer enjoys their experience and looks forward to coming back. Is it really any different for your business?

Marketing needs to be about more than just closing all the customers you can get. It needs to be about delivering a brand experience that's worth continuing, and worth talking about. [tweet this] More than ever, the customer experience IS the marketing plan. Today's growth companies have embraced this.

Two questions to ask your marketing department:

  1. What marketing activities are helping us attract and gain new customers?
  2. What marketing activities are helping us delight and keep these new customers?

If your marketing team has a great answer for Q1 but is stumped by Q2, you have a marketing problem.

Marketing efforts absolutely must not stop once the customer is won. Add customer retention as a KPI (key performance indicator) to help align your marketing with company objectives. Marketing should be involved in the effort to turn new customers into loyal customers and even advocates. [tweet this] 

Consider this:

Companies that experience just a 5% increase in customer retention increase profits between 25% and 125%!* [tweet this]

* source = Garner Group and "Leading on the Edge of Chaos"

Closing 100 customers is easy. Simply drop the price or promise something to help you hit your numbers. Keeping 100 customers as lifelong loyal fans and advocates: that's where your marketing efforts really count.

Two Tips to Delight and Keep Existing Customers:

  1. Send out a survey to existing customers to evaluate their net promoter score. Then ask the most important question: Why? This will uncover both where you're strong and where you can improve.
  2. Don't let your Inbound Marketing Funnel end at closing new customers. Add a second marketing funnel for customer retention. Customer experience will ultimately make all the difference.
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