Studying marketing is a lot like studying philosophy. Knowing exactly what is a “right” answer is a pretty tall order to fill. In fact, hanging on too tightly to a “right answer” can spell disaster. As Harry Beckwith mentioned in his latest book, The Invisible Touch, “In this time when even the great physicists – especially the great physicists – are wracked with doubt, total certainty signals foolishness. In fact, total certainty can be fatal.”
One marketing principle that does stand out as an undeniable truth, however, one you can take to the bank and hang your hat on, is this: It’s just far more cost-effective to keep and grow an existing customer relationship than to have to continually build new ones.
Something worth paying attention to is whether or not you’re focusing every resource at your disposal on keeping and growing the business done by your customer base (also known as share-of-customer). Often when we think about growing our business we think we have to “do some marketing,” which we usually interpret as coming up with something new and different. In reality, there are probably customers who are eager to do more business with us if we’d just give them the opportunity.
Assuming we have chosen the optimal target market in the first place, it is just far more cost-effective (and profitable!) to keep and grow an existing relationship than to build a new one.
A lot of people don’t know what they want because they don’t know what’s available.” – Zig Ziglar, Sell Your Way to the Top