A very sharp senior marketing director asked me a great question the other day: “Can a demand generation revenue engine be leveraged for retention purposes? And if so, how?”
This question often arises once someone sees how effective a demand gen revenue engine approach is for creating new leads and customers. Here was my answer:
As for retention: yes. The same kinds of marketing and cost efficiencies are gained when you leverage your revenue engine investment into retention efforts. Why? Because the same core principles apply whether you are creating new leads and opportunities for new business or whether you’re focused on improving retention, cross-sell, up-sell, etc. with your current customers:
1) Relevance = revenue. Or put another way, relevance is an imperative now, not an option. (People are far too busy and far too good at tuning out irrelevant, off target messages.) Relevance comes from offering timely and genuinely valuable content and service as a buyer moves through their buying journey.
2.) Strategy+Content+Technology. There is literally no way a company can reliably deliver timely, relevant, and useful messaging and content without an integrated strategy and technology platform that synchronizes your content to that buyer journey.
3) Build a profile of your leads and customers. By capturing and storing your prospect and customer data in a central marketing database that is shared and integrated with sales, you create an incredibly valuable asset that can be used to understand each customer and respond to them in a personalized way.
4) Metrics. By building measurement into your strategy on day one, you put yourself on a path of data-driven optimization, rather than more hunch-based, educating guessing about what works and what doesn’t work.
Retention is just the last of four major steps in that buyer journey: Awareness, Consideration, Purchase, Loyalty (retention, etc).
Once a contact moves from a lead to a customer, they can be marketed to with targeted, multi-touch campaigns that speak to their specific situation (example: SMB decision makers who are located in Denver/Boulder who are within 120 days of a renewal decision, for instance). The same kinds of tactics and channels used for new client acquisition can be used in retention campaigns (email, webinars, special events, direct mail, video, social media, etc).
Have you learned how to leverage your lead generation investment to assist with deepening your relationship with current customers? Contact us if you would like to learn more.