The saying “it is five times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one” rings true, especially when considering that companies spent an average of 10.2% of their revenue on marketing in 2014 (Gartner). However, it requires much more than merely spending 10% of your revenue on handing out flyers and placing copy-and-paste advertisements in your local newspaper. Due to the lack of budget, small to medium-sized firms have to invest more resources, such as manpower, to achieve its marketing goals. Here is how your competition might be ahead of you:
The digital spaceAre you stealing my clients
Marketing has changed dramatically over the past decade. Social media didn’t exist 10 years ago, nor did effective two-way communication, digital storytelling or employee office gyms. Traditional word of mouth is still imperative, but has become more powerful than ever online. Furthermore, complaints are not delivered in private letters to companies, but rather via digital channels for the whole world to see within a flash. Therefore it is important to adapt with the trends and speak to your customers on their platforms - not yours.
Focus on value
Saving costs are important, but so is delivering value to your clients. This is especially relevant in our trying economic times. Focus on building long term relations, creating brand loyalty, offering superior service and value for money. Know what your competition offers. Then, by keeping your customers top of mind, decide on your value-add and let it differentiate you from the crowd.
Rising above the rest
Today, there are probably a thousand companies in your region that offer the exact same products and services as your company. What are you doing to rise above the rest? A more important question is what are your competitors doing differently? Knowing your competitors will assist your company in finding its position within the market. Keep your friends close and your competitors closer.
How does your communication strategy for your business look and when last did you update it? Most companies only invest in marketing and communication initiatives when business is slow, and then stops as soon as the business recovers. This cycle of start-stop marketing is like discarding potential long-term revenue for short-term pay-outs.
You don’t have to spend millions on marketing to be successful, rather be strategic in your approach. Whether you want to steal (or borrow) your competitors’ clients, acquire new customers or just outright rise above the rest; effective marketing and communication is a process that should be treated as a long term investment. Find a marketing partner that will walk the mile with you.
By Martin Snoek, APR