So much of marketing today is hit or miss. Imagine an archery target, with tons of holes all over the surface along each of the rings. A few hit the bullseye, but most don’t. This is often the “going viral” strategy — try a whole bunch of stuff and hope something clicks. Have you ever had an executive come to you and say, “can’t you just make us a viral video?” If only it were that easy.
We’re also competing against innumerable pieces of content bombarding our prospects and customers every single day. Consider:
In other words, it is awfully difficult to stand out with content.
The answer, believe it or not, is not to throw more money at marketing or advertising. And that statement comes from someone who spent more than 20 years in Corporate America leading marketing teams at three Fortune 300 companies and two B2B (business-to-business) companies.
There is a better way, and that is to focus on your existing customers rather than constantly trying to acquire new ones. Listen to your customers, engage with your customers, and they will become your best marketers. That’s right, your existing customers will actually help you acquire new customers, so stop constantly saddling your sales teams with unreasonably increasing sales goals every year, and start paying attention to your “leaky bucket.”
You see, almost every business has a leaky bucket. Most businesses are so focused on sales and bringing in new customers that they’re forgetting about the fact that the existing customers are the ones that fund their paychecks. Without our existing customers, we’re out of business. So why do companies spend so much money and time focused on higher and higher sales goals and new customer goals and yet not nearly as much time with the people they already have?
My friend and fellow speaker Ryan Foland drew one of his famous stick-figure drawings for me to illustrate the “leaky bucket” concept. That’s clearly me there in the cartoon because as you can see, it’s a handsome bald guy. There’s that leaky bucket, full of customers that are dropping out of the bottom. But wait! Handsome Bald Guy has a net and is catching those customers before they fall to the ground! Hooray for our hero, Handsome Bald Guy!
You don’t have to be bald (or even handsome) to keep your customers from falling. You just have to pay more attention them and provide them some remarkable customer experiences. Do that, and they’ll never even think about going to your competitor.
This article originally appeared on his blog.
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