Stating the obvious perhaps, but the lifeblood of any business is inbound cash flow.
The source of inbound cash is customers.
Customers are really all the matter.
Attracting them, monetising them and keeping them are vital.
However...(and this is the most important bit) not all customers are created equal.
What's a good customer?
Successful businesses attract and retain loyal customers who are willing to buy an increasing amount of goods and services from a brand.They are also very willing to recruit people in their network, free of charge, to the brand.
Without this clear understanding of how a good customer behaves, marketers run the real risk of spending their marketing budgets on recruiting bad customers.
Where marketers go wrong
Universally in marketing circles, far too much time and effort is spent analysing demographic segmentation models of various customer cohorts rather than actually understanding what kind of customer behaviour is preferred.
The reason is because marketing metrics are outdated and historically aligned to blunt financial metrics that tell you very little about the health of a business based on the quality of the relationship that it has with its customers.
The result of this is that marketers chase goals that have very little effect on the longer-term sustainability of the business.
By not having a strict judgmental view on the quality of its customer base, bad customers are welcomed in without anyone realising what this ends up costing the company.
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Bad customers are everywhere.
- They come for the discounts.
- They're attracted to special offers.
- They lurk en-masse online.
- They cost a business money to recruit and then offer very little value in return.
The job of a modern marketer is to consciously design an approach to marketing which ideally results in the brand attracting only good customers.
Channels and approaches need to be carefully evaluated as to who they attracted or retained and how those customers behaved after they joined.
If social media with particular messaging brings in a high proportion of bad customers - stop wasting money on social media, or test different iterations of your messaging until you get what you want.
Test and discard relentlessly.
If activations generate positive word-of-mouth with people who genuinely buy-in to your offering, then do similar work consistently.
Don't be shy about policing your brand's 'velvet rope'. If customers are bad, cut them out.
Knowing where you are on your particular growth trajectory is important when it comes to the specific marketing mix that you employ, but ultimately the new lens on customers should be that your intention is to recruit your tribe, rather than just anybody.
Acquiring customers in a crowded marketplace is becoming increasingly expensive, invest that money in securing quality over quantity.