Opinion

Can your brand answer these 3 questions?


Some companies  seem to be oblivious to the fact that retention and acquisition marketing are two separate animals.

Two simple questions could smooth the dividing lines.

And a third could revolutionise the way you market.

Acquisition and retention marketing ask two different questions.

To gain a customer, the acquisition marketer needs to answer this question:

Prospect: What will this brand do for me? (future presumption)

To keep a customer, the retention (or loyalty) marketer needs to answer a different question:

Customer: What is this brand doing for me? (present perspective)

The first is future presumption.  The other is present perspective.

Both are needed for a healthy bottom line.  Get more customers in; keep current customers from migrating elsewhere.

Your brand needs to be able to answer both questions.

You might have acquisition and retention in different teams.  You might call retention ‘loyalty’.

But you need to know both answers inside and out.

If you’re a really top-flight marketer, you’ll know the answer to a third question as well:

Prospect OR customer: What will this brand enable me to do?

Subtle? Yes.

Important? Definitely.

Unasked? Often.

Too much marketing stops at question one.  Some loyalty marketing provides the answer for question two.

It’s a rare company which can answer question three in a meaningful way.

Question three will become increasingly important in the next two years. We’re already seeing some of the shifts into enablement over provision.

For savvy brands, it’s going to be the only way to survive.

Neil Hopkins is a Marketing and Branding Theorist at heart, and a Marketing Communications Manager by day. His blog – interacter – is the primary location he shares insight and information relating to marketing, branding and advertising strategy.
You can follow Neil on Twitter, circle him (like an escaped bull) on Google+ or track him down in any number of other ways.

Featured image used under Creative Commons from P Shanks on Flickr.

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2 thoughts on “Can your brand answer these 3 questions?

  1. Neil,

    Too true. I’m married to a 15 year Loyalty marketing veteran so we have these conversations often. As a sub-set of “enable” I’d suggest that anticipation is a powerful reason for retaining consumers. Smart marketers can, and should, be using their vast access to data from their loyalty customers as a means to forecast and make (grounded) assumptions on where the next trends will take their product offering. That need not only be in terms of their portfolio but also the “currency” they base their loyalty programs on. Points, cash, points & cash need to be refreshed in compelling ways…even more in a recessionary environment when customers are expecting even more (for less) than ever before.

    • Anticipation – yes! Both for trends and for individual reward, I think.

      I would love to see this kind of customer insight in action – the taking of seemingly disparate information strands and weaving them into the next big thing (even when that big thing isn’t yet in the horizon).

      Have you got any great examples to share?

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