Why we have not marketed my company in over 30 years is because of Customer Retention.
The way to get recurring revenue is to take care of your customers and have a genuine interest in how they are doing. Most people say it costs over 5 times the amount to get a new customer as it does to keep an existing customer happy. With today’s prices I think it is closer to 10 times. When I started my business I always believed that if I took care of my customer and put their needs above my desire for money I would be ok. Yes, I am not rich, but I feel good about helping people.
The second part is that we always did a monthly fee for my products and services. This allows me to get in the door for new customers or existing customers with a monthly fee they can cancel anytime. It does put the pressure on me to do a good job. That is something I wanted to do anyway, and take pride in. If a customer is not happy they can leave anytime, and usually will not bad mouth you too much, as the cost was not very much paying monthly.
Instead of marketing, we put time and money into customer retention. I have access to many customers’ data in my role as a programmer. I would never reveal details, but I ran some analysis reports to see any correlation I could come up with. The notable fact that continually came up is that if a customer stays over 14 months as a customer with you, they will stay between 3 and 5 years. If a customer stays with you 5 years they are there forever, or as long as you take care of them.
People like to feel that they make a good decision so they tell other people. I read the notes from the neighbor hood program. example: Someone asks what vet they would recommend and there are 20-30 people saying their choice in Vets is the best. This is referrals in a good way.
Not sure the 80-20 rule applies to whether to market or not but is should. Take 20% of your marketing dollars and focus on customer retention. Take the other 80% and put towards Digital Marketing if you wish. After 4 months review the results and I think you will be surprised.
More good news. DMA Consulting has a collection of low cost software tools that can be used for both customer retention and Digital Marketing. The areas of Digital Marketing where each part deserves your attention are SEO, Online Ads, Social Media and your website.
SEO is the foundation of your marketing. Essentially is putting information out in places and formats that google likes so that when someone searches for a product or service you have google puts you on the first page so you get chosen. This Technical SEO is well, very technical and changes often. People say google has over 200 variables with assigned probabilities to make its decisions. This is why I have taken my masters in computer engineering degree and experience in writing Artificial Intelligence to study how to make google happy so it picks you. I have spent years studying this and continue to spend time weekly watching and testing for changes. This is not an easy problem which is why most SEO companies work in a limited number of SEO functions (usually 3-4) and continue to sell while people leave them. I work in close to 40 areas and a majority of my customers have been with me for over 20 years. Working in that many areas allows my customers to ride out the changes google makes by having all the other areas hold your Digital Marketing up why corrections are made to align you back with google. Remember Google decides if you go on the first page or not. Say someone sees your beautiful service vehicle and wants to do business with you but they can’t remember or did not see the phone number. They will search for you and SEO helps Google find your.
A quick note: Did you know there are over 70 local search engines? Everybody mostly uses google to a tune of over 90%. But google uses the information in all the local search engines to see if it is there and if the Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) is consistent. If google sees a variance of your (NAP) it does not know which is right and does not know what to display.
Online Ads or sometimes called PPC are what they are. PPC comes and goes and I think is used more for branding to get your name and product out. When starting a new website this can be helpful until the SEO takes hold.
Social media is a way to help people by sharing your knowledge, participating in groups to everyone’s benefit. It is not a place to push your ads. As google would say E-A-T establish Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. This way people will come find you because they trust you. In sales you can sell or you can help someone buy by educating them. Don't Sell, it is not a long term relationship.
Digital Marketing tools have helped increase customer retention as much as it has getting new sales. If used wisely they can help you grow your business fairly quickly with a modest budget.
Please visit DMAWorld.com for more articles or contact me at 321-235-5700 or email me at Mark@DMAWorld.com.