How can companies of a novel product get the basic instructions wrong? Whitler: You indicated that you believe that marketers are stepping over loyal customers to prioritize the acquisition of new customers. I founded a company that created marketing automation systems. I was a member of 24 Hour Fitness; for quite some time, I worked out there three times per week. At this point, I started receiving requests to rejoin 24 Hour Fitness. Whitler: Why should marketers prioritize loyal customers more? Whitler: Is there an example of a company that does a good job of focusing on generating greater loyalty? They were one of the first to understand their customers’ attributes by customers and then use this insight to help make the shopping experience more efficient and more enjoyable. The tools used to measure demand gen tend to be more sophisticated. In other words, the fact that marketers can more easily measure lead gen may be a driver of their prioritization (i.e., marketers invest in what they can measure).
I recently purchased an accessory for a phone that required assembly instructions. Unfortunately, the English instructions were unintelligible—incorrect grammar, missing words, sentence fragments, etc.
Last month, I received an offer for a credit card—which I already have and regularly use—that was far better than the offer I had originally used to sign up for the credit card.
After subscribing to a newsletter, I am mailed a request to “renew the subscription” monthly. The first request started one month after I paid to subscribe.
For some time, I’ve been struck by the disconnect between the desire to use sophisticated techniques to market to consumers when the basics often seem to be wrong. How can companies of a novel product get the basic instructions wrong? Or communicate to a loyal consumer that they aren’t as valuable as a new customer? Or repetitively bother a new subscriber with requests to renew 11 months before it is time?
Is it possible that all of the emphasis on “newer” marketing—coping with big data, social media, digital, and sophisticated analytics—is preventing marketers from getting the basics right?
To explore this topic further, I talked with Shreesha Ramdas, the CEO of Strikedeck, a Customer Success Automation startup based out of the Silicon Valley.
Whitler: You indicated that you believe that marketers are stepping over loyal customers to prioritize the acquisition of new customers. What makes you believe this is happening?
Ramdas: To better understand this, you have to understand my background. I founded a company that created marketing automation systems. In this capacity, I talked with a lot of B2B firms and saw how demand generation went mainstream and became an important priority for CMOs. However, what I found is that marketers tended to become obsessed with customer acquisition—at the expense of driving loyalty. If you look at CMO profiles on LinkedIn, more than 90% highlight their accomplishments in demand gen and customer acquisition, while few speak about customer loyalty and retention.
Whitler: Why is this happening?
Ramdas: I think it’s happening for four reasons: 1) the number of solutions on the demand gen side outweigh those on the loyalty side (there are a…