08 Jul 4 focus areas to prioritise in your FY22 marketing plan
Today we’re talking about plans! Marketing plans to be precise. No doubt the last few months have been busy planning for the year (or so) ahead. As always, Marketers will be expected to deliver big results, on relatively small budgets so it’s really important to have the right goals in place. Expectations are high, and we’re not just talking about customers. The c-suite will have high growth expectations and will be relying on sales and marketing teams to deliver.
A while back, we shared an article on the importance of aligning the marketing planning process with the customer lifecycle. We highly recommend having a quick read if you haven’t yet seen it. It’s a common fact that 80% of your future profit will come from just 20% of your existing customers (source: Gartner). With this in mind – ask yourself, how many of your objectives are dedicated to your existing customers?
Take the time to understand your customers
Prior to developing your marketing plan, there is a process which we recommend every brand undertakes. That’s taking the time to understand existing customers by leveraging the data readily available. Many marketers invest time reflecting and analysing marketing efforts over the previous year, learning what worked well, what didn’t and what they could do differently. Lessons are learned as planning for the year ahead begins. Yet very few invest the same time into learning how their customers have actually behaved during the same timeframe. This is such a missed opportunity, and is vital to helping Marketers set the right objectives.
Acquisition campaigns are typically first and foremost. When thinking about growth, it’s usually the prospect of winning more customers, growing subscription rates, increasing social followers etc. that are the top priorities. Marketers, however, need to move past the softer targets that don’t translate directly to profitability and sustainable growth. Having half a million customers on your database is great, but if the majority aren’t even opening your emails, let alone making a purchase, then what’s the point?
Four focus areas to include in your marketing plan
When you have a clear understanding of how your customers are behaving, it’s so much easier to plan. Think of a customer who is yet to purchase, a customer who recently purchased, a customer who used to spend a lot with you but hasn’t lately, and a customer who has not purchased from you in a really long time. Would you say the same thing to all of these different customers? Thought not!
Instead of focusing on acquisition growth, focus (at least some of) your attention on keeping and growing your existing customers.
1. Reduce your customer churn rate – a simple analogy here is what we call a leaky bucket. If you have holes in your bucket, no matter how much water you add, it will never be full. You need to start covering up the holes at the bottom, one by one – simple really! Find out which customers are at risk of leaving (i.e. who hasn’t purchased in a while), here’s your chance to stop them before it’s too late!
2. Grow your most loyal customers – referring back to the stat above, imagine you could increase 20% to 25% – the returns would be incredible! It costs a lot less to keep an existing customer than it does to acquire a new one. Your data will reveal which customers are on the verge of being ‘superstar’ customers (those who spend most, most often). You should have a separate strategy in place to keep these customers engaged.
3. Increase your customer referrals – our research report ‘The Unspoken Customer’ revealed that 63% of customers expect to be rewarded for referrals. Remember, loyal customers not only visit more, but they bring their friends. It’s important you recognise and reward referrals. Measure and monitor how many referrals you are actually receiving.
4. Win back lost customers – determine why previously loyal customers decided to move on. Pick up the phone, have a one-to-one conversation, go on a listening tour. You will learn a lot. Incentivise these customers to return, remind them of your value proposition. Ask for another chance. Too many brands don’t fight hard enough for previously loyal customers.
We get it, Marketers are under a lot of pressure to deliver, so it’s understandable that short-term wins take a lot of attention. But, always remember successful, and importantly, sustainable growth requires a balance of short-term and long-term strategies. A great book which takes a much closer look at this is ‘The Long and Short of it’ by Peter Field and Les Benet!
Invest your time in understanding exactly how your customers are behaving, take those learnings and apply them to your marketing plan. We guarantee that your C-suite will be impressed!
Customology are customer lifecycle management specialists, if you need any help in understanding how your customers are behaving, segmenting your customers into different behavioural groups or implementing effective communication programs, please feel free to contact one of our Customologists on 1300 264 549 or firstname.lastname@example.org.