Are you providing something extra for existing customers?

I once discovered on the manufacturer’s website for a kitchen product I owned, a whole series of videos showing how to maintain it and how to use some of the more esoteric settings. The videos were genuinely useful, and although not glamorous productions, they were more than adequate. As a result, I’m sure I’ll feel much more positive towards the brand next time I’m in the market for their products.

But… what a missed opportunity. The videos were on YouTube, and had viewing numbers next to them, and those numbers weren’t great. Earlier, the manufacturer had acknowledged my guarantee registration, so it had my email address. However, as far as I know, it had never offered me the chance to go on a mailing list for anything like these videos. It got me thinking that their efforts to market to existing customers were as halfhearted as anyone else’s.

“Retention marketing” is a term I read about a lot – providing something of value to existing customers to keep them on board. In the golden era of corporate entertainment, businesses spent thousands of pounds entertaining customers as much as they did prospects; yet as this has become a memory, the budgets haven’t been repurposed to things that are still seen as legitimate business practice. They should have been. There are many things we can offer existing customers which are morally and professionally acceptable, and as all the research shows, they can be very good investments.