Focus more of your marketing on customer retention

In my previous post (The Questions I Would Ask If I Were Marketing Your Business – Comment and Part 1) I posed two questions:

  1. How much of your current business comes from existing clients and how much comes from new clients?
  2. How much of your marketing efforts are focused on generating new clients and how much is focused on generating repeat business from your existing clients?

Now, I would wager that if you have an established business then the answer to question 1 will be that most of your business comes from existing clients and that the answer to question 2 is that you spend most of your marketing budget and resources on generating new clients.


This is a situation that I come across a lot when speaking to all sorts of companies. I think it’s driven by how we think we should market our businesses and, in some respects, how we are educated to run and market our businesses.

Where, for example, have you seen customer retention and loyalty taught in business education programmes even the ones at top business schools? Trust me, it’s not taught at many as you would think as I have done the research.

“But”, I hear you say, “I pick up ideas about my business from business books I read”.

Well, the same situation exists in the books that are published. Here’s the results of some quick research I have just done on Amazon. If you go there and search for marketing you’ll get around 168,000 results.

If you then search for advertising you’ll get over 57,000 results.

A search for direct marketing produces 16,000 results.

However, if you search for customer retention you’ll get around 6,000 results, whilst searching for customer loyalty produces just under 14,000 results.

But, just because customer retention or customer loyalty doesn’t get a lot of attention in the education or publishing worlds does not mean that they are less important.

In fact, looking after your existing customers, I would argue, is as important if not more so than looking for new customers.

So, if the majority of your new business comes from existing clients but you spend most of your marketing budget and resources on finding new clients don’t despair as I think it presents an opportunity.

Just think how much more business or referrals you could generate if you changed some, not all, but some of the focus of your marketing budget and resources onto your existing customers.

After all, much of your marketing spend that is focused on winning new clients will be about trying to build enough trust so that that any new customer feels like trying you out. However, when you already have a relationship with your existing customers when not leverage that relationship and trust to try and do more for them or to help them introduce you to others that they know who could benefit from your help.

Who’s for taking a new look at who they focus their marketing on?

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