Magazine article Marketing

The Marketing Society Forum: Should Brands Prioritise Their Current Customers over the Bid for New Ones?

Magazine article Marketing

The Marketing Society Forum: Should Brands Prioritise Their Current Customers over the Bid for New Ones?

Article excerpt

E.ON's latest campaign focuses on loyalty, as the energy firm shuns aggressive acquisition tactics.

YES - CELIA PRONTO, MARKETING AND ECOMMERCE DIRECTOR, FORD RETAIL GROUP

Customers are becoming more cynical toward brands, particularly over the perceived declining benefits of long-term loyalty.

We in the marketing industry have been guilty of fuelling this by offering incentives such as discounts to new customers at the expense of our loyal ones.

However, in this era of transparency via social media, these practices have never been more exposed, making them an unsustainable approach.

Focusing on existing customers will not only drive long-term loyalty - those customers with increased satisfaction will also become brand advocates, effectively acquiring new customers on your behalf.

NO - CHRIS LEWIS, HEAD OF MARKETING, WHITBREAD

We all know you have to both retain and acquire your customer base.

At the most basic level, existing customers like you for what you currently stand for. If they stay, it's for this reason (and/or they're too loyal or too lethargic to switch).

A few freebies might allow you to hold on to a handful of existing customers, but if, fundamentally, a competitor's offer is more appealing, you're toast.

In our information age, customers will readily compare and switch brands, so you will always need a strategy to attract new customers. As for the acquisition offer, extend it to existing customers and fewer of them will leave.

MAYBE - MARTINE AINSWORTH-WELLS, FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR, AINSWORTH & WELLS

Marketing strategies must always focus on the customer, so it really depends on three factors. …

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