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Businesses today often have more metrics than they know what to do with.
Thanks in large part to multiple online platforms, companies frequently have access to large volumes of data.
From their websites to their bank accounts, data is plentiful, and there is no shortage of services that aim to analyse that data and make it meaningful.
When grocery retailers were publishing their sales figures one of the common trends was an increase in online revenues.
This was good news as sales in brick-and-mortar stores were generally down.
Loyal customers are extremely important for businesses as constantly attracting new shoppers and converting them into customers is a costly process.
In fact data from the new Econsultancy/Responsys Cross-Channel Marketing Report 2013 shows the value of building customer relationships, as 70% of respondents agreed that “it is cheaper to retain than acquire a customer.”
Similarly, nearly half (49%) agreed that “pound for pound, we achieve better ROI by investing in relationship over acquisition marketing”.
However businesses aren’t necessarily making a huge effort to retain their customers, as just 30% of companies say they are “very committed” to relationship marketing, with 22% conducting no relationship marketing at all.
Is social media, and the data it produces, overvalued? As companies continue to struggle the ROI from their social initiatives, some are starting to suggest that social's impact might have been overestimated.
But social media proponents say not so fast: social media is the digital channel for word-of-mouth, and although word-of-mouth has historically been hard to quantify, its importance is rarely questioned. Which raises an interesting question: instead of talking about social media, should we be talking about word-of-mouth?
For most businesses, marketing is a crucial component of success. If you can't market effectively, you can't sell and grow, and that spells trouble.
Thanks to the internet, the rise of digital marketing channels, and the abundance of marketing tools and technologies, companies have more marketing assets and capabilities than ever.
But figuring out how to use them correctly is often a challenge and there are a number of common mistakes that hold companies back. Here are five of the biggest and most detrimental.
Mobile marketing is predominantly used for customer acquisition and brand awareness, according to new research from Forrester and Velti.
The survey of 150 US mobile marketing professionals found that 86% of respondents use the channel for customer acquisition, while 79% use it for awareness.
A further 78% said they use mobile for loyalty and retention and 66% for customer satisfaction.
The report suggests that by focusing on upper-funnel branding and promotions marketers are missing out on the personalised engagement opportunities offered by mobile marketing.
For many companies, a significant amount of marketing spend is dedicated to new customer acquisition, and for good reason: most businesses wouldn't be able to sustain themselves and grow without new customers.
But what about existing customers? How valuable are they, and what type of ROI can marketers realize by tapping their existing customer bases?
Apple is arguably the most dominant company in the mobile market today, but its dominance doesn't depend on market share. Indeed, America's most valuable company doesn't dominate mobile market share, but it does reap the majority of the profit.
That's obviously not what Apple's competitors want to hear, but it gets worse: Apple is far, far better at keeping its customers, and will increasingly have the opportunity to poach theirs.
When running a new business, few milestones are as inspiring, and important, as finding your first customer. After all, the first customer is validation that you have something that others see value in, no small feat.
Sadly, some new businesses struggle to find their first customer, and even more sadly, some never acquire a single customer.
If you have a new business and plan to spend money on customer acquisition, are you making a huge mistake?
Venture capitalist Fred Wilson thinks you just might be. In a blog post that sparked an interesting discussion, and some heated debate, Wilson last week wrote that "I believe that marketing is what you do when your product or service sucks or when you make so much profit on every marginal customer that it would be crazy to not spend a bit of that profit acquiring more of them (coke, zynga, bud, viagra)."
Customer acquisition and retention is the lifeblood of most businesses.
But a company's customer acquisition and retention can only be as strong as the profitability of a company's customer relationships. In other words, if you're acquiring and retaining customers that are only marginally profitable, or not profitable at all, chances are you won't thrive.
New customer acquisition is a key metric for many merchants and the affiliate channel has demonstrated its ability to drive new customers at low costs.
With more online retailers interrogating the data that is available to them, affiliate networks are able to highlight the volume of new customers they are capable of delivering through their affiliate partners.