I was a red-headed stepchild, so I can say that. Don’t bother emailing me to snark. I don’t care.
Jeffrey Fox, author of How to Become a Marketing Superstar, defines marketing like this:
“The profitable identification, attraction, getting, and keeping of good customers… Identification, attraction, and getting are pre-sale functions. Keeping includes all post-sale functions.”
He goes on to give some great examples of each, but one of the things I like is the stress he places on ALL post-sale functions. Yep, all of them. Bill collection? Marketing. Delivery? Marketing. Issuing refunds? Marketing. You get the idea. It seems so many marketing books and, frankly, marketing consultants, only emphasize the attraction and getting of customers that they don’t bother to think about keeping them.
Not thinking about this is incredibly stupid.
Several springs ago, when I was traveling, I bought a hat. I had concerns that I wouldn’t be able to pack it, so the store owner offered to ship it to my home office. We chatted – he said he’d visited my city once before and liked it. We discussed our mutual love of impractical dogs.
In December, they sent me a Christmas card, saying they hoped I’d enjoyed the hat that summer.
This is good marketing.
Here’s some even better marketing – the following Christmas, I got another handwritten Christmas card. They hoped my hat was holding up. They wished me a prosperous new year. They told me that thanks to me, and others like me, they were able to bring their business online. They gave me their sparkling new URL.
I was practically tripping over my cat to get to the computer.
There are three very cool things about post-sale marketing:
1. It’s almost always free.
It costs you nothing to send me an email asking how my son is adjusting to his new glasses. It costs you nothing to send me a link on IM that you thought I might like. It costs you nothing to comment on my blog.
2. It’s usually very easy.
You don’t need to hire a copywriter to say hi. You don’t need a graphic design team on retainer to write a Christmas card. You don’t need a staff of SEO specialists to click “Contact Us.”
3. Your audience is captive.
If I know you, the chances that I will read, pay attention, and even respond to your communications are very high.
If I’ve never heard of you, you’d better have a damn good marketing team.
If we look at marketing as identification, attraction, getting AND keeping of good customers … it wouldn’t be a bad idea to spend 25% of our time on each. That way none of these categories fall through the cracks.
Your buyers list is the most valuable asset you have. Take good care of them.
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