An asset is, “A resource with economic value that an individual, corporation or country owns or controls with the expectation that it will provide future benefit.” In the context of accounting, a company’s assets are documented on the balance sheet and consist of the tangible or intangible items that can benefit the firm’s operations and generate cash flow.
Perhaps the most overlooked, yet most valuable business asset is its customer database. While it’s not listed on the balance sheet, it is undoubtedly the biggest revenue generator and contributor to the company’s bottom line.
Why then does the company, knowing that their customers are the lifeblood of their business, fail to market to them and leave their list to collect dust in the back of the closets? Why not pamper it and take it to dinner every once in a while?
As it costs about 8 times as much to acquire a new customer than it does to retain a current one, there is no reason why these contacts should fall by the wayside. Rather, they should be the primary focus of your marketing efforts.
So many companies get caught up in the idea of growing their business and attracting new buyers that they often neglect their existing customers. They will make the all-too-common mistake of buying email lists and sending mass email campaigns in an attempt to rake in the sales from what list brokers deem as “qualified leads.” What they come to find out is that the performance of purchased lists is pale in comparison to their own neglected customer database, and the reason is pretty self-explanatory.
Marketing to purchased lists is equivalent to marketing to those who have never heard of you and have never expressed any interest in what you offer. Furthermore, you are risking to chance of damaging your sender reputation and being labeled as a “spammer” by all major ISP’s by marketing to an outdated list that consists of a high percentage of invalid and undeliverable email addresses.
Rather, marketing to your own customer database is equivalent to marketing to those who have already expressed interest in your offerings enough to choose you over all of your competitors. The goal here is to build rapport with your existing customers and to maintain a mutually beneficial business relationship even beyond the initial contact. Given that you continually meet the expectations of your customers and deliver what you promise, not only will they contribute to repeat business, but they will become the most influential spokespersons for your brand.
So, how exactly can you maximize the value of your customer data? It begins with cleaning and validating your email lists to purge them of bad, invalid, undeliverable, spam seed, complainers, duplicate, and BOT email data. Then, you must continue the communication by engaging them with social media, informing them of new products, programs, or services that you have to offer, and peaking their interests with deals and special promotions. Without showing the proper initiative to make your customers feel valued, they will feel no incentive or urge to express their loyalty.
There is no doubt that investing your resources into growing your existing database is worthwhile. For one, you must replace those customers that have fallen off the bandwagon and no longer do business with you. However, attributing all of your marketing dollars toward acquiring new customers while abandoning your own loyal customer base is nothing short of a missed opportunity.