12 Marketing Philosophies

October 29th, 2015
Steven Howard

12 Fundamental Marketing Strategies for Increasing Customer Retention

I thought I would share with you 12 of my personal marketing philosophies that will enable each Keeping Good Customers reader to develop his or her own beliefs on the fundamentals of marketing.

In no particular order of importance, these 12 marketing philosophies are:

  1. Segment customers based on customer needs, not the needs of your organization and not based around the structures of your existing organizational chart.
  2. In order for customers to see you as a unique brand or service provider, you need to treat them as unique individuals — with individually unique needs, wants, desires, likes, and dislikes.
  3. Remember that when dealing with customers (even in the B2B world) you are dealing with fellow human beings, not revenue streams. Thus, every customer matters and every customer interaction matters (especially to the customer).
  4. The era of mass production required mass communications. Today’s era of individual customers and smaller customer segments requires a more individualized approach to marketing communications.
  5. Your fellow employees communicate your brand’s true value to customers. Every employee interaction with a customer or prospect, therefore, either enhances or denigrates your brand reputation and the customer’s brand experience.
  6. With the increased importance to customers of Corporate Social Responsibility, your corporate image is more important than ever. How your corporate image is managed is critical. After all, competitors can replicate your products and services, beat you up on price, outspend you in promotions, and outperform you in distribution. However, the one thing competitors cannot copy or duplicate is a well-defined, well-managed corporate image.
  7. The Four Ps of Customer Retention (People, Policies, Processes and Procedures, and Prevention) are more relevant for retaining customers captured through the time honored marketing mix than the original Four Ps of marketing created 40 years ago by Professor Kotler. (See chapters 41 and 42 of my book The Best of the Monday Morning Marketing Memo for details on the 4 Ps of Customer Retention.)
  8. It is not what you communicate, it is what your customers hear that is most important. Customers have learned how to filter out traditional marketing messages and have the tools to do so. Getting customers to hear your marketing messages requires greater creativity, increased innovation, more relevance, and heightened integration.
  9. Profitability is not very useful or informative for understanding customer needs.
  10. Focus on your customers and their needs, wants, desires, likes, and dislikes. Remember, if you don’t take care of your customers, someone else will.
  11. CRM works better when it means Customer Retention Marketing. Customer Retention is the art of keeping good customers™ and should be the cornerstone foundation for all long-term marketing strategies.
  12. If it touches the customer, it’s a marketing issue.™ Marketing is the critical integrator across all business lines and all internal departments.

I hope you are able to put some, if not all, of the above marketing philosophies into practice.

 

Key Point: if it touches the customer, it’s a marketing issue.

Taking Action: what are your own personal marketing philosophies? How do these impact the short-term and long-term decisions you make?

Circulate the above list to your staff or fellow colleagues. Discuss which ones instinctively feel right for your organization. Why? How could these be disseminated widely throughout your department, business unit, or entire organization?

This article is excerpted from the book Powerful Marketing Memos by Steven Howard, available in paperback and Kindle formats at Amazon.

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