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Customer Acquisition Is So 90’s

IBM ‘Evangelist’ (yes, that’s really his job title), Jeremy Waite, delivered a sermon of sorts at the recent DMA event ‘The future of customer engagement’. His breakneck presentation, ‘The future of marketing will build itself’, was bamboozling, enlightening and terrifying, leaving the listener feeling like they’ve been shaken about and stood upside-down.

Read the full recap here, or see two of the takeaways from his presention below:

IBM, with eConsultancy’s help, surveyed 1,200 European marketers (about 70% of them in the UK) of VP level and above.

In terms of organizational revenue split between customer acquisition and retention, “still we are seeing that the majority of marketers are chasing new customers. It’s all about acquisition. We’ve got to sell more stuff. Nothing’s changed.”

Q: What is your organization's revenue split between customer acquisition and customer retention?



Waite’s exasperation is palpable: “When I started off in direct mail years ago, the stat was exactly the same in the 90’s as it is today. It’s about 6.7 to 7 times cheaper to keep a customer than it is to get a new one and yet we’re still chasing new customers. A lot of that is because we’re not looking at the right things and we’re seduced by the wrong things.”

Dark days indeed

Even more damning, for Waite, is that “only 6% of the marketing industry thinks that dark data and dark social is a problem. Today, 88% of consumer conversations are happening within private messaging apps known as ‘dark social’—we’re not allowed to see them because it’s illegal! It makes it a nightmare for marketers now to understand where customers are going and what they’re doing. What it means is we can’t track the interaction and the clicks in the way that we used to and it’s certainly not public.”

As a result, “we’ve got to look at the emotions and the behavior of large groups of people which is why you need an AI or some type of machine learning to understand what these millions of people are doing at the same time because that one-to-one is going to stop working."


Original post on TFM Insights on January 19, 2017.


Lead Generation, Customer acquisition, customer retention, social media, demand generation, social media, Tech Marketing Smarts Blog