Now you’re just somebody that I used to know

Most senior executives will readily agree that it is expensive and difficult to acquire new customers.

Most will agree that it takes considerable time and investment to build deep insight, create trust and engender loyalty with a customer.

And most will agree that customer value is generally pretty well correlated with duration as a customer.

Most will therefore conceptually agree that retention of valuable customers should be a strategic priority.


So how come you can’t show me a report that details the % of sales and profits represented by customers that defected during the last 12 months?

So how come you don’t have any analysis of the drivers of defection, highlighting the addressable factors along with action plans to mitigate?

So how come your performance reviews and bonus plans don’t have any retention goals?

How is it that you can spend the shareholders’ money to create awareness, generate trial, promote repeat and progressively build a deeper, more personalized relationship and then just let them become someone you used to know?


4 thoughts on “Now you’re just somebody that I used to know

  1. Steven,

    Great post, written like a true passionate direct marketer! It is amazing in this day and age that folks with ACCESS to transactional data still cannot get it right. Love to see them in my regulated world of Pharma.

    John Wes Green

  2. Thought provoking post Steve. We have a two-tier customer in the school uniform business: 1) The school, which contracts with us to supply their families, and 2) The families, which actually purchase our uniforms in our 40 retail locations or websites.

    In this environment, retention and defection are very easy to recognize and measure for tier 1, but very difficult for tier 2. Firstly, there are many factors outside our value equation that can cause defection of tier 2 (consumers). Secondly, we have an extremely seasonal business, based on the weeks surrounding back to school, and very low purchase frequency.

    Thank you for your insights.

  3. Great post, Steve. I’m tweeting about it already. We see a lot of this in our marketing ROI modeling business. Defection measures are powerful, and even more useful are the insights derived from market research among the defectors themselves.

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