It may cost ten times as much to sell to someone for the first time as it does to re-sell to an existing customer, but you can multiply the investment required by a far bigger number if you are trying to entice back to your brand community a customer that you have already let down. 


On a scale of one to ten a disappointed customer comes in at something like minus a hundred on the scale of likelihood to buy from you, but if you are fighting for market share and your reputation is tarnished you don’t have a choice, but to dig deep and accept high conversion costs.


You can piss customers off in many different ways. Make unrealistic promises, raise their expectations beyond your capability to deliver, fail to pay attention to customer support, stand for unpopular issues or demonstrate a lack of social graces – these days that seems to be about your carbon footprint.  All the areas that go to make up your total brand experience represent potential pitfalls for the unwary marketer.  And its no use deciding that you are not going to play this game – its not your choice.  That’s down to the consumer.  If they think that an issue is important, you’d better take heed.


So, if you want to keep your conversion costs to an efficient minimum you must look further than product and start thinking “Brand Experience” because that’s what its about and internal marketing is the key.  The trouble is that while we all nod in agreement at statements like this when it comes down to it the understanding that most businesses have of internal marketing is something like the understanding George Dubya has of Arab psychology. 

Internal marketing has one purpose – to increase your chances of delivering your customer promise first time, every time, and it should be targeting all your stakeholders – that’s partners, distributors, suppliers, investors not just employees.  The media that you use to reach them should be the same as those that you use to target your customers – press, DM, PoS, Collateral, web (especially LAN and Extranet), house mags, social promotions, competitions etc. It should be two-way and it has to be accountable, just like any other marketing investment.  Now if that leaves you scratching your head we should talk.  Get in touch and I’ll explain how The Full Effect Company create internal marketing programmes that really work.

Michael Weaver
December 11, 2007

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