Over the years, we’ve had the privilege of working with a lot of different clients. From small town independent insurance agents, to billion dollar enterprise companies. Although the products and services varied as much as the companies themselves, there is undoubtedly one common thread that ties them all together.
Why Your Business Exists – 2 Reasons Only
Regardless of the size and scope of the business and market, there are really only two reasons I’ve seen that a business exists:
- to get new customers
- to keep your customers over the long-term
I realize this is a generalized perspective that I’m spreading across every business in existence. So there will certainly be anomalies (outliers) in the graph where some businesses exist for other reasons – although none come to mind.
And I am not speaking of non-profit businesses, or organizations that exist for humanitarian reasons. The businesses I’m speaking of are from the “for profit” scope.
If you are part of a “for profit” business, then I feel confident enough to say that your mission is to generate new customers and keep your existing customers for the long-term
How to get new customers
Outbound Marketing (the old way of doing it)
Not too long ago, the only way to generate new customers for your business was to carry out what is commonly called outbound marketing.
Outbound marketing strategies are things such as newspaper and magazine ads, billboards, tv and radio ad placements; and in the world of online, outbound marketing refers to things such as Google AdWords and Facebook paid ads.
Basically anything you are paying for that interrupts a person’s normal use of a platform, is considered outbound marketing.
Outbound = disrupting
Inbound Marketing (the new way of doing it)
However, with the rise of the internet and mobile phone usage, along with the rapid growth of social media, inbound marketing is quickly becoming the more effective way to acquire new customers.
It’s important to note here that with inbound marketing, you are no longer disrupting someone’s attention to gain exposure. With inbound marketing, you are attracting people who are already interested in your brand, products, and services.
So with inbound marketing, you are in essence attracting the highest quality customers for your business because they are already interested in, or searching for, what your business offers.
The fuel that drives inbound marketing is content and lead generation.
Content production can take many shapes such as blog posts, videos, white papers, Google search, etc… the more content you produce that provides value to a niche audience, the more your business will attract new leads that will convert into paying customers.
When it comes to SEO (search engine optimization), I’ve found the “sure-fire” way to drive top rankings for high impact (valuable) keyword phrases is to produce content on your website on a consistent basis over time.
This is analogous to value investing, where the most profitable returns on security investments are generated over the long-term by implementing a consistent approach, and by allowing the overall market to grow your investment exponentially through compounding rates of return.
In today’s age of technology and the web, inbound marketing proves consistently to be the more profitable path to acquiring new customers and growing your business.
How to keep customers for the long-term
Building trust by over-delivering
From my experience, the only way we’ve been able to keep clients for years here at Bipper Media is simple – we continually over deliver on our client’s expectations.
Another way to put it is, when it comes to your existing customer base, you have to be willing to leave money on the table.
This means you have to be willing to go above and beyond – in time, resources, expenditures, expectations, etc… – to build the trust necessary with your customers to keep them for the long-term.
Once you start taking shortcuts, or make moves that attempt to extract that absolute highest ROI on your existing customers, you’ll typically start to short change your customers.
This “short-changing” will eventually be perceived by your customers. And that’s when they start to lose trust in you and your business, and ultimately start to look elsewhere for better value.
Regardless of the size or scope of your business, more than likely you exist to generate new customers, and to keep those customers over the long-term.
In today’s environment of technology and web use, inbound marketing continues to prove the more effective strategy in connecting to, and generating new customers for a business.
Then, once you have a new customer, you have to be willing to “leave money on the table”, and over-deliver at every level, in order to keep those customers for the long-term.
I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this issue?