Nearly Half Of Marketers Don't Know Who Their Best Customers Are

I have to admit when I first came across this statistic – which comes courtesy of a survey conducted by RSR Research, I had to go back and re-read it again. Then get more coffee then re-read it again.

But there it was, 56% of retail marketers have essentially no clue as to who their best customers are. However, as I kept reading about the survey via, I came across an even more head-pounding stat which is that the 56% number is markedly lower than last year’s number of 73%. I’m sorry, how in the world can you explain this? How in the world do so many marketers not know who their most valuable, most-cherished customers are?

The author of the piece on theorized that this staggeringly low number is directly contributing to the other key finding in the survey below which spoke to the challenge retail marketers face when it comes to retention and loyalty: “Presumably, this (the low number of retailers who know who their best customers are) contributes to the challenges faced by retailers in building customer retention and loyalty.”

No, you think?

How can you retain them and build loyalty among them when you don’t know who they are in the first place? Now that’s a trick I would like to see for sure.

But misery, or in this case, ineptitude, loves company for retail only marketers were not the only group with such a low aggregate acumen of their Most Valuable Customers (MVCs). From a study which surveyed across a wide range of industries earlier this year by Acxiom and Loyalty360 where a mere 49% indicated they know who their MVCs are:

Again, how can you hope to retain someone and build trust and loyalty when you don’t know whom you are speaking of or to? I just find these low percentages to be downright frightening for in today’s data-driven world, where you can know, in real time in many cases – not only who your best customers are but what they are doing when it comes to you brand – how you (marketer) can claim ignorance when it comes to identifying them in the first place?

Here Kitty, Kitty

Back in March I wrote a piece titled Curiosity May Have Killed The Cat But Complacency Will Kill The Marketer in which I shared findings of another survey which revealed that 60% of all the respondents – who were comprised of executives in both B2B and B2C companies from a cross section of industries, dedicate less than 20% of their marketing budget to customer retention.

Yes that is a very low number for sure but this all goes back to the fact you cannot retain them if you don’t know them.

And once you do know them, well as I wrote back in March “Mr. and Mrs. Brand, remember who brought you to the dance, aka your most valuable customers. Don’t ignore them once the dance starts, talk to them, engage with them and stay engaged. And dance your little hearts away all the way to the proverbial bank.

Named one of the Top 100 Influencers In Social Media (#41) by Social Technology Review and a Top 50 Social Media Blogger by Kred, Steve Olenski is a senior content strategist at Responsys, a leading global provider of on-demand email and cross-channel marketing solutions. 

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