Here’s a well-travelled marketing statistic: acquiring a new customer can cost up to five times more than retaining an existing one. An oldie but a goodie, as they say. But how do you retain customers? How do you build loyalty? Marketers try all sorts of things. Regular emails, surveys, loyalty schemes, discounts, birthday messages, even out-of-the-blue gifts.
“Our efficiency is unparalleled, our ROI is fantastic, and we’ll be out of business in five years.” That was the feedback that Les Binet, Head of Effectiveness at advertising agency Adam & Eve DDB, got from one member of the management team when he walked into the UK’s largest breakdown firm, The AA. It might seem like a contradictory statement - surely an efficient business with great ROI is onto a winner? Well, in the short-term, perhaps. The problem with The AA was that they diverted 100% of their brand marketing budget into short-term, performance marketing efforts for eight years.
Chatbots - artificial intelligence systems that interact with people via text, speech or instant messaging apps - have been on the up for a while now. Today, the global chatbot market takes in marketing, payments, processing and technical support, and according to a report by Grand View Research, approximately 45% of customers prefer chatbots as a mode of communication for customer services. According to LivePerson, only 19% of customers actually dislike chatbots; most are indifferent, as long as their issues are resolved. In a recent Oracle survey, 80% of C-level marketing, sales and strategy execs said they already used chatbots or planned to use them by 2020.
When it comes to marketing, the world abounds with bad advice - soft soap and snake oil from self-proclaimed experts who don’t have the credentials, experience or clear process to back up their claims. On top of this, business owners are often unclear about the role of marketing in the business - what it’s for, how it works, and how to know it’s doing what it should. Between the outright fibs and the lack of understanding, there’s a perfect climate for marketing myths to flourish. That’s why our marketing directors have picked out the most commonly misunderstood aspects of marketing - the misguided or misinformed ideas we keep on hearing - to break down.
Innovation, innovation, innovation. It’s an easy word to throw around, and after a while starts to lose all meaning. This company, product or person is innovative, and innovation is key.