Target Marketing just announced its “2014 Media Usage Survey,” and while folks might be scrambling to analyze the growth in budgets and ratios of print to digital spending, the nugget I found most interesting was this: marketers — your customers — are planning to spend more on customer acquisition than customer retention in 2014.
Considering that most marketers reported either increasing their marketing budgets or holding them steady this year, this data spells very good news for MSPs. Just as valuable, however, is knowing that marketers plan to spend more of those budgets on customer acquisition. This tells you where to focus and craft your pitch.
B-to-B marketers foresee a 45% rise in acquisition budgets, but only 30% are increasing retention. It’s similar for B-to-C (42% vs. 34%) and both (40% vs. 33%). A couple years ago, marketers were playing defense and increasing retention spending. This year, they appear to be back on the hunt to increase market share.
How does this help you?
- Talk to customers about the shift in marketing climate. If their competitors are spending more on acquisition, that means your clients need to be prepared. Competitors are going after their customers harder than ever. This is an opportunity to talk to your customers about expanding their own budgets.
- Develop new strategies and relationships for list acquisition and refinement, profiling, and cloning. Help your customers do what their competitors are doing — going after someone else’s customers.
- Expand your capabilities in the areas of unusual finishes, folds, and bindings, all of those things that make the components of your clients’ marketing campaigns stand out. You always meant to do that but never had time. Now is the time to do it.
- Add new suppliers if necessary. Be willing to spend the time experimenting with new mailing formats, the effect of colored substrates and envelopes, on-envelope personalization, and other elements so you’re ready to roll. This is a customer acquisition environment now. Eye candy is more important than ever.
- Become comfortable with selling and implementing A/B testing. As the competitive environment heats up, your clients need to be focusing on what really works (not what they think works). The more you can help them, the more valuable you become as a marketing partner.
Finally, be ready to switch it up to customer retention strategies if the data changes next year!