Economists and pundits (at times they think they are one and the same) tell us the recession began sometime in 2008. What I recall our clients and prospects doing around the same time was focusing on customer retention. The thought that it is more valuable to keep a customer than to spend marketing dollars to acquire a new one was overriding. Marketing budgets were slashed and primarily the area to suffer most was investment in new customer acquisition.
That is hardly an earth shattering observation. Marketing agencies like ours became even more driven to better understand data analytics and to help our clients mine their data gold mine. What I have noticed in the past month is that the talk is about new customer acquisition. I think that is a harbinger that conditions are better than they were in 2008 and the hold back in marketing budgets may be relaxing. At a certain point any mine runs empty. Yes there will be the ability to extract worthwhile material from the mine but its capacity to offer a great many more nuggets will have been exhausted.
That’s the reason many companies are finally looking again to dig a new mine. A robust pipeline of new leads offers continual opportunities to grow your customer base. Once a prospect has raised her hand to indicate interest a product the real work can begin to move that prospect to becoming a customer.
My philosophy is that companies should be prospecting to find new mines all the time. That did not happen during the steep downturn in 2008. Marketers were understandably scared and in the ‘cut first and ask questions later’ mode. Maintaining a regular flow through your new lead pipeline will prove to be extremely beneficial to those companies that have continued to invest in new lead generation. It’s not too late if you have turned off your marketing pipeline, but don’t wait any longer because then it just might be.