At the DMA’s financial services conference in Florida last week, I got a chance to hear Martha Rogers, co-author of the One-to-One marketing books, kick off the second day of the conference. Some of my favorite quotes:
“There is little pure acquisition out there.” According to Martha, what firms do under the banner of acquisition marketing is “swap customers with their competitors.” It reminded me of the endless stream of credit card offers I get that are oblivious to the fact that I already have three other cards.
“Good customer service is NOT a relationship.” Somebody recently commented on 1:1 magazine’s blog that “customer engagement” was just a buzzword, and that firms should just focus on building reliable products and providing great service. I don’t buy that — and I’ve written about why I think engagement is something different and important. And I interpreted Martha’s comment as supporting this view.
“Marketing can destroy value.” I didn’t capture all the math supporting this claim (cut me some slack — you try to make sense out of a bunch of numbers after three scotch and sodas). But I think what Martha was saying was that if non-responders were just .5% less likely to respond with each solicitation, after a few campaigns, the likelihood that they would respond would be near zero.
“Marketing has to address just one key strategic issue.” And that, according to Martha, is to figure out what the firm needs to do to make customers more loyal and valuable, even though competitors will do the same thing. Be honest — when was the last time your marketing team addressed the question “what if our competitors did what we’re planning to do?”. Exactly — that’s never happened.
“It takes 8 quarters to make Return On Customer calculations accurate.” On the first day of the conference, DMA president John Greco said that the average CMO’s tenure is now 23 months. So, basically, if CMOs instituted ROC on day one in their jobs, it’s unlikely that they would be there by the time their firm got it right. (I think I’ll use this as a criterion for choosing between the flood of CMO job offers that I know will come my way — how long ago did my predecessor institute the ROC methodology? If it was less than 6 quarters ago, I won’t take that job).
I’d share notes from the other speakers….but I didn’t go to any other sessions. Too busy sunning myself on the beach, getting massages in the spa, and gorging myself at very expensive restaurants. Thanks for sending me, boss.
[Note: Return On Customer is a trademark of Peppers and Rogers. I have no idea how to cite that properly, so I help this keeps me out of trouble]
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