I start most new-client engagements with the same questions: Who are your best customers? Does your marketing put these best customers in the spotlight? These BFFs are investing in your success, so they deserve your recognition. They’re also probably your best asset for attracting new customers.
But a lot of organizations can’t tell me much about their BFFs. So here’s where we start:
Put “4Ever” in the Equation
If you work for a nonprofit organization, you probably think about your best customers as your highest-level donors. That makes sense to me too. But as Jill Robinson advocates on the National Arts Marketing Project’s blog, the real deal is finding ways to marry marketing and philanthropy data. Do you see all the ways a patron has invested in your organization – across products and across time? Who’s bought the most tickets + the most merchandise + given the highest donations this year? Can you look at all these investments over the course of the last five years? Over the lifetime of your relationship?
If yours is a forprofit organization, your big job is tracking customer purchases. Do you have a preferred customer program or some other way to recognize frequent shoppers? Are your financial system and your marketing database talking to one another, so you understand who is spending money with you and when? Do the same folks visit your location regularly – and do you know them by name? Whether it’s high-tech or no-tech, find a way to understand which customers are investing the most in your financial success – and reward those folks! Once you’ve convinced a customer to favor your organization, focus some of your marketing effort on keeping them. For life.
Because when you know your BFFs, you can search for patterns. Are there ways you can use your marketing to showcase your BFFs – and attract like-minded newcomers to your organization?
Keep Things Friendly
But you’re right – it’s never JUST about the money. Do you have patrons who regularly volunteer for your organization and help welcome others? Who share each of your Facebook posts with their Facebook friends? Who introduce your organization to their families and friends? This is called word-of-mouth marketing, and this person-to-person connection is some of the most powerful, most trusted, most effective marketing any organization enjoys.
And it’s rarely accidental.
If you want your friends to bring their friends to you, look for ways to make that exchange easy – and no-risk for your BFFs. They have to know you’ll make them look good every time they introduce you. Reward them for being a friend to your business. And while you’re at it, reward their friends too. Encourage this friend-2-friend behavior whenever you can. There’s no more effective way to market your business than to put your best customers in the spotlight.