The shift from ‘acquisition’ to ‘retention’ – Marketing 2020

The Needs and wants of the consumers and satisfaction of those needs and wants are two extreme ends of the whole chain. There is a big gap between both the ends. Marketing help in bridging the gap between the two. Marketing is basically assessing the overt and latent requirements of the consumers and creates customer delight through fulfilling the market demand. A producer comes to know what he should produce when he gets the knowledge about its customers. The customers do not come to know about the products automatically. It is only through the function of marketing only that make these things happen.

The big giants like Hindustan Unilever Limited, ITC, Dabur, Proctor & Gamble, Godrej, Reckitt benckiser, Johnson & Johnson, Colgate Palmolive etc. have become so common among the general public thanks to the marketing. In every home today, you can easily find the products of these companies. These big companies which are so far away from the customers reach them through marketing. Marketing helps the companies to create liking for their products in the target market. Once the customer starts liking the products, marketing further pushes the customers to buy the product. The moment the product is bought, the job of marketing is done for the companies.

The main focus of companies investing in marketing activities is to acquire the customer. Once the customer gets on the board, their objective of the investment is fulfilled.The companies make a lot of marketing plans and strategies to acquire the customers. This happens in a lot of stages. First of all, when the customer does not even know the product, the companies create awareness through marketing. After making the customer know about the products, the companies starts attracting the customers using a lot of tactics such as the online cab service providers give first drives free etc. when the customer finds that product is useful for him, he becomes the customer of that product. Here is where the ultimate focus of the companies lie which they achieve through marketing.The Needs and wants of the consumers and satisfaction of those needs and wants are two extreme ends of the whole chain. There is a big gap between both the ends. Marketing help in bridging the gap between the two. Marketing is basically assessing the overt and latent requirements of the consumers and creates customer delight through fulfilling the market demand. A producer comes to know what he should produce when he gets the knowledge about its customers. The customers do not come to know about the products automatically. It is only through the function of marketing only that make these things happen.

The big giants like Hindustan Unilever Limited, ITC, Dabur, Proctor & Gamble, Godrej, Reckitt benckiser, Johnson & Johnson, Colgate Palmolive etc. have become so common among the general public thanks to the marketing. In every home today, you can easily find the products of these companies. These big companies which are so far away from the customers reach them through marketing. Marketing helps the companies to create liking for their products in the target market. Once the customer starts liking the products, marketing further pushes the customers to buy the product. The moment the product is bought, the job of marketing is done for the companies.

The main focus of companies investing in marketing activities is to acquire the customer. Once the customer gets on the board, their objective of the investment is fulfilled. The companies make a lot of marketing plans and strategies to acquire the customers. This happens in a lot of stages. First of all, when the customer does not even know the product, the companies create awareness through marketing. After making the customer know about the products, the companies starts attracting the customers using a lot of tactics such as the online cab service providers give first drives free etc. when the customer finds the product having utility for him, he becomes the customer of that product. Here is where the ultimate focus of the companies lie which they achieve through marketing.

Every company tries to acquire the maximum customers. Given a time period, the market size does not increase much. In such a scenario where every company is fighting for acquiring more and more customers, the competitive feelings start taking birth. A company tries to snitch the customers of the other company. They use lucrative offers to the customers so that the customers shift to their company. So in the current scenario, retaining the already acquired customers has become even more difficult than acquiring new customers. Clearly the focus of marketing is shifting slowly from the function of “Acquisition” to “Retention”. The brands like Pepsi and coke, Airtel and Vodafone, Surf excel and Tide, Dettol and Lifebuoy etc. have been trying hard to showcase themselves better than their competitors so that the existing customers of their competitors start purchasing these brands. As soon as one company reduces prices or brings some additional feature, soon the other company also come up with a new strategy. Airtel launched 4G with a brilliant marketing campaign so that the existing 3G users of Vodafone come to their company products. It branded its 4G internet services as the fastest in the world. Vodafone smelt the competition soon and it also came up with its 4G plans propagating its overall reach.

The cost of acquisition of a new customer is multiple times the cost of retaining the existing customer. So it is very cost effective to retain the customers of the business. But most of the companies, today, focus on acquisition of customers rather than retaining the existing customers. The customers are the king of the market. The irony is that some of the businesses focus on acquisition so much that they don’t know what to do with them once they get them on board. They lose the track and are not able to transform them into loyal customers of the business. A meagre increase in the customer retention ratio increases the revenue to a great extent. Retention of customers provides a number of benefits to the business. The existing customers of a company will buy from the same company every time they want to buy the products if the company retains them. Thus the sales of the company increases. The existing customers spend more on purchases than a new customer. Thus they bring more revenues to the business. During important days like festive seasons, the people like to visit those shops where they find more crowds going in and out. These existing customers help the business by making visits during these days and spending more than normal. The existing customers bring new customers to the business through the word of the mouth.

The process of shifting the focus of marketing from “Acquisition” to “Retention” is gradually increasing. By 2020, we can expect the main focus of marketing to be retaining the existing customers. The customers won’t stop using the products of a company if the brand is able to create trust among the customers. We generally tend to visit a particular shop in our area whenever we feel the need to buy something. It works in the case of the companies and brands also. A customer would never like to try any product of the other company if he knows that the company whose product he is currently using would provide good quality products at genuine prices without any discrepancy. So basically, the customers can be retained if they trust the product or brand or the company itself. So marketing is a management function which helps in creating that trust.

A company can use a number of marketing strategies for customer retention. The business should try to engage the customers. The customers should feel a symbiotic relationship with the business. For this purpose, the companies can come up with new variants and deviants of the products available in the market. The companies should build relationship with the customers. If the customers feel engaged, they won’t shift to the other product. It can happen through online marketing campaigns. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter etc. are playing an important role. The companies remain connected with their customers 24 * 7 without making the customers visit the stores. Another strategy is to reward the repeat customers. The companies are coming up innovative database softwares which keep a real time track of the customers and identify the repeat and loyal customers. By making the existing customers feel special through providing extra services, the customers feel delighted and become loyal customers for a company.

Acquisition forms a basic part of selling process but the efficient and effective way of running the business happens with the help of retention. Acquisition happens at the initial stage while retention takes place after acquisition. With the marketing arena progressing so fast, it won’t take many years for most of the companies to shift their focus from “acquisition” to the “Retention” of the customers. By the year 2020, marketing mix will undergo complete transformation. Without acquisition, the retention can’t be possible. And without retention, acquisition does not help the business in long run. In such a cut throat competitive environment, only those business organizations would survive which will have more customers in its coffin. Retention is a useful strategy to make it happen.

Every company tries to acquire the maximum customers. Given a time period, the market size does not increase much. In such a scenario where every company is fighting for acquiring more and more customers, the competitive feelings start taking birth. A company tries to snitch the customers of the other company. They use lucrative offers to the customers so that the customers shift to their company. So in the current scenario, retaining the already acquired customers has become even more difficult than acquiring new customers. Clearly the focus of marketing is shifting slowly from the function of “Acquisition” to “Retention”. The brands like Pepsi and coke, Airtel and Vodafone, Surf excel and Tide, Dettol and Lifebuoy etc. have been trying hard to showcase themselves better than their competitors so that the existing customers of their competitors start purchasing these brands. As soon as one company reduces prices or brings some additional feature, soon the other company also come up with a new strategy. Airtel launched 4G with a brilliant marketing campaign so that the existing 3G users of Vodafone come to their company products. It branded its 4G internet services as the fastest in the world. Vodafone smelt the competition soon and it also came up with its 4G plans propagating its overall reach.

The cost of acquisition of a new customer is multiple times the cost of retaining the existing customer. So it is very cost effective to retain the customers of the business. But most of the companies, today, focus on acquisition of customers rather than retaining the existing customers. The customers are the king of the market. The irony is that some of the businesses focus on acquisition so much that they don’t know what to do with them once they get them on board. They lose the track and are not able to transform them into loyal customers of the business. A meagre increase in the customer retention ratio increases the revenue to a great extent.Retention of customers provides a number of benefits to the business. The existing customers of a company will buy from the same company every time they want to buy the products if the company retains them. Thus the sales of the company increases. The existing customers spend more on purchases than a new customer. Thus they bring more revenues to the business. During important days like festive seasons, the people like to visit those shops where they find more crowds going in and out. These existing customers help the business by making visits during these days and spending more than normal. The existing customers bring new customers to the business through the word of the mouth.

The process of shifting the focus of marketing from “Acquisition” to “Retention” is gradually increasing. By 2020, we can expect the main focus of marketing to be retaining the existing customers. The customers won’t stop using the products of a company if the brand is able to create trust among the customers. We generally tend to visit a particular shop in our area whenever we feel the need to buy something. It works in the case of the companies and brands also. A customer would never like to try any product of the other company if he knows that the company whose product he is currently using would provide good quality products at genuine prices without any discrepancy. So basically, the customers can be retained if they trust the product or brand or the company itself. So marketing is a management function which helps in creating that trust.

A company can use a number of marketing strategies for customer retention.The business should try to engage the customers. The customers should feel a symbiotic relationship with the business. For this purpose, the companies can come up with new variants and deviants of the products available in the market. The companies should build relationship with the customers. If the customers feel engaged, they won’t shift to the other product. It can happen through online marketing campaigns. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter etc. are playing an important role. The companies remain connected with their customers 24 * 7 without making the customers visit the stores. Another strategy is to reward the repeat customers. The companies are coming up innovative database softwares which keep a real time track of the customers and identify the repeat and loyal customers. By making the existing customers feel special through providing extra services, the customers feel delighted and become loyal customers for a company.

Acquisition forms a basic part of selling process but the efficient and effective way of running the business happens with the help of retention. Acquisition happens at the initial stage while retention takes place after acquisition. With the marketing arena progressing so fast, it won’t take many years for most of the companies to shift their focus from “acquisition” to the “Retention” of the customers. By the year 2020, marketing mix will undergo complete transformation. Without acquisition, the retention can’t be possible. And without retention, acquisition does not help the business in long run. In such a cut throat competitive environment, only those business organizations would survive which will have more customers in its coffin. Retention does that job very aptly!!!

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  1. Abhirup Bhattacharya 2 years ago

    Nicely analysed

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The shift from ‘acquisition’ to ‘retention’ – Marketing 2020

by Ajay Singla time to read: 12 min
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