Article: Customer Intimacy Yields
Better Marketing Results
By Paul Quinn
probably know the name, revenue and profitability
of every single one of your major customers,
but do you use this information to make your
marketing campaigns as effective as they can
the name, revenue and profitability of your
customer base is a fantastic start. However,
to maximise the effectiveness of your marketing
spend you need to dig a little deeper and gain
a clear understanding of what makes your customers
tick and why they elect to do business with
you over your competition. Developing an intimate
understanding of your client base will help
you in many ways, including:
Determining where to advertise to best
reach your target market.
Identifying the key messages that hold
the greatest relevance and appeal for your target
Developing products and services that
more accurately meet your target market's needs.
Helping identify new opportunities for
recruitment agencies there will be five main areas
where customer information resides. In assessing and
then applying this information your marketing campaigns
should become more relevant and effective. These five
areas are discussed below:
you probably already receive financials that show
you how your agency is tracking against budget in
areas such as revenue, expenditure and profit. However,
you could also use financial information to:
Develop and refine your product offering.
Chances are your top 20 customers this year are different
to your top 20 customers from last year. Identify
these people using your financials then research why
you have gained/lost customers and ensure that you
use this feedback to develop or refine your product/service
Consider the impact of changes to your
pricing strategy. Can you project what a 1% margin
increase would have on profitability? Can you test
this with a specific group of customers?
Communicate to both sales and non-sales
staff members the names of your priority accounts.
Imagine how much you would reinforce your customer
service ethic if everyone from reception through to
accounts recognised the names of your top 20 customers
and treated them as a priority in all their dealings.
Recognise and reward your top 20 customers.
There are many ways to do this and they don't have
to be expensive. For example, your Managing Director
could personally attend key client meetings on occasion
to reinforce the importance of that client and your
commitment to them.
and candidate database(s) can also be utilised to
improve the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
For example, you could use your database to:
Determine if you are advertising in
the right media. Make it mandatory for consultants
to track where candidates heard about your agency.
If you have a database that stores this type of information
run a report that shows you the number of candidates
you receive per media source. Ask yourself: which
media source is yielding you the most placements?
Are you paying for advertising on a particular website
or print publication that isn't yielding quality results?
If so, consider whether you should continue your presence
in this publication.
Track how clients heard about your agency
to fine tune your client acquisition efforts - were
they cold called, did a colleague tell them about
you, did someone forward your client newsletter onto
them or did they look you up in the Yellow Pages?
Again, by knowing these figures you arm yourself with
information that is vital in helping you make informed
media purchasing decisions.
many ways that you can apply the knowledge of your
sales team to improve your marketing effort. Here
are two examples:
Ask your sales team to use client feedback
as the basis for ideas on new products and services
that your agency could develop to win more business.
Give them input into the development and launch of
this new range of services and, if it is a new innovation,
try to generate media coverage in targeted publications
to increase awareness amongst your target market.
Ask your sales team to keep an 'ear
to the ground' for snippets of competitor news and
information on new services and initiatives. Often
clients are quite forthcoming in divulging competitor
information and if your agency has an established
mechanism to feed this information back to Management
you will then have a head start to devise appropriate
don't already do this, consider asking both clients
and candidates to complete a post-placement survey
on your performance. The information you receive back
can be used to:
Identify problems with the process which
when rectified can lead to a better experience for
the customer. Not only can you market the improved
process to try and gain new business but it also reinforces
to existing customers that you listen and care about
Identify the strengths your agency holds
over competitors. Chances are that there may be more
than one reason for a customer choosing your agency
- and it may be something that you'd never think to
consider. Identify these strengths and then incorporate
them into your marketing messages.
Provide key metrics for inclusion in
the assessment of staff performance appraisals and
Bolster marketing claims. There is nothing
quite as powerful as a customer testimonial to reinforce
your marketing messages.
Generate referrals for new business.
If a customer is satisfied with the service you offer
they may be willing to suggest colleagues who could
also use your services.
have a recruitment website then you should make sure
that you receive performance statistics from your
site host. These website statistics can be used to
make your marketing more effective in the following
Understand what information customers
Understand how many people visit your
site, and how often they return (if at all).
Understand how long they stay on your
site - one measure of the depth and relevance of your
To conclude, you probably
already have an excellent understanding of your customer's
needs, so why not use the information that abounds
in your agency to make your marketing effort even
more relevant and effective? Chances are that the
more you refine and improve your marketing message
the more you'll create a point of difference between
what you offer and what your competitors' lack.
trialling an Australian-built online customer feedback tool?
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online survey tool used extensively by Australian and New
Zealand based organisations to conduct customer feedback,
and to solicit and track referrals.
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© 2002. Written by
Paul Quinn, Managing Director of Quinntessential Marketing
Consulting Pty Ltd. Reprint with
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