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No level of customer churn is acceptable: make it so !

image source: Wikipedia

What would happen if your business ran out of viable customers? What if the pipeline of new blood permanently dried up?

The continuous rotation of campaign taglines, creative messages, and clutter-busting noise helps to keep a baseline level of acquisition activity. OK.

And somehow along the customer life cycle, we loose them. They churn, churn, churn.

I think the starting point of doing business should be:


The cost of acquiring new customers

Companies today are using advertising, promotions and lead generation campaigns to attract new customers. All these tactics take a big chunck out of your marketing budget. I’m not going to repeat that acquiring new customers is more expensive, we all know that.

So we use these tactics to attract new customers, because we know they work.

The problem with these tactics is that they are not working anymore, or not working as good anymore as they used to do:

  • 86% of TV viewers admit to skipping advertisements.
  • 44% of direct marketing doesn’t get opened anymore.
  • 99,9% of on-line advertising is not clicked upon.

Additionally, sometimes your budgets are cut because of a multitude of reasons, giving you even less arm-length to reach our to buyers.

Why do companies churn?

Usually companies switch because of the following reasons:

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Slideshare didn’t want my business

source : Flickr – by Joriel “Joz” Jimenez

Some time ago, I started using Slideshare as an extra way of putting out content to buyers.

At first it was an experiment, but we must have done something right, because soon we had over 10.000 views on a number of presentations.

Because we passed the 10.000 views mark, we got a mail from Slideshare to try the PRO version of Slideshare, adding lots of interesting functionality. Yeah, nice !

Sneaky free offering

Interesting, as it seemed, I went on to their website and tried to activate the free month trial period.

I got quickly disappointed, as the offering required me to fill in my credit card details. The sneaky bit here is that although they would not debit my credit card, filling in all the details would mean an AUTOMATIC renewed monthly debit subscription to the PRO service. I also saw that at LinkedIn, but hey, aren’t they the same company?

Bummer !

Marketing take-away: if you are offering a free trial period, make sure the terms and conditions do not harm your brand by putting in sneaky or less appealing conditions. Your offering must remain attractive, even during the free trial period.

Resisting to have me as their customer

The number of views kept growing, so I decided to go for it. As our company is not set-up to work easily with on-line credit card payments, I hoped that Slideshare would be able to invoice me fort heir services.

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Does Marketing Automation solve your “too much data” problem?

I still remember the time when I started thinking about how to automate a number of the marketing activities in the company I work for. The term marketing automation was unknown to me, little did I know.

As a marketer I had the following challenges:

  • We had many incoming “interactions”, but we had no way of tracking these interactions and actually do something with them beyond responding to these interactions. With interactions, I mean we had people mailing us, visiting our website, participating to webinars, showing up at tradeshows, etc…
  • We had no way of identifying all of these interactions (well, not always).
  • I had no way of storing the marketing intelligence that these interactions brought me (now that’s where the challenge began).
  • We had no way of actually converting these interactions into leads, or at least “micro-convert” them further along the buying cycle.