Marketing truisms hold that it is far less expensive to retain a customer than engage a prospect, and that house files are considerably more valuable than outside lists. Yet 70% of marketers say fewer than one in five of their employees focus on retention, and 60% allocate less than 20% of their marketing budgets to retention activities.
The disconnect comes from marketers being disingenuous about their views on loyalty. "There is a big difference between saying the customer is at the center of the universe and actually putting the customer at the center of the universe," says Tim Suther, CMO and senior VP of Acxiom, which along with Loyalty 360 coordinated a survey of marketers' loyalty activities.
"They're not really putting the customer at the center of the universe if all they do is grounded in moving product by the ton," Suther continues. "There is an almost immediate gratification in the thrill of closing a sale. But it takes time to see how valuable that relationship is."