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Z.E.R.O.: Zero Paid Media as the New Marketing Model by Maarten Albarda, Joseph Jaffe

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CHAPTER15

Use Existing Customers to Gain New Ones

I recently presented to a room filled with senior marketing executives. One executive who shall remain nameless, representing one of the large financial services/credit card companies, asked me this question: “What if we don't have enough customers? What if we are losing existing customers because of [insert some ridiculous excuse here] and therefore need to replace them with new [insert some ridiculous adjective here like younger, hipper, richer, poorer, blacker, whiter, thinner, fatter, you get the drift-er] ones?” In my head I was throttling this person, trying to shake some sense into that out-of-touch head. Outside of my head, I politely indicated I would ever-so-gently push back and challenge that assertion.

Any churn or attrition whatsoever is unacceptable. Industry averages and norms are nothing but numbers or percentages. We deal with human beings, and there should never be a reason to lose a single customer—not ever. I was once taught to treat every customer like my best customer—and my only customer.

Granted, the funnel (traditional or flipped) may sprout some leaks from time to time, but if you're questioning whether you have enough customers to begin with or are concerned they're not getting any younger, isn't the real issue at hand a failure to activate?

The central premise from Flip the Funnel is that retention becomes the new acquisition, and in doing so, companies can grow from the inside-out, acquiring NEW customers ...

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