Marketing balance shifting back to acquisition

Prospecting for new customers is returning to the marketing plan after a year-long focus on retention activity, according to a new survey by KDB. In a survey of 500 marketing decision makers, it found that only 9 per cent were focused solely on retention, compared to 22 per cent at the height of the recession.

During 2009, only 8 per cent of marketers said they had concenrated on acquisition. A more balanced approach is now in evidence with 62 per cent saying their plans are evenly split between retention and acquisition. This is significantly up from the 52 per cent reporting a balanced spending pattern last year.

Matt Boot, chief analyst at KDB, says: “Customer prospecting is clearly a major focus of post-recession marketing and firms failing to shift budget from retention back into finding new business as the economy emerges from recession will be left behind. While firms did well during the recession to nurture their existing customer relationships in order to prevent mass defection, it is essential that businesses seize the post-recession window of opportunity to seek out new business.”

The rebalancing is most evident in banking, where 82 per cent of marketers say they have an even view across both retention and acquisition now, having pulled out of prospecting at the height of the recession. Hospitality remains more strongly focused on retention, however, with 17 per cent still concenrating their marketing spend on keeping existing customers.

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