PIA Group



CRM and online marketing must grow together

In the daily market environment, all companies have to perform, achieve their goals and generate growth. However, above-average, sustainable growth can only be achieved by companies that prioritize new and existing customers equally and manage marketing and sales activities from a single source. 

Existing customers form the business foundation of every successful company. This is especially true in the digital context, as the market is characterized by saturation and cut-throat competition. However, companies must continuously set priorities and make decisions: On the one hand, it is important to win new customers permanently, on the other hand, existing customers must not be neglected. In this process, CRM and online marketing must grow together.

Over time, however, the assumption has become established, particularly in the sales and marketing environment, that the primary goal is to win new buyers for a product or service. Strategies and campaigns are worked out to perfection, with the aim of convincing the customer of the offer and thus the purchase of the product. As a direct consequence of this conviction, most companies and agencies as well as their management personnel concentrate the majority of their sales energy on winning new customers. However, investing in their attention in view of fragmented target groups and reach requires a lot of budget.

The importance of marketing to existing customers

The acquisition of a new customer guarantees, at least in the short term, a large number of positive reports in the trade press and a new budget. At the same time it is also good for the image of the company as well as for the person acting. According to expert estimates, the costs of acquiring a new customer are seven times higher than the costs of maintaining a regular customer, retaining him and exploiting his potential. Despite this insight, most investments still flow into online marketing and thus into acquiring new customers.

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In contrast, hardly any media service reports on a long-term, consistent cooperation between companies and service providers. Good marketing, however, should focus the same energy on retaining existing customers and confirm them again and again in the feeling that they have made exactly the right choice with their decision. To date, however, only about one in three German companies uses targeted marketing to existing customers, among other things to improve customer relations and further increase loyalty. In addition to greater planning reliability, communication strategies can be more targeted, relevant and therefore more valuable based on existing data.

Customer satisfaction leads to credible recommendations, especially via social media and in real social environments - a key success factor in saturated markets. Customer orientation creates customer loyalty - above all through cooperation in new service dimensions, the comparison of products and services as well as service excellence.

Effectiveness through synergies

Existing customer marketing is often underestimated: a one-sided focus and an uneven budget distribution with regard to new and existing customers can significantly slow down the growth of companies. However, effective and above all sustainable growth requires synergies. Online marketing via digital media and platforms is becoming increasingly important for the advertising industry due to media usage behavior and provides considerable advantages over traditional media, since advertising media can be adapted to company or communication needs within a very short time and with significantly less effort. 

In terms of data protection law, approaching existing customers remains uncomplicated and benefits from the customer confidence already built up. This speaks for a concentration on customer relationship management. By jointly processing cookie and existing customer data, all marketing measures can be made more targeted and efficient, CRM customer data should be used for even more precise segmentation. Even small data analysis projects already lead to success and growth rates.

In summary, the following can be said: Sustainable growth is important - also for the customer base. Too much focus on new customer acquisition and too little on existing customers limits this growth and is economically challenging. Sustainable results can only be achieved if CRM knows how online marketing has acted so far. As a result, synergies are often lost through isolated market cultivation, which would be technically feasible by now. It therefore makes economic sense and is indispensable to rethink silos and let online marketing and CRM work together so that new customer acquisition and existing customer management can grow together in the long term.