Have you calculated what a customer’s worth over the course of her lifetime?
What if – just one time – you calculated your marketing budget off that amount?
In Embracing Lifetime Value, Seth Godin suggests this simple challenge:
So, a chiropractor might see a new patient being worth $2,500, easily. And yet… how much is she spending on courting, catering to and seducing that new customer? My guess is that $50 feels like a lot to the doc. Instead of comparing what you invest to the benefit you receive from the first bill, the first visit, the first transaction, it’s important to not only recognize but embrace the true lifetime value of one more customer.
Write it down. Post it on the wall. What would happen if you spent 100% of that amount on each of your next ten new customers? That’s more money than you have to spend right now, I know that, but what would happen? Imagine how fast you would grow, how quickly the word would spread.
Do this as an exercise.
Mark down an hour on your calendar before you take off for Thanksgiving and get sucked into the vortex of the holiday season.
What if, in 2010, you spent just as he suggested? You’ve suddenly got an influx of cash to invest in tickling the delighted fancy of customer after customer. What might you do? What might you do differently than you’re planning to do?
In brainstorming and strategic planning, we often use the “what if money were no object” parameter to loosen mental impediments and objections. Here, it’s the same thing, but we’re putting faces to that parameter – beautiful, evangelical faces. What would you do?
Because from these ideas, you might pare some small derivative that would never otherwise have come to you. You might find five. Heck, you might realize ten brand new unique-to-you ideas for some serious fancy-tickling just because you stopped to think differently about the value of your customers.
So, this morning, answer me these questions three, ‘ere the other side you’ll see:
1) Do you really understand how much a customer is worth over her lifetime?
2) Why is #1 important?
3) When are you scheduling your planning session to do something differently next year as a result of #1 and #2?
Before Thanksgiving, please.
I imagine it will affect that for which you’re thankful in November of 2010.