The surprising value of a lifelong customer

1 02 2011

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How many customers do you have? A florist might say 1,000. Printers — well, we have a few, too, right? How much is your average sale? For realtors (according to Google) — about $260,000. For florists (I’m guessing here) — $100. Printers… well, you know what you spend with us.

So think about it this way:

The big money isn’t in creating products; it’s in creating customers. A single, lifelong customer who lives his life spending the way you want him to may be worth six or seven figures. A single one.

That guy who spends $2,500 a year with you is worth $60,000 over a lifetime (25 years). That means you only need SIXTEEN lifetime customers to reach a million dollars. Want $10 million? That is only 160 lifetime customers.

Yes, I know it doesn’t work that way all the time, or for everyone. But I also know this. Customer loyalty counts. And that’s worth a million every time. What do you think? Let us know!


The continuing growth of social media marketing

23 01 2011

Subject: The continuing growth of social media marketing

Social media marketing is becoming an important cog in the wheel of many companies’ overall marketing plans. According to, U.S. advertisers spent $1.7 billion (that’s billion with a “b”) in 2010 on social media marketing. Of that, 53% was spent advertising on Facebook. Globally, companies spent $3.4 billion on social media marketing in 2010.

Pepsi — a staple of Super Bowl ads for decades — has announced that it will not run any ads in this year’s game. Instead, the company will invest more heavily in social media campaigns.

So what are the most popular social media channels for large companies? HubSpot reports that 65% of Fortune Global 100 companies maintain a corporate Twitter account, 54% host a Facebook page, 50% have a company YouTube channel, and 33% run a company blog.

Having a Facebook page, Twitter account, or blog is one thing. Keeping it active is something else entirely. Of the companies cited earlier who use T witter, 82% post multiple tweets per week. Among corporate YouTube users, 68% upload at least one new video per month. On Facebook, 59% post at least once per week. And 36% of corporations with blogs update those blogs at least once every month.

While HubSpot focused its research on larger corporations, social media marketing is ideally suited for small businesses, too. The cost of getting started is minimal, and commitment can grow and scale over time.

If you aren’t using social media marketing, I recommend you start. If you can’t commit too much time, that’s ok. Start small, and build your efforts as time allows. Begin with a Facebook page for your company, a blog (like this one), or a Twitter account. Make a plan for adding new content regularly. And engage with customers who engage with you online.

Once you’re started, include the address for each of your social media channels on your website. Add your Twitter name to your business cards. And begin to engage with your customers and prospective customers through social media. You’ll be glad you did.

If you’d like to see more from the HubSpot study referenced in this post, visit:

Change — and controversy — are brewing at Starbucks

18 01 2011
CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 29:  Starbucks VIA Ready B...
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Starbucks has decided to rid itself of the bothersome words “Starbucks Coffee” in its logo and leave behind only their green mermaid. The company says it’s making the change because it sells more than coffee.

This is a pretty familiar issue to printers who debate changing their name from SomeName Printing Company to SomeName Marketing Company, in order to emphasize the diversity of products and services they provide. It’s equally familiar to any company that is thinking about rebranding.

Some people think such a name change is a silly move. “I think it’s nuts,” said James Gregory, chief executive of brand consulting firm CoreBrand, in a Reuters article. “What’s it going to be — the coffee formerly known as Starbucks?”

On the other hand, there are companies for which their logo is so universal they don’t need anything else. Apple comes to mind. For their part, Starbucks says, “Our new evolution liberates the siren from the outer ring, making her the true, welcoming face of Starbucks.”

So I guess the question is — what do you think? Will you buy more stuff from Starbucks, sans the “coffee”? And would you ever consider a similar move for your own company?

For reference, here’s a link to the Reuters’ piece quoted above:

The Nation’s Mood, According to Twitter

14 01 2011
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Researchers using data from Twitter, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Google Maps API have mapped the mood of our nation over a three-year span, based primarily on what we tweeted about during that time. A joint venture of scientists at Harvard and Northeastern universities, the study looked at 300 million tweets sent between September 2006 and August 2009. Here are some of the findings:

* Tweeters tend to be happiest early in the morning (around 6:00am) and later in the day (around 10:30-11:00pm). Moods dip to their lowest in the early afternoon, then slowly begin to rise again.

* Not surprisingly, weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) are the happiest days of the week. In fact, Sunday morning ranks the highest overall.

* Thursday — not Monday — sees the lowest dip, on average, of any of the days. Our collective mood bottoms out on Thursday evenings, apparently.

Tweets were scored against the Affective Norms for English Words (ANEW) word list to determine their overall “mood.” The researchers say they plan to continue their work into the future, with further breakdowns of weekday versus weekend moods.

More details can be found online at the study’s website:

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