There is nothing so useful for a leading-edge thinker as a succinct idea, stated plainly and simply, that makes your practice better.

For people in marketing — and, really, for everyone else in business as well — some of the most valuable nuggets have to do with customer relationships.

Customers are not always who you think they are. They don’t always want what you think they want. These two simple concepts can help.

1. Get to know your highest-volume customers.

A successful marketing leader comes to know a great deal about the best, most loyal customers. These fall into one of three groups:

the early adopters,

the repeaters, and

the heavy users.

Each of these groups is different. Early adopters may not always be repeaters. And not all repeaters will become heavy users.

It’s the heavy users you should come to know best: the people who continually buy your products in high quantities. They are gold. They may be a minority — even a small minority. And market research will often miss them. But to your company, they can be worth five or even 15 times an occasional or casual customer.

Listen to them.

Keep them happy.

Coddle them.

Read all: Two Simple Concepts for Satisfying Customers

My point of view: Follow this advice only when you are sure that your heavy user segment is the most profitable. If not, aim at the profitable segments.

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