Driving Repeat Business Part 5: Wrap-up and Next Steps

August 2002 Marketing

Business-to-Business companies are increasing their focus on repeat and referral business. In this final installment on driving repeat business, we will review the series and highlight some questions for further research and discussion.

One of the most important issues to address in embarking on a repeat/referral business marketing plan is how it will fit within the overall revenue generation strategy of the firm. Companies must weigh the costs and benefits of investing in customer retention versus customer acquisition. While a rare few companies can focus solely on customer retention strategies, most companies will need to balance old customer retention with new customer acquisition. This balance is struck through a combination of market insight and quantitative justification.

Embarking upon a repeat/referral business strategy requires selecting a tactic to achieve the goals. While the not providing a compete litany of tactics, we did look at direct contact tactics, customer group meetings, and email newsletters. There are others that should be explored, such as event hosting, networking, trade shows, advertising, and sales meetings.

As with every marketing concept, selecting an idea isn’t the only step. Planning, execution, measurement of results, and updating the plan are also required. Revenue generating departments should strive to both improve revenue and their efficiency at capturing it. This requires careful thought and budgeting with the revenue generation department.

I hope that this series has stimulated some thought within your firm. If you would like to highlight your company’s strategy or tactic for driving repeat and referral business, just send your case study or article ideas to the editor.

The May Report, TECH BUSINESS BRIEFS, Aug 21, 2002

About the author

Tim J. Smith, PhD is the Managing Principal of Wiglaf Pricing, and an Adjunct Professor at DePaul University of Marketing and Economics. His most recent book is Pricing Strategy: Setting Price Levels, Managing Price Discounts, & Establishing Price Structures.

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