Nuts & Bolts - Book Club: Retention Is the New Acquisition
The traditional marketing funnel is outdated, lopsided and broken, with its gaping mouth acquiring many, sometimes not qualified, customers but retaining few. "What happens to the chosen few who make it through to the other end of the funnel? They fall to their grisly deaths in the vertical drop of attrition," writes Joseph Jaffe, author, consultant, keynote and chief interrupter of the social media agency Powered.
In his third and latest book, "Flip the Funnel: How to Use Existing Customers to Gain New Ones," Jaffe sets out to give the marketing funnel—as well as some obstinate marketers—a much-needed flip.
According to Jaffe, by flipping the funnel marketers are able to expand the number of customer connections, conversations and potential conversions—through repeat purchases and referrals—due to the new shape of the acquisitions process, which widens instead of narrowing.
"In an acquisition-heavy world, we pull out all the stops to woo a stranger to sample our wares, yet we ignore the very people who essentially fund our acquisition efforts in the first place. It is tantamount to feeding yourself by holding the steak knife the wrong way," he writes. "Not only will you go hungry, but also you'll end up in the emergency room."
In "Flip the Funnel," Jaffe also stresses the importance of encouraging and engaging customers in dialogue, as well as moving CRM from a passive "back office" function to the "front office" in an effort to proactively engage customers.
Jaffe is up-front from the beginning, claiming he isn't a CRM-loyalty-retention guru. Instead, he focuses on a common-sense application that anyone willing to make the flip can do. "Flip the Funnel" is chock-full of his witty, conversational prose, but unlike some books, there is still important, measurable information beyond the hip analogies and sassy asides.