2014 Marketing Resolution #5: Love and delight your current customers

What have you done for your existing customers lately?

The holidays are often a period when old friends are remembered and contacted. Holiday cards are becoming more rare these days as simple “Merry Christmas!” or “Happy Hanukkah!” posts on social media have taken their place; but don’t meaningful, personalized letters (not those family update form letters!) stand out and connect you more emotionally to those friends who take the time to connect?

The excitement and urgency of the “new logo” chase always seems to take precedence over profitable interaction and relationship-building with existing customers. Yet as Jason Fried, co-founder and president of 37signals (the company behind Basecamp and other web-based services) observes: “If you take care of your existing customers, they will take care of your new customers.”

To complete our 2014 Marketing Resolutions series, we offer the following meaningful ways to engage your existing customers that could lead to greater revenue and advocacy in the coming year:

Visit them – There is nothing like an agenda-free, open-ended “how are you?” visit to spark conversation and communicate interest in someone's well-being. An amazing number of new opportunities can often be generated by a simple check-in, whether in person, via phone or Skype.

Send them a book – Books deliver a message that you’re interested in a customer’s future success. They still have an emotional weight behind them that few other gifts deliver.

Assess them - Assess customers' usage habits, identify value they’ve left on the table, highlight areas where they could improve, and proactively share it with them. 

Praise them – In the above assessment, call out specific reasons why they are a valuable customer to you.

Send them a helpful URL – Believe it or not, a simple “I was thinking about your business and thought this blog post touched on some key points for your business” can do wonders.

Offer a free business review – Perhaps, at least for the top tier of clients, your team could invest in a free, no-commitment, on-site training seminar or business review meeting that promises to identify new opportunities for the client with no risk or commitments on their end? 

Free sample – For consumer goods companies, the surprise of receiving a “thank you” sample in the mail or in-store can go a long way towards building emotional attachment and reciprocity. A “here’s one for your friend” addition can stimulate low-cost sampling that leads to new customers.

This year our clients received some amazing fixx chocolates as a thank-you for their feedback and support. How did Mythology share our appreciation for clients this year? We recently sent a gift package of fixx chocolates ( to our clients. This wasn’t just another “goodies” package; these chocolates are from a client that we helped via a branding workshop during their startup phase earlier in 2013. Not only did our clients receive amazing (and we DO mean AMAZING) high-end chocolates, they also saw an example of our ongoing brand differentiation and growth capabilities in action.

How can you grow by focusing more on existing clients? Mythology can support your efforts with in-depth strategy workshops and action-oriented relationship marketing programs. Contact us, we’d love to hear from you!

Resolution #1: Clarify your differentiation
Resolution #2: Get your customer data act together 
Resolution #3: Define and test compelling calls to action
Resolution #4: Build your digital marketing capacity
Resolution #5: Love and delight your current customers



2014 Marketing Resolution #4: Build your digital marketing capacity 

Search. Social media. Viral videos. Most ambitious, growth-minded companies have embraced them all, at varying levels. Yet very few are truly managing these powerful marketing channels effectively in meaningful, measurable ways.

There are two simple recommendations we suggest to thrive in digital marketing in 2014: content calendars and marketing automation.

A great number of companies struggle with digital marketing because they haven’t addressed their underlying fundamentals of brand differentiation and appropriate calls to action. Others have not embraced the all-important connection between brand position and digital engagement, represented by  the content calendar.

A content calendar is a simple roadmap for identifying, prioritizing and assigning the creation of content that reinforces your brand position and provides valuable fodder for engaging customers via blogging and social media.

Just as a media outlet plans ahead for its upcoming issue based on reader preferences and “what’s happening now” newsworthiness, marketing teams must embrace a proactive approach to publishing.

A content calendar typically involves mapping out content categories that are most relevant to their brand and customer base. These categories may include:

  • Industry news and trends relevant to their area of business; help customers get more informed not just about you, but about their area of interest.
  • How-to insights that help a customer get more value out of a product, or introduce prospects to what they’re missing.
  • "About you" customer stories that highlight how peers are using or finding value in the product/service.
  • “About us” stories that help the customer become more emotionally attached to the team behind your brand.

The content calendar will also define the source of the content (i.e., the writer assigned), the due date and other project management details.

Marketing automation is another key discipline for effective digital marketing which is beginning to take shape and add real value for those organizations who embrace it. Marketing automation can include very simple tools like Hootsuite that help you schedule and post social media content, but it can also include more complex, holistic platforms such as Marketo, HubSpot and Silverpop.

Marketing automation platforms require some training and commitment, but they provide a depth of marketing engagement tools such as “trigger marketing” (i.e., a pre-defined marketing action that gets launched when a customer exhibits a certain behavior, or trigger) that can advance your organization greatly in its ability to effectively, efficiently convert customers to new or returning revenue streams.

However, just as CRM (customer relationship marketing) systems in the 1990's failed to realize value in many firms, marketing automation has the potential to be an expensive toy that rarely generates results if not fully adopted.

Here are some key steps to prepare you for a successful marketing automation initiative:

Map out buyer decision-making stages. How can marketing automation engage customers as they move through a typical purchasing decision?

What are your contextual calls to action? In what stages can you most influence them positively with the right messages delivered at the right time?

Who will manage the strategy and process? Oftentimes, implementation of CRM and marketing automation initiatives in smaller organizations is “everyone’s job”, but really no one’s job. Clear assignments and accountability are critical.


Considering a marketing automation initiative? Mythology can help you develop the underlying insights and strategies required for success through planning workshops and in-depth customer engagement planning.

Contact us, we’d love to hear from you!

Resolution #1: Clarify your differentiation
Resolution #2: Get your customer data act together 
Resolution #3: Define and test compelling calls to action
Resolution #4: Build your digital marketing capacity
Resolution #5: Love and delight your current customers



2014 Marketing Resolution #3: Define and test compelling customer calls to action

There are few bigger turn-offs than the aggressive closer. You know the type, maybe you’ve been accosted by them in a bar. Maybe you’ve experienced the uneasiness of a pushy carnival barker or shop clerk who makes you feel uneasy by being too “helpful.” Or of course, the persistent cold-caller.

Whether in dating or in business, no one likes to deal with a person who can’t read the situation and realize that familiarity and trust are a prerequisite to meaningful dialog. Whether that dialog is a split-second purchase window or a two-year complex sales process, the right mix of initial signals and invitations to engage are critical.

At Mythology, we like to explore varying levels of call to action (CTA) invitations to customers based on where they’re at in the consideration funnel. First, here are the categories of customer stages:

  • Potential Customers – These are prospects that fit your target profile in terms of demographics, industry or other basic criteria, but they have exhibited no signs of pending readiness to buy.
  • Considering Customers – These customers are growing in their awareness of their need and have begun to seriously consider filling it. They may not be active yet, but their minds are now open.
  • Selecting Customers – These customers are in active buying mode, or “in market”. They are actively comparing car makes and models, researching the best insurance plan on the Internet, launching an RFP (request for proposal) or actively scanning a store shelf. 
  • Consuming Customers – These customers have converted and purchased your product or service; but that’s just half the battle. Now your job is to turn these consumers into advocates.

 For each of these customer types, we help clients develop a different type of CTA:

Customer Type

Call to Action


Indirect CTA – These CTA’s invite the customer into a simple, zero-commitment interaction. They are often entertaining in order to earn attention. In exchange for 2-3 seconds of their attention, you’re delivering them something memorable and/or useful in their day-to-day lives. The goal is to stick in their minds when they move to the Considering phase, or perhaps even provide enough information to shift them to consideration.

Note that these CTA’s need to protect the customer’s need for privacy and reduce their anxiety that they will be pestered by a salesperson or aggressive email campaign, so they rarely have an aggressive “share your information” component. The CTA is primarily to invest a few seconds with you.


  • Top 10 business frustrations infographic
  • How much paper does business use in a day? interactive banner ad
  • “The Bad Breath Bandit Strikes Again” humorous viral video
  • How women business leaders are handling work-life balance


Low-Impact CTA – The underlying value in the call to action shifts from entertaining to useful. What low-risk engagement can you give them that makes their decision easier?


  • Are you ready for a new car? Assess yourself
  • Creating a better business process - Download the roadmap whitepaper
  • How industry leaders have embraced new healthcare laws – Peer story video
  • Toothpaste rating chart – What those 9 out of 10 dentists really think


Direct CTA – These customers are looking for an excuse to take action, so give it to them. This is where trial offers, couponing or free consultations are most appropriate. That assumes of course, that you’re offering them to qualified, in-market decision-makers with whom you’ve established a minimum of trust.

At this stage, it is finally more appropriate to ask a little more from the customer in terms of contact or profile information. After all, you’re assisting them in an active buying process, so they expect to share a little more about their needs and preferences.


  • Attend our webinar or seminar
  • Contact us for a free evaluation
  • Redeem this downloadable coupon for a free trial
  • Chat with our customer support team to get your questions answered.


Affirmation CTA – We’re all aware that selling more to an existing customer is easier and less costly than gaining a brand new one. Yet our marketing investments and behaviors rarely follow that fact.

Affirmation CTA’s are not just “buy more” offers. They involve CTA’s that help existing customers feel good about their decision and take steps towards holding up their hand as a brand advocate for you.

Why? Because by identifying with your brand, they could gain the all-important “I made a smart choice, and I’d like to share it with you” ego boost. In addition to securing their loyalty, you flip them into proactive advocates to attract more Potential and Considering customers.


  • Attend a peer user network
  • Tell your story in our newsletter
  • You could star in our next advertisement
  • Share this handy buying guide with your friends


Take a moment to evaluate your calls to action. Do you over-emphasize Direct CTA’s when you should focus more on Indirect? Do you understand when to introduce a Low-Impact CTA? Do you consistent provide Affirmation CTA’s to existing customers?

Mythology can help you formulate and test the most effective CTA’s possible through strategy workshops, planning and research services. Contact us; we’d love to hear from you!

Resolution #1: Clarify your differentiation
Resolution #2: Get your customer data act together 
Resolution #3: Define and test compelling calls to action
Resolution #4: Build your digital marketing capacity
Resolution #5: Love and delight your current customers



2014 Marketing Resolution #2: Get your customer data act together (or, embrace “Little Data”) 

Quick, your VP of Sales has requested your team to send out a year-end email promotion to prior customers with certain characteristics.

A surprising number of companies could not pull off this simple request, at least within a reasonable turnaround time. Why? Because they still do not have a consistent method for managing customer data based on simple profiling characteristics.

While much larger organizations have hired data-mining agencies to compile predictive customer models based on Google search behavior and other valuable data, many other organizations at the small, mid- or division level couldn’t pull a simple list to execute an email campaign.

Clean, coherent data is a cornerstone for digital and relationship marketing. Yet it’s an afterthought for many marketing leaders. Why?

Part of the reason stems from a poor understanding of what data to capture and manage and its connection to return on investment. There is an unlimited number of possible data types to capture, but which ones are most valuable for targeting and predicting new revenue?

  • Demographic – Age, income, gender, geography or other traits?
  • Psychographic – Beliefs, attitudes or values?
  • Behavioral – Search and social media activity? Distribution preference? Life triggers?
  • Recency – Recent buying or customer service patterns?

Typically it’s a combination of these factors, but the key is understanding the mix for your organization in your industry. That level of understanding only comes from a concerted effort to develop a process for developing a strategy, testing hypotheses, and committing to ongoing learning.

“Big Data” - finding meaningful trends in the mass of data trails customers leave behind in their daily search, social and sales interactions - is a big opportunity, but many firms need to get their “Little Data” in order to harvest the low-hanging fruit that simple customer insights provide.

Mythology can help you develop your data strategy and implement an effective targeted marketing engine. Contact us; we’d love to hear from you!

Resolution #1: Clarify your differentiation
Resolution #2: Get your customer data act together 
Resolution #3: Define and test compelling calls to action
Resolution #4: Build your digital marketing capacity
Resolution #5: Love and delight your current customers



Get Your Marketing in Shape for 2014: Five New Year’s Resolutions for Senior Business Executives

For the cynical among us, this is that time when people create lists of goals that will be ignored yet again just a few days into the New Year. For the more optimistic, the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is an exciting opportunity for reflection and commitment towards renewal and growth.

For senior marketers and top executives, this is certainly a time to strengthen resolve and identify opportunities to achieve goals. The top two methods for realizing business success include a) finding and growing customer revenue, and b), operating more efficiently to cut costs.

Over the next few days we’ll be sharing some worthy 2014 resolutions to fulfill the first part of that equation. Here’s #1:

2014 Marketing Resolution #1: Clarify your differentiation to drive distance between you and competitors (or, find that red penguin suit)

Each year, billions are spent on marketing that pushes out messages that are too similar. Think about how often you view an otherwise entertaining or interesting commercial, but then forget exactly which company is behind it? This is often because the organization behind the advertising has not a) crafted a truly different brand position in the marketplace, and/or b) failed to successfully attach that message to their creative.

This can be difficult for organizations competing in seemingly “commodity” markets like insurance or legal services. But by establishing a different position in the minds of customers via emotional and/or functional criteria, it can be done. For example, which of these auto insurance companies stand out not just for their creative (i.e., which animal or quirky spokesperson they’re using to represent them), but for the different type of value they offer?

  • Progressive
  • Allstate
  • State Farm

Most industry observers give kudos to GEICO for the consistency and clarity of their value proposition, which is hammered home in every single ad: "15 minutes could save you 15% or more.”

"It is a simple, clean pitch," said Jeremy Bowler, senior director-global insurance at J.D. Power. "They clearly staked out their position and have maintained that position."

At Mythology we like to describe the “red penguin suit,” that unique, memorable quality that no other competitor can claim that helps you stand out in a sea of black tuxedos. Seth Rodin likes to call it the “Purple Cow.” Whatever colorful analogy you prefer, figure it out and your marketing will leap forward in its effectiveness and return on investment because it will not have to work so hard to achieve its goal.

Would you like to sharpen your differentiated value proposition in 2014? Mythology offers highly effective strategy workshops and market validation testing services to sharpen your message. Contact us, we'd love to hear from you! 

Read additional 2014 marketing resolutions: 


Resolution #1: Clarify your differentiation
Resolution #2: Get your customer data act together 
Resolution #3: Define and test compelling calls to action
Resolution #4: Build your digital marketing capacity
Resolution #5: Love and delight your current customers



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