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Customer Nurturing vs. Lead Generation: Do You Have the Right Focus?

Travis Balinas
September 16, 2013

A lot of professionals are worried about spending too much time with customer nurturing as opposed to lead generation, especially on social media channels. However, if the majority of your business comes from referrals, are you wasting your time on social media channels? Absolutely not. These platforms are a fast and easy way for your contacts to refer their friends to you.

Getting “Likes” vs. Relationship Building

As you work on your social media strategy, you should be measuring those efforts. It may seem most obvious to assume that is how many new followers, likes or newsletter subscriptions you see. Those numbers are great, but your primary focus should be building relationships with your existing customers. That kind of growth takes time and often isn’t something you can see with a report.

Of course, engaging with new prospects is smart. But remember that new clients are more expensive and time-consuming than selling to existing customers. HubSpot found that prospecting is the most difficult part of selling and that 40% of salespeople say getting a response from prospects is getting harder.

Key Takeaway #1 For Small Business Owners

Likes and follows are fun, but focus your content on building relationships with your existing clients.

What value do they expect from interacting with you online? Are you providing that value?  If you’re not sure, take a look at this chart from IBM demonstrating the gap between what customers want and what businesses think they want from interacting online:

Perception Gap
Info courtesy of IBM

People Change…And So Do Their Preferences

Acquiring new clients is a must, but it’s important to keep in mind where your business truly comes from and focus your lead generation on those channels. One heavily misused marketing channel by the promotional products industry is email.

Email blows away social media from a conversion perspective, but many distributors view email marketing as an opportunity to get immediate business or new prospects. 75% of companies agree that email offers “excellent” to “good” ROI.

Key Takeaway #2 For Small Business Owners

Segment your marketing efforts and use preferred marketing channels (like email & social) to nurture existing client relationships. Nurturing those relationships will pay off far more than the new “leads” you might be chasing that don’t know you. Speaking of, how many times have you reached out to your existing clients this year?


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