Battle Plans for Guerrilla Marketers

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 14, 2005

Never forget that 70% of business that’s lost is lost due to apathy after the sale. The opposite of apathy is follow-up.

Follow-up not only reduces your marketing investment, it’s also a boon to your customer-retention program.

Since customers move, die, and are wooed away by competitors, you must always add new people to your customer list. They will come in a steady flow if you consistently market to prospects. Think of marketing to prospects as a solid long-term investment for you. Realize that members of the universe have ways of becoming prospects, and it’s a lot easier to sell to a prospect who has heard of you than to sell to one who hasn’t.

Most likely, you’re aiming almost 100% of your marketing budget at prospects. Does that mean you’re wasting 70% of it? I hate to tell you this in public, but it does. The rule of thumb says 30% goes to prospects, 10% goes to the universe, and 60% goes to customers. Marketing works well that way. Ask any guerrilla marketer.

Lloyd E. Shefsky
Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship and Co-Director, Center for Family Enterprises
Kellogg School of Management
Evanston, Ill.

Reader Comments

Dan C.

December 14, 2005 12:44 PM

This is a good "general" business article but does not apply to every business case. I would argue that businesses that provide services/products that are infrequently purchased (i.e durable goods, certain consulting cervices, etc..), should concentrate the majority of their advertising budget toward obtaining new business. There is no rule of thumb in advertising. Each individual business situation require a unique marketing mix specifically formulated to gain greater revenue.

Abasse Asgaraly

December 14, 2005 3:25 PM

Lloyd's comments and recommendations are very timely and valuable. I was running my own holistic clinic in downtown Toronto (Canada). My primary focus was always on my existing customers because if I could get them spend 10% more than they did previously in my clinic, my ROI was over 45%.
Thank you
Abasse Asgaraly

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