Brilliant Reads: the balance between customer retention and acquisition, and why mobile might save Facebook

Welcome to this week’s Brilliant Reads. We’re taking a look at the balance between customer retention and acquisition, why mobile might save Facebook and new features in Google Analytics.

When to reward existing customers and when to court new ones (Sloan Review)

Image credit: Sloan Review

This piece of research from the Yale School of Management looks at an eternal marketing dilemma: should you use your best prices to reward your existing customers, or to attract new ones?

It suggests that two main factors should influence your decision:

  1. Shopping flexibility – the customer might prefer brand X overall, but will use brand Y if it happens to be cheaper, easier, or more convenient on a particular occasion.
  2. Value concentration – some customers are more profitable to your business than others.

If both these factors are particularly true for your business, then you should focus on rewarding your existing customers to keep them loyal. If niether is particularly true, then you are free to focus on attracting new customers.

Why mobile could save Facebook from decline (Wired)

This article from Jeff Stibel for Wired looks at the role mobile will play in sustaining Facebook’s popularity and usefulness as the site reaches its peak in terms of growth and number of members.

The average Facebook user has 262 friends, and Stibel argues that with that many connections, the quality of many of these relationships is low, and that users will be getting a lot of updates that don’t really interest them.

Facebook has tried to restrict the number of people members connect with, by positioning itself as a ‘network of networks’ and encouraging us to connect only with people that they know ‘in real life’.

The mobile version of Facebook is ‘simpler, pared down, and curated’ and focused on communicating with the people most important to you – the lack of space means that it provides more value by offering users less ‘filler’ and more of the important content that they really value.

Google Analytics opens advanced multi-channel funnels to all (Focus Product Marketing)

Multi-channel funnels (which allow you to look back beyond the last click and see the various different interactions a customer has had with your website by traffic source) has been part of Google Analytics for a while. However, the advanced version has now been rolled out to all users, giving you the ability to do three new things:

  1. Look back at the last 90 days of a user’s visits, rather than just 30 days.
  2. Create custom groupings of channels, for example making Facebook a channel in its own right, or a specific keyword or set of keywords.
  3. Create custom attribution models, to acknowledge first, second, third clicks etc, not just last clicks when looking at conversion.

It’s worth taking a time to play around with and utilise these new features to get a better sense of how customers use a blend of paid media, organic search and social to reach your site.

And few more for luck…

A creative way of thanking a customer from Spotify
Ikea app uses augmented reality to let you see furniture in your home
What WiFi would look like if we could see it
Why long working hours doesn’t help in the long-term
Using the human body as a touchscreen replacement

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