Why Your Digital Marketing is Failing: Customers!

Last week we looked at customer LTV. I was trying to get get you thinking of the big picture and not short term immediate gains.  This week I want to talk about the “C” word. yes, customers. When anyone asks what I do and I say I am in Marketing – they always assume I am in sales or advertising. Indeed, advertising is the part of marketing that consumers see the most, so I guess its natural that they make that connection.

But! Marketing is more than just sales or advertising, its about the whole customer experience, staff attitudes, service, pricing, competitors, delivery, packaging, post sale experience – the whole shebang.

Nearly every customer we have is interested in new customers and why not? Its exciting, you are “sealing the deal”, maybe creating something new maybe pushing the company a bit further and of course, growing revenue. Sometimes, the thrill of the chase takes your eye off the ball and you start to become complacent with the customers you already have. Now you are on dangerous ground. Pareto’s Law states that you will get 80% of your revenue from 20% of your customers. The lifeblood of your organisation is in that 20%. Getting new business gives the impression of growth, progress and success, yet you lose 20% of your customers and 80% of your revenue could potentially go.

Last week I donned my pants over my trousers and I was determined to save your digital marketing, this week I’m taking you to a dance and making sure you’re not punching above your weight.

Repeat Business vs New Business.

So where do we start to get ton the bottom of this, lets start with the cost of getting new customers. If you are running an eCommerce site this is a relatively easy metric to measure and analyse.

CPA  = Cost Per Aquisition

The cost of marketing expenditure / number of sales.

CPA should be an essential metric when you are looking at the acquisition stage of getting new customers. You also need to segment your marketing tactics so you can see the most cost effective channels.


Repeat business is by far the lowest CPA and the most profitable.

New Visitors Vs Repeat Visitors.

Segmenting out revenue by new vs returning traffic can be an interesting exercise.  As you can see below 70% of the revenue was generated by repeat business with a higher average order value and a higher conversion rate.





Now, not everyone is running an eCommerce site and so you might not be getting lots of repeat visitors to your site for very good reasons. There may be particular areas that get more repeat visits – the blog maybe? Or specific landing pages connected to campaigns.  Not everything in marketing or indeed digital marketing is linear – you need to think about your proposition, your customers and your KPI’s.

Along with customer LTV , repeat business is often overlooked in favour of its more attractive, older sister “sales”.  Don’t fooled by the wallflower , she makes your business tick. If someone else asks her to dance, she may well accept leaving you to chase desperately for her sister who seems to be moving out of your league.

Next week – Attribution

John Chacksfield is the owner of Sharpmonkeys a digital marketing agency in Worcester – John also lectures in marketing for the CIM and is an approved Growth Accelerator coach, Design Council mentor and tutor for Professional Academy.