Focus your marketing on top-tier or new customers?

From a new RetailWire discussion: The blogger Mark Heckman discusses his argument for focusing promotional efforts and ad budgets on “best” customers rather than using circular dollars to encourage trial. I agree with a lot of his premise but it’s not that simple:

Mark Heckman brings up some valid points that are fundamental to a sound CRM strategy. You can’t ignore the sales and profit potential from your “platinum” customers, and some solid data mining will help uncover ways to drive their loyalty.

But, as usual, it’s not an either/or choice between “best” customers” and new ones. It depends more than anything on the objectives of the business: Is trial more important than loyalty during a start-up phase, or when a retailer is trying to gain share in a new market? The trick is to use some of the strategies discussed in the article to convert the first-time consumer into a loyalist.

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