Customer Acquisition vs. Customer Retention: How To Find The Right Balance in Your Marketing Strategy

customer acquisition vs. retention

Nahla Davies is a software developer and tech writer. Before devoting her work full time to technical writing, she managed – among other intriguing things – to serve as a lead programmer at an Inc. 5,000 experiential branding organization whose clients include Samsung, Time Warner, Netflix, and Sony.

Allocation of marketing resources is the key problem which leadership teams in marketing departments are continually trying to solve.

Often we talk about PPC vs organic, brand vs conversion, SEO vs social, or any such pairing of activities. But maybe the biggest question at the top of the decision tree is: Acquisition vs Retention.

Should you try to generate more revenue from existing customers? Should you spend more effort to develop new customers? Or is there a happy medium that will work perfectly for your business?

Based on statistics alone, your existing customers are your best bet for new revenue. It is generally easier and less costly to rely on the people you have already built relationships with. But businesses that don’t take sufficient steps to bring new blood into their base will inevitably die.

In this Process Street article, we’ll attempt to answer some questions, namely:

How involved should marketing be in retention efforts? And how do different company structures or products impact that? How do we weigh those efforts against acquisition – the primary function of marketing?

To help you through the process, we’ll be looking at:

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The Top 4 Levers That Drive 80% of Value Capture in Successful Acquisitions

The Top 4 Levers That Drive 80% of Value Capture in a Successful Acquisition

Value capture is, in essence, the end-all, be-all of a company’s life-cycle. Yes, you likely have other motivations for starting your company, but without capturing any value, your company will have a very short lifespan.

When it comes to acquisitions, if you don’t have a good strategy to drive value capture, you’re not only wasting your time, but hobbling your future potential in the process. If you look at some notable examples like Daimler Chrysler and Sprint/Nextel, it’s pretty clear that a bad deal will stick to you for a long time.

You might even end up as a cautionary tale for future M&A executives. No one wants that. Aspire to be the Apple of acquisitions. You can do that by focusing on four distinct levers that drive 80% of value capture.

Four things. They’re not even difficult things.

So in this Process Street post, I give you the rundown of the four levers you need to prioritize during your acquisition, and exactly why they make such an impact:

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5 M&A Process Checklists to Supercharge Your Pre & Post Acquisition Workflows

5 M&A Process Checklists to Supercharge Your Pre & Post Acquisition Workflows

“The truth is mistakes happen. The accepted data says that most mergers and acquisitions don’t work out.” – Martin Sikora, professor of management and editor of Mergers & Acquisitions: The Dealmaker’s Journal

Mergers and acquisitions are complicated. Like, really complicated. A simple mistake at any point can delay the deal, derail the process, and potentially cost your company millions.

No matter how highly trained or experienced a person is with M&A procedures, human error happens. In fact, errors are more likely to occur in processes we’re overly familiar with. Once we’ve performed a task so many times that we “know” the steps, we tend to run on autopilot, which means routine actions can be overlooked or forgotten.

Making a mistake during a process with as much risk and expense as a merger or acquisition can ruin one or both companies. This makes having a thorough, well-documented process is an absolute must for any M&A executive.

After analyzing the main reasons mergers fail, I’ve used that knowledge to build several Process Street workflow templates for essential M&A processes. Feel free to jump ahead if you’re looking for a particular template, or continue reading for a walkthrough of all the features these workflows use:

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