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How many different customers do you have?

It seems like a simple question, doesn’t it? After all, customers are the people who give you money in exchange for your products.

Except that it isn’t quite that simple. The assumption in classical sales and marketing is that there is one valuable action someone can take – become a customer and give you money. Certainly, I don’t think there are any rational business folks who would claim that’s not valuable. But assuming that a sale is the only thing that matters is somewhat narrow sighted.

Think about all of the things that go into a sale. Think of all of the valuable actions people can take that lead up to a sale and occur after a sale. For example:

  • Spreading awareness of brand
  • Earned media placements
  • Happy customer word of mouth
  • Buying something
  • Social shares from evangelists
  • Positive reviews on consumer sites

Each of these different actions occurs at a different point in the communications lifecycle. Each of these are valuable in their own right. While buying something provides you value that you can literally take to the bank, other values enhance your ability to create that tangible monetary value.

Here’s an exercise for you to try: write out a list of all of the valuable things people can do before and after buying your product or service. Then ask yourself this simple question: how would you measure each one?

Tomorrow, we’ll look at one way of measuring a significant number of those valuable items. Stay tuned.


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