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Lifetime Value

What's the lifetime value of an average consumer for all household care products? $10,000? $20,000? What about family care? Pet care? Lawn care? This radical notion helps to dramatize that much more can be done to care for the people we've already acquired by creating one-to-one conversations with them. An increase in retention spending—even a minimal increase—serves as an insurance policy against all the customers you've spent years and invested millions to acquire.

A lifetime value focus requires a customer share orientation that looks at individual customers and households differently. It requires companies like Procter & Gamble to use their significant marketing might to build rich customer databases for the purpose of executing customer share marketing strategies. The objective of these strategies would be for P & G to dominate household share, essentially creating the concept of P & G families—households where the overwhelming number of products are from Procter & Gamble.

It requires engaging in customer share marketing strategies that look at the household territorially, not one brand at a time, but across as many categories as possible. It also requires a more corporate view by coordinating synergistic marketing strategies, above the brand level, that result in selling more of what a marketer has to sell. Ultimately, the goal would be to horizontally expand P & G's household share with campaigns designed to insure that at least some of the individuals in a household:

  • Brush their teeth with Crest.
  • Wipe their counters with Bounty.
  • Wash their clothes with Tide.
  • Treat their fabrics with Downy.
  • Wash their dishes with Cascade.
  • Wash their bathrooms with Comet.
  • Wash their floors with Mr. Clean.
  • Wash their hair with Head & Shoulders.
  • Wash their bodies with Ivory Soap.
  • Snack on Pringles.
  • Protect their babies with Pampers.
  • Treat colds with Nyquil.
  • Settle their stomachs with Pepto-Bismol.

Presently, the products that inhabit a household are there because loyalty has been won—or passed down from generation to generation—on the brand level, not the corporate level. If a company currently holds customer share dominance in a household, that corporate dominance has, to a great degree, been achieved randomly through the strength of the individual brands. Customer share marketing allows companies to shape a strategy that helps them leverage the inherent strength of their individual brands to increase their penetration across all relevant brands: leveraging a customer's brand loyalty to a laundry detergent to sell them fabric softener; leveraging a customer's brand loyalty to toilet paper to sell them napkins and paper towels.

Customer share marketing provides another weapon in the war to increase sales and profits, but in no way replaces market share marketing. Instead, it offers a relatively inexpensive complement that helps consistently deliver more from loyal customers, helping to fight the revenue churn of uncommitted brand loyalty.

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