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The Yin and Yang of Marketing

Market share marketing and customer share marketing are complementary actions with the same overall objective: to generate more sales and profits. While market share marketing creates unprecedented reach in helping to identify and drive prospects, customer share marketing creates targeted, one-to-one conversations with those prospects. While market share marketing works to drive sales this year, customer share marketing helps to deepen customer relationships, laying the groundwork for sales a decade from now.

Customer share marketing fulfills the promise of segmentation—building a one-to-one relationship with each customer based on relevance to each customer. Customer share marketing can truly accomplish what 20th century marketers intuitively knew was the next logical step in the evolution of marketing. They were simply unable to deliver on the promise of segmentation using the available 20th century mass marketing tools. All of that changed with the advent of the Web and email.

Table 9.4 demonstrates the extreme yet complementary differences between market share marketing and customer share marketing. Though market share marketing still plays a critical role in reaching the masses most efficiently, its effectiveness has come and gone. On the other hand, customer share marketing's time is just beginning. Market share marketing's primary mission was to build and sell one brand at a time to as many people as possible, most of them unknown and unidentified. Customer share marketing's mission is just the opposite—sell as many relevant brands to each customer, all of them known and identified.

Table 9.4 The Yin and Yang of Marketing

Marketing Type

Marketing Perspective

Marketing Style

Marketing Scope

Sales Perspective

Market Share


Without Permission

One Brand

Next Sale

Customer Share


With Permission

Many Brands

Lifetime Sales

© 2001 Customer Share Group LLC

The objective of customer share marketing is to isolate your prospects and customers and to begin a conversation with them about what interests them, relative to your product or service. You will have prospects on your list who will grant you permission, but have yet to purchase anything from you. These are great leads, since they have prequalified themselves as interested in what you do or sell. From this point forward, your objective relative to these prospects would be to turn them into customers, and then repeat customers, and then customers for life.

Customer share marketing is about being smarter with your advertising efforts. It's not necessarily about greater creativity, better writing, bigger ads, louder ads, or even more ads. It's about using both mass marketing and direct marketing to draw on the brand equity and customer loyalty that you have built over the course of many years and many budgets. Customer share marketing is about selling more to the customers you already have by creating an action-oriented bridge out to the future with one-to-one messages that are requested, relevant, and respectful.

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