Joseph Jaffe at SXSW

Joseph Jaffe launched his new book “Flip The Funnel” at SXSW (Austin, Texas) last month. The book is supposed to help digital agencies, marketing folk and brands reassess how they do business online (and offline). Jaffe is a marketing wizard and hailed as one of the most sought-after consultants, speakers and thought leaders on new marketing.  

At the beginning of the 30 minute talk, Jaffe announced his three hypotheses for the new book:

  1. Most revenue comes from existing clients – He claims for example that 75% of Zappos revenue comes from returning customers.

  2. Percentage of spend on existing clients - What % of your marketing budget do businesses invest in existing customers?

  3. The 20/80 rule – Jaffe claims that 3% of Coke customers are responsible for 80% of the sales

According to Jaffe there may be an epiphany here. What if we got all marketing wrong?  To answer the book’s hypotheses Jaffe proposed some strategies at SXSW:

  1. Retention should be strategic - It should be a means to an end. For example, give customers cameras to depict product experience and then encourage them to share their experiences.

  2. Customer service is part of a larger subset - Customer experience is key. Company A is better than Company B because it remembers the name of the customer.  On this theme Jaffe mentioned how he recently went to Atlanta on a repeat visit and the hotel handed him a written thank you note thanking him for coming back for the 3rd time. They remembered everything about what he likes including the type of newspaper and chocolate. To top up the positive experience they gave him a hand written thank you note for staying there again.

  3. Social Media – Perhaps the most controversial topic here, Jaffe advised businesses to use social media for retention and not for acquiring new customers. On this note he advised that businesses should stop chasing big influencers. The influencers that matter are the customers.

During  the talk Jaffe asked the audience “Who owns the customer?” Is it PR, Marketing? Possibly a new team should be created – A customer experience team. Jaffe was then asked by one delegate “how do I get my client who owns a carpet business to get his customers to come back to him after 10 years and buy his carpets again?” Jaffee answered (creatively) that there is no one minute fix and that the carpet company should engage in constant conversation via a solid CRM strategy and introduce the customer to new products during the 10 years and try to remind the customer what a new carpet feels like by offering them carpet samples.  Jaffe argued that testimonials from customers and naturally help to sell things like carpets.

Jaffe was asked about the importance of interactive media and in particular mobile. He recommended that a staggering 33% of today’s marketing budget should be spent on mobile. Another member of the audience asked Jaffe “How should a brand deal with crises?” Jaffe specified that negative comments are part of normality and businesses should not shy away from them. He then used Crox as an example. He mentioned that people complained about the horrible designs of the flip flops. This according to Jaffee, didn’t stop people buying them for their sheer comfort.

Back to the CRM strategies, Jaffe urged marketers to build databases of both brand lovers and brand haters. For dealing with complaints and crisis’s Jaffe asked organisations to  use phones to talk to customers and  take things offline. He claimed this is far more effective than tweeting or emailing. You can’t escape Jaffe’s wit, passion and charm - Flip the Funnel is most certainly on my Amazon shopping list!

Photo (cc) dsearls’



Chasing Influencers a Waste of Resource?

Danny, Thanks for writing up the session, it's one of those I'd loved to have gone along to, but got caught up in the hectic-ness of SXSW.

Jaffe's prognosis is an interesting one, and he's definitely beating a drum that's familiar from the heady days of direct marketing. I remember Royal Mail talking about how a customer retained was worth 3x the value of one acquired (I may have well remembered the numbers wrong).

Funnily enough, there's a 2008 article that's popped up again on Twitter covering research from Duncan Watts that suggests influencers are essentially pushing a trend that would have happened anyway. Worth a read.