Monday, November 9, 2009

I'm not picking on the Washington Post. Not exactly.

It's just that they have given me such a great WTF? example of Strangeness in Marketing.

Let's start at the beginning. Newspapers are losing readers and subscribers. This is an unfortunate thing, but a true thing. One would hope that newspapers would want to stem the flow of departures.

As in incent subscribers to stay subscribers, yes? You would think so.

So then it makes a whole bunch of no sense to me for them to continue to develop special pricing programs for new subscribers only. We've been paying like $53 a quarter for daily and weekly delivery of the Post. But they recently had an offer that was for something like $41 for six months for new subscribers only. (Or subscribers who have not subscribed for 30 days.)

And the day after that promotion expired, they came out with an even better one

If there was ever an example of an organization giving the finger to existing customers, this is it. In order to keep subscribers, why not offer some sort of great pricing package after 2 or 3 years of ongoing subscribing? Even if just for a year. Or offer Sundays free for six months as a token of gratitude to loyal customers and an incentive to keep them that way. Something that says "thanks for your business."

The Post isn't the only company that does this kind of bone-headed thing. Cell carriers and credit card companies do it too. And it seems like the emphasis on new customers encourages us all to keep hopping around, starting and stopping things and changing banks, cell phone companies, credit cards and the like. Wouldn't retaining customers be a better business strategy?

It just seems basic to me that if you're losing customers or subscribers, somewhere in your marketing plan there ought to be as much emphasis on keeping them as getting new ones.

But what do I know? I thought the Beatles would never catch on.

No comments: