Some clients want blood

Campaign UK - - PROMOTION -

When I was a teenager, I wanted to be a blood donor. It didn’t cost any­thing and I thought it might do some good. So ev­ery few months, I went along and gave a pint. They gave me a lit­tle book and I got a sticker for ev­ery visit. I thought I’d like to give a whole body full of blood – about ten pints. So I did but, after a few years, when I’d given about 14 pints, I grad­u­ally stopped go­ing. I think I just got bored. My blood type wasn’t one of the rare ones. I never heard what hap­pened to it, so I as­sumed they kept it for a while, then even­tu­ally threw it away. But ev­ery so of­ten, I still see ad­ver­tise­ments for blood donors. So they must still need them. Well, it turns out to be an in­ter­est­ing ex­am­ple of mar­ket­ing get­ting it right and get­ting it wrong. Ac­cord­ing to the NHS, in the last ten years, blood do­na­tions are down by 40%. Of course this is a real prob­lem. Like most clients, the NHS re­sponse is to run an­other re­cruit­ment cam­paign. In Swe­den, they have a dif­fer­ent re­sponse. Con­stantly los­ing cus­tomers (in this case, donors) and re­plac­ing them is known as “churn”. There are two ways to han­dle churn. The stan­dard re­ac­tion is to keep try­ing to re­place the loss. Con­cen­trate on re­cruit­ment. But the Swedish thought they’d try the op­po­site way: stop los­ing them. So, in Swe­den, they use tech­nol­ogy to do what peo­ple can’t do. When you give blood, they keep track of each pint. And im­me­di­ately after it’s used, they send you a text let­ting you know when it was used and why. Whether it’s an ac­ci­dent, or an op­er­a­tion, for an adult, or a child, you know your blood is now in some­one else’s veins, sav­ing a life. This is a great use of so­cial me­dia: wher­ever you are, what­ever you’re do­ing, you get a text say­ing your blood has just been used. And it’s a great use of tech­nol­ogy be­cause a hu­man couldn’t keep track of all that blood and send all those mes­sages. Only an au­to­mated sys­tem could do that. And just think how val­i­dated that makes donors feel in­stead of be­ing ig­nored. So they won’t get bored and stop do­nat­ing like I did. Now think about do­na­tions in the UK be­ing down 40% in the last ten years. If they had con­cen­trated on re­ten­tion, rather than re­cruit­ment, do­na­tions would be up to 40% higher than they are now.

Jon Latham of the NHS Blood and Trans­plant ser­vice said: “It’s im­por­tant to strengthen the donor base.”

This is mar­ket­ing speak for stop los­ing peo­ple.

So in­stead of run­ning re­cruit­ment cam­paigns that keep try­ing and fail­ing to re­place that 40% churn, they could have con­cen­trated on re­duc­ing the rate of churn. They could have put more ef­fort into re­ten­tion. Ac­tu­ally, that’s a great les­son for all mar­keters. It’s a lot cheaper, it’s a lot more ef­fi­cient, to keep the cus­tomers you’ve got than just keep try­ing to re­cruit new ones.

Of course ac­qui­si­tion is im­por­tant for growth.

But if ac­qui­si­tion is just re­plac­ing loss, it isn’t growth – it’s just churn.

“It’s a lot cheaper, it’s a lot more ef­fi­cient, to keep the cus­tomers you’ve got than just keep try­ing to re­cruit new ones”

Dave Trott is the au­thor of Cre­ative Mis­chief, Preda­tory Think­ing and One Plus One Equals Three

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.