What Marketers Can Do When Customer Loyalty Only Goes So Far

Most organizations believe a key measure of marketing success is found with how many customers return time and time again to purchase their product. If we look at our definition of Marketing, the idea that success can be measured in repeat purchasing is certainly supported when we say an important goal of marketing is to “maintain satisfying relationships” with customers.

Yet in a few industries, the idea of developing loyalty to a certain product provider may not be what customers are looking for. For these customers, if they had their druthers, they would prefer not to continue spending money on some products. For instance, homeowners may not want to deal with a mortgage company for any longer than is needed. The same can be said about companies offering online user protection services.

While it is easy to see how customers in these industries would prefer not to buy, things get somewhat murkier when it comes to the pharmaceutical industry. Drug companies thrive on developing products that address specific medical needs and they are especially attracted to health issues that persist for many years. In fact, a cynical person would say there is no incentive for a pharmaceutical company to find a cure to a chronic problem as this could significantly impact a major revenue source. But what if a cure is found? What happens to marketing?

This story from Pharmaceutical Executive examines what marketers may face if a cure is discovered or if a treatment has become routine and little profit can be realized. This story suggests ways marketers can take advantage of this situation. For instance, if a cure for a condition is found, marketers should tout their role in lessening or eradicating the health issue. This helps build customer awareness of the company and will help with marketing of other products.

Of course, depending on the type of health issue that is no longer considered a major problem, marketers may still be confronted with significant fallout. Unless the company has many strong products in the pipeline, curing a health problem can lead to significant financial ramifications for the organization. Thus, the lesson here is that organizations in almost all industries must continually develop new products because what is bringing in the big money today may not be something to be counted on in the long-term.