When to Stop Marketing to Someone

The story goes that not everyone you market your products to will end up purchasing them. Some people don’t need what you’re selling. Some people can’t afford it. Some people are satisfied with your competitors.

Some marketers may argue that it is worth continuing to market to people as long as you can. You never know what can happen. People change their minds. Their situations change.

But I say sooner or later, the time and financial cost of marketing to these folks outweighs the potential benefits. Know what’s working and what’s not, and change what’s not working as quickly as you can.

To begin to determine when someone is beyond your marketing efforts, you need to get some data.

  • How long does the typical customer “shop” your brand before buying? What is the lifecycle of a typical shopper? What do they look at, for how long, and what gets them to ultimately buy?
  • What’s the shortest amount of time it takes someone to make the decision to buy?
  • What’s the longest amount of time it takes someone to make the decision to buy?
  • How much does it cost you (time and money) to continue to market to someone over time?

Using Google Analytics, your own tracking, and customer surveys, you should be able to identify the answers to the questions above. And once you do, you can calculate the return on your investment over time with each customer. At a certain point in the lifecycle, it will cost you more to continue to market to them than the revenue you’d get if they bought.

And that’s when you should focus your money and attention elsewhere.

Admit defeat. It’s okay. It’s how you make your marketing programs work better.