Marketing is Like Ranching, You Need a Good Fence

David W. Flash

Herd of cows at summer green fieldOne of my favorite direct response experts, Dan Kennedy, once explained maintaining and growing a customer base by comparing it to ranching. To paraphrase Kennedy, customers in a relationship with your business are like “cattle” grazing in your pasture.

To grow, businesses must spend resources marketing to prospective customers…ie. acquiring more cattle and growing the value of their “ranch.” What surprises Kennedy, however, is that many businesses invest thousands or even millions of dollars marketing to acquire “cattle” while failing to invest anything at all in marketing to their current customers to “build a fence” around their ranch.

In my 20 years of professional experience helping business owners use direct response marketing to sell everything from big ticket home improvements to services like dry cleaning to family meals at restaurants, the highest response rates and ROI come from marketing to current customers. Not only does marketing to current customers drive…

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