Cross-selling is a very common term in B2C and B2B marketing. To us, what it means is as simple as suppose a customer bought a product of ours, what needs to be done from a marketing standpoint to get that customer to purchase a different or complementary product? The opportunities to do that and execute that successfully are phenomenal. There is a tremendous set of data out there to articulate how hard and expensive it is to acquire a new customer. Everyone is familiar with the mantra “it’s easier to keep an existing customer then to acquire a new one.” Cross-selling actually takes this to another level where it says not only do I want to retain a customer but if they’re happy with Product A how do I get them to buy product B, C, D, and E which can dramatically expand lifetime value of that consumer.
Cross-selling is accomplished through a variety of tactics. There are recommendation engines and lots of data that marketers can tap into to understand brand affinity. For example if I'm a consumer package goods company and I sell 10 products or 10 different products and I understand through data that there is a general affinity between consumers that buy this product. How can I create marketing programs that actually market both products together and perhaps even provide a promotion or an offer to get the consumer to buy both products together? So looking at data is one way to determine where to focus the cross-selling efforts.
Promotion and cross promotion is a form of cross-selling. It's often used as a way to get the consumers attention and provide an incentive to actually buy that next product and to try that next product. But one of the critical things with cross-selling or cross promotion is that fundamentally the customer has to be happy in the first place. Otherwise cross-selling and cross-promotion will be a futile exercise.
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