How New School Marketing is Your Game Changer

Are You Old School or New School?

What are the differences between “old school marketing” (OSM) and “new school marketing” (NSM)?


OSM: Segment by-products

NSM: Segment by customer jobs to be done.


Customers aren’t looking for your product per se, customers are looking for solutions to help them get a job done. So don’t sell products or services, sell solutions that provide perfect outcomes.

Customers are loyal to perfect solutions, not to products.

OSM: Focus on profitable transactions

NSM: Focus on customer lifetime value


Once you focus on the total customer value you can accept that your very first transaction may only break even or even be at a loss. There is greater emphasis on “selling a hole (ecosystem) versus selling the garden plant” and opportunities for cross-selling and upselling strategies. This new focus implies that you are investing in a knowledge base about your customers, their demographics, and their likes and dislikes about outcomes required and achieved.


OSM: Focus on acquiring customers

NSM: Focus on retaining customer


In OSM the focus was on a marketing funnel with a broad top that you attracted prospects to, and once people fell out the bottom as buyers they were passed to little brother Sales.

Now we recognize that gaining a new customer costs 4-9 times the cost to retain an existing, satisfied customer, and so special focus on marketing to those “drop-outs” is a key area of the New School, at least equal to the top of the funnel.

Satisfied customers help you acquire new customers by sharing and referrals to their own networks and these transactions have far higher credibility for the new customer than do your own marketing messages.

Now your marketing knowledge base will contain linkages between customer networks so you can better market to groups with similar interests.


OSM: Marketing by marketing people

NSM: Marketing by everyone


Everyone in your business needs to understand how your products and services help customers achieve perfect outcomes. That knowledge then impacts on every action they take, and every conversation they have.  So you need to articulate those messages in all your company literature. Include it on your labels, include it on your invoices, include it in all your training material.


OSM: 4P’s – product, price, placement and promotion

NSM: 6C’s – contact, connect, conversation, consideration, consumption and community.


The new school is heavily into engagement.

OSM: outbound push – mailing lists, cold calls and advertising

NSM: inbound pull – websites, blogs and social media networks


Old School was all about Me!Me!Me! New School puts the solutions out there so that customers can find them when they are ready to use them.  This means generating lots and lots of targeted content.


OSM: Measurement of Immediate profitability.

NSM: Measurement of results at all stages of the customer journey


The objective is to gain insights and predict likely actions.  This means a marketing budget can confidently predict likely results.

The Secret to Measuring Your Results

Marketing measures should at least be focused on your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs.) There are many measures you can use but first, focus on the ones that determine your long-term viability as a business. The KPI’s we use for our own online business are shown below together with required performance. Explanations of the abbreviations are shown below the table.


Profitability LTV : CAC > 3:1
Profitability CAC Return < 1 year
Profitability Avge Sale Value >$39/mnth
Lead Generation Paid Media LinkedIn 2.7% click thru
Lead Generation Blog Articles >20 per mnth
Lead Generation Landing Pages >20 per mnth
Conversion Immediate 20%
Conversion In-Funnel 15%
Renewal Churn < 8%
Referrals/Shares Referrals >25%
Upsell New Sale >30%


  • LTV: lifetime value of the customer
  • CAC: the cost of acquiring the customer. Our total marketing and sales spend over a period divided by the net new customers obtained.
  • LTV: CAC: This ratio provides the required level of gross profit to remain viable.
  • CAC Return: measures how long it takes to recoup the cost of acquiring a customer.
  • Immediate Conversion: the share of generated leads who will immediately buy our service
  • In-Funnel Conversion: prospects who buy after an extended marketing process or dialogue.
  • Churn: this measures how many of your customers don’t renew their subscriptions.  The higher the churn rate the lower your profits, and the longer it takes to build your customer base.
  • Referrals: We encourage our customers to refer our service to their own network, with a reward offered for both parties when a referral creates a new customer.
  • Upsell: taking your customer to a higher value (and higher priced) subscription or service.
  • Cross-sell: Offer your customer the complete eco-system that supports their job and outcome.  As an example, our accountant helped us register our business and bank account, but they are missing out on referring us to their other customers’ ecosystem of investors for our startup (for a fee) and other services we need to know about such as payment gateways.


Other Performance Indicators


An online marketing platform means you have relatively easy capability to measure your performance in every step of the customer journey.


So we also measure:

  • Views: how many people actually see our message? How many only see a headline and don’t open the email or article?
  • Lead generation:  the conversion rate of views to leads for your different inbound and outbound tools.
  • Prospects: How many people in our funnel are likely to buy from us and when?
  • A/B Page Testing: comparing the lead generation and conversion results of individual page elements (eg button colors, the location of buttons, visuals.)

In-funnel performance: results from white papers, webinars, case studies.


Use Marketing and Measuring Tools


In our business, we use marketing tools such as LeadPages and SamCart, and SalesForce. These monthly subscription packages include some basic means of measuring performance. They link with our online accounting package to help provide profitability measurements.

Once our volumes increase significantly we will move to Hubspot as our automated marketing and analytics platform.

Other analytics (measuring) tools we use include:


  • Google Analytics: to anticipate our customers’ future needs.
  • Clicktale: to gain insights into users experience on our web pages.
  • Optimizley: to test hypotheses on landing pages.
  • Google Adwords: a standard marketing channel – although LinkedIn Sponsored Updates gives nearly 3 times better return from our customers.


Apply These Steps to Bricks and Mortar


  • Views: How many people pass your shop? How many read your advertising messages?
  • Leads: How many views convert to leads – the people who enter your shop?
  • Prospects: What share of leads show an active interest in what you have to sell?
  • Buyers: what proportion of leads become buyers?
  • On-Sell: what share of buyers buy something else on a recommendation from your sales staff?
  • Lifetime Value: how often do your customers buy, and what total value?
  • Referrals: What proportion of your customers refer you to their network?


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