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Profitable Customer Focus


The Cape Herb & Spice Company experienced remarkable growth, evolving from a market stall to a multimillion-pound enterprise with an enviable clientele. However, their financial accounts were becoming unreliable for strategic decision-making, hindering marketing efforts. To develop a sound marketing strategy, it was imperative to identify high-value customers and understand their true profitability.


We embarked on a comprehensive cost accounting exercise, meticulously capturing and analysing all costs associated with each customer. This process unveiled the actual margin on each customer account, allowing us to rank customers by profitability. Armed with this data, we could focus on managing costs, increasing margin, and making informed decisions to set the marketing strategy.


Role: Business Strategist

Client: The Cape Herb & Spice Company



Quantitative data was collected through questionnaires, while in-depth interviews were conducted with senior staff across various departments, including marketing, sales, quality assurance, and procurement. We devised a method for staff to accurately apportion their time to different accounts, enabling us to calculate the true cost of servicing each customer.


The data-driven approach provided the foundation for shaping the marketing strategy. A clear marketing budget was established, and the strategy was communicated to the marketing team, becoming an integral part of their performance objectives. With better data, marketing staff could efficiently allocate their time, prioritising high-value accounts while maintaining minimum service levels for others.


The newly informed marketing strategy transformed the company's approach. High-value customer accounts were nurtured, resulting in substantial growth. Sales surged, and tighter control was exercised over margins, despite the challenges posed by volatile commodity prices and unpredictable sales volumes.


Key Takeaways:

  • Data-driven customer segmentation enhances profitability.

  • Efficient time allocation is crucial for high-value account management.

  • Reliable management data leads to sound marketing budgets and strategic decisions


Tools & Technologies:

Quantitative surveys, interviews, time-cost calculations, financial data analysis.

Team Collaboration:

Collaboration across departments, including marketing, sales, quality assurance, and procurement, was essential to gather data and implement the strategy.


By focusing on high-value customers through data-driven decision-making, The Cape Herb & Spice Company achieved significant growth, improved sales, and better control over margins. This customer-centric approach became the cornerstone of their successful marketing strategy.

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