Let’s face it – no matter how great your product, how knowledgeable your staff or how exceptional your customer service – from time to time, you are going to lose customers. They may move, go to a competitor, outgrow the product, become unhappy with your service … there are dozens of reasons why customers attrite. Even Apple loses customers (well, maybe, it is not THAT big of a problem for them).
Your marketing plan should always include a robust acquisition strategy to replace the customers you lose and grow your market share. Your strategy should consider your target audience, multiple media channels, your message and offer, and the cost to acquire the new customer.
1. Know your target audience
Knowing your customer means knowing your target audience. And I mean really knowing your customer. It’s great that you know that 75% of your customers are females between 35-55 years old, live in households of 4.2 people and like to eat ice cream for breakfast. But you need to go much, much deeper: diving deep into the data.
Building your acquisition strategy based on current customer data creates a competitive advantage. By analyzing your data, you can identify trends and behavior patterns that indicate a prospect’s likelihood to respond to an offer or make a purchase. You can develop look-alike models. You can build other predictive models that tell you who is most likely to buy and when.
2. Know how to reach them
Acquisition strategies often require integrating various media channels. You can target new customers through SEO, SEM, direct mail, social, TV, or radio. You might find that traditional direct mail works great for retention programs. But for acquisition, SEM might work better: prospects are already online and with SEM, they come to you. Or you might find that a combination of channels produces the best results – for example, a combination of SEM, retargeting and native advertising. Through marketing mix modeling, you can determine precisely how to allocate your media spend. Again, use your current customer data to determine strategy and measure results.
3. Know the right message and offer
What should you do to entice the prospect to try your product? Test, test, test. That’s the only way to find out which offer will be more profitable. Note that I did not say “will produce the best response.” A click is just a click. To really determine whether your offer and messaging are effective, you will need to measure actual incremental sales.
And don’t forget the call to action. Do you want to drive prospects to your brick-and-mortar store (bring in the coupon for a free product)? Or drive them to your website (25% off your entire site)? The offer and call to action must work together.
4. Measure twice, cut once
Did your clicks convert to leads? To sales? Who purchased and after how many touches? Which channels produced more new customers? Measure what matters and refine your strategy based on the results. Experiment with various tactics and techniques. Don’t work in silos – you can reduce your costs by combining digital with other media channels. When you use multiple channels, you reduce your risks and can deliver significantly higher levels of traffic.
Now, here’s the rub: There is no secret strategy or guarantee that your acquisition strategy will work every time, just because it worked the last time you employed it. The most successful marketers leverage their customer data and deploy a series of strategies and tactics that work together to find their next customer. They test continually, measure their results, learn from their findings, and optimize their strategy regularly. Be like them, and you will succeed more often than you fail.
Chris DiMuro | Account Director
Chris is an account director at Catalyst specializing in data-driven solutions, including campaign development, analytics and database development. She holds a BS in marketing from RIT. In her past life she worked at Eastman Kodak Company and JCPenney.