The marketplace today is incredibly customer-driven. The growth and prosperity of any business or brand vastly depend on its customer acquisition strategy.
A successful customer acquisition strategy depends on several factors that include sending the right message to the right set of prospective customers, at the right place and at the time, to trigger the desired outcome. The channels through which the interaction takes place could be multifarious too and may include both offline and online platforms.
The Relationship Between Brands and New Age Media
Building trust between the brand and customers is essential to customer acquisition. The business can achieve this herculean task if they are open to exploring novel lines of communication through digital platforms and channels. Under such circumstances, brands are eager to adapt to new age platforms of customer communication and online interactions.
Studies find that 80% of customers are inclined to use digital media to engage with brands, consumers expect the brand voice over these channels to be authentic and honest.
Interactions of this nature along with convenient accessibility gives the brand credibility and amplification of their voice. This, in turn, completely transforms the business from and lifeless entity to a brand that is trustworthy, genuine, relatable and most importantly, humane.
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Digital Avenues that can Drive Customer Acquisition & Sales
We are at the cusp of history where there is constant human connectivity.
With such dramatic intrusion of technology what exists is a ‘know it all’ environment. This, in turn, is redefining the manner in which you, me and your customer builds their perception of a brand.
In light of this fact, businesses are finding it quite a challenge to acquire, interact with purpose and retain their customer base in an increasingly competitive environment. Moreover, the customer acquisition cost is skyrocketing every day.
The idea is to offer prospective customers a journey that is wholesome- right from the start of the customer browsing the website to reaching the final phase of acquisition.
Because your objective is to drive customer acquisition, your marketing efforts targeted to your prospective audience is to help foster a deeper association between the two entities.
These are three core digital channels that can help you achieve this goal:
The backbone of any customer acquisition strategy today is social media. The world today is experiencing a phenomenal digital revolution and social media is at the forefront of it.
Any business in this modern day and age relies heavily on platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and Facebook as their acquisition strategy and brand builders. Not only can these channels be used to influence prospective customers but can go a long way in transforming their attitude and perception of the business.
Through a series of discussions, recommendations, feedback through surveys, customers, both new and existing can communicate what they feel about the business in all honesty. By addressing and responding to customer feedback, brands may successfully turn around negative opinions towards positive perceptions.
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Influencer marketing via online channels is becoming increasingly important in motivating new customers in their behaviour. Today, it acts as an effective digital instrument enabling brands to reach out to prospective customers who may be in need of their services through a trusted voice.
The idea is to efficiently align the customer’s psychology with that of the influencer to efficiently motivate prospective customers to put their faith in the business.
The right influencer performs the responsibility of an intermediary between a brand and their prospective customer to create an individual connection with the brand by assessing the audience emotionally and perceptively.
In building strong customer relationships, you need to instil trust and faith in the brand. Research says people tend to read 10 reviews on average before trusting a business or brand. Another study reveals nearly 72% of customers do not trust a company until they read reviews. Hence your transparency as a brand will speak more than the word of mouth.
Needless to say, reviews, online feedback and existing customer testimonials are the real motivators for new age customers today. Positive, negative feedback and their subsequent resolution on the same platform can also leave potential customers with a positive note about the business.
Tips to Increase Customer Acquisition and Sales
Initially, the concept of customer acquisition may seem quite straightforward. However, executing the strategies properly and smartly requires knowledge and good timing. What you are trying to achieve here is the target the customers, drive them to contribute to your sales cycle and then retain them as long term patrons of the brand.
In reality, you need to cross over multiple stages that can ultimately lead to successful customer acquisitions. Here are some key tips that can help in the process:
Outline Your Buyer Personas and Targets
Have you come up with your USPs or unique selling propositions that differentiates your business from your competition?
Prior to progressing any further with your customer acquisition strategy, you need to have an answer to this question. As soon as you have done that, you can customise your digital marketing efforts to derive the appropriate insights as well as identify prospective target markets.
Having your targets in place, the next step is to assess and evaluate your sales process. Get your sales team into action to list the most powerful digital influencers and identify targets with decision making power. You now have your buyer personas.
Consider these buyer personas as your primary target audience. This will help you define the initial online marketing strategies that cater to the needs of this market specifically. This is the last step of the process.
What you have already started doing, be it intentionally or not, is to customise their experiences by drawing in on the needs and expectations of a targeted audience base. Therefore, your digital marketing efforts and collaterals can be nuanced and specific to their needs too.
With your digital marketing up and running, your prospective customer lifecycle journey actually kickstarts when they become aware of a specific issue. This is where all the effort that you have put in via social media, Google Ads, digital influencers, emailers and more, to get the word out about your product or service will play a vital part.
Ideally, it should communicate to them that their issue can be resolved via the solution that you can offer. Consider this as the stage to educate your prospective consumer base by passing on the knowledge of your offerings.
This may mean providing a lot of contexts that can be achieved through content marketing. Demo videos, articles, blogs are popular mediums to help demonstrate what your offerings can solve for your target consumers. Be honest in your communication and admit where you cannot be of much assistance.
The clearer you are at this stage, the better will be the results later on.
Qualify Your Customers
Educating your target audience on your brand’s offerings will help them make the journey towards your sales funnel. This can be determined when they visit your website. This also gives you the opportunity to qualify them as leads or customers by tracking the potential of each individual prospect.
A core component of your customer acquisition strategy is also to monitor the journey from prospect, to lead and finally convert into a customer for your business. At the initial stage, this can be done by monitoring the interest of the prospect.
You can also use this as a platform to nurture the relationship by demonstrating the value of your product or service. Qualifying your lead should be done prior to enabling the onboarding process. Fine tuning this with more data will allow the brand to filter junk and boost targeted conversions.
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The milestone that counts is, indisputably, when your customer reaches your desired conversion outcome. And with this, you can start the process of mapping your customer journey by carving out the conversion decisions, step by step.
This exercise has a flip side too. Here you have the option to test and validate customer purchase intention. Moreover, you can deploy this learning at the time of real time conversion. This in turn will help refine your digital marketing initiatives, audit your methods of payment and documentation.
If you determine that a lead has converted into a paying customer, be sure to acknowledge the act. Work towards making them aware of all relevant support and services that they can access from your business.
Onboarding & Activation
As soon as the decision to purchase has been made, there is a definite shift in the customer lifecycle stages. Your focus is more targeted as you come to know the individual who will be needing training and support to figure out how to use your offerings.
The most important element here is your training materials. These typically include explainer or digital demo videos, knowledgebase or FAQs that you may have developed. For most businesses, surprisingly, this is a make or break moment.
With these new users, you want to ensure that the ‘first impression’ makes its mark. Actively listen to your customers and appropriate response to their needs and expectations.
Overall, this has a greater impact during the onboarding and training process resulting in a more satisfied and happier client base.
Can you ever get your customer acquisition strategy right if you do not know your customer’s point of view?
The onboarding of new customers into your sales cycle successfully in a customer controlled market is hard. And brands have realised this as a fact.
To achieve this goal, the way forward is to co-create the offerings tailored to meet the needs of your target market. By placing your customer at the helm of the process, the strategy to acquire them as part of your business cycle will become a much easier process.
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How can data and analytics help you acquire new customers?
Listening to your prospective customers is simply not enough. The exercise should be supported by tracking customer interactions and engagement across all touchpoints. Remember that any feelings, either good or bad, is a direct result of the interaction between the business and the customer. Do not limit your monitoring to website touchpoints only. Instead, make it point to cover all online bases that include feedback and complaint logs from the call centre, online reviews and testimonials, emails and comments and messages on social platforms.
How can customer support play a critical role in customer acquisition?
Customer support platforms are essential touchpoints for both the business and its customer base. Having said that, digital progression has triggered a new phenomenon of self-servicing needs first. This is typically done through FAQs, knowledgebase articles, blogs, forums and so on. This does not in any way make live agents a relic in the operational process. If customers are unable to find answers to their issues, agents are on standby to assist them to overcome their challenges. This is also the opportune moment to drive customer loyalty for the brand.
Is social media an important part of the customer acquisition strategy?
A core element of deploying your customer acquisition strategy involves driving traffic to your website. However, you should combine this effort by smartly allocating resources to keep conversions alive and engaging on social sites that are frequented by your prospective customer base. Check for related mentions of your brand. This will help track what your audience is talking about you online. However, if such an activity is missing, then you need to skillfully assess the conversation to weave yourself in it.