A Guide to Customer Acquisition

For many businesses, sales can be an unpredictable beast to conquer; oftentimes, attracting new customers feels more like a game of chance than one of public relations strategy.

Even so, if you want to consistently grow as a business, you need to start thinking about customer acquisition as a process, rather than an outcome. You need to consider how to systematically acquire new customers, assess the cost of getting them through the door, and how much money you can reasonably expect each one to spend.

Customer acquisition is the finding and convincing of prospective shoppers to buy from your business in a way that is both repeatable and measurable. Random customer generation doesn’t count.

The customer acquisition journey is often conceptualized as a sort of funnel, from spreading awareness, fostering consideration of your product, through to the final decision to purchase.

At the first stage, awareness, your primary goal is to generate interest among your target audience. This audience is typically a broad one that could be interested in your brand or products, but does not have an express intent to buy. A surf brand, for example, could use the #surflife hashtag on social media to expose their posts and products to international surf enthusiasts.

At the second stage, consideration, prospective customers take a further step by indicating that they are weighing up a purchase. This could include signing up for an email list, or following a brand on social media; from here, you have a chance to convince them to become customers. 

At the final stage, the purchasing stage, a customer has ideally undertaken a step that indicates reasonable intent to buy. This could include adding a product to their cart, or signing up for a free trial. At this stage, businesses often dangle incentives, like a discount code, to encourage prospects who are close to making the decision to buy.

There are countless ways to find and convert new customers, especially if yours is an online business. Thanks to digital marketing, it is easier than ever before to track how your business is acquiring new customers, assess new marketing tactics, and scale those that perform well. 

If you’re a business looking to boost customer acquisition, consider the following tactics:

●     Paid advertising – this is one of the most common ways of acquiring new customers, and many brands turn to Facebook, Google and other platforms to run ads that they can measure and optimise.

●     Influencer sponsorships – if you have a solid marketing budget, using influencers is one of the fastest ways to get your product or brand out to a relevant audience. Influencer marketing is rapidly becoming the most popular form of online advertising, but the key is in finding the right influencers for your product.

●     A referral program – personal recommendations are a powerful marketing tool, so encouraging your existing customers to draw in their friends is an excellent way to get value for your digital marketing efforts.

Knowing which strategies will work for you is likely a matter of trial and error. Use the digital marketing analysis tools at your fingertips to better understand your audience, and you’ll be well on your way to expanding your base.