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Mastering customer acquisition strategies to grow your business

In today’s environment, competition between businesses is strong. Companies invest in customer acquisition strategies to continuously gain new market shares. Customers are at the centre of any business; without them, they would not be able to grow or survive. This article focusses on the customer acquisition strategy that businesses can adopt to gain new clients. After clearly defining what it is, we look into the importance and benefits of such strategies to grow your business. We also provide you with the different steps to take when creating your customer acquisition strategy as well as some concrete examples of strategies that work.

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All you need to know about customer acquisition strategy

Gaining new customers is not something that just happens. It is the result of strategies and hard work from sales and marketing teams. After defining what a customer acquisition strategy is, we look into its benefits for your business. This section also provides some guidance on the different steps to take when creating your customer acquisition strategy.

What is customer acquisition?

To put it simply, customer acquisition is the effort that a company makes to gain new customers. It is part of the sales process and includes creating leads with prospects and converting them into new customers. Typically, customer acquisition strategies are monitored through a sales funnel that is made up of five phases: awareness, interest, consideration, conversion and retention. These phases represent the journey of a prospect from initial contact all the way to the sale that transforms the prospect into a customer.

Customer acquisition strategies differ from marketing strategies or branding strategies. Instead, they represent the sales approach end to end, from identification of prospective customers and moving up the sales pipeline all the way to contract signature or purchase.

The benefits of having a customer acquisition strategy

As its name states, a customer acquisition strategy is a strategy. It is built and planned and doesn’t just happen on its own. When building a customer acquisition strategy, sales teams aim to achieve the following:  

  • Improving the return on investment by launching sales campaigns
  • Allocating resources that ensure the optimum balance between cost and results
  • Measuring the pipeline and revenue growth versus pre-defined goals
  • Increasing visibility and anticipating production or resource allocation for delivery
  • Enhancing retention efforts through customer retention strategies

Key steps to creating your customer acquisition strategy

There are some essential steps to creating your customer acquisition strategy. The section below presents the best practices when it comes to building your strategy. Let’s have a look at these different steps:

Step 1: Define and identify who your customers are

Understanding your customers or prospects is the first step to take. By conducting a customer needs analysis, you can identify what they are looking for and tailor your offer accordingly. Make sure that you identify the customers that will bring the most value to your business as well. It is also important at this stage to understand where the competition is positioned and what their strategies are.

Step 2: Set your sales goals

Now that you have the profile of your customer, you can set some sales goals. These need to be clearly defined and time bound. With the statistics that you have available, you can set targets per customer categories. For example, you could cluster your sales by type with customer ‘retention’ or ‘renewal’, ‘expansion’, which essential means selling additional solutions to an existing customer, or ‘new’, referring to new customer acquisitions.  

Step 3: Identify the customer acquisition channels that you deem most effective

Now that you have your ideal customer profile and your goals, it is time to look into how you can address it in the most effective way, the one that will create a strong lead and result in a sale. To do so, you will need to pinpoint all the sales channels available to you. These might be cold calling, social media campaigns, webinars and many more. Identify the best strategy for each channel and any potential cost associated with them. This forms the road map to achieving your goals and should shed some light on the potential ROI of your strategies.

Step 4: Monitor the performance of your strategy and apply the appropriate modifications

The environment that businesses evolve in is often subject to change. As such, it is essential that the strategies in place are monitored and adapted on a regular basis. If one of them is not working, it is crucial to understand why. Should it be completely changed or should it be subject to some minor tweaks that could increase its effectiveness? If this monitoring work is not conducted, it is likely that over time, the strategy will fail. Instead, create some KPIs and review them regularly to stay on top of market evolutions.

The high-level steps above form the framework of a customer acquisition strategy. Following these steps will set you on a journey to gaining new clients.

Customer acquisition strategies that work

In this section, we provide some customer acquisition strategy examples. These will help you determine the right strategies for your business. The examples provided are by no means an exhaustive list. Each business should analyse what is likely to work best for them. Let’s have a look at these examples.

SEO optimisation strategy

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is essential for businesses that need to grow their online sales or utilise the web to increase their visibility. It is a valuable tool that can get customers through the door. SEO optimisation strategies can target your audience. It is a strategy that can bring future growth but that needs to be maintained on an ongoing basis.

Social media strategy

Social media has boomed in recent years. It is essential that businesses utilise this channel to generate awareness of their brand. Businesses can also use employee advocacy strategies to boost their social media visibility and generate leads. Social media is also a way to engage with prospective customers by using user-generated content. Note that social media strategies should not be launched in isolation but rather should be part of a wider customer acquisition strategy.

Targeted publicity

Targeted advertisement is a more traditional way to generate leads. Conducted well, it can bring significant sales increases to the organisation. By targeting a specific audience, the business can make sure that the product or solution that they are putting forward is aligned with what the audience needs. As such, the sales conversion rate will be higher, increasing the overall ROI.

Content marketing

Content marketing is about creating content that creates value for customers. For example, blog posts, guides or videos are content marketing materials. By developing this type of content, the organisation is demonstrating value and engaging with its audience. As such, brand awareness increases, which ultimately has a positive impact on sales.

Creating a website for lead generation

Through a well-designed lead generating website, businesses can generate sales with limited effort. If the website created is helpful to the audience and addresses their needs, it is likely that interest will increase. The lead-generation site needs to aim to create a smooth user experience that leads to the purchase of the goods or service.

Focus on customer needs rather than your product

Addressing a need has proven to be more effective than simply promoting a product. Ask yourself what the organisation’s products and solution solve for the audience. By addressing the benefits to customers, you shift from a sales approach to a problem-solving approach, thus generating additional sales.

Host events that demonstrate your expertise

Events are powerful for promoting certain products or more simply the brand. Promotional events might look different for B2B businesses versus B2C businesses. Nevertheless, by conducting a webinar, live event or a meetup in a coffee shop, you develop the relationship with prospective customers and have an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise in your field. The educational component increases trust in the brand and will most likely generate sales.

Having a customer acquisition strategy is essential to ensure that your business remains competitive. To be effective, adopt a dynamic approach and review your strategy on a regular basis. Also ensure that you put the customer first by answering their needs. Have a look at our content on how to grow your business in the following articles:

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