FIND MORE CUSTOMERS
Is your business the best kept secret in Phuket?
– Shep Hyken
Every business needs a customer acquisition program of some kind. But promoting your business through paid channels like Google, Linked-In, and Facebook is super easy and accessible to anyone. As long as you convert your leads to sales it’s affordable too, especially for short-term bumps.
Finding NEW customers is great but it’s around 5x cheaper to keep existing customers happy and coming back for more. Plus, factoring in lifetime customer value makes all your advertising and promotion efforts even more affordable.
Long-term solutions add inbound marketing efforts to attract customers for free 24/7 all year long. With an effective business website, optimized for search (SEO) customers find you when they are interested in buying.
Sales and Marketing are interrelated but not interchangeable. While some marketing initiatives may take several months or even years to yield results, a robust marketing strategy is essential to achieving high returns on investment. In contrast, sales efforts that lack a solid marketing foundation may result in suboptimal outcomes. Therefore, both Sales and Marketing are indispensable components for business growth.
Generating awareness that your business exists and educating consumers on why you are the best choice (especially if there are cheaper options available) isn’t easy. Start by looking at your business and services from your customer’s point of view, get a fresh perspective to learn how your existing clients or regular shoppers found you, and then identify what keeps them coming back for more.
There are two styles of marketing that deal with customer acquisition; Outbound Marketing and Inbound Marketing. Each has multiple subcategories chock full of more subgroups and mechanisms. So it’s important to know the difference when planning your marketing strategy.
Note: Don’t fall into the trap of chasing new customers at the expense of your repeat customers. The idea is to expand your base of repeat business by topping it up with new customers because repeat customers are more profitable.
Think of traditional advertising like commercials, print advertising, billboards and flyers where your message has the potential to be seen by a large number of people, hopefully, enough of those people will also be in your target market.
Then there’s digital advertising through Google AdWords and Facebook Ads etc. where it’s possible to target consumers by demographics like age, location, sex, interests and even past actions. With re-marketing, you can even display ads to customers who’ve clicked on a particular link or visited a page of your website. But it’s still an outreach activity to find customers who MIGHT be interested in what you have to offer.
Outbound tactics will always play an important role in your marketing strategy. But paid customer acquisition stops when you stop paying and it’s subject to your ability to convert. So it makes sense to also implement an inbound strategy.
Inbound marketing has been around forever in the form of books and magazines, and special interest publications. An inbound strategy creates a forum for common interests and then promotes related products or businesses related to that group. It normally requires a little help from outbound tactics to kick start the group and inform the public that it’s out there.
Content Marketing is another branch of the inbound strategy. It’s a relatively new marketing tool that combines Inbound and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). As more and more consumers chose to ignore or block adverts and have a general distrust of sales pitches, content marketing emerged as a popular way to build relationships with potential customers, by empowering customers with the available knowledge to make informed purchase decisions.
This strategy feels natural and genuine but unlike outbound strategies, once your content is out there it continues to work for you for months or years.
Both options can be quite costly. Paid advertising still has its place but it’s 100% a numbers game. If your returns outweigh your costs – great! Inbound marketing and content marketing in particular take time and developing good quality content can be expensive. But as a long-term strategy, it’s hard to beat.
All forms of customer acquisition share some common ground. Potential customers will always expect to have a decent website. If you don’t have one, or even worse (you send them to Facebook) it makes you look unprofessional and you’ll lose a significant portion of your potential sales. That’s why this section started with a reminder to focus on your conversion process and marketing fundamentals first.
Before starting your next marketing project try our Budget Calculator. Based on your sales estimates it will help identify an optimal budget to keep that Cost vs Reward in balance and calculate what marketing budget you should expect to invest.
PROSPECTS x CONVERSION RATE = NEW CUSTOMERS
The search for new customers challenges all businesses. Small businesses find customer acquisition particularly challenging due to limitations of resources, time and marketing experience. So before you start to invest in this area check your conversion rate to make sure you’re not going to be throwing money away.
Example: 200 ÷ 800 x 100 = 25% Conversion Rate
It’s ALWAYS cheaper to improve your conversion rate or develop better repeat business strategies. The point here is to tighten up your conversion process BEFORE you start paying for new leads.
A 1% increase in sales conversion is equal to a 10% increase in customers.
Most visitors already intend to buy. But why should they buy from you?
Make better marketing decisions to reduce costs and boosts profit.