Recently, The Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed 92 marketing executives in Australia and New Zealand about how they view the future.
One notable finding was that marketers believe their role is becoming more of a revenue driver and that customer acquisition will be their single biggest challenge in the next 12 months.
There will be more pressure on inbound marketing strategies to deliver - not just in terms of quantity of visits, clicks and email addresses - but much more in terms of quality.
The type of visitor we attract, the quality of information they access and the exchange that follows will become central to the marketing function.
But we have it under control, right? With a mobile-enabled website and contact page, the leads are going to roll in.
Wouldn’t it be nice if customer acquisition was that simple!
Finding the right customer
Driving revenue along with the profits and growth of our organisations requires focussed attention on the type of customers we need to attract.
Being specific about who we are targeting is critical to making an impact.
Who is the ideal customer? What do they need from us? How do they view our organisation? What do they know already? Where are they going to get their information, if not from us? What unique value can we provide that competitors can not or have not provided?
The more specific we are when addressing the ideal customer, the better the outcome.
Let’s imagine our customer represents a high-value account. We are hoping they will invest $500k to $5m in our brand. What is our inbound marketing strategy for this customer? Is our current website meeting their needs or would a customised landing page be better? Are there appropriate search terms leading the way?
Perhaps the customer is not one person but many - a General Manager and her procurement team and they are all researching and comparing us before making an approach. What are they hearing from our organisation that answers their questions? How are we shaping their impression, their trust and regard for the brand?
Making the right impression
One need all customers have before making a purchase - particularly when it comes to high-value purchases - is confirmation of a brand’s good reputation.
Digital media channels provide all manner of feedback, most of which is out of our control.
Attention to building trust and credibility as part of customer acquisition is crucial. Content needs to be valuable in a way that nurtures buyers. It can be entertaining and inspirational as well as educational but it must be relevant to ensure our ideal customer has a reason to continue engaging with us.
Establishing credibility with external organisations is helpful on this part of the journey. Content in third party publications, industry data and the positive input of key influencers are some of the ways we can build trust in our brands.
These are the reassuring endorsements that will affirm our ideal customer in their decision to engage.
Rewarding customers for their trust
Ensuring there is a plan for the customer life-cycle is a key element of any acquisition strategy.
There are many factors that can influence the life-cycle and a rigid response to customer engagement is not a good plan.
Devising responses that take into account who the customers are, how much interaction they have had with our website, what type of information we want them to receive and when, is all part of nurturing the relationship in a more personalised way. An automated marketing platform like HubSpot, is a valuable tool in your marketing strategy for customer acquistion.
A follow up email can be part of an automated workflow response but our leads may decide to revisit our websites for another look, so we need to make sure they find a call to action - something that encourages them to click through to premium content where they can make more of an investment (contact details and organisational information) and gain a greater reward.