When thinking about self-employment, many people imagine the following scenario: all the background preparations in the store have been finished and you spend the first official day waiting anxiously by the phone for the first customer to call. But the device remains persistently silent. The e-mail mailbox also yawns with emptiness. What happened here? Where are the customers? They can be anywhere and nowhere, because many customers shop specifically from well-known brands and companies without even realising that there is an alternate, new company with an appealing offer. From an entrepreneurial perspective, it is, of course, fatal if customers do not know that your company exists. Those who are still at the very beginning of their career with their company rarely already have a permanent customer base or even regular customers. And those who are already established and have a customer base are dependent on quickly and effectively winning new customers. Therefore, newcomers, sales, management and marketing are wondering: how can I approach my new customer acquisition?
Many strategies are long outdated and it is often a good idea to draw on the multitude of current technical possibilities for your own concept. In the digital age, many new technologies are based on the internet and the networking of digital offerings. Therefore, it is a good place to start with the topic of online marketing, which is very suitable for customer acquisition. For customer acquisition in marketing, it is first and foremost important to understand online marketing as a whole before dealing with tips for attracting customers.
The term is self-explanatory, but many marketing issues raise new questions. That's why we're trying to start from scratch. Even the oldest hands in sales and marketing know the terms internet or web marketing, but nowadays online marketing is mainly used to summarize all the marketing measures carried out online. In terms of content, this results in a clear separation from offline marketing.
Typical measures in online marketing are well known and established, such as ads in Google search, banners or pop-ups, email marketing, or activities related to Search Engine Optimization. Such optimization measures are usually tailored to Google and take place, for example, on the website or on the company blog. In order to distinguish these individual sub-areas in online marketing, these are called e-mail marketing, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or SEA (Search Engine Advertising). Another interesting area in online marketing is affiliate marketing. The term derives from 'to affiliate'. Here, third-party advertising links are placed on a website, and the operator of that site receives a commission if the link is used within a specified period for a predefined action (e.g. a purchase). How this payment is made depends on the agreement between the two parties. Cost-per-click, cost-per-lead or cost-per-sale are common.
In order to use online marketing in 2020 in a meaningful and targeted manner, a good look at the digital economy, the target group, the technical requirements as well as possible applications are all required. Here, it is important to be able to accurately assess the potential costs and profits so as not to economically overstretch oneself, especially as a newcomer to the industry. Online marketing is usually a sub-area of marketing, which is supplemented by others in order to develop a holistic marketing strategy. So it is by no means the case that a business relies exclusively on online marketing. With this accumulated knowledge in mind, one can directly deal with customer acquisition in general.
Customer acquisition in sales and marketing means nothing more than winning customers for your own company, brand, or product through the use of customized strategies. All such measures are part of customer acquisition, which are used to find customers and motivate them to buy. The goal is to continuously increase the number of customers. This makes customer acquisition in marketing, not a project to complete and tick off, but an ongoing process in constant change. Keeping an eye on your own market is therefore essential for successful customer acquisition in order to be able to correctly target the right customer groups.
So that you do not get immediately frustrated as a newcomer, it is important to proceed step by step. The first task is to define the target group. This is followed by the distinction between B2B, where other companies are the chosen customers, or B2C, where everything revolves around end-users, i.e. private individuals. On the basis of this classification, it is possible to plan the concepts very selectively, because this allows you to get to know your target group and its needs precisely, to collect specific information and to successfully establish a network.
If you want to make it even more detailed, you do not define the target group, but actually the target person. Under the term Buyer Persona, you can create a representative, fictitious customer and design it with resume, face, and all the other significant factors to give the anonymous target group a clear face. This includes important behaviors that influence a purchase, such as problems, desires, motives, and the like. Once the buyers are defined, you can consider measures to appeal to the buyers. Sounds good in theory, but what does that mean in practice?
As mentioned above, Online Marketing in 2020 includes methods such as email marketing, social media, content marketing, SEO, display advertising, or search engine marketing. Depending on where the potential buyers are on the web, you can try one, several, or all methods to reach them.
Speaking of achieving: online reach is a decisive factor in attracting as many interested parties as possible. Reach indicates how many people can be touched by a particular method or medium. Therefore, when planning customer acquisition in marketing, reach must be considered as an important factor. So far so good, but what are the individual measures in practice? Good question! Since the answers are quite detailed and intricate, the next section is divided into two parts; one with tips regarding online channels and the other with tips on which methods to use to reach and attract customers.
Online marketing uses various web channels, which one can experiment seemingly without end. Sounds quite logical, but which channels can be used specifically for your company? A look at the following list will help:
These four channels can be used individually or as bundles to pursue your own marketing strategy. This allows the topic of customer acquisition in marketing to be promoted online and on various platforms. In addition to the platforms, it is the measures themselves that interest many entrepreneurs. The next section shows what to use and how to use them.
Now it's time to get to the heart of the matter: what are you actually doing to attract customers? Here are both some concrete measures aimed at the existing customer and strategies for attracting new customers that should influence company activity.
They must also provide added value, such as a promotion, discounts, or interesting information about the product.
Often pop-ups are used for the "Before you go...", i.e. before a user leaves the page, he or she gets this info including a further link to click. It can be easy to keep customers on your website.
The customer can therefore actively help to improve the service or the product. You can use its evaluation and feedback for this purpose. The question, however, is how to get reviews and whether you can use them elsewhere? The Net Promoter Score® gives the following answer to both questions.
The Net Promoter Score is a metric that makes it possible to make a concrete statement about customer loyalty. This is obtained through targeted micro-surveys based on a question that is answered on a simple scale. In addition, there is the possibility to insert a field for comments.
This field is worth its weight in gold to get honest feedback from customers. Feedback from the so-called promoters, i.e. customers who are extremely satisfied with the company and see themselves as supporters, are especially valuable and offer great potential. These can have a positive impact on existing or potential customers and can also be integrated into internal processes, such as established feedback loops. The feedback from promoters is ideal to publish as a review. As already mentioned, many customers value authentic online reviews. In order to make these usable, it is recommended to rely on versatile software, which analyzes the data, processes it further and of course, determines the NPS®. This way, you can easily and quickly get suitable reviews that will attract new customers.
With all this knowledge, you can really get started in sales, management, and marketing with customer acquisition on the internet. But one thing must be made very clear: no-one needs to be scared of marketing for themselves and trying to find customers! New start-ups are often especially afraid of the seemingly giant concept of marketing and either do not know where to start or see no point in it. These thoughts are absolute nonsense and only keep you from making progress. Therefore, everyone should tackle the topic of customer acquisition in marketing in an individual way and, if necessary, use online marketing to present themselves to their customers.
Those who have dared to start as entrepreneurs, who have had this courage and rely on their own professional knowledge, certainly still have enough energy to deal with the big topic of customer acquisition in marketing. And they certainly do not need one thing: permission to do whatever he thinks is right!
Content Marketing Manager