Any business with the best product will have to get customers at some point. You need customer acquisition for people to discover the great product you have as a company.
Although acquiring customers is essential for any business to grow and succeed, it takes time and effort. This makes it expensive. Companies need help with customer acquisition as there is more competition.
Challenges customers face when it comes to customer acquisition
Many businesses, regardless of the size and industry, need help with customer acquisition. Technology and the changing market are yet to make it easier. This has forced companies to be innovative and aggressive, attracting and retaining customers.
Companies need help with customer acquisition because they need help understanding their customers. Startups focus on products, giving little attention to the customer and yet customers are the ones who will keep them in business. You need to understand customers; otherwise, you will have a great product that no one cares about.
Some of the common customer acquisition challenges companies face include the following:
Competition: The marketplace is more competitive than it has ever been before. You have to go the extra mile to stand out from the crowd.
For example, a local coffee shop may need help attracting customers due to several other coffee shops in the area. To overcome this challenge, the coffee shop can differentiate itself by offering unique and high-quality coffee blends, providing excellent customer service, and creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere.
Limited budget: There is always a demand for money. That means that a company needs to work within the allocated budget. Many startups need help with finances, with the funding scene less active because of recession. Most companies spend more on product development, leaving little for sales and marketing. Many get obsessed with the product and as a result get carried away with the product. They also believe the best product is all it takes.
Although there are cheaper ways to get customers, you will have to spend on sales and marketing. The cheapest way to get customers is through word of mouth, where happy customers refer the product to others in their networks. Other methods, such as digital marketing, will need some budget to run activities to get customers.
The good news is that once you understand your customers you will spend less on sales and marketing. It is a chance to save on sales and marketing and attain your goals in a cheaper way.
Lack of customer knowledge: Most companies fail because they need to understand their customers more. Many focus primarily on product development rather than on the customer. It is only through understanding customers that you will know their triggers and pain points. This will help you position your product to deliver more value. It will help you know what stage they are in the buyers’ journey and what triggers and touchpoints to address.
Understanding customers starts with a well-crafted buyer persona, which will help you better understand your target customers’ behaviour and attributes. Understanding customers will help you do the proper targeting, which will help achieve increased conversions and effective marketing. It will help you with personalization according to triggers and preferences. Personalization will help you stand out from the crowd and beat the competition. Understanding customers will help you have the right hypothesis that you can easily test and confirm. Testing the hypothesis and learning from it fast will help you stay ahead of the competition.
“Success is not delivering a feature; it is learning how to solve the customer’s problem.” Eric Ries.
Difficulty standing out: With competition, there is an increased need to stand out for customers to know about you. Unfortunately, many companies need help with this. They need help to differentiate themselves from the competition, which makes it a challenge to get customers.
If you are two companies offering the same product, there is a need for one product or company to be different for a customer to choose one over the other. Standing out is about delivering what customers want, which starts with understanding them. Understanding them allows you to tailor your unique value proposition and selling points according to their pain points and triggers.
Sulma & Sulma has a product dubbed “BuyerMind” that uses data and insights to help companies comprehensively understand their customers. Through BuyerMind, you can understand your customers better, which will help you have strategic positioning to beat the competition. The knowledge will help you differentiate and clear the noise from the clutter.
Poor customer service: The marketplace has changed, and consumers are looking for a positive customer experience. According to a study done by Salesforce, 91% of Gen Z consumers say they are likely to switch brands if they don’t get the customer service they expect. That shows how the priorities have changed. Many customers always look at reviews before engaging with a company. One thing that drives them is a great customer experience and value for money. Responsive companies get ahead of the curve compared to those that take a long time to respond.
It is crucial to invest in customer service to ensure you give the best customer experience.
“If you are not taking care of your customers, your competitor will.” Bob Hooey.
Difficulty in measuring ROI: It is only possible to measure the outcome by tracking it. As much as many software tools help you with this, many still need to use it well. As a result, many companies need help to measure the ROI from customer acquisition efforts. Only when you measure will you know if a particular path is worth pursuing.
When customers understand the customer acquisition challenges they are facing, it will be easier to solve them.
Ways to hack customer acquisition
Customer acquisition is easy with the right strategy.
The first step to hacking customer acquisition is doing business intelligence to identify what works and is not. That means doing an audit of the strategies you have been using to identify gaps. When you place the gaps, you will know what measures to take to fill them.
Some of the proven strategies to hack customer acquisition include:
This is the golden nugget you need to hack customer acquisition. As mentioned earlier, by understanding them, you will know what triggers and pain points they have. To understand customers, you will have to do testing to get feedback. You can understand customers by talking to them and spending time with them. Y Combinator suggests that startups should understand their users before building a product. This will ensure you create a product that users love and that guarantees success. When customers love the product, they will be return users and brand advocates.
As we have seen before, customers are more specific with the customer experience they get. That means you need strategies to give the best customer experience possible. Thanks to technology, you can provide live customer support through bots when a human is unavailable.
It would help if you also had a social media policy for responding and engaging with your clients.
A positive customer experience calls out for being human and helpful. Be there for your customers through the customer lifecycle, not the onboarding. Address their concerns and queries, and have efficient communication methods. This will lead to more satisfied customers, which leads to higher lifetime value and customer retention rates. It will drive you more customers through word-of-mouth advertising, which is a cost-effective way to get new customers.
This is where you give your existing customers incentives to refer their networks to your business. Incentives can be in the form of discounts, points, free shipping, etc. Referral marketing is particularly effective because it is often cheaper to get a new customer through a referral than through traditional marketing channels. Additionally, referred customers are more likely to become loyal customers as people trust referrals from people they know. If referred customers are happy, they will, in turn, refer more people to your company. This is a strategy Dropbox used by giving their customers free extra storage when they refer their friends to the service. It helped them grow and exceed expectations in a short time.
In the current social media age, there are influencers everywhere. Influencer marketing is where you partner with an influencer to be your brand advocate. The right influencers will depend on your budget and niche. They can advocate your brand to their followers. Since people trust people they know, their followers will likely be your customers. Influencers are an easy way to reach a wider audience. Fitbit partnered with several fitness influencers to promote its brand, which helped them grow and get customers.
Strong online presence
In the current age, many people look for a particular product online before they check it out . Some prefer to shop online. That means that your online branding should be strong. A solid online presence can help you reach a wider audience and make it easier for potential customers to find your business. You can do this through SEO, social media, and content marketing. One example of a robust online presence is Hubspot, a marketing and sales software company. They have a strong blog that creates high-quality content that appeals to their target audience. This helps them get new customers and increase brand awareness.
Since the marketplace is becoming more competitive by the day, people are likely to buy from you if they see others have bought from you. You can leverage social proof with great reviews, case studies, and customer testimonials.
One example of a company that leveraged social proof is Airbnb. They display the number of guests that have stayed in a particular listing and the number of people who have viewed it. This helps potential guests feel more comfortable booking a stay and helps Airbnb get new customers.
As much as it is an effective marketing method, only a few use it as much. Email marketing is a cost-effective way to nurture leads and turn them into customers.
Since many people get plenty of emails per day, you must understand customers to be able to send them personalized emails that resonate with their needs. Personalization will guarantee you high open rates, click rates, and replies.
Email personalization is not all about the content such as name but also the context, which entails understanding your target customers. Personalization by context refers to addressing the buyer’s pain points in the email and showing how your solution will add value to them.
Booking.com leveraged email marketing to send personalized and relevant offers to their subscribers. This helped them grow fast.
Personalization is everything. It is the easiest way to differentiate yourself in the market. The current generation, such as Gen Z, is shopping for a personalized experience. According to Salesforce, Gen Z are likely to switch brands if they feel the company is not personal with them. Gen Z is hard to ignore as they comprise 31.1% of the American population. You can achieve this by understanding customers and using data. Through real-time data and insights, you can know the current situation of your customers and how their needs are changing. As mentioned earlier, BuyerMind uses data and insights to understand customers and their changing needs. This can help you tailor your offering based on their interests and preferences. This will help you deliver personalized content, offers, and customer recommendations.
This is a new marketing trend that is taking up the airwaves. Video marketing has become a powerful tool for businesses to get new customers. According to Loom, internet user spends 33.3% of their time watching videos. Oberlo reported that 54% of users want to consume video content from brands they love. That is clear this is a trend to jump on.
Companies can use video content to educate, entertain, and engage customers. It can be distributed through various channels, including social media, YouTube, and websites. For instance, for social media, they can do short explainer videos on their product or tips. For Youtube, it can be lengthy as people go to Youtube to consume videos.
According to Statista, the number of mobile users is on the rise. Mobile searches account for about 67% of the total searches on the internet. With the growing rate of mobile users, businesses need to optimize their websites and marketing campaigns for mobile devices. Mobile optimization can include creating mobile-friendly websites, SMS marketing, and mobile-specific ads.
Customer acquisition is not as complicated as many assume. Although the tips make it look easy, you may have to do many tests to know what works and what does not. What works for one company may only work for one company. Sulma & Sulma makes this so much easier with BuyerMind. BuyerMind will test different personas in real-time to deliver what they expect.