As your martech stack evolves over time, so should your customer acquisition strategy. (And, in turn, your efforts to drive down your customer acquisition costs (CAC).)
Odds are you test new customer acquisition approaches for different marketing channels and mediums — from brand awareness Facebook ad campaigns to on-site, call-to-action optimization — monthly or quarterly.
Regardless of the differences with these net-new and modified marketing activities, programs, and experiments, though, the primary goal of each one is exactly the same:
Nurture, and eventually convert, your highly interested and engaged prospects into new, paying customers (or subscribers) — and keep them as such for as long as possible
Implementing trendy promotional techniques and making modest adjustments to existing tactics across channels can surely pay dividends for your acquisition marketing program.
In the short term, at least.
But if you want to achieve sustainable, long-term growth with your overarching customer acquisition strategy, you need proven marketing technologies that can help you execute, analyze, and augment your lifecycle marketing orchestration activities with ease.
(Essentially, without the need for IT or data science.)
Before you decide whether to construct an entirely new customer acquisition strategy from scratch or refine your existing one, it’s worth evaluating the changes (and improvements) other organizations have made to their acquisition marketing — and the martech they use.
The evolution of customer acquisition strategies — and why “PPT” matters
The past decade has seen brands across industries make sweeping changes to their digital marketing strategies, including and especially how they go about acquiring customers.
Sure, the specific ways companies worldwide have turned potential customers and clients into new ones has certainly varied from one sector and vertical to another in recent years.
But the principal focus for practically all brands when it’s come to expanding their customer base — ideally with buyers who become loyal to them — has been consistent:
Testing, reviewing, and enhancing their online and offline marketing efforts
Some of these organizations have turned mostly to owned channels to improve their acquisition marketing. For instance, many ecommerce marketers routinely optimize product and service landing pages for search engines to more capably convert website visitors.
Other businesses, meanwhile, have relied on earned media. Countless direct-to-consumer marketers advertise to targeted customers on Facebook and with retargeted display ads across the web in a one-to-one manner — a great way to grow customer conversions.
Regardless of the specific mediums and activities companies put into play for their customer acquisition process, it’s evident they need the right “PPT” in place to acquire customers:
- People: Search engine optimization analysts to focus on organic, email marketing experts to convert top leads, social media specialists to retarget prospects, content marketing professionals to produce blog posts and other collateral. That’s just a sample of the necessary personnel who, together, are the guiding force of a company’s high-level customer acquisition strategy and the ones who ultimately own said strategy.
- Processes: These will vary across companies, based on their business models, target customers, and overall goals. But there are fundamental elements needed for all brands to achieve scalable customer acquisition processes, including effective lead-scoring methods and a thorough understanding and routine analysis of the acquisition funnel.
- Technology: Reliance on disparate martech and underwhelming marketing cloud suites to develop customer acquisition strategies needs to (finally) end. Instead, marketers need a centralized database that unifies all contacts’ personally identifiable information (PII) and profile properties into one location where it can be activated with great ease.
Many business leaders today continually excel at onboarding the right staff and assign the appropriate department heads to develop detailed customer acquisition strategies.
But many C-suite members, including and especially CMOs, still fail to recognize the importance of connecting all their martech systems into a single source of truth and using that database as the engine behind their acquisition marketing efforts.
How your marketing technologies impact (and can help you lower) your CAC
Inefficiencies in your martech stack can lead to both inadequate output for all members of your marketing team and poor metrics and outcomes from those efforts: weak lead generation numbers, low customer retention figures, and (that’s right) high CAC.
The cost of acquiring new customers continues to rise for many B2B and B2C businesses, not to mention put pressure on day-to-day marketers and their CMOs to meet the lofty customer conversion goals set by their leadership teams:
Three-quarters of digital marketing professionals surveyed by SheerID said they feel considerable pressure from executives to improve acquisition and revenue.
What’s more, half of these marketers indicated the continually growing costs of online advertising has hindered their ability to mitigate acquisition expenses.
Despite CAC woes at countless companies, many are doing the right thing: Regularly experimenting with new techniques — and martech — to lower acquisition costs:
- 31% of retail marketers said the implementation of recurring revenue programs has improved retention and driven down CAC. — 2019 Ordergroove and NAPCO research
- 56% of marketing managers noted renewed investment in content marketing programs helped decrease their acquisition costs. — 2019 BigCommerce and Retail Dive survey
- 66% of marketers said the use of modern identity resolution technology has had a major or significant impact on lowering CAC. — 2018 BounceX and Forrester report
It’s this mix of onboarding emerging-yet-proven martech and leveraging the platforms to carry out new customer acquisition strategies that’s aiding organizations all over with not only reducing CAC, but also bumping up the number of customers acquired overall.
And the customer data platform (CDP) is the premier martech that can bring down customer acquisition costs and alleviate pressure on today’s marketers.
Using unified customer insights to improve your acquisition marketing
All three phases of the modern customer lifecycle — acquisition, engagement, and retention — are all critical ones to master. But the latter two marketing tasks are impossible to improve without first getting net-new customers in the proverbial door.
If you want to evolve your customer acquisition strategy, you must tackle two pivotal tasks:
- 1) Investigate what’s currently aiding your customer acquisition strategy today
- 2) Take said strategy to the next level by syncing customer data into a central system
The backbone of any successful acquisition marketing approach is analysis.
Scrutinizing the performance of past and present programs (i.e., which mediums and messaging work best; typical buying journey path across channels) and metrics associated with them — CAC, customer lifetime value (CLV), propensity to buy — is how you can identify both the strong and weak components of your strategy and refine the latter ones.
In a CDP like BlueConic, you can get all of these insights, and others, by evaluating both the persistent profiles for existing and potential customers — featuring all data integrated from other marketing databases in your stack — and dynamic segments for them.
For instance, you can use our Profile Recognition Dashboard to discern which prospects for whom you have PII (i.e., how many known contacts you have) and who engages with your digital presence (e.g., visits your site most often or with high frequency or momentum).
This data can inform your marketing. Particularly the places you “meet” your audience with personalized and individualized messaging and ways you attempt to convert them.
Where first-party data and the CDP fit into your customer acquisition strategy
You’ve likely heard about the (rapid) decline of third-party cookies as a practical, long-term marketing resource for publishers and advertisers today.
What you don’t hear (enough) about, though, is what’s replacing cookies as the premier marketing asset for their customer acquisition strategies: first-party data.
BlueConic COO Cory Munchbach clarified just how crucial first-party data is for acquisition marketing today in an interview with Website Magazine:
“In the acquisition phase, it’s important to use first-party data — from activity on your owned properties, historical CRM insight, or social identities — to create rich segments that can be used as the basis for look-alike modeling within acquisition campaigns.”
The list of lifecycle orchestration activities you can conduct with your first-party data — and, specifically, first-party data integrated in a CDP — to strengthen your customer acquisition marketing efforts (and return on investment from them) is quite long:
- Targeted advertising to your potential customers that accounts for past site sessions and retargeting across channels based on their online engagement
- Personalized marketing to target customer segments, like deal notifications delivered to those who submit a form and visit a product or service page X times
- Individualized email marketing based on interactions (e.g., on-open email recommendations that update dynamically based on the latest user engagement)
- Real-time messaging on your site and in your apps to high-value prospects, such as cart abandonment reminders and loyalty program offers to would-be buyers
All these activities have one thing in common: When customer data from the martech related each tactic — your CRM, adtech platform, etc. — is synced into a CDP, the efficacy of and ROI from each customer acquisition approach is amplified considerably and leads to the customer engagement and experience your audience expects.
Plain and simple: How you leverage your first-party data dictates your acquisition marketing success. The more you utilize it wisely, the higher your customer conversion rates will be.
Download our eBook to discover how you can upgrade your acquisition strategy by rethinking how you engage your customers with your lifecycle marketing.