By Samuel Thimothy, VP at OneIMS.com, an inbound marketing agency, and co-founder of Clickx.io, the digital marketing intelligence platform.
Acquiring new customers is the cornerstone of business growth, and crafting the right acquisition strategy plays an important role in achieving that goal. However, there are several reasons why these strategies may fail, from poor communication between sales and marketing teams to poor positioning and messaging.
With the right approach, you can win more customers and drive sustainable growth for your business. Below are the most common mistakes businesses make when developing their acquisition strategy and steps you can take to improve your organization’s approach.
Siloed Sales And Marketing Teams
One of the most common reasons why customer acquisition initiatives fail is because there’s a disconnect between sales and marketing. If they aren’t sharing data, it’s difficult to create an effective strategy. I’ll give you an example.
Let’s say your marketing team spends months creating targeted content for a specific persona. They invest time and money in ads, promote content on social media and drive lots of traffic to the company’s website. But when those leads convert, your sales team immediately disqualifies them.
It can be a huge problem, but the solution is very simple. Make sure these departments communicate and agree on what a “qualified” lead means so there are no unmet expectations. Also, implement a system where leads are automatically sent from marketing to sales so that nothing falls through the cracks.
Sales’ Focus On Existing Clients
Another reason why customer acquisition strategies fail is that sales teams are too focused on existing clients. It makes sense because existing clients are low-hanging fruit. They already know who you are, they already trust you, and they’re more likely to buy from you again. So why bother trying to acquire new customers?
The problem with this line of thinking is that it ignores the fact that many clients will eventually leave. It’s just a matter of time. That’s why it’s important to have a constant stream of new customers coming in the door: so that you’re never left high and dry.
How can you fix this problem? Set quotas for your sales team and create incentives for bringing in new business. Be sure to give them all the resources they need to succeed, such as access to a customer relationship management (CRM) tool or lead generation software.
Poor Positioning And Mixed Messages
If your company has expanded its products or services over time, it’s possible that your positioning and messaging are now confusing. This can make it hard for potential customers to understand what you do and why they should buy from you.
Imagine you’re a digital marketing agency that started out by offering SEO. You’ve since expanded into content marketing, paid advertising, email marketing, social media management, web design and video production—essentially, anything that fits into the “digital marketing” category.
Now when potential customers come to your website, they have no idea what you specialize in. Unclear positioning makes a company look like a jack-of-all-trades. Someone looking for SEO services will now go and hire another SEO agency that has one specific offer.
Fixing this problem is all about getting back to basics and making sure your positioning and messaging are clear and concise. Define who your ideal customer is and what problem you’re solving for them. Everything else should fall into place around that core message.
How To Improve Your Customer Acquisition Strategy
Not feeling particularly optimistic about your company’s acquisition strategy? You’re not alone. Most businesses struggle to keep up with customers’ ever-changing needs. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to improve your approach. Take the following steps:
Step 1: Make It Flexible
Your customer acquisition strategy has to be flexible, especially if you are accounting for future growth. Without the ability to adapt and change with your business, acquisition strategies just won’t cut it. Make sure that there’s enough flexibility built into your plan so that you can adapt as needed—whether it’s due to big successes or major industry disruption.
Step 2: Make It Sustainable
Good acquisition strategy can be sustained in the long term—and all too often this isn’t taken into account when businesses are making decisions. Before picking any particular path forward, ask yourself if you’ll be able to do it in five or even 10 years. Lasting success boils down to finding something that works now and keeps working in the future.
Step 3: Make It Targeted
A lot of businesses make the mistake of trying to appeal to everyone with their acquisition strategy, but this is rarely effective. Instead, it’s much better to focus on a specific target audience and tailor your plans accordingly. When you know who you’re trying to reach, you can create an acquisition strategy that’s much more likely to be successful.
Step 4: Make It Diversified
Another common mistake businesses make is putting all their eggs in one basket. This can be very risky because if something happens to that one channel, your entire acquisition strategy could come crashing down. To protect yourself against this, make sure your efforts are diversified and include multiple channels.
Improving your customer acquisition strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. With the right amount of research and effort, you can build effective strategies that will help you reach your goals and grow your business into something bigger.