The DMA has released their Customer Acquisition Barometer 2014 report. Which is a survey of the best and worst acquisition practices from the marketer’s point of view.
The Barometer report had eighteen questions, and 192 responses were recorded, from which 116 were considered valid for analysis after quality checks. The survey took place in March 2014.
This report is incredibly well put together, and it outlines a lot of the most important things that startup entrepreneurs should focus more on.
In fact, if you're in business and not acquiring customers, you won't be in business for very long and you are essentially just wasting your time and money.
The survey participants referred to a past time of a more simplistic marketing, when acquiring and retaining customers was siloed neatly into different processes. The processes were managed by different people, often in different divisions, and were measured with different metrics.
Really, the newest revelation from active marketers is that customer acquisition and customer retention are becoming the same thing.
There is a need to demonstrate value over and over again, having to essentially re-use their acquisition strategies for retention. Even noting that simple "new customer only" offers actually devalue the status of customers and undermines brand loyalty.
The term ‘acqui-tention’ was even crafted up to communicate the need for acquisition and retention at every touchpoint of the marketing funnel.
Surprisingly, while businesses must acquire customers to survive and thrive, there is no real benchmark of best practice to call upon. The survey considered many measures of marketing spend, broken down by channel, but there isn't quite enough data on exactly how brands are acquiring customers.
"Consumers will forgive brands knowing a lot about them, as long as they get something back in return."
In the modern world, since customers own their own media channels, they are more protective about their data. Most consumers are now aware enough to demand the right to negotiate a special treatment during and after purchase, the process of ‘customer acquisition’ has morphed: if in the past, brands set out to acquire the most valuable customers… today, customers set out to acquire the brands they individually value. The tables have turned.
No one suddenly becomes a customer. The influences from the brand image and peer groups that circulate information give companies the opportunity to have a dialogue. Marketers tend to think in single channels. Customers are inherently multi-channel.
Below are all of the graphs that are found inside of the report, lined up for easy visual consumption.
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