How to grow quickly?
Once your BRAND is defined, you understand your customer segmentation and planned their CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE the following activities can be used to grow your customer base cost effectively.
Budget for growth
Start with a zero budget for growth, that way you model each channel based on its actual or potential ROI. Add each channel allocation and it’s estimated (or known) cost, conversion, profitability and revenues. Manipulate the investment in each channel until you reach a model that provides your optimal customers/revenue/profit/ROI. Now you know if you had an extra £100 to spend which channel would provide what result.
What’s been successful so far?
Firstly understand where your existing customers join the journey through asking them offline or via online tracking tools. Target prospects in the places where you acquired your existing customers.
70% of B2B research is done before a prospect ever makes contact with you. Ensure you know what is influencing this 70% and try to proactively manage it.
Attract all prospects into CRM
Make an offer so anyone who genuinely interacts with or is interested in your BRAND is compelled to part with their email address, first name and mobile number. Collect other valuable data further into their journey but ensure the first interaction is as frictionless as possible. Email drives the highest ROI of any digital channel, so it is the channel to test to ensure you’re maximising it as part of early engagement.
However, don’t ignore ‘unknown’ prospects, you can still target them with messaging based on their behaviours even if it can’t be personalised.
Manage partnerships for access
To acquire customers find and develop partnerships who align with your BRAND e.g. relevant products, services, media, bloggers, for access to their target audience and use the partner brand to increase your credibility. Their customer base should either overlap with your customers or be a new segment you’re trying to attract. Don’t have too many as you will need to manage them. Focus on the ones that bring in the highest volume/value of customer.
Imbedding your offering into someone else’s, think symbiosis. And using your existing base to acquire new customers. Mainly a term applied to ecommerce made famous by Airbnb. You’re going to need to find the right brand partner and a coder/ engineer.
MUST have a great product and grows by using what is already working.
Inbound channels is a term to describe use of unpaid media; website, SEO, email, blog, unpaid content syndication, PR, owned social, but they are definitely not ‘free’. They require both resources and technical knowledge and rely on engaging content creation to be served to the right prospect at the right time in the CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE. They can be amazingly powerful and useful channels so become masters of them.
Owned social is usually not an effective acquisition channel as it’s mainly a loyalty building channel and social platforms increasingly push visibility of only paid content. So most companies do not rely solely on unpaid if the desire is to grow quickly.
Paid programs such as; Events, Adwords, Display, OOH, Email, Social, Radio, TV. Figure out your objectives and ROI of each channel before investing as each has its advantages, disadvantages and different ability to grow customers.
For example; Display ROI needs to take into consideration; average publisher digital advertising view-ability rates stand at 50.2%, Ad blocking at 14% of global ad spend meaning across all ad formats and placements CTR is now 0.17%, However, re-marketing is effective at converting sales.
PPC click fraud is estimated at up to 29%, but there are ways to reduce click fraud.
So build your specific market and industry data into your ROI models.
Marketing & Sales joint approach
In B2B marketing and sales jointly need to manage the acquisition strategy and pipeline approach to maximise effectiveness.
Change messaging & tactics
Over time expect what worked before to become less effective as competitors and the market evolves. Keep testing and learning.
Innovate to grow
Ultimately to grow expect to improve your product or service to stay competitive. Base innovation on CUSTOMER INSIGHTS.
I have extensive experience of helping companies innovate from my time at specialist Innovation company ?Whatif!. I can help you create and manage an NPD process.