It is widely believed that keeping the customers you have to come back for more is the best way to remain profitable. It is cheaper and easier to look after the customers you know than to attract new ones. The trouble is, few businesses have enough customers to look after. They need to build up their customer base to generate enough of a following. For some businesses, there is little need for a customer to come back again. Think about funeral services or pest control. Once their job is done, more customers are required, rather than relying on those already served.
Businesses spend billions on advertising every year. There are plenty of places to advertise. TV continues to be the biggest cost advertising medium, yet still reaches the largest audience. Online marketing techniques are pulling ahead in popularity as they can be targeted so carefully. For most businesses, the art of attracting new customers is left to a large and dedicated marketing department to sort out.
Attracting customers is about engaging them within just a few seconds. You need to attract their attention. Then you need to hold it with information or interactivity that appeals to those targeted. Of course, it depends on who you want to speak to as to where you place your advertisement. Very few people over the age of eighty are using mobile devices to watch YouTube videos. Equally, there are very few women in their late teens reading the Financial Times. Place your message in the correct place for your demographic.
Search engines are often treated like business directories by internet browsers. If someone is looking for a cat home in Perth, they may type that into Google and select a business from the first page of results. Companies like Ignite Search provide marketing assistance to businesses to utilise Search Engine Optimisation. This helps push your business up the list of results for typical search terms and keywords relevant to you. The trick to this is to use plenty of content in your website that will be of interest to searchers. Attract them with the title and engage them with the information or interactivity.
Flickr.com is the source of this image
Social media requires a following to work. Many businesses believe they can exploit FaceBook and Twitter to increase their customer base. This will never work if you don’t have a following. You need to post images, infographics, and content that people are interested in. Then they might be persuaded to click through to your website where you are trying to sell them a product. It may be free to use, but it is a lot of hard work to generate a following big enough to convert into sales.
It is true that it is more expensive to acquire new customers than to upsell, cross-sell or resell to the ones you’ve got. It is expensive in time as well as advertising. CRM can be used to acquire customers if you can convince the ones you have to recommend you. Incentives can help here, but an individual’s reach may be limited. Carefully targeted advertising can draw in new business. If the ROI is good, then it is worth it every time.