Business growth is multi-faceted and depends as much on market expansion as it does on customer acquisition and loyalty. Regardless of the maturity of a business, the ability to concurrently expand into new market territory and draw new customers is based on several factors.
As discussed in Part I of this series, the following points must be addressed:
- Filling gaps in customer use
- Improving regional exposure
- Improving accessibility for both existing and new customers
Whether a business is marketing a unique brand to a wider segment or developing brand offerings to smaller segments, a marketing campaign must target the speciﬁc needs and outcomes of that segment through appropriate channels and services.
The key to growth is of course connecting with new customers within your segment while building on and nurturing that relationship for future growth and sustainability.
New customer acquisition
For many businesses, especially those who are relatively new to their market segment, new customer acquisition should be the core focus of their marketing activity.
Clearly, customers are the cogs who keep the wheels of business turning and this is of utmost importance to every business, especially start-ups and new entrants into the market. Developing a loyal customer base provides the groundwork for success in new markets.
To drive successful customer acquisition, a business needs to grasp three fundamental concepts: positioning, targeting and beneﬁt barriers.
It is of vital importance to understand and articulate the space that the business occupies within the current segment, which in turn allows the business to create clear value to the consumer. This is the fundamental principle of positioning.
For a business to hold a market position, they ﬁrst need to understand both the market segment as well as the growth taking place within that segment.
Then, the business needs to tailor the reach of marketing speciﬁcally for those customers within the identiﬁed market segment, along with any consideration for direct or indirect competition within the market.
Although this is such a basic concept, positioning is truly where a business allows their value to shine, so that the marketing mix is able to draw and attract those customers who will bring loyalty and growth to the business.
The concept of targeting is around identifying and planning marketing to acquire customers who are strategic and signiﬁcant in their purchasing behaviour. This is one of the keys to business growth since a loyal customer base creates a proﬁtable and stable business compared to single customer transactions.
When planning out the targeting for a campaign, a marketing mix must strongly appeal to the speciﬁc desires of that target segment by creating a need for the products or services offered, which will lead to an increase in sales and customer growth.
For each potential customer, there is an obstacle - often by way of a thought - which stands between their current situation and what you require them to do.
This obstacle is known as a beneﬁt barrier because it stands in the way of your prospective customers realising the beneﬁt that your product or service offers and as such businesses need to address these barriers and ﬁnd solutions to overcome them.
This is ideally done through a unique and speciﬁc marketing mix which allows a business to stand out compared to its competitors. By harnessing these market insights, businesses can develop an understanding of the consumers’ needs. This in turn allows a business to target its products in a tone and manner which connects with customers and inﬂuence them at a much deeper level.
Connecting with customers in this way ensures increased purchases and continued loyalty within existing and new market segments.
There are certain factors that need to be considered by businesses in this phase of market maturity, and coincidentally they are no different to those businesses that are looking to expand into new market segments.
To gain an understanding of the relationship between customers and brand recognition and growth, the following factors need to be taken into account:
- Responsiveness: Are consumers unresponsive to the beneﬁts offered by your brand?
- Trust: Do consumers lack the conﬁdence that you will deliver for them the beneﬁts of your brand?
- Competition: Do consumers believe they already have these beneﬁts through another brand?
Unsurprisingly, these factors are the same set of questions used in Part I of this article series, however now the context is that of acquiring new customers within an established territory.
These questions need to be kept at the forefront of your mind and reviewed periodically to ensure that the business is fulﬁlling the needs of their market segment.
In answering these questions, businesses in this phase may discover major pain points. It is possible to address these issues through a greater understanding of their customer needs and outside competition.
Businesses looking to acquire new customers should engage in the following marketing tactics to fulﬁl on this strategy:
- Promote awareness: through activity to the target audience
- Increase value: through value added promotions or products
- Generate demand: through speciﬁc campaigns
As discussed in Part I of this marketing series, many businesses are quite proactive in acquiring new customers, however it is equally important to retain and nurture your existing customer base through building customer loyalty.
While acquiring new customers is crucial - especially when entering a new market segment - it is the loyalty and repeat business generated by that customer base which creates both momentum and stability for your business growth.
Kam Ozonaran is the managing director of Marketing Temps.