01 April 2015
IBM set out into the wild to study marketers in their native habitat. They searched far and wide to survey 500 marketing professionals in more than 15 different industries. So what did they find out on their safari?
In their State of Marketers report, the top business goal among marketers is customer acquisition. But the really interesting statistics in the report are those that identify leading marketers and what those marketers do differently (and better) to acquire customers.
Who Are Leading Marketers?
The IBM report found a great disparity between the top 20% of marketers compared to the bottom 80%. In terms of attitudes and practices, the leading marketers follow specific trends that strengthen their results. The leading marketers had 1.8 times better gross profit growth over a three year period and 3.4 times higher net income growth over the same period. Those are the results, but what are the tactics those leading marketers employ to maximize customer acquisition?
1. Leading Marketers Own the Customer Experience.
According to the IBM study, $83 billion is lost in poor customer experience. That’s a lot of money and a lot of unsatisfied potential customers. Customer acquisition is about taking those unsatisfied potential customers and turning them into satisfied actual customers. A good customer experience gives customers what they want. And what customers want is a personalized experience.
When you ensure your customers see the content and products that are most relevant to their unique interests, it only makes sense that they have a better experience. Whether you reduce the time it takes for them to search around your site or whether you introduce the customer to a product they didn’t even know they wanted, you stand to benefit from delivering a personalized experience. Leading marketers proved 2.6 times as likely to adjust real-time offers based on the specific context of their web visitors.
2. Leading Marketers Reach Across Channels.
One increasing trend is the customer that jumps from device to device when browsing your website and even when placing their orders. It’s not uncommon for a customer to make a broad search while on a smartphone to find a quick solution. Then the customer picks up later and browses a bunch of products while kicking back on the sofa with their tablet. Finally, they walk over to their desktop PC, pull out a credit card, and place an order.
To maximize customer acquisition of this type of shopper, leading marketers are 5.6 times as likely to optimize the experience across channels, including smartphone, tablet, and desktop. By having a responsive website that is just as capable on a smartphone as on a PC, you exercise more control over the entire customer experience with more coherent branding. Leading marketers are also more likely to use mobile-specific marketing tools, such as location targeting and mobile messaging.
3. Leading Marketers Use Analytics.
Leading marketers not only are more successful, but they also know when they’re successful. Unsurprisingly, leading marketers were the most likely to mine customer insights and analytics. With the power of data, these marketing professionals know when a campaign is boosting customer acquisition and when a campaign is barely moving the needle. By measuring and acting on real metrics, the top 20% of marketers are more likely to achieve their business objectives.
For the web, A/B testing is a great way to compare the success rates of landing pages or individual product pages. Keeping a careful eye on shopping cart abandonment rates helps you optimize checkout and improve customer acquisition. Also, by integrating eCommerce with CRM, leading marketers are also able to target individual customers for more revenue and to encourage customer retention. Leading marketers are leaders, but when it comes to data, they’re not afraid to learn.
Be a Leading Marketer!
The web gives you many opportunities to optimize your marketing. By following these tips from the top 20% of marketers, you’re more likely to improve your customer acquisition efforts. Own the customer experience, reach across channels, and use intelligent analytics to tie it all together. Get the customer, and then get them coming back for more.