Historically, the process of bringing in new clients to a business involved enticing people to make a direct purchase or subscribe to a services. However, the increasing success of the ‘freemium’ model across industries along with the increasing value of data has drastically changed how businesses define a customer and how they approach customer acquisition.
Svetlana Dvoryashina has spent her career working with customer acquisition and learning how the process has changed over time. Svetlana sat down with us to give us some of the insights she’s gained over the years.
Svetlana Dvoryashina | Interview
Svetlana’s career in digital marketing kicked off when she spent five years at Tinkoff Bank — Russia’s largest online bank — where she focused on customer acquisition across both their B2B and B2C products. She moved to London two years ago to work for Revolut in their business perks partnership program and then landed at Paysend where she leads the digital marketing team responsible for online acquisition across two of their products. The first is Paysend Global Transfers – an app that lets users send money to their friends and families, and the second is Paysend Global Account that provides a more user-friendly way for consumers to manage their money.
What are your goals for 2020?
We want to scale both the app and the product itself. It’s not just about increasing the number of signups per month — we’re also concentrating on getting the right kind of customers and making sure that we increase our average engagement.
How do you provide the utmost value to your customers?
Firstly, customers are king — they’re at the heart of everything that we do as digital marketers. We’re constantly analysing how our customers initially became aware of us, how they’ve used our services in the past, and what channels they’re currently relying on. This is an ongoing project. You should always remember that if your business is changing, your customers are also changing… So you need to have your ear to the ground at all times!
Without the right data, it’s almost impossible to create an effective marketing strategy — regardless of the industry that you’re in. And remember: your campaigns are all connected to one another, so never analyze your efforts in silos.
Finally, you need to think about the fact that every user has at least 20 apps that are constantly sending them messages, so you need to avoid annoying them at all costs. Make sure you keep mixing it up: diversifying your outreach and finding the right channel for the right message. Triggers and timing are key for ensuring this relevance.
How can companies that are just starting out begin to acquire new users?
Having gone through this process many times in the past, there are 5 activities that I keep falling back on:
1. Customer Profiling: Identify your ideal customer profile — everything starts with having a target audience in mind. You need to get a good picture of who you are targeting, what they care about, what problems they are trying to solve, where they look for solutions and how they solve those problems today.
2. Data – You can then begin to narrow this down further once you start getting the appropriate data. For example, discover where your users live, how they interact with your brand, and how they behave (both online and offline).
3. Outline your Solution: Make sure you know your business inside-out. What are the reasons that your customers buy from you? Where do they buy from you? What are the interests, worries and concerns about your product. What job are they hiring your product to do?
4. Strategy: Identify how you’ll position yourself, which channels you’ll leverage, the various strategies for each channel, and the different tones of voice that you’ll use.
5. Partnerships: Build partnerships if at all possible… this is one of the fastest and most efficient ways of providing more values to your customers, getting new customers and scaling your business. See if you can team up with small businesses to provide additional services.
Why is systematic customer acquisition important?
It goes without saying that businesses need new customers to survive. A 2017 Mixpanel study found that the average retention rate across all industries was below 20% — so companies can’t simply rely on their old customers coming back time and again. A sustained inability to acquire new users means that the writing is probably on the wall and the business must pivot their strategy or expect a painful decline.
The cost of customer acquisition has increased by a whopping 50% over the past five years and significantly more depending on the industry you are operating in. So it’s never been more important to understand the effectiveness of you acquisition channels and campaigns. You also want to pay close attention to your retention and engagement strategies so that you keep as many of the customers you acquire as possible.
There are a variety of ways to attract and acquire potential customers. Some companies are amazingly creative (for example, think about Doritos’ awesome Superbowl ads), whereas other companies rely on being trusted household names with stellar reputations. The key is to find the best ways for your company to acquire the best customers you can.
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