What customer acquisition strategy (or strategies) is the most effective for a young digital agency in terms of the price-quality?

Question for a digital agency owners


Having effectively run a young digital agency as well and growing revenue by over 400% within 6 months, I will share what worked for us.

Word of mouth remains your best customer acquisition channel. Referrals paved a way for us in an industry that was already overcrowded.

How did we achieve this?

We did three things.

1. Niche Marketing: We offered our services strictly to the growing startup community in our city. This tightly knit community who watched each other's moves closely began to notice our work on other startups and reached out to achieve same results. We spent $0 on marketing at this point just by doing this.

2. Free! Free! Free! - Give out free items but be strategic about it. A unique way we applied this was by finding influential business leaders within the startup community and offering them our service for free - A free explainer video.

Who says no to free stuff? Most of the CEOs and founders we reached out to were 'delighted by the honor'. In turn they became our brand advocates as they were very pleased to tell other people about us, most especially at speaking events.

This strategy alone accounted for 40% of our revenue.

3. Brand Positioning: This strategy is the most effective. It hinges on the idea that by making your agency an expert in a certain field, you make your agency a lead market.

People like to share their problems with experts who they believe know and understand the problems best.

You can easily do this through many ways, here are some unique ones:
1. Industry thought leadership Articles.
2. Gaining massive press exposure (Everybody wants to work with the popular brand)
3. Distributing Free guides on topics your target audience cares about.

I hope this helps.

Answered 4 years ago

Are you referring acquiring clients for your agency or customers for your clients? I assume it's the former as the later would obviously vary greatly by clients. As someone who spent 7 years on the agency side including identifying, pitching, and winning new business as well as currently on the client side (being pitched), I would say networking is going to be your most effective tool from both getting your foot in the door and not breaking the bank. Go to conferences, events, etc but don't buy a cheesy sales booth. Just make natural conversations and when appropriate, chat about how you can help and present it in a way that minimizes risk for the clients (first 30 days free, cancel anytime, etc). Just don't be too salesy :)

I have a lot of experience in this area especially on the brand side knowing what I'd want to hear if I'm being pitched. Feel free to schedule a call with me to chat further on this!

Answered 4 years ago

Digital Customer Acquisition (DCA) is the ambition to enable people to find your product through a relevant search and as they are already a warm lead, be convinced of your product quickly and then efficiently onboard themselves. No contact with you, no customer service requirement, just money in the bank. Scaling (or starting) a technology business means growing and generating new customers consistently and continuously. It is not solely about how to market your business or even having large budgets to spend on campaigns. It is about a digital customer acquisition strategy that can identify and achieve the outcomes quickly and then continue to work to gain new customers. I believe that for your young digital company the following strategies will be best.
1. Agree on Who Your Best Customer Is: The value of a customer can be calculated based on a number of criteria: price point, lifetime value, cost of acquisition, ongoing service costs, bragging rights, brand advocacy, to name a few. Most companies do not have a clear understanding of the costs of acquiring and maintaining customers. Any answer may be appropriate given the nature of your business, but not having an answer is a recipe for disaster. Let us say you and your finance team do some profitability and market analysis and decide who your best customer is, now what? Chances are you will not find widespread agreement within your organization, and you will compete against institutional bias. The VP of sales may want clients with high LTV to drive higher commissions, while telemarketing may want quick-hitting sales to meet their quotas. Marketing may simply want prospects that engage with promotions and are eager to optimize their efforts based on those metrics. These biases work against one another and can thwart your goals for growth. Acquisition needs to be optimized for something, whether that’s short term vs. long term or quality vs. quantity. Pick a strategy and stick with it.
2. Ride the Coattails of Larger Media Spends and Events: As this 614 Group report on the delicate relationship between brands and agencies notes, there is an inherent tension between emerging customer experience teams and the traditional content, marketing and advertising teams, with the latter often working in their own silos. This is a shame because there are immeasurable benefits to drafting behind larger media spends. A smaller budget, such as that of the email marketing team, can stretch its dollars by leveraging the themes or strategies of the group who buys a brand's TV spot. And, it has the added benefit of not diffusing or confusing the brand story. And by the way, drafting includes what your competitors are doing. Competitive advertising benefits you because it increases overall category awareness and consideration among consumers. As they say, a rising tide floats all boats. A little information sharing across internal departments and external agencies and partners can make all the difference in timing, approach, and ultimately, results.
3. Test Your Testing: All marketers and ecommerce managers know they need to conduct tests, and many A/B test everything, from product descriptions to page layouts to fonts. Most ecommerce platforms even automate A/B testing for you. But too many of the ecommerce managers I speak with do not update their testing on a regular basis and lose many opportunities as a result. You will need to test your tests themselves to ensure your testing has not gone stale. How do you go about testing your testing? First, be noticeably clear about what you want your testing to measure. Is it even measuring what you intend? What is the value of the results to your business? Are they allowing you to drive incremental value? Other questions to consider: Has your audience evolved and in which ways? Who is the influencer and who is the buyer? Can your tests detect these subtle and micro evolutions? You will need continuous optimization of your tests to hone your customer acquisition strategy.
4. Target the Right Person: Who is the right person to target: the end buyer or the influencer? Are they the same person? Knowing who to target, and with which message is essential. Take for example, household purchases. Research shows that most purchasing decisions are made by women, even if they are not the actual buyers. For instance, women are responsible for making the purchasing decisions for 91% of new homes; 65% of new cars; 80% of healthcare; and 92% of all vacations. Your goal may be to sell more boats or RVs that appeal to men, but if you’re not marketing to women, you’re missing a vital audience in the decision-making process.
5. Sell Experiences, Not Products: Consumers want to buy experiences. Will buying your product create a perfect Instagram moment? Direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands have mastered this tactic. Away does not just sell luggage, it sells a travel lifestyle; Everlane does not just sell apparel, it sells eco-conscious, body positive garments. Infusing your brand story with the customer experience is one of the most effective ways to boost customer acquisition.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call:

Answered 4 years ago

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