6 Tips for acquiring new customers in 2020.
by Gary Howard

What is it about January that makes us all decide to start new habits or re-assess old ones?  Perhaps it’s the guilt of the over-indulgence that Christmas brings or maybe we all spend the last few months of the year saying we’ll sort it out next year!

As your food coma finally lifts along with the fog caused by having a “why not, it’s Christmas” Gin & Tonic at 11:30 am every morning, you may now be turning your thoughts to what 2020 has to offer – the new decade.

Yes 2020, a time when as a child growing up I was convinced that I would be the pilot of a UFO Interceptor or at least be wandering the corridors of the space station I had found myself inhabiting. Of course, technology, invention and discovery has changed our lives completely but human behaviour and what makes us react, interact, buy or support hasn’t changed that much, for instance we still read books, browse holiday brochures, flick through catalogues and love a bargain.

What has changed is how we communicate, people are bombarded with thousands of messages a day from multiple media channels – so in 2020, what can we do to acquire new customers in a deafeningly noisy world?

Often a new business succeeds by finding a niche in the market or delivering services in a new way that disrupts and improves the status quo, but once the business is established how do you continue to acquire new customers and keep the momentum going? I’ve pulled together my 6 top tips for acquiring new customers in 2020.

1. Understand your customers.

By creating a profile of your existing customer base, you’ll have a deeper understanding of what type of customer buys your product or service, you can then use this profiling to improve your attraction skills for new customers. By profiling your existing customers through a set a of data analytic tools that match common attributes, you can create a prospect pool that has a greater chance of success. Through technology this is now easier than ever and accessible for all types of business irrespective of size.

2. Use localisation to your advantage.

We live in a country of 27 million households and, in the main, those households are advertised to through national campaigns. This is fine if a) you can afford to waste money targeting the masses and b) you don’t mind joining the rest of the noise that inundates consumers on an hourly basis through digital advertising.

Instead why not boost the relevance of your message by adding in localised elements within your imagery and content, the name of the town or even the name of the street where they live, by doing so you will increase the interest level of your message. This can be particularly effective if you play on their appetite to keep up with the neighbours. Messaging such as ‘sold on your street’ has been used to great effect by estate agents for years. Other variations could be ‘installed on your street’, ‘Repaired on your street’, ‘Cared for on your street’ – you get the idea!

During the last few years, we have run several trial campaigns where we combined street level data and imagery to create campaigns that focused on the geographic (the actual place where they live) and the demographic (those that match the profile of an existing customers). By using geo-demographic data the campaigns delivered a greater ROI, as we were targeting the right prospects with a relevant, localised message.

3. Be different - stand out from the crowd.

There is a tendency to follow the crowd especially when a competitor has been successful following a particular type of marketing, but by doing so the chances are your message will get lost in the crowd of communication and you’ll be seen as a ‘me too’ rather than a genuine alternative. You need to differentiate your business to stand out from the crowd and deliver genuine, measurable ROI.

In 2020, where for the last decade the go to channel for most brands has been digital advertising, I want to suggest something radical, cutting edge, a form of communication that will break new ground, Direct Mail!  What? I hear you cry! Direct mail can deliver something that digital can’t a physical piece of communication direct into the hands of those perfect prospects you have identified through your data profile matching activity.

bitmap112% boost to ROI by adding direct mail to the marketing mix.

4. Measure and track.

Ok, traditionally, the ability to measure and track direct mail was its Achilleas Heal but we have just tripped into the year 2020 and all has changed. With proliferation of the smart phone and the invention of Image Recognition, Quick Response (QR) codes, Augmented Reality (AR) and Near Frequency Chips (NFC), you can turn your mailer into an interactive message that can be tracked in real time and encourage the recipient to continue the conversation digitally while seeking the necessary GDPR approvals, thus creating a bridge from the physical to the digital.

5. Use automation to reduce the cost and speed of production.

We are all time poor and have increasing pressure on our marketing budgets – automation is key to reducing marketing costs and reducing the time it takes to produce a direct mailing. 

We have created a marketing cycle - a cycle that takes you on a path from identifying prospective customers; matching cold data to your existing customer profiles; through to street level localisation, delivering data to doorstep automation. By tracking and measuring engagement, then analysing the results you can refine and re-enter the cycle. All sounds great, but is it affordable and easy to activate? Precision Connects, our online platform is undergoing a 3-month development plan that will incorporate all the above and more into a free to use data to doorstep solution.

Did you know that there is a new product being launched in March 2020 by Royal Mail, where postage costs will be as low as 14p?

By taking the whole process online we have automated data, print and mailing, providing you with access to ridiculously low postal costs and digital print efficiencies.

Marketing cycle.

Image

6. The Value Exchange.

I mentioned at the start of this piece that human behaviour has not changed that much, especially where "loving a bargain” is concerned. To temper that just a little, if you are to expect to take up what is ultimately our most valuable commodity, time, then there has to be something in it for your prospect? There has to be an exchange of value. You ultimately want the prospect that you have taken the trouble to find, research and contact, to engage and buy from you but in return your prospect will also want something back – a value exchange.

That value exchange will always remain the most important element in any communication, no matter how smart your communication is.  So my final tip is to make sure you have carefully considered what’s in it for your prospects and what value you are offering them in your communication.

Gary Howard
Gary HowardChief Digital Officer
Gary has lived through the digital transformation and has survived to tell the tale. He is champion of local marketing and has worked with some of the worlds most recognised brands in delivering a national message to a local audience. Gary is often mistaken for Ed Balls, who is (in Gary’s opinion) a remarkably good looking chap with a razor sharp mind and a personality to match!

Get in touch with Gary:

Gary Howard
Gary HowardChief Digital Officer
Gary has lived through the digital transformation and has survived to tell the tale. He is champion of local marketing and has worked with some of the worlds most recognised brands in delivering a national message to a local audience. Gary is often mistaken for Ed Balls, who is (in Gary’s opinion) a remarkably good looking chap with a razor sharp mind and a personality to match!

Get in touch with Gary:

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