Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Customer Acquisition Paths

One of the topics I discuss this week in the Vasey on Marketing podcast is that of providing a clear call to action in any marketing you do.

While providing a phrase at the end of an advertisement or brochure with a telephone number is passable, there is so much more that can be done.

In the past, as part of brochure design, I have clearly outlined a series of steps to enablement. That is, the prospect/customer has been able to read the steps required to go from their current stage to the stage of using the product.

Of course your product might not be a complex sale and not require a series of steps in order for someone to review, purchase and then use your product. But clearly defining the best way for a prospect/customer to review and then to purchase your product (because, heck, once they review your product compared to the competition, they will definitely buy your product!) will not only help you to better track marketing efforts but also optimise your chances of success (just in case they are leaning towards the competition!).

In saying that you should point your customers to the right channel in your marketing material means having your customer touch points set up in order to meet, and exceed, the expectations of the prospect/customer. Customer service is about the best service to your customer base while meeting the profit targets of your business. That means that your best practice customer acquisition methods, while turning a profit, have to be focused on the customer.

Take a look at your marketing collateral. Does it clearly tell the customer what they should do next to purchase your product, or to move a step closer to purchasing your product? And do you have the systems in place to meet and exceed customer expectations when they take that next step?