The Reality Of Customer Acquisition: Everything, Everywhere, All At Once

The following was previously published in an earlier edition of Marketing Insider.

Consumers do not care about your channels. They want what they want, when they want. And that preference could change an hour from now.

In this always on, channel-agnostic consumer reality, marketing and creative options are almost limitless. So, why do brands and retailers continue to think investing only in performance media will meet customers where they are?

As privacy rules have changed and digital marketing has grown and matured, combined with completely different customer behavior than pre-COVID, it’s past time for a change in how we present our brands to customers. Here are eight options for advertisers to reach their alwayson customers:

What’s old is new again.

  1. Data-driven direct mail. Today’s version of direct mail is a far cry from the circulars of years past. With a data-heavy approach and easily tracked results, direct mail has become a logical extension to many media plans. We have routinely found that targeted and measured direct mail can elevate the impact of broader digital campaigns.
  2. Digital out-of-home is on the rise. Out-of-home advertising has seen a resurgence since 2020. Technology advancements make it almost as targeted and measurable as other digital media tactics. Brands can leverage advanced measurement solutions like footfall studies, personalization based on location, and retargeting outdoor-exposed consumers.



Social is far more than Meta.

  1. TikTok, of course. Through remarkable user growth and smart product development (including Video Shopping Ads), TikTok has become a must-consider for every media plan. While the barrier to entry is low financially, it does have a perceived high creative barrier to entry. This has kept many traditional performance marketers on the sidelines, which means it is still quite affordable and undersaturated.
  2. Pinterest: the little engine that could. Pinterest continues to improve and innovate in a meaningful way. Sitting on a mountain of consumer insights, and audience analysis, Pinterest presents a great opportunity to drive brand awareness and product consideration.
  3. Twitter (now X): Just kidding.
  4. Snapchat keeps innovating. It is one of the most successful platforms for creative brand awareness, consideration, reach, and engagement. For example, a leading retailer’s custom AR-filtered storefront for virtual try-on resulted in significant lifts in awareness, consideration, and purchase intent.

Up-and-coming opportunities.

  1. Mobile is at a crossroads. SMS messaging will soon resemble email: annoying numbers of messages with decreasing value. But mobile offers an opportunity for brand engagements in the palm of a consumer’s hand. It’s personal. Treat it as true clienteling, with unique offers of value, and you could be seen as a valued brand with excellent service.
  2. AR and VR aren’t going away. Yes, there is a significant barrier to entry. No, it’s not very trackable (yet). That said, in one form or another, AR/VR are not going anywhere. We are already seeing consumers embrace AR in beauty and wellness for try on, color matching and recommendation capabilities.

The days of performance media as the only way to reach new customers have passed, and there is endless opportunity in the year ahead to evolve with customers. Test early and often to ensure that when they are ready to interact, shop, and buy, your brand and products are universally present.

1 comment about "The Reality Of Customer Acquisition: Everything, Everywhere, All At Once".
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  1. Dan Williams from 3 Day Blinds, September 29, 2023 at 10:44 a.m.

    Great article!!

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