Customer Acquisition: Strategies, Methods & Analytics

Instructor: Tara Schofield

Tara has a PhD in Marketing & Management

Acquiring customers can be challenging unless you use an effective customer acquisition strategy. This lesson explains how to create a customer acquisition strategy that will help you build your business.

What Is Customer Acquisition?

You've owned your own business for about a year and want to grow your client base. You need to work on customer acquisition, the process of attracting and gaining more customers through marketing, word of mouth, and advertising. Acquiring new customers takes focus, time, and money. However, finding new customers is important for companies to continue to expand.

Creating a Customer Acquisition Strategy

Developing a customer acquisition strategy involves identifying your target market and determining how best to reach these potential customers.

Identifying the Target Market

Your target market is the group of people most likely to be interested by your product or service and to benefit from its use. Many factors define a target market, including age, income, geographic location, and lifestyle.

Let's imagine you are selling playsets and outdoor equipment for children. You define your target market as people who have children or grandchildren, earn enough to afford your playsets, live in locations where the yards are large enough for equipment, and want the convenience of giving their kids swings and other toys at home.

With your target market defined, you are prepared to determine how you will reach these potential customers. It also helps you focus your resources. It would be a waste of money to target households without kids, with no yards, and in low-income neighborhoods. These factors do not match your target market demographics.

Deciding How to Reach Your Target Market

Once you know your target market, take some time to find out where and how you can best reach these potential customers. Will you do local or regional marketing? Are you rolling out a national campaign? Regardless of the reach, you will need to spend some time identifying where members of your target market shop, spend time, and can best be reached.

In your nationwide playset business, you determine the best way to reach your target market is through targeted social media activities, national ads on kids-focused television stations, and in children's publications. Because the play equipment is designed for children, you decide the best way to reach parents is to go through the mediums that focus on kids. You also know if you can catch the attention of the children, they will express an interest in your toys to their parents.

Identifying Methods to Implement Your Strategy

Your strategy provides a good foundation for customer acquisition activities, but you need to fine-tune it to plan how you will use specific marketing communications channels. Depending on your strategy, you may use a different mix and approach with social media, advertisements, and word of mouth.

Social Media

One of the easiest, most cost-effective, and immediate ways to reach your target market is through social media. Mediums like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest allow you to reach a large audience of potential customers in a very short amount of time. You can also buy ads that are directed to a specific audience, which helps you further define who will see your message. Offering an incentive or discount for requesting information or making a purchase can help you see instant response.

You determine social media will be a great method to reach nationwide customers for your playsets. By acquiring customers across the country, you know you can grow your business and get more visibility for your business quickly.


Advertisements can be expensive but effective. If you have a localized business, you will want to look for opportunities in your immediate area to advertise your business and make sure customers are aware of your offerings. You may choose to advertise in local newspapers or magazines. Billboards and other visible ads may be good options. You can also do direct mail that is sent to the people you want to have as customers.

You decide that advertising can be a great addition to your marketing plan. You purchase a series of television ads on Disney Jr. and the Food Network to attract family-focused consumers. This will be a great support to your social media marketing.

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