Blog / Acquiring new customers: for sustainable growth and success in the business world
Acquiring new customers: for sustainable growth and success in the business world
Maurice – January 4, 2024 – 10 min read
Acquiring new customers is the beating heart of every company, regardless of its size or sector. From ambitious start-ups to established corporations – the constant influx of new customers is the key to sustainable success. Surprisingly, not enough attention is often paid to this critical growth factor. Neglecting this aspect can lead to considerable challenges in the long term in both the B2B and B2C segments.
In today’s dynamic business world, where competition and customer needs are constantly changing, it is crucial to prioritize customer acquisition and see it as an ongoing process.
In this guide, we reveal why and how effective new customer acquisition paves the way for lasting success and growth. We will show you what the goals of new customer acquisition are, what strategies and methods there are to win over new customers and why a suitable customer approach is extremely important.
What exactly is new customer acquisition?
New customer acquisition is the process by which companies use targeted strategies and measures to acquire new customers for their products and services. This process is crucial for the growth and long-term stability of a company, as it not only expands the customer base, but also strengthens sales and market positioning.
When acquiring new customers, various acquisition strategies are used that aim to identify, approach and ultimately convince potential customers. The initial contact with the customer, often referred to as lead generation, is the starting point. The successful conversion of an interested party (lead) into a paying customer (conversion) marks the end of these efforts.
New customer acquisition plays a central role in growth marketing, our approach that focuses on the rapid and sustainable growth of your company. At the heart of growth marketing is the goal of maximizing a company’s reach and effectively acquiring new customers, as this accelerates company growth and contributes to expanding market reach.
The difference between cold and warm acquisition
There are basically two main forms of new customer acquisition: Cold calling and warm calling. Both approaches pursue the same goal – the acquisition of new customers – but differ in their approach and the associated challenges.
- Cold calling refers to the initial approach of potential customers without prior contact or relationship building. This method can be particularly challenging as it often relies on little or no prior interaction with the potential customer. It is crucial to quickly arouse interest and build trust. However, legal framework conditions must be observed when cold calling, such as the Unfair Competition Act (UWG) §7, which defines and regulates unreasonable harassment. Prior explicit consent is required in particular for direct telephone canvassing of consumers. Companies should also act with caution in the B2B sector and ideally ensure that the other business has given its presumed consent before making contact.
- Warm acquisition refers to approaching potential customers with whom a certain level of contact or relationship already exists. This may include previous interactions, business relationships or shared networks. Warm acquisition is often more effective as it builds on an existing foundation of trust and familiarity. This method allows companies to deliver more personalized and targeted messages, which usually leads to higher conversion rates.
Both acquisition methods have their advantages and disadvantages and should be carefully selected and applied depending on the corporate strategy, target group and legal provisions.
The concept of pull and push in new customer acquisition
Both warm and cold calling are part of push marketing. This means that a company approaches potential customers directly. The aim is to present the product or service as prominently as possible in order to persuade customers to make a purchase.
Examples of push concepts are:
- Direct advertising campaigns, such as e-mail marketing or direct mail.
- Paid ads on Google, social media or in traditional media.
- Promotions and special offers to generate immediate interest.
Push strategies are often more aggressive and focused on attracting customers’ attention quickly and efficiently.
With the pull marketing on the other hand, is about attracting customers in a natural way. The focus here is on creating content, products or services that are so attractive that customers become aware of them and show interest.
Typical examples of pull strategies are
- Search engine optimization (SEO) to rank higher in search results.
- Content marketing that provides valuable information or entertainment.
- Social media activities that create brand awareness and customer loyalty.
Pull methods rely on customers finding the company, usually through their own interest or their own research.
In practice, successful companies often use a mixture of both strategies to acquire new customers. Pull marketing helps to build a strong brand and loyalty, while push marketing is effective for achieving short-term sales success and quickly gaining market share.
Goals of customer acquisition
The objectives of customer acquisition are complex and contribute significantly to the sustainable success of a company. This crucial aspect of business activity has three main overarching objectives:
- Acquiring new customers: The primary goal of customer acquisition is to expand a company’s customer base. This is done by identifying and approaching potential customers who match the products or services offered. Successful customer acquisition is based on a thorough analysis of the target group in order to offer customized solutions that are precisely tailored to their needs and expectations.
- Increase in turnover: New customers mean new sources of income. The expansion of the customer base leads directly to an increase in sales. This is particularly important for the growth and scaling of a company. However, it is crucial that attention is paid to customer retention in parallel with new customer acquisition in order to ensure a sustainable increase in sales.
- Long-term increase in company success The long-term retention of new customers contributes significantly to the continued success of a company. Satisfied customers tend to leave positive reviews and make recommendations, which in turn increases brand awareness and serves as free advertising. A solid foundation of satisfied customers supports the stability of the company and enables further investment in innovation and growth.
Customer acquisition is therefore a central pillar for every company, which has long-term positive effects on the entire business beyond immediate sales.
Acquiring new customers: The key methods for acquiring new customers
In the dynamic environment of modern marketing, effective customer acquisition is crucial to a company’s success. Some methods have proven to be particularly effective and should be understood and applied by every marketing professional or entrepreneur.
In the following, we focus on these key methods:
- Online acquisition – The digital edge: Intoday’s digital era, online acquisition is essential. It includes:
- Search engine optimization (SEO) Optimize your website and content to be found better on Google and other search engines. SEO is a long-term but extremely effective strategy for increasing visibility and credibility.
- Search engine marketing (SEM) and paid advertising Use Google Ads and other paid platforms for targeted advertising campaigns. This enables quick visibility and high adaptability.
- Social media marketing Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn offer excellent opportunities to interact with your target group and create brand awareness.
- Content marketing – creating value, building trust: Content marketing is more than just publishing blog posts. It’s about creating content that offers real value. Whether through informative blog articles, appealing videos or useful e-books, high-quality content attracts potential customers and builds trust.
- Influencer marketing – engaging opinion leaders: Working with influencers can increase your reach exponentially. Choose influencers whose followers match your target group and work with them to present your brand authentically.
- Email marketing: Direct contact with potential: A well thought-out email campaign can work wonders. Personalized, valuable content can strengthen customer loyalty and lead to conversion.
- Trade fairs and events – making the most of personal encounters: Despite digitalization, personal contact remains irreplaceable. Trade fairs and events offer the opportunity to make direct contact with potential customers, build relationships and bring your products or services to life.
Acquiring new customers is a complex process that requires a combination of digital and personal strategies. By focusing on these key methods, you can lay a solid foundation for sustainable growth and long-term success. Each method has its own strengths and should be adapted according to your company’s goals and resources.
However, these methods are no guarantee of success. As different as business models can be, so can the optimal mix of suitable methods for acquiring new customers.
This table should serve as a guide to understand which marketing methods might be most suitable for different business models.
|Online store (e-commerce)
|Increasing online visibility
|Targeted online advertising
|Customer retention and acquisition
|Direct customer contact
|Local service company (e.g. hairdressing salon)
|Building a local community
|Addressing target groups
|Reaching a broad audience
|B2B software company
|Restaurant or café
|Showing customer proximity
|Radio as a mass medium
|Emphasize professional competence
However, it is important to note that the effectiveness of these methods also depends on other factors such as the specific market, the target group and the company’s resources. Customization and continuous analysis of marketing strategies are crucial for success.
Prerequisite for customer acquisition
Before you think about suitable measures and strategies for customer acquisition, you should first know your target group. This is why a precise target group definition is always required before new customers can be acquired.
Because only those who know their target audience can tailor their marketing strategy precisely to the needs and priorities of their customers. Companies should also consider in advance whether the sale of their products and services is intended for end customers (B2C) or for companies (B2B). Depending on the business model and target group, the measures and advertising campaigns for customer acquisition can look very different:
Customer acquisition in the B2B sector
When we talk about B2B, it means that a company’s customers are other companies and buyers. As a rule, there are usually far fewer potential customers, but the turnover of individual customers is much higher than in the B2C sector. The right quality of service and good advice play a particularly important role here.
Customer acquisition in B2C
When we talk about B2C, we mean that companies sell their goods and services directly to end customers, i.e. private individuals. This usually addresses a much larger customer group. However, the turnover per customer is far below the turnover of a B2C customer. Clear and open communication is particularly recommended in order to convince customers.
Acquiring new customers: how to find the right strategy for your company
First of all, you should remember that customer acquisition always requires a strategy and is not blind actionism. That’s why you should define your goals as a first step:
- Do we need to tap into new markets?
- Do you want to find customers for a new product?
- Or would you like to increase your company’s market share?
Once the goals have been defined, you should deal with the problems of your target group. The aim here is to find solutions and ideas for the relevant target audience and to think about the customer’s budget and a suitable business model. Our“Defining your target group” guide can help you with this.
Next, you should show presence. For example, you could position your products or services on social media as a problem solver for a specific topic. The aim is to build trust and deliver high-quality content and added value.
You should try out different customer acquisition platforms and use an analysis to find out which channels are best suited for your ads and your marketing.
Three essential tips for successful new customer acquisition:
- Understand your target group in depth A sound understanding of your target group is the cornerstone of effective customer acquisition. Recognize the specific needs, preferences and behaviour of your potential customers. Use market research and data analysis to tailor your offers and communication strategies precisely to what your customers are looking for and value.
- Focus on scalable marketing strategies For sustainable growth, it is crucial to choose marketing strategies that can scale with your business. These are often a combination of pull and push strategies. Invest in digital marketing channels such as search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing, which not only generate short-term gains but also lead to a steady increase in customers in the long term.
- Measurability and adaptability are key Constant monitoring and adaptation of your marketing strategies is essential. Use analysis tools to monitor the success of your campaigns and react flexibly to market changes. An agile approach enables you to respond quickly to new trends and customer needs, which leads to sustainable growth and success in the long term.
Conclusion: Acquiring new customers requires the right strategy
Winning new customers is not that difficult. However, this requires the right know-how. To win new customers, companies need a strategy that is perfectly tailored to the respective target group.
This means that only those who know their customer base can design their marketing accordingly and ensure that potential customers become buyers. Once the target group has been defined, companies have a wide range of marketing measures to choose from: online advertising, print media, radio advertising, trade fairs or events and more.