Get The Most Out of Your Marketing podcast with Ashton Bishop and Jeff Cooper from Step Change examines business marketing strategies. Each month the guys show you how to increase your sales, generate more traffic, attract more attention, gain more credibility, outsmart your competitors and offer a unique customer experience that will keep your customers coming back for more.
in this month’s podcast Step Change work out how to acquire customers online.
Background / The Problem to be solved: Greg runs a business called FairGo that sells Votergrams. These Votergrams are a way for you to contact 200 MPs at a time,
with issues that are bothering you. Each Votergram costs $9.90 to purchase and FairGo has a success rate of 80-90% in using Votergrams to
implement change. No other business in the market is offering Votergrams so FairGo faces an awareness issue. FairGo would also like to
acquire customers online as attending community meetings to spread the word about their business is too time consuming.
- How you might be limiting your business
We discuss ways to maximise profit, drive awareness to your business and find a suitable business model
that equips your business for success.
- How making less profit, can mean making less good
For businesses to affect change, you need to be commercial too
- Social Media – How it can sink, or save you
Easy to implement, social media strategies that can boost your business growth
Exploring the Business Model
Before awareness is discussed, it’s important to have a look at the business model you have and ask yourself if it is relevant in the business landscape today.
Often, businesses are still using the same model from 10 years ago. Since the business landscape is rapidly changing, these businesses face the challenge of having their core model becoming outdated.
Having an outdated core model can deter customers and damage the business’s brand. A great antidote for this, is to go around to similar businesses in your industry and observe their practices and how different they are from your own practices. This is a great eye opener to help you figure out areas that you might have lagged behind in.
Pricing Your Service
Finding the Price Point
Since Greg has access to 200 MPs, it’s important to work out what the value of this is and how to commercialise it.
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In order to reach the answer, you have to look at the customer acquisition cost.
In Greg’s case, he is charging $9.90 per customer to contact over 200 MPs. Here’s the lesson: price is an indicator of quality.
$9.90 seems ‘too cheap’ in contrast with the value he is offering – the ability to influence policy makers at a success rate of 80-90%.
The issues that these customers want to change, are public policy issues. Therefore, if these issues are seemingly ‘difficult’ to solve – charging $9.90 doesn’t lead the customer to believe it’s a ‘serious’ and ‘substantial’ product that will cause change. The lesson here is: it’s the price that affects a person’s judgement of a business’s value.
Social Media: Customer Acquisition
Because FairGo is all about political change and democracy. It makes sense to engage in environments where these issues are discussed – Facebook.
In Facebook, you can create ‘custom audiences’ to highlight the people who have signalled they are interested in a particular area or you can follow particular conversation threads about certain topics that are spiking popular interest. Then you can create Facebook ads that are targeted around these threads and the people who are interested in these topics.
Tactic: Adwords Hijacking
This is a tactic that all business owners should implement. When a particular issue surfaces, the amount of hits and online conversations that surface surrounding that issue, sky rockets.
But, because the keywords associated with the issue is rather new, the cost of buying those ‘keywords’ in an advertisement is still relatively cheap.
Using these sponsored advertisements also gives you the benefit of analysing data. You can look at the level of clickthrough rates you’re getting on each advertisement to measure the real customer acquisition cost per customer. Using this, you can trial different ads and see what kind of copy or what conversations attract the most attention.
Another great idea is finding businesses that are concerned with the topics that are relevant to your business.
For example, in Greg’s business, if a mining issue comes in policy, it’s a great idea to approach several mining businesses and forge partnerships with them. This means, whenever these mining businesses face an issue that they are concerned with, Greg can use his business as a platform for them to voice their concerns.
In return, Greg gains social media spread across all these business’ channels – spreading the word about FairGo to a wider database that are proactively concerned about the issues at hand.
The Challenge and Solution
If FairGo scales their business model with these MPs at the core of the business – the more requests placed on these MPs, the less effective the results will be over time and the less responsive they will be. Greg has a two sided market – customers who are willing to challenge current policies, and also the scarce resource of these 200 MPs. The challenge is how to leverage this market without losing out on effectiveness and response rates.
Perhaps Greg should consider auctioning as a social movement mechanism. Everyday, Greg can allow one issue for the public to pose to these 200 MPs. The general public can then bid for that issue to be addressed. The benefit of this is, it isn’t just one person backing the issue, it will be the voice of the masses – democracy, backing the issue. The vote of the majority will drive attention, expand awareness and influence the way people see policy and their power as a citizen. This will allow people from all demographics to have the opportunity to pledge their voice to influence change.