June 06, 2023

I Don't Have Control Over New Customers Anymore

We dig into the findings of a Marketing Budget Experiment. The CEO is anxious, because 72% of Paid Social customers are new, while 28% are existing buyers.

"It's like I don't have control over new customers anymore. In this case, I advertise but a quarter of my money is going to housefile customers."

E-commerce Executives would analyze that comment with a sense of bewilderment unmatched in modern marketing.

When I made the rounds in 2016, speaking all across the country about the importance of customer acquisition programs, folks would sit in the audience with laptops and phones, evaluating the companies I discussed. "That brand is at 30% off today. I guess their program doesn't work!" Well, no, that means their marketing staff don't know how to convert customers to purchase so they have to create a game. It does not mean they don't know how to bring traffic in to a website.

In 2016, print-based brands could still generate new customers via "control" ... tell the bulk name center (co-ops) they wanted 800,000 de-duped names, send a catalog, and six weeks later there were 10,00 new customers.

In 2020, people were quarantined in their homes - customer acquisition surged.

In 2022, the paper folks nuked the industry. It became horribly hard to even find paper to maintain the 40 year tradition of buying prospects in bulk.

So here in 2023, an old industry speaking to old prospects doesn't have the old tools necessary to control customers anymore. The laughable customer acquisition program discussed in 2016 becomes essential in 2023 if you want to have any chance of controlling anything.

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