Marketing Student Views

Perspectives by GMU Internet Marketing Students

Rethinking Acquisition Marketing


Blogger: Christina Chao

Getting a consumer’s attention is one of the most difficult aspects of marketing. In this day and age, consumers are so glued to their laptops and phones and tablets that they hardly take the time to look at the world around them. People are now able to take their friends, books, and music with them wherever they go. This means they no longer need to stare at that poster on the subway or listen to that advertisement on the radio in order to pass the time. The technological advances we have made created a new barrier for marketers… But it has also created a new channel of communication for marketers.

In an attempt to keep up with these technological advances and the change in consumer behavior, companies have attempted to unify their marketing attempts across various technological platforms. In The Truth About Tracking Consumers Across Devices, Joshua Koran discusses the advantages and disadvantages of marketing to consumers across both mobile and desktop devices. On one hand, while increasing frequency of your message is important, receptivity to advertisements changes from device to device. Attempting to follow a consumer may cost more time and money than it brings in. In addition, it may actually be limiting the target audience too much. Acquisition marketing is marketing to consumers that do not necessarily have a relationship with the company. Therefore, tracking actions across devices is not necessary. Koran suggests that cross-tracking consumers is better for retention marketing. Instead, marketing across various devices should take the form of channel-specific marketing, in which techniques are tailored to the specific device the advertisement will be viewed on.

Perhaps the fastest growing channel through which to market is the revolution smartphone or mobile device. Consumers use their phone for everything nowadays, from socializing to working to checking the weather. So how do we get them to stop what they are doing and look at your advertisement? According to Avinash Kaushik’s article, Mobile Marketing 2015: Rethink Customer Acquisition, Intent Targeting, the key to is to “rethink acquisition” and “shift from being an interruption to becoming a persistent part of someone’s life.” Kaushik suggests providing value in an immersive brand experience and gives the example of Skullcandy’s mobile app. While Skullcandy makes headphones, its mobile app does not push its users to buy headphones. Instead, it provides information about activities during which one would wear headphones. It delivers an invaluable experience for the app user, while collecting information and learning about its potential customer. A customer who was initially looking for information about surfing learned about a new brand of headphones. And everyday that the client looks at the Skullcandy app icon, the customer is reminded of Skullcandy headphones. He or she may tell his or her friends about the app and the cycle repeats itself. Though the app is seemingly unrelated to Skullcandy’s product, the company has managed to get their name out there. As a result, Skullcandy acquires a new customer and becomes an everyday necessity in the consumer’s life.

As technology has evolved, so has consumer behavior and the art of acquisition marketing. Getting a consumer’s interest is more difficult than ever. The key is to understand your target audience and the various marketing channels they use. It is learning what they find valuable and delivering it in a way that they can no longer go about their day without it. It is at that point you have gained a new customer and you can move on to the retention marketing stages.


2 thoughts on “Rethinking Acquisition Marketing

  1. Christina,

    Great blog post; very informative! I especially liked your statement “As technology has evolved, so has consumer behavior and the art of acquisition marketing. ” This is so very true; technology is really leading the lives of today’s generation and many more.


  2. Christina,

    What I enjoyed most about your blogpost was the example you used talking about skull candy, I use their headphones and after reading this I visited their site to see what you were talking about! I like the way they market to consumers, and I can’t agree with you more when you state how technology has evolved and the key is to understand your audience and you picked an example that did just that!

    Great job!


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