Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Secrets to Acquiring new Customers

One of the many reasons that get people interested in using direct marketing is its value as a means of acquiring new customers or clients. With the ever increasing costs of doing business it is critically important for the retail automotive dealership and management to be cost-effective in marketing.

That means that good control is exercised over the cost of getting a new customer. Many businesses grow their gross at the expense of their net. At least partially through uncontrolled new customer acquisition cost. With that approach, they can literally grow themselves right out of business.

I’ve found that the best way to develop methods that work consistently, predictably and cost-effectively in acquiring new customers is through direct mail marketing. When you develop a successful cost-effective direct mail program you’ve got an extremely valuable asset. You’ve got a system that you can use over and over again for a long time with predictable results. Unfortunately, most businesses don’t take the time or effort to do this.

“If you do not have a system for selling, you are at the mercy of the buyer’s system for buying (or not buying).” LAH Promotions 2007

To use direct mail effectively to acquire new customers or clients you have to deal with demographics. Demographics are the statistical information about people that marketers use to select and target their prospective customers and clients.

Today computers have added a huge extra measure of sophistication to the collection and organization of demographic information. So that it is literally true that if you can describe it you can get it. This makes it critically important to know as much as possible about your present customers and your desirable customers. The more information you have about the commonalities in your customer base the more efficiently you can select prospects.

Here’s a partial list of demographic information you might compile about your potential customers; age, sex, marital status, home ownership, car ownership, major purchase behavior, credit card possession, income level, occupations, response to mail order offers, magazines subscribed to, cable TV subscription, etc…

By collecting and analyzing the data about your customers you might find, for example, that a significant majority of your best customers are between 30-35 years of age, male, married, own their own homes, have bought a new car within the last three years, have bought a VCR or television set in the last two years, have an American Express card, earn between $50,000-$80,000 a year, are engineers or middle managers, are known mail order purchasers, subscribe to Playboy and have cable television.

If you have that type of information you have the power to very efficiently select new groups of targeted prospects.

—————————————————- Hal has been marketing for the automotive industry for 24 years. He has produced direct mail for 900+ retail automotive dealers from coast to coast. His promotions include single point and multi-dealer on-site and off-site sales.

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