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Beyond Leads: Understanding All Facets of Acquisition Marketing

There are so many ways to answer this question. Technically, acquisition marketing, or lead-acquisition marketing, are the strategies and tactics marketers employ to convert people who are familiar with your brand into customers. I say technically because most companies ask a lot from their acquisition campaigns. These days, our clients want acquisition marketing to build brand awareness, differentiate their products and services, test creative approaches, attract qualified audiences, while also delivering leads at an allowable cost per acquisition (CPA).  

So, in practice, acquisition marketing often plays three to five roles on the marketing playing field. This isn’t a bad trend; though it can be complicated, tiring, and frustrating 

Acquisition marketing is complicated because it demands domain expertise across varied disciplines – creative and content development, message and offer strategies, data collection and analytics, full-funnel UX experience, audience segmentation and targeting, media planning and buying, and CRM to name a few. There are many talented marketers who are experts in one or more marketing categories, but few are experts at all the categories marketing organizations need in order deliver results in the new world of acquisition marketing. And don’t get me started on the challenges of marketing technology integration.  

People want an experience that is easy, doesn’t ask too much of them, and respects their time. Business managers want analytics across every touchpoint. Both require API and data integration, yet most company IT departments lack expertise in MarTech, and the constant battle to keep feeds connected and flowing is tiring. Digital marketing is in a constant state of change, with new platform updates, system requirements, and performance algorithms popping up daily making it difficult for marketers to stay up to date. We are in an ‘always learning’ state, constantly optimizing or rebuilding systems to keep up. Like sandcastles on a beach, it can feel like we are constantly building and never, ever done. 

Continuing effort just to maintain current performance is frustrating. Especially when you have a list of a dozen or more programs and initiatives you need your team to tackle to deliver next quarter’s performance improvements. The Myth of Sisyphus or Kobo Abe’s The Woman in the Dunes both come to mind. Our clients’ teams often feel like they are just barely keeping up with the work they have today, let alone setting aside time to work on future projects.