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Acquire is a unique set of modelling and analysis techniques designed to determine optimal marketing tactics to reach a targeted market segment and convert prospective consumer into your company’s desired new customers.
Consumer markets have become increasingly fragmented making it more difficult for marketers to target their messages to the right consumer segments with the right message using the right channel. To address this challenge, we’ve developed the Acquire Logic Model. Logic models are a commonly used tool in evaluation research to test the impact of a social policy or social marketing campaign “intervention.”
We combine the principles of logic modeling used in evaluation research with a variety of other qualitative and advanced quantitative methods to develop a map that identifies the needs, interests and preferences of targeted markets using the most effective messages and the most efficient channels.
Acquire is more than a modelling technique. It is a process designed to coordinate the roles and responsibilities so that product and service developers are working in concert with sales, marketing, public relations, social media and advertisers to reach distinct segments with pinpoint messaging.
Acquire Logic Model
Marketing professionals often note that the continual introduction of new technologies, competing products and media outlets has resulted in an increasingly diverse and fragmented consumer market. Whereas businesses of yesteryears enjoyed the luxury of advertising to a largely homogenous mass audience, today’s audience has atomized into countless market segments defined not only by demography, but by increasingly nuanced and insistent product preferences.
To overcome the difficulties of communicating to a fragmented market, marketing managers have turned to sophisticated scientific methods of identifying the right segments to target. However, despite adopting these advanced analytic techniques, many businesses continue to face difficulty attracting the new customers they want most.
Two explanations help account for why many acquisition efforts fall short of accomplishing their goals. The first explanation finds fault with the research practice of identifying target markets through various statistical procedures, such as factor and cluster analysis. Often, the explanation goes, market segmentation researchers miss the purpose of their research, which is to guide senior management decision-making. Instead, they prioritize the adoption and application of ever-sophisticated statistical techniques into their research, which allows them to slice up the market into smaller and smaller niches. Consequently, they produce an overabundance of “clusters” that “may be mathematically sound, but in no way helpful for determining what management needs to do to reach actual customers” (Jennifer Barron and Jim Hollingshead, Marketing Management, January-February 2002).
The second explanation focuses on the difficulties that businesses have in determining what it is they wish to communicate about their products and services, even after they have successfully identified their target markets. For example, a recent study of U.S. and European firms report that it is exceptionally difficult to find examples of value propositions that resonate with customers (James Anderson, James Narus and Wouter van Rossum, Harvard Business Review, March 2006).
The primacy of process and the Acquire Logic Model
These two explanations for difficulties in acquisition suggest that customer acquisition strategies pivots upon the successful coordination of different departments and business silos, especially those of research, senior management and marketing. From our experience, we have observed how poor inter-departmental coordination results when departments approach acquisition projects in an assembly-line manner, that is, when they focus on their specific responsibilities without paying due attention to what others at different stages of the process need in order to be effective. Poor coordination also results from businesses misinterpreting their position in the acquisition processes. For example, Yankelovich and Meer note that while market research is supposed to “guide companies in tailoring their product and service offerings to the groups most likely to purchase them,” many researchers instead “have become narrowly focused on the needs of advertising” (Daniel Yankelovich and David Meer, Harvard Business Review, February 2006). Poorly coordinated acquisition projects often lead to research results that are of little use to marketers, value propositions that lack a sophisticated understanding of consumer priorities and, ultimately, campaigns that resonate little with their target market. For this reason, we make it our priority to establish a well-coordinated acquisition process for our clients. In addition to delivering peerless acquisition research, we are committed to ensuring that the entire process of developing an acquisition campaign runs smoothly.
To address these issues, we have developed the Acquire Logic Model to guide and coordinate the various departments and firms involved in the acquisition process. Our approach is to be more strategic in the design, execution and application of research to applying the principles of logic modelling to deconstruct the process of finding new customers. We encourage our clients to think about marketing as an “intervention” designed specifically to get a precise message to a likely prospect using the consumers’ preferred communication channel.
A. Input – The Target Market
Proper acquisition research does not begin with sophisticated statistical procedures, but with the basic principle of properly identifying the relevant population (or market) from which to draw a sample for analysis. Regardless of the complexity of the analysis, an acquisition study is unlikely to yield useful results and recommendations if the population under investigation is not carefully identified. This is why we work with our clients in the earliest stages of the research process to shift from thinking about an abstract notion of “the Market” to a concrete conceptualization of the target consumer population that they wish to attract. Identifying an appropriate market sample also serves to clarify the ultimate objectives and expectations of the research. By treating this basic research stage with as much care and rigor as we treat our advanced statistical analyses, we increase our ability to go beyond mathematical clusters and identify the relevant characteristics of consumers who can be converted into customers.
B. In-depth Analysis
B1: Once data from the appropriate sample population has been gathered, we start our market segmentation analysis focused on consumer values, consumer demographics, consumer psychographics and big-5 personality characteristics.
B2: The second stage of our segmentation focuses on decision-making means (how consumers get their information, such as advertising channels, Internet search, social media, word-of-mouth) and decision-making ends (why consumers make their purchase decisions, such as lower price, improved convenience, enhanced status, healthier lifestyle, better functionality).
C. Meaningful Market Segmentation
Stage B’s multi-faceted approach to understanding consumer preferences lays the groundwork for effective market segmentation analytics. This stage parses out systematic variations in consumer makeup and behaviors to identify market segments that are differentiated by values, demographics, expectations, purchase means and decision ends. More importantly, it identifies which segments are most likely to use our clients’ products, services or brand and which segments are most likely to use the products, services or brand of our clients’ competitors.
D. Value Proposition Development and Communication
Our market segments provide the essential insights into consumer attitudes and behaviors that marketers need to formulate compelling value propositions. To ensure continuity between research and marketing, we aid marketers by providing a set of key marketing themes and strategic value propositions extrapolated from the findings, as well as continuous interpretive support. Additionally, we provide information on the various media channels and outlets through which a target market gains information about a given category of products and services.
E. Intervention Objective – An Effective Acquisition Campaign
By coordinating an acquisition project according to the Acquire Logic Model, managers help ensure that their business is acquiring new customers in the most efficient and effective way possible. Following the Model achieves this by standardizing and coordinating information involved in the process of formulating and launching a campaign, enabling them to base their activities on the same set of strategic insights regarding the needs, preferences and decision-making processes of consumer segments within a target market.
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