It’s surprising how many sophisticated companies who generate millions of dollars in revenue rely on intuition when it comes to their marketing activities. E.g.

*We must attend 14 industry conferences because they generate leads 

* Our website messaging is perfect because it reflects our mission

*Every quarter we must publish a white paper because content marketing works

Oftentimes, the founder’s instinct is right, but consistent review of customer-acquisition data is a foundational element of good marketing strategy.

Look back at every customer you’ve won in the last six months and ask these questions: 

* How did the customer find us? This reflects your acquisition sources

* Who, if anyone, was also in the running for this customer’s business? These are your competitors (remember, subpar alternatives like doing nothing are also your competition)

* What were the reasons that we won in the end? This is your value proposition

Stack rank each of these and you’ll have a clear picture of your top-performing acquisition sources, your competition, and your value proposition.

Now, look at deals you lost – what were the loss reasons? These reflect your weaknesses. You may or may not want to address these. For example – if you lost a few deals because your product / service was too expensive, that may be fine, but if it reflects the majority of loss reasons, you’re not providing enough value for the price you’re charging.

There are a lot of additional insights you can glean from this data: 

*Are you overly reliant on one acquisition source such as paid search? Often, as you increase your spending on paid search, the cost per each additional acquisition climbs making the investment less and less efficient. It may be time to test into new acquisition sources such as direct mail, social media or digital publication ad buys.

*Are free channels like referral or organic search generating customers? Consider introducing a formal referral program or an SEO strategy to amplify your success. 

*Are you investing a lot in white papers, your website and LinkedIn advertising, but most of your customers are friends and family? Then you may not have hit on a repeatable, scalable growth strategy yet.

An understanding of your customer acquisition dynamics to date could be the insight that sets you free to pursue more promising avenues of future growth.