Acquisition is a high-waste profession. A million offers will often lead to a just a few acceptances. Conversion rates in the single digits are industry standard. Marketers make 1 in every 100 free-throws. Welcome to the big leagues.
I think we can up our game by focusing on customer service.
What if we took 100% of our digital media budget and dedicated it to converting customers who have recently been burned by an interaction with our product or service?
On the downside, we'd lose the audience we were paying for through a partner(s). Our logo would disappear from the sight of, for example, 20 million uniques. We might lose a large chunk of traffic to our website. (Even more if search is included in digital media budgets.) Jobs and partners: gone.
On the upside, we'd have new sources of funding for customer service. In this scenario, every representative aims to convert the disgruntled into advocates. A perpetual mission is underway to get the brand out of the dog house. The new key metric is "cost per advocate." Instead of hounding an anonymous audience, each dollar is spent on a person who has had first-hand experience with our product or service. And they care enough to be telling us what has gone wrong. It's an opportunity to demonstrate what our brand stands for IRL.
Doing so would mean we chase a small number of people aggressively instead of a large number of people lethargically. We'd spend more money per conversion but we'd end up with advocates who, in turn, could be worth more via referral and repeat purchase.
The whole marketing department could be pointed toward customer service/value creation, the call center becoming the new center for acquisition.