Food for Thought: Setting marketing sights on growth

We ask three marketing leaders how they've been setting up their programs and strategies to deliver customer growth this year

According to this year’s State of the CMO research, three in four marketing leaders see acquiring new customers in the next 12 months as their key growth priority, up from 48 per cent the prior year.

What's more, 41 per cent said enabling a new plan for customer acquisition was a top priority set directly by their CEO this year. The same percentage of respondents to State of the CMO also said leading corporate growth initiatives was a CEO-set imperative in 2022. 

In the latest of our food for thought series, we ask three Australian marketing chiefs to share with us what steps they are taking to bolster their marketing arsenal to win new customers, from new cohorts and segments, to key programs and tactics, data sets and brand investments and ways of working.  

Jane Hoban

Director of marketing, Specsavers ANZ  

Specsavers’ marketing success relies on an organisational appetite to lean in to learning, try new things and work with speed and agility.  

While we are universally known in the Australian market with incredibly high top of mind awareness, we never take our market position for granted. Even with optometry services in high demand and viewed as an essential health item, we are constantly looking for ways to engage with new customers.   

Credit: Jane Hoban

Successful acquisition of a new customer sees awareness and brand recognition covert to booking an appointment, with a significant proportion of these booked online. That online booking is where we win or lose the race, making Search the cornerstone of our strategy.  

 ‘Search’ is hotly contested but remains the most cost-effective method of securing that booking for an eye health check.  We know Google is one of the very few places customers are actively searching and acting. It is mission critical we defend our position and work out very quickly what works best to secure that appointment.  

To do this as effectively and as rapidly as possible we did two key things: Established a direct relationship with Google; and implemented a test-and-learn strategy to uncover what works best, and when.  

We engaged in a broad test-and-learn project over eight weeks to understand the key elements and spend required to maximise the return. To do this as effectively as possible, we were willing to double our typical search budget – if that’s what it required.  

Along with a willingness to invest more, we tested increasing our impressions share (how often Specsavers appears in relevant searches) against:

  • Branded - where ‘Specsavers’ is included 
  • Generic - where there are only category terms, no brands 
  • Competitive - where competitor brand terms are included   

The key learning was that it worked. And in even better news, we didn’t need to double our spend. The sweet spot was to increase search spend by 30 per cent to deliver the most effective and efficient performance.   

For us, being bold with our budget and our willingness to try new things paid off. We’ll continue to test the market through continuous development as we head into the future.

Jude Blankfield

Chief of staff and head of marketing, Slyp

One of the biggest myths in marketing is your success is defined by how well your audience knows your brand. In reality, many of the world’s most prolific brands are driven by how well they know their audience.

The likes of Nike, Bonds and Sephora are all household names, but their ubiquity in the industry came as a result of clever marketing tactics that put their audience at the heart of their strategy. From Nike’s ‘What are girls made of?’ campaign, Bonds’ ‘The Queendom’, or Sephora’s ‘The Unlimited Power of Beauty’, understanding what makes their customers tick and using these insights to communicate with them on a personal level is what separates them from the crowd.

Credit: Jude Blankfield

Customer acquisition within the B2B space doesn’t always look the same, but it should be founded on the same premise - relationship building. The concept of ‘relationship marketing’ requires a thorough understanding of your audience’s wants, needs and values. Then, just as you would with a consumer audience, you use this profile to develop trust and connection over time.

In tech for example, we have six-to-nine-month sales cycles and often target c-suite decision makers. We use a large portion of this cycle to develop relationships with them. We invest our marketing dollars in round tables and other bespoke events, creating opportunities to spend time with them and get to know what their problems are before we try to solve them.

Our retail and hospitality partners use Slyp Smart Receipts to gather consumer insights. These can be used to personalise the customer experience by offering promotions on frequently purchased items, or a targeted advertisement of a product they’re about to run out of. Personalisation and optimisation were previously reserved for ecommerce but as we’ve seen the emergence of new in-store technology, consumers now expect the same level of personal communication in the real world. And so do B2B customers.

Marketing dollars spent on furthering your understanding of your customers are never wasted. Investment in this form of marketing has allowed Slyp to have a more impactful and beneficial relationship with both our B2B and B2C clients, ultimately resulting in rapid customer growth. Our current growth trajectory shows that putting people at the heart of your strategy really works, which is why we will continue to champion people-first marketing over the next twelve months and beyond.

James Wood

Marketing director, Oliver’s  

I am firmly within the acquire new customers cohort. We have a lot to gain from building awareness of Oliver’s just within health interested segment of the market, which has grown significantly over the past years, let alone beyond.   

Credit: James Wood

We’ve invested in refreshing the brand and product and now we’re executing with a few key initiatives. One is establishing partnerships with others who align with our purpose. We’re thinking outside the box in this, from small to large, across industries, diverse audiences. It’s an exciting space for us. Also, we’re becoming much noisier, through communications, new product launches, menu innovation, social media, influencers, growth hacking awareness and creating excitement around what is a truly great brand and purpose.   

Finally we’re focusing on being very strategic and practical in terms of customer capture on the highways, by rebuilding and refreshing our entire out of home network.  

Nominations for the CMO50 2022 list of Australia's most innovative and effective marketing leaders are closing on 26 August 2022! Don't miss this opportunity to be recognised among the best marketers this country has to offer as well as celebrate your team's achievements get your questionnaire completed now:

Don’t miss out on the wealth of insight and content provided by CMO A/NZ and sign up to our weekly CMO Digest newsletters and information services here.  

You can also follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page     


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