KDB Business Services- Business Reviews and Tips

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The newest thing to hit the market, or help the market, whichever way you would like to interpret it, is what is known as Customer Acquisition Exchange. That is where two merchants or affiliates will purchase products off each other to help the flow of business.
The following article will help explain the system a little more and give you a heads up on some things to be aware of.

7 Customer Acquisition schemes your competitor is hiding from you.
Copyright 2005 Michael Lever

Customer Acquisition is beyond doubt the number one
priority for all serious business owners. Whether you're a
merchant or an associate/affiliate of a merchant, your goal
is to grow sales. That is why the best in your industry are
closely guarding their customer acquisition techniques.
Regardless of what they're telling you, they will not give
up their competitive advantage and will hide their
techniques and true motives behind "smoke and mirror"
tactics.

Things aren't always what they seem.

Two men are walking in a forest when they come across a
deep hole in the ground. "Wow, that must be really deep",
says one man after throwing in a pebble and listening for
the sound. "Lets throw in one of those large rocks and see
how deep it goes." The men throw in a football-sized
boulder and wait anxiously for the sound... Nothing! "There
is a railway sleeper over there in the bushes", said the
other man. "Help me throw it in, it's definitely going to
make a sound". The two men heave the railway sleeper into
the hole and watch it disappear in the darkness...again,
Nothing! Suddenly a goat appears from the forest. It runs
full speed between the men, leaps into the air and falls
into the hole". Just as the men exchange looks of utter
bewilderment, a farmer comes running out from the trees
yelling "Hey, have you guys seen a goat around here?" "Sure
did", replied the men. "It was the craziest thing. It ran
right past us and leaped into that hole". "Nah, can't have
been my goat", said the farmer. "My goat was tied to a
railway sleeper".

The moral of the story is, "Don't believe what you
perceive". Many successful businesses will guard their
customer acquisition secrets by trying to convince you
they've got to where they are by good honest hard work.
Others will distract you by trying to sell you their unique
system, packaged and guaranteed to generate you overnight
success.

So what are your competitors really doing? Listen closely,
I am about to reveal to you, the top 7 schemes they're
using to boost their sales and baffle their industry peers
like yourself, making you wonder what the heck you're doing
wrong.

#1) Perception Management. Online businesses in particular
are excellent perception managers. You've seen them before,
professional looking web site with images of sexy sales
people ready to take your order. Often however, they're
one-man operations run from the spare bedroom. No
insurance, enforced customer privacy, or quality merchant
processes. But on the surface, it's intimidating to
competitors and assuring to new customers.

#2) Strategic alliances. Most businesses do not make it on
their own. Joint Ventures, and behind the scene business
deals are often the true reason for rapid customer
acquisition. Alliances are generally only revealed if
customer acquisition can be further enhanced through brand
alliance.

#3) Puppet Masters. Many businesses are in fact just small
branches owned and controlled by a larger third party. They
can afford to run without profit while lucratively
appearing cost-effective. The business often exists not for
profit, but as a strategic tactic to ensure the parent
company has a finger in that market segment pie.

#4) Leveraging. Most of today's technology would not be
here without yesterday's inventions. Imagine your home if
plastic was not invented. Business is the same. Competitors
will invest their time and money on safe, fast and
cost-effective outcomes. Innovating new ways from scratch
is risky. Leveraging existing customer acquisition services
is favorable. For example, by creating incentives for your
customers to recommend you to their network of contacts, is
a viral marketing technique that leverages the customers
you already have.

#5) Super-leveraging. You cannot use leveraging alone, as
your competitor will have the same advantages you have. So
unless you have the funds to buy out the customer
acquisition service before your competitor discovers it,
you need be creative and innovate smart methods before
them. These are your intellectual property and competitive
advantage, so guard them well. For example a merchant with
an affiliate program would super-leverage it using a
"customer acquisition exchange" service. This delivers a
new sales channel (customer reciprocation) that can be
competitively used in many creative ways to boost business.

#6) Intelligence and surveillance. Not only do successful
business super-leverage known services for customer
acquisition, they also super-leverage as a strategic
intelligence move. For instance, online merchants will use
Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising services like Google and
Overture not to bring customers directly but to learn about
their competitors and how much they pay for customer
acquisition. Remember, they're in the game to win and the
more they know about their opponent the easier it is to
manipulate them.

#7) Precision systems. A market leader will use targeted
and measurable strategies. Every element is monitored and
adjustable. Through trial and error, your competitor will
tweak the customer experience for profit and growth. It is
a systematic approach to customer acquisition that
successful organizations like McDonalds use to thwart their
competition.

So there you have it, just a few of the secret happenings
that go on behind the scenes at your competitors business.
Look out for more information about how to decipher your
competitor's business model to take the lead.

Regards

Michael Lever


----------------------------------------------------
Michael Lever is a co-founder and CEO of
SpinningTornado.com, an independent company offering
unbiased tools and services to help affiliate and network
marketers build profitable online businesses.
http://www.SpinningTornado.com
Partnering affiliates the world over.

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