First you have to get their attention. And social media runs a distant 3rd in this process. What we are looking for here is acquisition, which is usually defined as a new registered user or new customer. I’m curious about the lumping of SEO/PPC into the same bucket, and that it comes in dead last, even after direct marketing. But I suppose the goal of SEO/PPC is more in the early phases of awareness, and might not be seen as a pure acquisition play.
And while your website may be the most powerful acquisition tool, you have to get people to the site in the first place, long before they have decided to become a customer. So in the demand gen world, we usually rank the channels more like this:
While PPC may be the fastest responding tool we have in the arsenal, it’s also the most expensive. A good SEO/PPC mix should average about 4-to-1 (4 free SEO clicks to every 1 PPC paid click).
I’m really not sure how email has become the most-trusted channel. That seems a bit off to me. But assuming that people have gotten used to spammers and spam protection, perhaps we are more likely to subscribe these days. And it’s interesting that social media is the least trusted channel. The least trusted for sharing your personal information. Of course, Zuckerberg and Facebook have done a lot to damage the privacy fears of most of us. I would say social is not necessarily where you share your personal information with a vendor or potential supplier anyway.
Finding and retaining potential customers is not a hard science. But it is a process that requires solid methodology and reporting. Finding the customers, or more likely having them find you is step one. Then begins the task of moving them down the sales funnel from prospect to customer. And while social might not be the most trusted channel to share your information with, it is the most trusted channel for influence and recommendations.
Everything we do in digital marketing hinges on the contact and release of personal information by the potential customer. Even if that information is only an email address, we’ve got to make contact in order to follow-up on the transaction, or take the transaction to the next stage in the sales funnel. If a visitor comes to your website, or opens your email and does nothing, we have lost. Demand generation is the process of building up traffic and potential at the top of the sales funnel. Acquisition is the process of bringing their lead information into your system and beginning the process of acquiring them as a customer.
Reference and Graphics: Digital Marketing Stats – eConsultancy