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What are successful customer acquisition strategies for an on-demand services startup?

The question relates specifically to a delivery service
I would appreciate your input with the following caveat:
- Haven't found Facebook ad campaigns to be too useful
- Google adwords were OK at best
- Finding bloggers to write articles (not ideal for a super-localized on-demand service)
- Handing out flyers has very low conversion
- Sending postcards in the mail has same low conversion as flyers
- Word of mouth is slow

What has been your experience? Where have you found success?
Thank you

4 Replies

Patrina Mack
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Patrina Mack Advisor
Experts in global commercialization
I would ask are you sure you have a compelling product and are you clear about who wants to buy it. if you know who wants to buy it then focus on the media they use to learn about new products or services. Also, you might want to read my blog post on this topic. http://visionandexecution.com/blog/2015/05/which-comes-first-sales-or-marketing/

Melinda Wittstock
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Melinda Wittstock Entrepreneur • Advisor
Entrepreneur, tech+social data innovator, Verifeed CEO, Maverick 1000, award-winning content creator, marketer.
Hi Kodjo

I think your analyses of all these methods is spot-on.

At Verifeed we use business intelligence gathered from listening and analyzing millions of social conversations to help consumer-facing companies like yours first to:
:: Find their "believers" or most likely customers (by geolocation, demographics, interests, needs, etc)
:: Understand what these folks are saying so messaging can be targeted directly to them to be more effective
:: Influence and "amplification" scoring so we can predict and focus on those who will drive powerful referral or "word of mouth" for you across all social platforms
:: Data-driven messaging then is effective in driving traffic, conversions and revenue

We use our own platform to find our own customers, and it really works. We can even discern customer intent. It's a more effective way of using marketing dollars, especially if you can get your happy customers doing the marketing for you.

Happy to talk further if this is of interest, and also point you to some other good social management tools for getting targeted messages out there once you have the "intel" at your disposal.

Best and good luck. I'd love to learn more about what you are up to!

Melinda
Noah Cardona
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Noah Cardona Entrepreneur
Founder and CEO at nacgen
Hi Kodjo, Great timing for this discussion - at least for me! We are actually recognizing the value of several strategies put into play recently, for a similar service. Although it is not delivery, we are an on-demand service that is very localized as well. For our type of business, branded flyers were actually useful and converted rather nicely. However, to add to your discussion with an approach you did not mention, another good customer acquisition play came from sponsoring local sports teams, clubs, and advertising at their events. Mind you, it must make economic sense, and I do not know your business model, but if you have an audience that syncs up with your service, try to get in front of them. Also, if your service is geared toward an interest group or certain audience, going to MeetUp events and contracting with organizations that could use your service. Negotiate a deal with them and be THEIR GUY for xyz. That will also help spread a little word of mouth too. Even utilizing the traditional/"old school" marketing approach of your brand on trinkets (for a target audience) and other leave-behinds has been extremely valuable for us. I.e. If you're a transportation service in town, advertise on coasters at bars, luggage tags at travel agencies, etc. I know the thoughts I provided aren't the most novel approaches, but they have worked for us. Sometimes current marketing strategies in the digital age are not the most beneficial (Facebook, ad conversions, thought leadership blogging, etc) and it helps to take it "offline." Those approaches I mentioned have worked for us, those and TIME. Seriously, it takes time, and in order for people to do business with an individual or brand, they need to know, like and trust who they are committing to. I wish you the best of luck, and thank you for the discussion. I look forward to your thoughts or questions, and feedback on your strategies. Cheers! Noah
Ken Queen
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Ken Queen Entrepreneur
Income For Baby Boomers
Forgive me if this sounds self serving but a podcast is a low investment vehicle that can draw thousands of listeners and you could target your listeners as well as interview the top people in your field which gives you credibility with minimal cost.

www.IncomeForBabyBoomers.com
Low start-up businesses for Baby Boomer
Learn how to think like an entrepreneur.
ken@IncomeForBabyBoomers.com

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