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What is a Customer Acquisition Specialist vs Marketer? Which to hire to grow a startup?

I have an online store and sell physical products and I need to generate traffic that converts to my website in order to grow the business.

I understand that not all traffic converts upon the first visit so I also want non-converting new visitors to not get wasted and would like to drive them to sign up to my email list so I may engage with them and convert them later. I need help with the planning and technical execution so am planning to hire help (currently looking on upwork).

There is so much jargon out there and I wondering if I should hire a customer acquisition specialist, marketer, sales funnel specialist, digital marketer, online marketer, lead generation specialist, growth marketer, etc?

Do I hire a general marketer or should I hire a customer acquisition specialist? Is there a difference?

14 Replies

Sidney Sclar
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Sidney Sclar Entrepreneur
SID the SECURITY PRO at sidthesecuritypro.com
Marketer.
Jeff Mason
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Jeff Mason Advisor
Co-Founder at Decisionaire
I would recommend looking for marketing expertise as opposed to a customer acquisition specialist. In my opinion, a customer acquisition specialist is more focused on driving traffic to your site - which is great - but in my experience the customer acquisition specialist is typically less experienced at converting web traffic once they reach your online properties.
Angela Wozniak
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Angela Wozniak Entrepreneur
Founder at Annielka
So "customer acquisition" only means bringing traffic in but not converting it? How do I find a marketer that can do what I want? Is there any specifics in your skills list I need to look out for?
Joe Rodriguez
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Joe Rodriguez Advisor
Product Manager: Lover of Legos, Lincoln Logs and Erector Sets.
I guess I would ask what is your goal? I am guessing it is not just getting eyes on the site but also getting sales and generating revenue and return customers correct? What stage is you is your online store in? Did you just launch or have you been around for a while? Is your product niche or is it competing with many other stores? What type of marketing have you done in the past? What traction are you getting? Depending on the maturity of your site you might just need a marketing professional who is more of a generalist who can experiment and find out what tools and processes help you get eyes on the site and convert them in buyers. There is no one way that works as a cookie cutter solution. Experiment and see what works best.
Richard Reed
3
1
Richard Reed Entrepreneur • Advisor
Director of Marketing at Labdoor
From my experience managing the operations of two ecommerce businesses where we ran paid customer acquisition campaigns, unless you have a lot of in house experience in site optimization to convert visitors into paid customers, you need to have a digital marketer that has experience in driving and converting traffic into paid customers. You are quite right to strive to collect email addresses if new visitors don't convert into paid customers. You can then market to those leads going forward. The reason you probably don't want to limit yourself to a customer acquisition specialist was covered above by Joe, unless your site is optimized for new customer conversion, you will not get a good conversion rate on your inbound traffic. To illustrate, a landing page that is the destination for performance ads will need to have probably 100-200 small changes made to color, copy, photos, offers, pop-up second chance offers etc before it converts well. Similarly, you will probably have to experiment with 10-20 ads before you find one that converts well which will be some combination of text, image and offer. Typically you only find someone with both skill sets in an experienced ecommerce marketer rather than someone who specializes in driving traffic.
Piyush Nigam
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Piyush Nigam Entrepreneur
MD at The Ark Marine Solutions
Don't worry about the name, check what they have done in the past for other customers and see if that is what you need. Set goals for what you want to achieve in terms of bringing people to the site, signing up for your newsletter and making actual purchases. Ask them what they can achieve and how much you need to pay them for each of those three goals.
Balasubramani rao
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Balasubramani rao Entrepreneur
CEO
Hi Angela
Just looked at you website, looks very good , don't concern much about the Jargons, you need a person who can do both for you, he or she must be good in converting the traffic ( short term ) at the same time he or she must do marketing with a ( long term ) view . Too much of converting strategies might off people a bit at times , so you guys need to balance it with focus on marketing with a long term view as to create the relationship with your potential customers as well , once you have this, its easy to convert them .
Sam Colwill
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Sam Colwill Advisor
Managing Director, Bathroom Retail Group
Hi Angela,

Nice website. What platform is it built on? Looks like a Magento store which if it is there are extensions you can buy which will do exactly what you want. The danger is you may damage the user experience by annoying your potential customers with invasive pop ups or calls to action.

It may be worth involving a UX Specialist whose job is to map out and design the user experience to ensure every stage of the journey is enjoyable/effortless for them and profitable for you. This website would be a good place to look for ideas and potential partners:

http://www.uxbooth.com

Good luck and feel free to contact me if you get stuck!





Jeff Mason
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Jeff Mason Advisor
Co-Founder at Decisionaire
Typically, a customer acquisition specialist focuses on driving traffic. Regardless of the title, you need someone who can drive traffic andconvert it once it's there. Since most - not all - but most sites are found via search you need expertise in SEO/SEM. This involves more than just buying keywords. It also involves the structure and content of your site, links, and key to all of this is content. This is why content marketing is so important. Content marketing is essential to improving search engine relevancy as well as building brand. Therefore, you cannot just hire an SEO/SEM consultant who can just do a technical SEO of your site and buy some keywords. Those days are over. You need these skills along with content marketing expertise. This holds true whether you are a B2B or B2C company. And of course, social media plays into this as well - as a mechanism for distributing your content. The use of social media is part of an effective content marketing effort. So to summarize and answer your question, you need the following skills: - SEO/SEM Expertise- Content Marketing Strategic & Tactical Expertise (this includes the ability to create engaging content)- Social Media Expertise (primarily to build audience and move content) The above would be a great start. Ultimately you leverage these skills to drive traffic, convert to leads, make sales and then you need to give your customers a great product and more importantly a great experience working with you. If that happens then you develop brand loyalty which will lead to viral spread of word of mouth which is the best lead generation tool of all. If you would like some help please feel free to contact me on Linked In and I should be able to point you in the right direction.
Kym Vance
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Kym Vance Entrepreneur
VP, Business Solutions at V12 Group
I would concur with the other commenters here. It's important to look at, and plan for, the entire prospect journey. Because you're an ecommerce site, a digital marketer with end to end (prospect to CRM) and multi-channel (email, display and social - even direct mail, possibly) experience would be the ideal person to fulfill your objectives.
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