New business acquisition is one of the most significant challenges today. Companies can meet it by splitting their marketing department into customer retention and customer acquisition teams. The customer retention program concentrates on keeping and developing the business from current customers, while the acquisition side should hunt for new business through strategic partnerships.

Depending on the company and the industry business model, companies can leverage common acquisition channels that include Search, Video, Display, and Email

However, directly pouring more budgets into the Display, Search, or other acquisition focused on advertising channels, and media buys will eventually lead to reduced overall performance and return on investment (ROI). However, there are multiple ways to access additional customer acquisition streams outside traditional media buying.

Below are a few ways to extend customer acquisition programs using the capabilities of external companies and third-party channels.

Performance Agencies

The biggest challenge in traditional advertising and marketing is that performance is rarely guaranteed. Certainly, budgets are pushed towards channels that have performed well, driving a positive ROI. However, while performance may be expected or forecasted, it’s not guaranteed.  Here, performance-based agencies can offer considerable benefits. These companies often function as traditional ad agencies but only get paid based on results they drive. While few agencies may be paid on a per-click or per site visitor basis, others are focused on a per-sale business model. This proves that an advertiser would only pay for the number of leads or new sales driven by the performance agency.

There are significant advantages to using a performance agency in this way, but like any marketing program, it requires constant management and oversight from the advertisers. The company should maintain a strong relationship with the performance agency to ensure that proper campaign guidelines are followed – from ensuring legal compliance to using approved creative.

Referral Marketing

In most industries, one highly effective way of driving new business is by associating with partners or companies that are well integrated or working in alignment with the firm. They typically provide a non-competitive product or service, but still serve a similar customer base.

This type of partner referral initiative comes with many advantages, including the fact that the intros or leads they provide are usually well-qualified as they know and understand their customers.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing program demands a great deal of supervision and management since it operates as a separate performance agency for the advertiser. Managing even a reasonably sized affiliate program is complicated – ensuring every affiliate is running their marketing programs as per the advertiser guidelines, focused on compliance like the CAN-SPAM Act for Email affiliates, and only marketing in approved channels. Because of this complexity, many advertisers use affiliate networks and additional tracking platforms to streamline their business processes.

These are just a few ways advertisers can use third-parties to help augment their customer acquisition efforts. As firms dig deeper to explore and establish partnerships, they enjoy enhanced marketing benefits.