Not Every Business Should Focus on Acquisition


After a brief summer hiatus, we sat down with Georgiana Laudi, founder of Elevate, Forget the Funnel, and pioneer of what we now call SaaS Marketing. The episode is embedded above, and I highly recommend that you listen. Not only is Georgiana brilliant and brings oodles of experience, but she also shares some very crucial lessons that many businesses need to hear.

The biggest lesson is found in her talking about the biggest issue she sees SaaS companies facing - a too-narrow focus on Acquisition. From our conversation:

"A lot of software companies will reach out to me and say: "We need acquisition! We need signups!" And, in actuality, what's happening is when somebody signs up, they have a terrible experience and they drop out.

So they spent all this money to acquire this signup and then they can't even onboard that customer into the product and give the customer what they need and so they lose them. All that money was spent for nothing."

We, at Truly, see this all of the time, too. There is a narrow focus on getting: MORE traffic, MORE engagements, MORE views, MORE MORE MORE...because someone told them a long time ago, marketing is this big funnel that sucks in a whole bunch of people and pushes the perfect customers through. This is not how marketing works.

As Hubspot (and many other smart marketers before them) surmised, the funnel is not a good model for building a strong business:

Hubspot’s Flywheel over Funnel

Hubspot’s Flywheel over Funnel

MORE eyeballs/clicks/views/impressions/etc won't necessarily bring in more of the right customer. But nurturing more of the right customer will bring in more of the right customer.

As Georgiana recommends, you need to find and understand who your best-fit customer is (what we call Your Best Customer) and then retrofit your marketing, onboarding and everything else to attract and nurture more of this customer:

"Those customers that are willing to pay for a long time and stay a customer for a long time are your best fit customers. If you can find out from them what it was that led them to seek a solution like yours, what their top motivations were, and what they can do now that they weren't able to do before, you can retrofit that back to your website, to your onboarding or evaluation phase, you can apply that to can apply that to anything."

I don't want to give away the entire conversation and Georgiana has so many great stories and examples to illustrate the benefits of thinking about engagement over acquisition. So, take a listen and let me know what you think!