FAIRFIELD, CT: Two-thirds of US marketers are not satisfied with their current efforts around customer acquisition, a new study has found.

An in-depth survey of 288 business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers for CertainSource, a supplier of customer acquisition management platforms, revealed that only 34% were happy with the state of play at present.

"Customer acquisition strategies in today's marketing environment have become challenging, yet critical, for B2C marketers," said Neil Rosen, CEO of CertainSource. "On top of that, companies are facing more complex issues as a result of customers' increasingly higher expectations."

But Rosen also expressed surprise that only 38% of marketers had listed acquisition as a priority, describing it as "an eye-opening moment". Another unexpected finding was that 47% of respondents had never used third-party vendors for acquisition purposes.

A lack of time and money, cited by 44% and 49% respectively, were the greatest obstacles marketers faced in improving their acquisition efforts. And 20% also noted difficulties in assessing top- and bottom-performing sources, and high-value leads versus the marginally engaged.

But there was widespread agreement on the importance of lead quality analytics, which 42% of interviewees said were a must.

As Rosen noted, most B2C marketers were aware of the importance of customer acquisition, even if they did not always have the tools or resources to manage long-term programs.

"The good news is that a growing number of marketers are becoming increasingly comfortable making customer acquisition a focus," he said, but added that it was not an area where quick successes were likely.

"It requires dedication, effort and ongoing analysis over time to do it right."

Morgan Stewart, CEO of Trendline Interactive, the marketing agency which carried out the research, concurred: "Finding the right lead sources to keep the stream of new customers flowing isn't always easy."

The key, he continued, was to learn how to properly analyse performance to optimise over time.

Data sourced from Business Wire; additional content by Warc staff