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Customer acquisition

Finding and selling to new customers (as opposed to selling more to existing customers) is a key marketing challenge. Customer acquisition encompasses a range of techniques to stimulate interest from potential new customers, then to manage them through to sale. Customer acquisition strategies may focus on developing a long-term relationship with a customer rather than a one-off sale (for example, a service or supply contract), and profitability is determined by the lifetime value of the customer.

Key Reading

Important papers from across the Warc database

This detailed guide offers the building blocks for setting up KPIs and how they drive profitability. It also includes an overview of each of the major channels available, and practical guidance on how to use them individually and collectively to deliver success.
Byron Sharp and Kate Waters argue that advertising is a weak force compared to personal recommendations.
Les Binet and Peter Field on loyalty – and why aiming to gain new customers is more effective.
A new model of customer management and good practice in customer acquisition, penetration and retention.
TNS research offering a psychological perspective on how marketers can change consumer habits.

Case Study

This case study describes how specialist investment manager Architas, part of AXA, created an educational and interactive tool for independent brokers and Architas managers to help them sell more unit-linked products in France, Belgium and the UK.

Case Study

This case study describes how premium household appliances manufacturer Miele pushed its image in Italy beyond the communication pillars of price and performance, with a campaign based on a story about fashion.

Case Study

This case study describes how United Arab Emirates banking brand Emirates NBD came up with an innovative product that kept construction workers cool to attract SME clients.

Case Study

This case study describes how cider brand Orchard Thieves Cider used a multichannel approach to appeal to Millennials to launch into the market in Ireland.

Case Study

This case study describes how UK broadcaster BT Sport, aimed to engage hard-to-reach football audiences by giving away its coverage of the UEFA Champions League via a digital sampling strategy.

Case Study

This case study describes how a new overactive bladder treatment, Myrbetriq, entered and became the market leader in the category in the US with a high touch campaign that told consumers about 'taking back control'.
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This case study explains how BT Sport, a British sports channel, live streamed football games on YouTube in order to gain maximum distribution and connect with fans.


This article covers the key content marketing trends in Asia - specifically popular content pillars, distribution choices and social channels as selling channels.


This article considers how financial services brands can use a smart, purpose-built management system to build on their assets and strengths in order to see off fintech challengers and help discerning customers.


This event report details how pay-per-click (PPC) advertising has been undervalued as a marketing tool.


This article suggests that good sales leads require a nuanced relationship with social milieus, professional associations, and a number of other indirect routes to lead generation.


This article explains how to use DRTV in customer acquisition.
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  1. Article

    This article lists 10 principles that reflect best practice approach to acquiring customers across available channels.

  2. Article

    This article explains the strengths and weaknesses of more than 20 acquisition channels, and provides practical tips on how to get the most out of them.

  3. Article

    This article provides an overview of the KPIs for customer acquisition and how they drive business profitability.

  4. Article

    This article explains how to use social media in customer acquisition.
  5. Article

    This article explains how to use direct mail in customer acquisition.
  6. Article

    This article explains how to use email in customer acquisition.
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