To generate revenue and grow your startup, acquiring customers is clearly a priority. With so many potential avenues and platforms to put to work, it is challenging to know just which strategies to employ to earn you the most bang for your limited buck.

Here, six thought leaders in customer acquisition industry provide their recommendations for what a startup should be focused on:

Specific Users:
"When designing for other people you have to be empirical. You can no longer guess what will work; you have to find users and measure their responses. So if you’re going to make something for teenagers or business' users or some other group that doesn’t include you, you have to be able to talk some specific ones into using what you’re making. If you can’t, you’re on the wrong track."
Results-Driven Traffic:
.
More is not always better. We think better is better."
Engaging Human and Emotional Campaigns:
"For most brands, the key to staying competitive isn't technology, but applying time-tested marketing methods to new media, in new ways. Intrigue, humor, empathy, or beauty conveyed through evocative images, and dramatic storytelling, colorful video, a well-told narrative, or compelling social media engagement, can resonate deeply in ways a search engine text box alone just can't. Build deep relationships with your audience. They will open up and voice their questions. Knowing what they need for content, aligning the intent behind those needs to your sales funnel, and guiding them properly through the process will lead to a stronger ROI."
Big Data:
"Collecting big data can establish what consumers want, but the data will need to be translated into a solution that will cause the consumer to take action; that will prove to them that you can fulfill their needs and cause them to want to buy, or stay. Understanding what Big Data can do for you will set the tone for what actions will need to be taken once the results are presented."
Focus
Analytics:
"You should define very clearly what an acquisition or activation means, and remember that you can have multiple triggers in each stage if needed....With these triggers defined, put in an easy and repeatable way to measure each step."

Final Thoughts

These thought leaders illustrate that your startup does not have to spend a significant amount of already limited resources to acquire customers if they focus on the right components as they build their strategy. Look to defining the specific user, tapping into quality traffic versus quantity, crafting authentic and humanistic campaigns, studying big data, and analyzing the results of all customer acquisition efforts will help you maximize your return.

Published on: Jul 30, 2015
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.