Conquest marketing:
Nifty Ways To acquire your competitors customers

A step-by-step guide on how to effectively execute a conquest marketing campaign and acquire your competitors' customers.

Identifying and understanding the needs and wants of your customers will help any business craft the perfect messaging to persuade them to buy your products or services.

This is especially crucial in the digital advertising space, where the cost of digital ads are rapidly rising.

If you advertise to the wrong audience, you will not get any customers no matter how catchy your ad copy is, how cool your visuals are, or how perfect your landing page is.

Sure, your audience may be impressed by your well-crafted ads, but they simply won’t buy from you. So how do we identify and advertise to audiences who are already primed to purchase your products or services?


Hint: the answer is in the title – go after your competitor’s customers!


This post will take you through a step-by-step guide on how you can implement conquest marketing, and show you a few simple and effective ways you can target and acquire your competitors’ customers – also known as "Conquest Advertising" or simply "Conquesting".


Conquest Infographic


What is Conquest Marketing?


Every business has a competitor.


The objective of conquest marketing is to persuade current and potential customers of your competitors to buy a similar or alternative product or service from you.


Your competitors spend countless time, money, and effort on raising brand awareness, educating consumers about the benefits of their products and services, and gaining the interest of consumers.

By advertising to your competitors’ customers directly, you are essentially riding on their efforts and engaging their potential customers by promoting your brand – just when they are already primed to purchase.

Another reason to perform conquest marketing is because your competitors’ customers are very likely to share certain key characteristic, interest, and motivation. This all makes them more likely to respond positively to your ad.

According to a report from Accenture, brand loyalty continues to diminish. Over two thirds (77 per cent) of people change their brand loyalty faster or more frequently than they did three years ago. Well over half (61 per cent) of people have switched brands within the last year.

The statistics suggests that it may be getting easier to acquire even the most loyal of your competitors’ customers.


How effective is conquest marketing


Conquest marketing, therefore, can be a very effective marketing strategy in this age of decreasing brand loyalty.


How to create an effective conquest marketing strategy

To ensure an effective conquest advertising campaign, you first need to understand your competition.

Whether it’s a competing business or product, you should do your competitor research. This seemingly basic step often gets overlooked by marketers and can result in an ineffective conquest marketing campaign.


One common mistake most marketers make is to go after competitors with the biggest brands. This could backfire in a couple of ways:


  1. Big brand competitors often have a very loyal customer base. It might not be as easy to persuade them to go with another brand.
  2. As they are well known in the industry, big brand competitors are often the targets of conquest marketing campaign. This causes the bids for ads to be very competitive.
  3. Big brand competitors often have a Moat or Unique Selling Proposition that is very hard to compete with – that is likely how they got so big. Unless you are very confident that you can better them, it may be best to steer clear from targeting big brands.


So how should you select which competitor to target? Here are a couple of quick tips to help you out:


1. Go after smaller, lesser-known competitors

Smaller competitors are less likely to be targets of conquest marketing campaigns, making ad bids less competitive. This gives you more bang for your marketing buck.

Their customers are also less likely to be fiercely brand loyal, making them easier to persuade and acquire.


2. Find competitors where you have a distinct advantage

Targeting competitors where your products or services have a clear, distinct advantage will help increase the likelihood of a successful conquest marketing campaign.

After identifying your competitive advantage, you want to coax your audience into realising that your product or service is better than your competitors.

So, make sure to highlight your competitive advantage loud and clear in your ad copy!

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3. Pick on competitors with dissatisfied customers


It’s a simple fact: Unhappy customers are more likely to churn.


An estimated that $41 billion is lost by US companies each year due to a bad customer experience.

Imagine sweeping up all that business simply by pushing ads to these customers! Your competitors’ dissatisfied customers are essentially low-hanging fruits – ripe and ready for picking.


So how could you go about looking for dissatisfied customers? 

You could read online reviews and search through your competitors’ social media feeds to identify potential areas of customer dissatisfaction. Ideally, your product inherently addresses the problem that is making your competitors’ customers unhappy.

This potent combination will almost guarantee that your competitors’ customers today will be your customers tomorrow.


4. Finally, select competitors with a similar customer and target audience

This ensures that you are more likely to advertise to people who have a need for your product or service. The last thing you want to do is waste money advertising to consumers who have no need for your product!


Conquest Advertising Methods

There are various methods you can employ in conquest advertising. The best method will vary depending on various factors at play. Below is a non-exhaustive list of conquest advertising methods which you can start employing today.


1. Targeted advertising to customers who visits your competitors’ stores

The best indicator that someone is your competitors’ customer is the fact that they enter your competitor’s store!

With the advancement of big data and technology, it is becoming easier to identify these individuals. Using mobile location data, businesses can track who enters the store of a given brand. They can then push digital advertisements to these people through various digital platforms or social media channels, a process known as “geo-conquesting”.

For those who want to avoid dealing with the technical side of things, you can do the same without the need to handle big data with Quadrant Audiences.

Quadrant Audiences makes it easy to identify and digitally advertise to people who have visited your competitors’ stores.

You can then activate your ads on multiple channels through their partnering DMPs and DSPs, allowing you the flexibility to advertise to your competitors’ customers anywhere.


Pro Tip: If you are unsure on how to use audiences, talk to one of Quadrant's Data Consultants - They can help you get started using the latest tool in AdTech.


2. SEM conquest advertising through Google AdWords


I came. I Googled. I conquered.


SEM conquest advertising method involves bidding on the search terms of your competitors through Google AdWords.

This is the easiest way to perform conquest advertising, but due to the way Google algorithm works it can also be the priciest method.

As Google’s search engine reputation is based on the quality of its results, it’s in Google’s interest to deliver relevant results — even if that means they display fewer ads.
Part of Google’s algorithm penalizes ads with low relevance keywords. This is known as the “low quality score”.

Lower quality scores will result in you requiring a higher cost per click for the same keyword. So, even if the the keyword you are bidding on doesn’t have much competition, you can still expect to pay a lot for every click.


Pro Tip: Bid for misspelled names of your competitors as they are less competitive and more likely to be cheaper.

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3. Approximating competitors’ customer interest through Facebook ads

Although Facebook doesn’t allow you to target fans of your competitors’ pages, you can work around it by entering your competitors’ fan page in the “interests” section. This creates a rough approximation of audience interest.

The downside to this method is that you might not be able to target smaller businesses, and it isn’t exactly accurate per say. Also, this method is limited only to Facebook’s campaign manager.


4. Placing outdoor ads near competitors’ stores

In the realm of offline marketing, marketers could place ads strategically near the stores of their competitors. This will ensure that your competitors’ customers see your ads.

The main issue with put-of-home (OOH) advertising is the costs associated with it. Digital billboards can cost over $15,000 per month depending on location.

Another problem is measurement and attribution – how do we measure the number of people who saw your ads and subsequently turned into new customers?

These are some consideration you should think of when deciding on an Out-of-Home (OOH) conquesting campaign.


The secret to a successful conquest marketing campaign

Your conquest marketing campaign should ideally have a retargeting component to it. This will ensure that your brand stays top-of-mind, making it more likely that your audience will take their business from competitors to you.

The average CTR for retargeted ads is ten times higher that display ads.

Retargeted customers are also three times more likely to click on your ads than a non-retargeted customer. So, make sure to include retargeting as part of your conquest marketing campaign!


This is where Quadrant Audiences excels.


Not only will it enable you to target your competitors’ customers, it will also help retarget these same customers across a multitude of digital channels.

The fact is that conquest advertising has been around for years, but it’s only recently thanks to developments in technology and the rise of big data that marketers have been able to perform much more elaborate, granular, and accurate targeting.

For marketers who really want to get ahead, definitely include Quadrant Audiences in your arsenal of marketing tools.


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