3 Questions that will Optimize Your Customer Acquisition Strategy with Angela Lee, Founder of 37 Angels

Are you the founder of a new product or service but unsure about how to attract consumers? In this post, we address how to determine who your customer is and how to successfully market to your defined customer demographic.

Angela Lee is a woman who wears many hats; Founder of 37 Angels, a member of the Project Entrepreneur (PE) Advisory Board, and an educator at Columbia Business School. Lee shared her extensive knowledge at Project Entrepreneur 2016 Weekend Intensive. Here are her three questions that will help maximize your company’s customer acquisition:

1. Who is your customer?

Try to define as many characteristics as possible about your customers. Be specific about gender, age, budget, income, and generation. For instance, are they Millennials or Baby Boomers? Characterizing who your customers are will help you determine how to market to them.

If you are dealing with multiple customers (such as a parent and child or buyer versus user), you will need to figure out separate marketing plans for each demographic. Lee suggests looking for a marketing intersection that will appeal to everyone.

Once you’ve tested some of your marketing ideas, ask for customer feedback. Some questions to ask your customers are: Why did you pick my company? What did my product or service replace? Often the answers will be quite surprising.

Although you can pay for market research, Lee suggests that getting out into the market to test price points will prove more valuable. Customers are very bad at predicting what they will or will not pay.

2. How do you attract customers to your product?

Once your customer demographic is identified, print that data out and put it somewhere that will serve as a constant reminder. If your defined demographic does not end up matching your customers, you will have to choose whether to continue to target your original customer or adjust your product and marketing accordingly.

Lee gives the example of an NYC-based jewelry company whose customers proved to be suburban Midwest women rather than the urban New Yorkers that they originally anticipated. Since their original customer demographic proved incorrect, they needed to decide whether they wanted to change their products to appeal to New York women.

Lee suggests trying at least a minimum of five marketing channels, such as Facebook ads, tradeshows, PTA meetings, booths, direct email, and cold calls. Track the channels in a spreadsheet. What worked? What didn’t? Once you have that data, it will help you focus on the tactics that were successful.

Experiment in the cheapest way possible. Don’t spend a lot of time asking what is the right thing to do. Lee suggests, “Figure out cheap ways to go out there. Let the market tell you what to do because none of us can predict how the market is going to act.” Let go of the fear to go into the market with your product. Even if you get certain aspects of your product wrong, you still have a huge market that hasn’t seen it yet.

3. What metrics matter to you and investors?

Individual companies will derive different levels of significance for each metric. As a founder, you will need to understand which metrics matter to your customers and investors. You need to be the expert. Be able to explain how you will acquire customers in a “scalable and replicable” manner. Lee strongly believes that media and public relations are not scalable and replicable.


Lee’s advice comes from her #PEIntensive16 workshop, “ABC’s of Customer Acquisition.” Listen to the entire workshop on episode 6 of our podcast. For more expert inspiration, read 4 Steps to Starting Your Dream Company with Divya Gugnani, Co-founder of Wander Beauty.