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Let’s Be Mates Podcast – Customer acquisition strategies

Based on listeners feedback, we have created a series of quickfire episodes to deep dive on what makes us successful.

In this Episode, Dom O’Brien, Head of Customer acquisition gives us an insight into customer acquisition strategies and channels that have been successful for Mate and how they can apply to your business too.

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Faz: Welcome Australia. It’s that time again for another podcast, from the Mate team where we try and get into your head with stuff that makes us sound smart. Sit back and relax. It’s time for us

to be mates.

Welcome to another. Let’s be mates podcast. I’m one of your hosts. Faz

Dom: Hey Faz, how you


Faz: Good. Mate  good. So this quick fire is another quickfire series, a second in our series. And this one is focused on customer acquisition strategies that we have at Mate. We’re going to talk a bit, a bit about the truths and the myths about customer acquisition in our world.

Anyway, and we’re going to let Dom tackle this one. Dom heads up our acquisition at mate.


and he’s going to be under the hot seat.

all right.

Let’s get started Dom, tell our loyal listeners who you are and what you do at mate.

Dom: Well, thanks for, as, as you mentioned, my role is head of customer acquisition. So I look after, we’ll touch all things, sales and marketing. you know, my background is, is been in marketing for the last sort of 10 or 12 years, often in the tech space working with brands like Blackberry, Sony, Microsoft, and a lot of, activation work as well.

So experiential and tech lead, all right. Outside of work, I’m a husband and father, I have a little boy, who is 18 months old. but yeah. We’re here to talk about work today, I guess,

Faz: Yes that we are Dom, we can always socialize at another time, my friend


So at Mate and personally, and obviously in your role, how do you define customer acquisition?

Dom: Its a good question. I think, you know, at the end of the day, our number one goal of a sales and marketing organization is to attract people to, to our brand and to our services. And then keep them. So, you know, that acquisition starts from, at the top of the funnel and hopefully everyone’s aware of the sales and marketing funnel from, from the very top from awareness.

So knowing about who Mate is what we stand for and what we offer, right through that consideration. So when people are looking for internet or mobile, that they, they know of mate, and they may consider mate as a, as an option. and then through to becoming one of our customers and, you know, staying for as long as we can, we can have a relationship with that customer.

Faz: Hey, Dom. And would you consider Fans as a, as an acquisition as well? I think at MATE, I mean, I think a lot of businesses, you know, customers is a pure acquisition, but I think would you classify acquiring fans and things like that as an acquisition process as well?

Dom: A hundred percent. I mean, there’s a couple of approaches.

There are some, some people are, are fans of our business and the way we do work, not necessarily a customer, some of our customers are fans because they know that they get a great experience with us. They get good value and you know, that our Aussie based  call center. He can. So you have someone they need to chat to someone they can ring up and chat to someone who really understands them.

those fans are our greatest acquisition piece, to be honest, because they tell the story for us and they pass their, you know, they refer other customers to, to our business. So yeah, fans are. Yeah, a big part of our business, and we want to keep those people engaged and entertained along the way as well.

Faz: What are some of the customer acquisition channels that we use at Mate at the moment?

Dom: So we are , we’re fairly digitally driven. so,

Faz: and what do you think that just a bit around digitally focus, more than anything?

Dom: well, two things it’s very measurable. so we know that for X dollars spent that we can, we can track sales and interactions, but, also we’re not, you know, one of the big Teir one telco.

So we don’t have millions of dollars to throw at,  sales and marketing every, every week and month. but those digital channels, waltz and cost effective and measure, really allows us to test and learn. and then, you know, they do add on those extra activities. So, you know, more above the line or through the line opportunities where we, where we can to really, to that.

And that’s more top of the funnel and focus where we can build our awareness to, to the general public and, and build those fans as you mentioned so that when it comes time for them to, to look, to upgrade their, internal mobile, that they are. Considering mate, and then actually becoming a customer,

Faz: how important business foundation to ensure that that acquisition channels actually work?

Dom: Yeah, look, they’re, they’re super important. I mean, we need to have a strategy to start with and that strategy can obviously change, but if you go off, you know, all over the place and you’ve got, you know, the left doesn’t know what the right’s doing, then that’s a problem.

But. for each of those channels, you need to have a strategy and that strategy needs to be, you know how much. Can you go spend, how much he can, you know, can’t afford to, to spend that on branding and versus acquisition. you know, when that comes down to actual acquisition, you know, some of our measurements around cost per acquisition, cost per lead.

you know, things like click through rates and that sort of thing, but you also need to know that how you’re measuring that channel and then what your expectations are around that general performance, because if it is performing well, then you can, you know, you’re doing, you can invest more money and continue to get the sales from that channel.

alternatively, if it’s not working, you turn it off. And sometimes, you know, from past experience, sometimes a channel might be working from a sales perspective, but they might not necessarily be bringing the right customer in either. Like if they, you know, you’re spending X dollars to get a customer, but through a specific channel, those customers aren’t staying because they.

Potentially very price sensitive. then that’s channel is sort of giving you a false positive

Faz: and in digital marketing, Dom, I’m going to ask this question because there’s a lot of metrics that people use to understand digital marketing, particularly in the programmatic space. Right. but is, you know, there’s impressions, there’s clicks and there’s sales, right?

He’s impressions. Number bullshit.

Dom: Yeah, look at’s pointless for me, I mean, if a million impressions happen, even clicks to a degree, I mean, there’s a lot, there’s lots of clicks. They don’t actually land on your site and then, and, and then when they do land, they, you know, they drop out really quickly. so you know, some of those.

Many metrics that digital provide, you have to take with a grain of salt. and you know, at the end of the day, it all helps build your audience and then build the funnel. But yeah. I think impressions is one that probably you can’t put much weight on

Faz: and I agree, and I think. The good thing with clicks, right?

At least if they come to the site, they didn’t mean to click or do anything. At least you’ve got the ability to retarget them and things like that. By impressions, you’ve heard of first year from now head of acquisition, Dom, the impressions is bullshit.

Dom: Then I think that’s probably another, you know, you’re talking about business foundations, no matter what activity you do to drive people into your site.

And these days that’s our primary. Last click is that is to our site. If that site in that landing page, doesn’t have the information they’re looking for, isn’t clear. you know, I’ve seen a lot of websites where you go and you just need that one bit of information, but no matter where you look, it’s, it’s really difficult.

And, you know, we make it really easy to find that information, but we also give you the channel to then contact us and give us a call. if you need more info or live chat or through our AI, grace, How I bought cracks. So yeah, there’s, there’s plenty of opportunity when you get to our site to find information and then move through the final there.

Faz: What is one of the acquisition channels that you have tried failed and why? And I guess it doesn’t have to be Mate. It can be anywhere, but, what are the, one of the places you’ve tried to use as a acquisition or a sales channel that just hasn’t worked out for you?

Dom: I think there’s probably two, you mentioned dramatic before.

I think from, at a looking at mate, I’d not sure that programmatic works for a service type business. No, if you, if you or an impulse buy product or something that you can click through and go yeah. And actually meet when I’m in buy it’s a few dollars or you can get it shipped to me or whatever. but when you’ve got an action, you make a conscious decision to sign up with someone there.

Commitment, even though we have no contracts at Mate  but when you’ve got to make a change from your current service provider for what is now in a central service, you need to have the mobile. I don’t think programmatic works, from that perspective. And I think other things where, you know, you have to make that call around what is a branding exercise that you shouldn’t be measuring sales on.

and what is. An exercise that you should be expecting sales. So for instance, TV, maybe take that as an example where a lot of that TV advertising is around branding and building that top of the audience spot, we also then see people call into the. To the sales team or we’ll come online in live chat and say, Oh yeah, I saw your ad.

So, you know, there’s a quite a blended model there, but it’s about balancing that expectation internally as well. That, what, what are we going to see direct sales from and what are they going to see sales from potentially in three, six, 12 months as well?

Faz: Yeah, I think, we programmatic, I think in this day and age, consumers are becoming a lot more savvy in regards to what we are searching for online.

And if ads like that show up in an authentic way or in a place that doesn’t make sense. It’s just gets it more than I know myself, you know, on going to websites to get relevant information. I want I’m ignoring everything around it because it’s just, it’s not in the right place at the right time for me to, to, to take note of it.

And I think, you know, we’re not going, we’ve used a couple of major programmatic

platforms in the past, which

just haven’t worked out for Mate. And I’m not saying it. I guess, we’re not saying it’s wrong for everybody else, but it’s something that you really need to consider and look at how it’s, how you’re targeting people and where and what, and how they’re coming up and how people are seeing your ads.

Dom: And I think the same goes for Native as well. That probably has been something that we’ve tried and definitely hasn’t worked. Again, I think it can be a bit, click batey, and sometimes, and if you’ve got a, product which is more that impulse purchase or, or low value, then I can get probably more suitable for that sort of thing.

Faz: We have Spoken about channels that didn’t work Dom. now let’s talk about some channels, acquisition channels, those that have worked and why.

Dom: For us. I think social has been a really effective channel because it not only is it allows us to do build our audience through, you know, quite, quite detailed targeting. we can engage with that audience and really tell our story.

You know, we’re not just, you know, a price per month, business. We have a lot of. Reasons why you should come to mate, no contracts, unlimited data NBN, all Aussie service. and you know, our co our obsession with customer experience means that we’re not just an X dollars per month business by building that, by telling that story, we start to build out our fans, which we mentioned before.

And, you know, we. Continuing to engage those fans. Not only means that we may bring them across the line if they’re not already customer, but if they are a customer that they know what we’re doing in the backend, they learn about our business or things like the podcast. and we continue to talk to them on a weekly and monthly basis.

to keep our brand top of mind with them.

Faz: No, I think for social right, I mean,

social, you browse.

So getting ads on social makes sense because you’re browsing, you’re browsing to find out what people are doing and seeing what’s happening in your community or whatever it is. And, you know, ads come up in that world.

And it, again, it sort of makes sense because you’re browsing. Right. And I think when an ad comes up in that scenario, When you’re browsing, I think it’s a lot more authentic to deliver an ad in that space than in any other scenario. And

that’s why I think social works, but

Dom what’s, what’s your view on social around Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok

for example, do you think some of our brand building in some are sales orientated, do you think that they’re all brand building or, or all they’re all sales orientated?

What’s your feeling?

Or do you think you need to use all of them to make a difference?

Dom: I think depending on your audience, you need to be where they are.

so for instance, if you had a much younger skewed brand, then you probably, Facebook is probably less of a, a place to be these days. you know, we try to spread ourselves. I’m mainly focused on Facebook and Instagram, but we do try to hit the other platforms because we don’t want to close off our audience.

but you know, we have to have good success with those. Those Facebook from a sales perspective is interesting to say about looking yet. You’re happy to receive an ad because it’s probably a strategy you are taking the last couple of months is to create content that’s. A little bit more engaging and a little bit more, you know, to your point, authentic and yeah.

Having a bit more fun than a static ad that says, this is how much you have to pay per month for our service. So, you know, we want to engage people, but then give them that. The opportunity to not only learn about us and then come through and be one of their customers as well. Yeah.

Faz: And in my experience, I think Facebook does everything and Facebook is the one that creates the sales.

I think, I mean the other, I think they all work together, but I think it’s Facebook that creates sale ultimately. And so dont had done put, a lot of people are saying, Oh, Facebook. Dead or, you know, I’ve got Snapchat now. I’ve got these other things. I think, I think ultimately they all work together and Facebook is the one that actually delivers.

Dom: And that’s for the time being like, who’s the say, you know, if you look at the growth of, particularly TikTok this year, through sort of lockdowns and pandemics, who’s to say that those. As those apps mature that they don’t become a bit more transactional. but then you get into a tricky situation where, you know, tiktoks their slogan, their line from an advertising perspective is don’t make ads, don’t make TikToks.

So you actually have to meet the audience on their, on their own terms as well, which is a big shift change, I guess, as a marketer, I go, you know, we’ve got some very, very specific things that work and we know how to. I ever talked to that, but to then go and start to create content that’s completely different to what we’re used to.

that’s a big challenge to sort of step toward too, as well.

Faz: to end our quickfire session, Dom, what is some advice that you would leave or give to other people who manage customer acquisition in their business? People that maybe haven’t gone to market yet, or people that are having challenges. Find customers in your experience and what you’ve learned today, not just at mate, but in other businesses.

What are some of the key things that you would say to look at?

Dom: Sure. I think being authentic is probably number one. people, people can see bullshit very quickly. Probably being open to any opportunities and any channels, at least for our initial discussion and working out if it’s right for your business or your industry.

But then in the flip side of that, I guess, knowing when I’m almost fail fast and knowing when to turn something off, if it’s not working for you and not going to not just sit there on this road, running. No problem. but yeah, no, you’ve got to look at all the options on the table and try new things and I know budget can be, you know, hold people back sometimes because you know, the small businesses can’t necessarily afford big ad campaigns and big creative, but you can do things very simply.

And there’s lots of tools out there these days. You can do it yourself with things like Canva, you go to places like Fiverr and that sort of thing, where you can outsource it quite cheaply. So. Yeah, there’s probably no better time to be in business. and you know, there’s so many different routes to market, not just through, through digital, but, yeah, even going old school for both local businesses, prints and flyers off from dropping in people’s letterboxes on the, on the way when you walk.

So, you know, The, the world’s your oyster, I think, as a marketer or as a business owner in 2020.

Faz: Thanks Dom for your insight. Hope our listeners have got a bit out of that. Now, if you’re seeing this podcast posted on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, leave us a comment below and let us know if you want to hear about anything or any particular topics.

And we’ll, we’ll be happy to add that as one of our quick fire series topics in the future.

Dom: Awesome. Thanks. Faz it’s that’s been great. Thanks for listening to the let’s be mates podcast by the team at Mate search for the let’s be mates podcast on iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, and Let’ Hit subscribe to get the latest episode each week.

For all your telco needs. Choose a provider. You can trust like a mate. visit,  Google mate.

Faz: Or call us on

Dom: 13, 14, 13

Faz: to sign up today. See you soon, mate.