A guest post by Mack Collier, author of Think Like a Rock Star:

Numerous studies and surveys have found that consistently the top goal for marketers is acquiring new customers.  CMOs are judged by their ability to expand the existing customer base by bringing in new customers.  As a result, marketing communications are crafted so that they appeal to people that have never bought from your brand before.

Which is the totally wrong approach to acquiring new customers.

So what works better?  Let’s ask Taylor Swift.  After every concert, Taylor throws a special party for some of her fans.  During the concert, Taylor’s staff (sometimes including her mom) scans the crowd, looking for the most excited and passionate fans.  Then the staff hand-picks roughly 20 of these fans and invites them to join Taylor after the concert for a special T-Party.  At these parties, Taylor’s fans get to hang out with the rock star and her band for a couple of hours.  They sign autographs, play video games, and have a party.

If you’re a marketer whose primary goal is to acquire new customers, the T-Party seems like a wasted effort to you.  First, it’s a small group, Taylor is only connecting with 20 or so customers at a time.  Second, she’s not selling to this group, what a missed opportunity to sell merchandise!  Finally, she’s connecting with a group that are her fans, so they are already giving her their business!

What a waste of time!

Except, it isn’t.  What Taylor has done is she’s found a way to create an amazing experience for the people that love her.  She’s connecting with her most passionate fans, and by doing so, she’s validating their love of her, and she’s giving them more reason to go out and promote Taylor to their friends and family!  Think about it, every one of those fans that get asked by Taylor’s mom to attend one of her T-Parties has become a fan for life! Think of the positive word of mouth that will be generated by the people at just one T-Party!  Now multiply that by every concert Taylor has given, and the business impact starts to become obvious.

Taylor Swift is acquiring new customers, but it’s not coming from her own marketing efforts, it’s coming from her fans.  Taylor understands what most rock stars do about marketing that most brands do not:  Her ability to acquire new customers tomorrow depends greatly on her ability to amaze and delight her existing fans, today.

Simply put, rock stars drive new customer growth by delighting their existing fans.  And there’s solid business logic in this approach, we all know that fans spend more than customers with little to no loyalty to your brand.  And we all know that fans are more likely to speak positively about your brand, so they are referring business as well.

So instead of marketing directly to customers that have little to no loyalty toward them, rock stars instead appeal to their fans, letting them drive new sales growth.

How is your brand acquiring new customers?

Mack Collier is a social media strategist, trainer, and speaker who specializes in helping companies better connect with their customers via social media. His clients include businesses of all sizes, from sole proprietorships to Fortune 500 companies.