In this day and age where CEOs are demanding that CMOs produce ROI-based results, and where customer acquisition is more important than ever, a marketer's mindset may be in need of a tune-up.In the recent "2011 Mid-Year Marketing Trends Study" reported in dmnews.com, 67% of marketers view customer acquisition as their number one challenge. And 84% indicate that aligning sales and marketing is a priority for their companies.Given that, I'm thinking that most marketers need to have a "direct response" mindset. This means that you may need view customer acquisition differently than you do now.By having a direct mindset, you start focusing on things like the cost to acquire a new customer, the lifetime value of that customer and other ROI metrics. Instead of, or perhaps in addition to, reach and frequency and eyeballs, maybe it's time to think more about direct response-type metrics.Doing so might result in your questioning some of the tactics you now use and evaluating new ones. It might lead you to think about how you can convert Facebook fans to paying customers in a different way than you do now. It may result in your finding measurable ways of acquiring new customers that your CEO is demanding.While the common notion is that direct marketers make most of their sales direct to consumer (DTC), experience direct marketers know that's not true in most cases. For example, successful Direct Response TV (DRTV) campaigns almost always have one thing in common: for every one DTC sale, anywhere from 3 to 10 sales occur at retail. Additional "DRTV-driven" sales also occur at etail &#8211; sites owned by companies other than the advertiser or marketer.Right now, we're working with and talking with companies that you would call classic brand marketers. We're talking with them about reinventing their business in a direct response mold &#8211; not because it's fashionable but because it makes all the sense in the world.Given all the options that consumers have in terms of learning about products, reviewing them, sharing information about them, responding to your advertising and eventually purchasing, only a direct response set of best practices can help you find the best way to find new customers.You're faced with an endless number of combinations of the purchase cycle. One example:1. Consumer sees TV ad for a product.2. She goes online to check out reviews.3. She Tweets friends and strangers about the product.4. She emails the company with a specific question.5. She Google's competing products.6. She finally places the order online but picks it up at a local store.See where the world is heading?A direct mindset will help you better track some steps in the above chain of events, and track all steps in less complicated chains of events. A DR mindset will give you tools to evaluate which advertising tactics you should be using, based on their potential ability to acquire customers or leads.Based on the goals of acquiring new customers indicated in the survey mentioned earlier, "thinking direct" could very well be the first step in formulating a plan to get new customers who now have more choices than ever and are in more control of media consumption than ever before.Grab a PDF of this article at: http://A78.acquirgy.netIrv Brechner has written over 100 published direct marketing articles and 13 books on a variety of topics. He's been a pioneer in online customer acquisition since 1996 and offline for his 35-year career. He has developed Acquirgy.com's "Customer Acquisition Intel Center" (acquirgy.com/intel ) he evangelizes best-of-breed tactics to help companies acquire customers in the digital age. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org .Read all Irv's MediaBizBloggers commentaries at Customer Acquisition Intel.Check us out on Facebook at MediaBizBloggers.comFollow our Twitter updates @MediaBizBloggerThe opinions and points of view expressed in this commentary are exclusively the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of MediaBizBloggers.com management or associated bloggers. MediaBizBloggers is an open thought leadership platform and readers may share their comments and opinions in response to all commentaries.