Encouraging a steady stream of high-quality new business leads will always be a priority for organisations, whether you’re in retail or real estate. In today’s ever-evolving economy, no business can afford to sit back and trust that traditional lead-generation strategies will still be effective.
With 57% of internet-using South Africans now shopping online, consumer demands are changing, and your approach to targeting new customers should be changing with them. The digital environment enables convenience, personalisation, and communication, and it also opens up new ways to generate, track, and target leads. Let’s look at how various digital options and modern communication tools can help you drive business leads and ultimately acquire more customers.
1) Attract the right kind of attention
In the clamour of digital marketing, it’s easy to get caught up with quantity, rather than focusing on making meaningful connections with the right potential customers. With more brands and customers moving online, creating a digital footprint is critical to the credibility and visibility of your business – as long as that footprint attracts the right kind of attention. Generating thousands of business leads will be counterproductive if those leads are not likely to convert. Be selective about where you publish content and how you target ads. Become an expert in your field with thought-provoking insights published where your customers will see them. After all, success lies in being part of the right conversations with the right people, so they become long-standing clients. In terms of lead generation and increasing business revenue, quality usually outweighs quantity.
2) Make it personal
Customers deserve a personal experience, but, unfortunately, research shows that many retailers are missing the mark, leaving customers dissatisfied after impersonal interactions. In order to drive sales and foster long-term relationships, you need to know as much about your customers as possible. Fortunately, technology is available to make this process easier. A customer data platform (CDP) unifies information, from transactional history and orders to devices used by customers, to create centralised customer profiles. With these details, a business can offer a more personal customer experience and improve engagement. Recent studies show that 44% of customers will become repeat buyers and stay loyal after receiving a more personalised experience, so it’s worth investing in the solutions that make this possible.
3) Put the customer first
Understanding your customers’ needs and expectations is at the heart of securing new business and retaining current clients. Rather than purely focusing on product-based marketing, create a strategy that includes a human-focused, value-based approach – one where you show consumers how a product could help solve their problems or make their lives easier. Providing useful content will show your customers that you understand them, and it helps them value your company. It’s no wonder that research shows that 75% of B2B marketers used content marketing to generate leads in the last 12 months. Gathering and unifying customer data in a CDP makes this process easier, as it will help you uncover and track what your customers are interested in.
4) Reach people in the right place
Offering an omni-channel experience is important, because not all customers will complete a transaction on a single device. Consumers want to be able to research your business on their phone, then check out a website from their laptop, before downloading a mobile app – and they expect purchase developments to reflect as they go. mCommerce is expected to account for over 70% of total eCommerce sales this year, so a mobile-friendly service is crucial. If you know the majority of sales come from mobile, then you know where to reach new leads and that you need to make mobile marketing part of your strategy to drive interactive, conversational commerce. Optimise what you know so you can talk to customers on the platforms they prefer and guide their sales journeys.
5) Focus on innovation
Innovative digital solutions are there to help streamline business operations and provide a better service to your customers, so keep an eye on new offerings. For instance, cloud-based CPaaS replaces real-time communication with features like voice, video, and in-app messaging services. With CPaaS, for instance, it’s easy for customers to get support through video-enabled help desks, and a company benefits from contextual communications with customers. When looking for ways to support current clients and encourage new ones, be aware of new advancements in the market. Innovations are taking place all the time, and keeping up with them could set you apart from competitors and lead to new business.
6) Customer experience is key
In terms of competition, one way to differentiate your company from the rest is to champion customer experience (CX). Even in a digital-first environment, customers are looking for considered and personal interactions. CX frustrations could lead to a loss of business, but if a potential customer can easily navigate your site, receive helpful information, or even a personal recommendation, they’re likely to become your latest lead generator. According to customer strategist Esteban Kolsky, 72% of customers will share a positive experience with up to six people. And, in terms of generating better business leads, there’s nothing quite as credible as a direct referral. Great customer experiences lead to even greater customer bases.
There are myriad ways to attract new business, but the most important thing to consider is that generating new leads stems from understanding your current and future customers. In this information age, the tools are there for you to optimise customer data and create informed marketing strategies. Don’t be afraid to try new avenues and look to innovation for modern solutions. As award-winning computer scientist Grace Hopper said, “The most dangerous phrase in the language is, ‘We’ve always done it this way.” By James Bayhack, Sub-Saharan Africa Director at CM.com
Opinions expressed by TechMetro Africa contributors are their own.