In this week’s masterclass Teradata’s Mark Ash explores five ways to master lead generation

Far too often, brands are so focused on communicating with the customers they have, that they are less inclined to look for ways to improve their approach to acquiring new customers and nurturing them in qualified leads. Customer acquisition is a key part of business growth and development, and therefore crucial to invest in. The DMA’s full report into marketers approach to customer acquisition, which found email to be the most trusted channel, highlights a real need for greater attention.

It is such a fundamental component of any successful omni-channel digital marketing strategy, but unless you know how to be a true master at it, you will be unable to benefit from the opportunities it can generate for your business.

With that in mind, here are five tips to help you nurture a rich customer base successfully.

1. Display re-targeting

Lead generation can be achieved across multiple channels, but brands shouldn’t focus on channels individually, they should instead focus on the message. When it comes to display re-targeting, the message is fundamentally important. The ability to pinpoint specific individuals and serve them with a relevant ad, based on their browsing can be incredibly powerful in driving sales. For instance, if a customer is considering buying a DVD or camera, but decides not to go through with the purchase, re-targeting them as they browse further online will greatly improve your chance of incentivising a sale. Doing this successfully requires a great deal of insight, but if customers are presented with an advert for something they are interested in, at the right moment, they will be more inclined to buy.

2. Remember lead generation is not a one time thing

Quality lead generation is a long process – those viewing it as anything less than this are missing the point.  Yes, there may be a desire or need to convert rapidly, but investing in developing the relationship with the customer should ensure greater loyalty and ROI. Brands shouldn’t expect to have a complete understanding of their customer immediately; it’s through interacting over longer periods of time that data insights will be shared, customer preferences uncovered and a more complete picture will emerge. A carefully planned and extended process will put the brand in a better position to target the consumer again at a later date with a relevant offer based on previous behaviour. Remember also, it’s not about quantity. Quality leads may take longer to develop and acquire but will be a lot more worthwhile and valuable to the business.

3. Email helps to tie together successful omni-channel delivery

Businesses need to move beyond thinking that email registrations can only take place after a sale occurs and instead encourage registration before consumers become customers. Email has an important role to play in incentivising the prospect through enabling the brand to provide innovative content that create new opportunities to convert them into a customer. It’s also an effective channel for unifying the messages you send to customers. This is crucial when a prospect will be interacting with your brand across a variety of channels, expecting an identical experience no matter what touch point they are engaging with.

4. One-to-one personalisation

Customers increasingly demand and expect more personalised messages from brands. If you are going to successfully incentivise them, you must communicate with them on an individual level, with content relevant to them. Content should make people feel good about your brand and encourage them to become a customer. Establishing this emotional connection helps develop a deeper relationship and makes someone more open to further interactions, carrying them further along the nurture process.

5. Nurture the customer journey

Understanding the customer journey is critical. Failure to recognise this will make it very hard to positively influence them in a meaningful way and could put them off your brand completely. You need to have the correct platforms in place to draw on data from every available touch point, to enable insight-driven messages, which are based on their previous behaviour at relevant points in the journey.