Digital disruption has transformed the buyer journey and businesses have to adopt new inbound marketing methodologies in order to stay competitive. Typically now over 70% of the buyer journey is complete before they even talk to a company, so driving a superior customer experience from the very beginning of the buyer journey is of paramount importance.
Offering a personalised customer experience has rapidly become the key brand differentiator in both the B2B and B2C markets. Over 65% of business buyers say that they would switch brands if a company didn’t make efforts to personalize their communications - but how easy is it to actually offer a personalised customer experience?
There's no easy route to this, but empowered choice means businesses have no option but to work hard to earn buyer loyalty through personalisation.
Here are few suggestions for starters:
Social listening: an invaluable tool to see how your customers are interacting with your company and competitors. This can provide you with detailed insights into your customer’s behaviour (likes and dislikes) in a social setting can help marketers create meaningful offers that go way beyond the traditional brand interactions. Understanding your customers in this way takes campaign personalisation to the next level.
Closer alignment between sales & marketing - to ensure all interactions with prospects and customers are logged and easily accessible at all times. Obtaining a 360 degree of the customer is a challenge but the potential benefits are enormous in terms of driving customer loyalty through offering a superior customer experience.
Technology investment - essential for access to vital customer data and insights which allow businesses (marketing and sales in particular) to make effective use of their data, and channel it into their activity in a meaningful way.
Further highlighting the value of personalisation:
- By 2018 (here and now) over 50% of companies will redirect investments towards customer experience innovations. (Gartner)
- 81% consumers want brands to understand them better and know when and when not to approach them. (Accenture)
B2B personalization is fast becoming the new normal, according to Altimeter Group principal analyst and author Brian Solis. Last month at the B2B Marketing Exchange conference, Solis and several other presenters spoke about the ways personalized customer experiences in B2C channels have set a new mandate for B2B sales and marketing. “Business buyers don’t go to work and forget what they do as humans. There’s a new normal that blurs the line between B2B and B2C. They just want things personalized. More successful companies are looking and prioritizing things like understanding customers’ evolving behaviors and preferences to design more meaningful engagement opportunities,” said Solis.