Customer experience (CX) is the marketing, sales, and service process throughout which a prospect interacts with your company—and it’s essential for B2B marketers. As B2C marketing evolves, B2B buyers are beginning to expect the same level of timely, relevant marketing they experience in the B2C market.
The predictive marketing methods of the B2C market are driving B2B marketers to refocus on creating a cohesive customer experience. Personalization, consistency, and delivery of the right information to the right stakeholders at the right time are crucial.
Focus on Personalization
According to Forbes, 72% of B2B buyers expect personalized communications that are designed to meet their specific needs. If a competitor anticipates their needs better—they’ll buy from them.
Demographic- and behavior-based audience segmentation are helping marketers provide personalization on a mass scale.
Personalization can be as simple as greeting each audience member by their first name or as complex as tailoring a custom message to a narrow demographic.
The key to personalization? Data.
Leverage Data to Identify Insights into the Customer Journey
Anticipating what a prospect needs on their buying journey boils down to the need for data. And you don’t just have to have the data, you have to harness it.
B2B marketers have never had access to more data than they do today. Instead, the challenge facing marketers is how to leverage data to identify insights into the customer journey. Many organizations struggle with siloed, incomplete data that they haven’t integrated across the organization.
According to a recent survey, 70% of B2B marketers in 2020 are focused on implementing tools that measure and analyze their data, uncovering deeper insights that help identify their best prospects. Marketers who harness online and offline data and break down internal data silos will be most equipped to deliver an optimized omnichannel customer experience.
What Is an Omnichannel Experience?
It’s a multichannel approach to marketing, selling, and promoting your product to your customers. It’s intended to provide customers with a seamless shopping and purchasing experience, wherever they find your brand.As defined by TechTarget
Does the Omnichannel Experience Matter for B2B Marketers?
In one word—yes. A recent survey by Salesforce revealed that 80% of business buyers want a consumer-level customer experience. Moreover, two-thirds of these buyers have switched vendors to get that type of buying experience.
In stark contrast, the same survey also indicated that less than 30% of B2B buyers identified the customer experience of their suppliers as “excellent.” This gap presents a significant opportunity for B2B marketers to gain market share by creating a standout experience.
Businesses that focus on tracking, analyzing, and leveraging touchpoints across both online and offline channels—AND, across different stakeholders within a single account—will become the omnichannel experience leaders in our industry. That leads us nicely into account-based marketing.
A Successful Account-Based Marketing Strategy
Account-based marketing (ABM) focuses on identifying an engaged, core group of decision-making stakeholders within a single account and tracks account-wide engagement.
Tactically, ABM then focuses the most appropriate messaging to the proper stakeholder within the group to accelerate the conversation and predictively answer questions. This can greatly reduce friction in the sales process.
Sirius Decisions states that 78% of B2B buyers make purchasing decisions in groups of 3 or more people. Within our industry, those stakeholders may include a veterinarian, a practice manager, a lead technician, and a practice owner. The decision-making criteria for these individuals are very different. Take a look at this example.
- A practice owner may want to know about profitability and long-term ROI
- The veterinarian on the team is focused on clinical efficacy
- Practice managers will want to identify how implementation and clinic workflow are impacted
- Meanwhile, the lead technician will be concerned about tactical usability and reducing friction in the workday
Successful ABM strategy is dependent upon a strong internal data strategy that enables cross-team visibility of account-based activity and automated execution of tactics based on data triggers.
Data Strategy: A Key Component of the Modern Marketer’s Outlook
The #1 challenge for the modern marketer is data governance, which must be a component of a modern marketing strategy.
Guidelines for data collection and use should be company-wide and focused on accuracy, accessibility, and accountability. From sales to service and support, data congruence and integrity will support the whole team in crafting an excellent customer experience.
For marketers, it’s important to identify and track who has been on your website and what the demographics, behaviors, and interests are of your online audience. To enable accurate behavioral tracking, find out who visits your website.
Adopting a Customer Data Platform
Many B2B companies are beginning to adopt Customer Data Platforms (CDP) and Data Management Platforms (DMP).
What Are Customer Data Platforms?
“A Customer Data Platform (CDP) is a software that aggregates and organizes customer data across a variety of touchpoints and is used by other software, systems, and marketing efforts. CDPs collect and structure real-time data into individual, centralized customer profiles.”As defined by HubSpot
CDPs effectively aggregate data from both known and unidentified individuals to collect personally identifiable information. Alternatively, DMPs store anonymous information such as cookies, devices, and IP addresses. Organizations with advanced infrastructure may leverage a combination approach to data management. For more detailed information about CDPs and DMPs visit this in-depth blog from Hubspot.
A Case Study on Customer Data Platforms
Let’s take a look at a case study from our in-house data.
Since 2012, Brief Media has been the only media company in the veterinary industry that has been gathering audience data through website gating. Although content gating is common, website gating is less traditional.
Website gating requires quality content that visitors value enough to sign in to access every time they visit the website. If your content is valuable, the data rewards of website gating are significant.
For cliniciansbrief.com, website gating has resulted in the most robust database in the veterinary industry. This gating enables us to collect over 60,000,000 harnessable, segmentable, actionable data points each year.
We store these data points in our Audience Intelligence Database, which brings subscribers and users across our different platforms together into a single, unified database. Efforts are in place to prompt subscribers and users to update their profile data on an ongoing basis.
With this unified audience intelligence database, we are able to create highly targeted custom audiences. We can segment these audience groups by demographic data, behavioral data, and by content interests. Within the database, each audience member has 300+ data points, enabling both global and granular customization of a customer experience. Because veterinary professionals must sign in to access content at each visit, data is accurate and always up-to-date.
If you’re curious about how our data capabilities can supercharge your digital marketing campaigns, drop us a line. Let’s create something together.