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      B2B Insights

      B2B Experiences Need to Be Powered By Personalization: Here Is the Why, Who, and How

      By Kait Spong

      Jan 20, 2022

      11 min read

      B2B Insights

      B2B Experiences Need to Be Powered By Personalization: Here Is the Why, Who, and How

      It’s no secret that consumers want things fast, easy, and convenient, and why wouldn’t they if most of their daily tasks consist of a few clicks of the mouse? That’s why when it comes to creating your sales pipeline for prospects, user journeys need to be connected, touchpoints need to make sense, and barriers need to be kept to a minimum. 

      While many B2C companies have mastered personalized and efficient transactions online, B2B strategies are still lagging. Unfortunately, since B2B personalization is significantly more complex, catching up will never be as simple as copying and pasting the B2C approach. 

      First, it’s very challenging to keep B2B experiences consistent for all the players typically involved. By focusing solely on a single end user, you already put your business at a disadvantage. When targeting a business with your B2B products and services, you have to think about involving their marketing manager, implementation specialist, and CEO in your messaging. Simply put, segmentation can be carved out in thousands of different ways, and the big picture of it all can feel overwhelming, to say the least. 

      Second, it can be difficult to personalize B2B campaigns at scale. Not only do you have to segment audiences for each individual business entity, but you also have to stretch that strategy across the industry – or multiple industries – you’re targeting. 

      In a whitepaper with SQLI, “The Power of Personalization in B2B Customer Experiences,” Bloomreach explored how a digital-first mindset can remedy the problem of B2B fragmentation. Let’s take a look at the challenges B2B teams are facing and how key leadership roles can address these issues by coming together with the power of technology. 

      The Prevailing Challenges That B2B Faces 

      In the whitepaper, we, along with SQLI, evaluated prevalent issues in the market, with a particular focus on the unique B2B landscape. Even though B2B marketing has the same core goals as B2C, B2B strategies were not properly digitized before the pandemic. 

      Plus, today’s business customers demand more than a catchy jingle and a direct customer service phone number. Like their B2C counterparts, they want instant gratification through fast and efficient responses on social media platforms, email, and beyond. They also crave personalization. 89% of digital businesses are investing in personalization for these very purposes, and more need to hop on board. 

      Loyalty has also become a major factor for many B2B customers. According to a study published by eMarketer, nearly 59% of global internet users consider earning rewards or loyalty points to be a valued aspect of their shopping experience. Loyalty efforts don’t only benefit the customer, either. They are known to reduce acquisition costs, increase revenue, and improve marketing spend efficiency. 

      Additionally, these types of customers are looking to shop by their own rules, and they want less physical interaction. McKinsey recently projected that 76% of B2B buyers favor remote interactions through online channels. This trend will only continue to evolve as time goes on. 

      Because customers are searching for less interaction, all online commerce needs to be connected, allowing transactions to occur anywhere at any time on any device. Although these challenges might seem insurmountable as separate issues, they can be solved in a consolidated way, as long as leadership unites in a joint effort to improve workflows. 

      The Roles B2B Need to Unify 

      As a distributor or brand manufacturer, it’s crucial to understand where your customers are in their purchasing process — and perhaps, more importantly, where they want to go. Of course, cultivating a digitally mature organization will take the “all-hands-on-deck” mentality, but there are a few key roles within your company that will be vital in a successful transformation. 

      The Chief Digital Officer (CDO) will lead the charge in this digital transformation. When dealing with legacy systems, financial constraints, and competitors, there is a lot for this individual to juggle, though. So, the CDO must collaborate regularly with the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) to maintain a mutual understanding of all business priorities, from budgets to timelines. 

      Both of these roles, along with the Chief Information Officer (CIO), need to keep pace with the trends of the changing business landscape, like artificial intelligence, mobile-first user experiences, and data protection. In doing so, they will achieve one of the most important gains for any business: increased customer satisfaction. 

      There will always be industry disruptors in today’s climate, and to remain agile and competitive, companies must invest in digital maturation. Thankfully, there is a step-by-step process by The Javelin Group depicted in the whitepaper for these key company leaders to follow. 

      It has proven helpful in each of digitization’s four stages: early commerce and multichannel development, phased multichannel integration, preparation, mobilization, and centralization of data and insight, and final reshaping of omnichannel organization. But how does B2B orchestrate these monumental changes in a highly integrated yet approachable way? 

      The Technology Solution B2B Should Invest In 

      The International Data Corporation recently released research indicating that two-thirds of CEOs from leading global companies are shifting their focus from traditional practices to digital strategies in order to meet customer expectations. Of these CEOs, 34% believe that they will navigate a complete digital transformation within 12 months. 

      To make this lofty goal possible, they’ll need the help of advanced technology, like a customer data platform (CDP) and marketing automation solution. A CDP is a unified database of customer information that provides a clear snapshot of where your business stands in its marketing, sales, and retention efforts. With it, you can manage previously disjointed data, such as customer locations, purchase histories, and preferred shipping methods, across multiple touchpoints. 

      Flexible and easy to organize, CDPs can condense different data sets into a digestible strategy. This solution records transactional data, campaign behavior, online activity, and customer service correspondences. Then, the marketing automation solution can help you distribute your strategy on every relevant platform. All members of your leadership team will instantly reap the benefits, like maintaining a full view of target audiences and KPIs, instilling better data collection and storage practices, and of course, building a reliable, future-proof digital solution for your organization.

      “In a crowded market like today’s, customers are constantly being overwhelmed with information and advertisements from all types of products and services…[Having]  high-quality customer data centralized into a CDP ensures [that information is used] as a foundation for personalization to reach your customers in the way they prefer [and] with the content that they are most likely to be interested in,” explained Marta Bote González, a Marketing Automation Consultant for SQLI. 

      With Bloomreach’s advanced commerce experience and SQLI’s digital approach, you can improve your B2B customers’ journeys, centralize data collection practices, and enable digital transformation within your company. If you’re seeking further information on digitizing your B2B pipeline for the future with a CDP, download the full whitepaper

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      Kait Spong

      Content Marketing Manager at Bloomreach

      Kait is a Content Marketing Manager at Bloomreach and is passionate about delving into the technology solutions that improve a business' end goals. Once earning their BA and MA in English, the seasoned writer delved into the world of content marketing, branding, search engine optimization, and social media marketing and has helped numerous companies across all industries with their content and thought leadership strategies.

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