Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2022-01-26
Curbside pick-up, same-day delivery, saved preferences, recommendations that seem to read your mind. Some companies have dialed in on how to deliver an incredible customer experience (CX). As consumers, we have seen how these excellent experiences have ignited higher expectations for the buying process, including in our professional lives.
Meeting and exceeding these expectations can seem like a big task for B2B marketers and sales teams, but there are also more resources available than ever before. Technology and automation enable small companies to scale like big companies and big businesses to deliver personalized, handheld experiences to their buyers. The result, Gartner says, is a more dynamic approach all around. The data is out there, but its power needs to be harnessed in meaningful ways. The playing field has been leveled, if you have the right data, tools and techniques.
Based on analysts' predictions and my own experience as a marketing data provider, it’s clear to me that businesses that deliver on CX are setting themselves apart—and setting themselves up for greater success. For B2B marketers aiming to deliver exceptional CX in 2022, there are many things to keep in mind.
A recent Toolbox article defined personalization as “companies using data to learn about their customers and then using that knowledge to influence how they interact with those customers.”
And that’s really where it starts. Marketers have realized that personalization is more than adding specific details, like a customer’s name, and more about building a fuller understanding of the customer’s preferences, experiences and wants, then tailoring outreach and delivery to meet those expectations.
To really understand your customer, you need to understand their pain points. Customer expectations are high, but they’re also changing rapidly. Marketers need to tap into an empathetic response that builds trust, according to Gartner. Understanding that everyone is pressed for time and most people don’t want to be “sold”-- but would rather enter into a collaborative relationship where their pain points are being resolved -- goes a long way towards being empathetic and building a trusting relationship.
It’s also important to remember you’re not just targeting a single decision-maker, but more than likely it’s a buying group. The trend toward group decision-making in the B2B market has increased in recent years. A Forrester study aimed at sellers noted that 94% of respondents said they sell to groups of three or more individuals and 38% sell to groups of 10 or more.
Intent monitoring data can identify prospects who are looking for a solution digitally (online) and may be in-market for your offers. By matching the intent data to high-quality contact data, marketers can identify all the potential contacts from a single company for a better picture of the in-market buying group, and then tailor their outreach from there.
B2B marketers need to think in terms of delivering great omnichannel experiences. Because the reality is that your customer’s digital experience with your company is their customer experience. According to Forrester, 80% of consumers see the world as all digital, and 56% percent of U.S. consumers believe that companies should have figured out how to handle pandemic-related disruption by now. Buyers expect digital experiences to meet their high standards.
Digital buying methods are becoming more prevalent. Recent McKinsey research notes that 60% of B2B customers want to buy online and 62% want to reorder online, but only “13% of industrial OEMs offer digital solutions of any kind, and only 10% offer online self-service tools for placing reorders.” Additionally, buyers are willing to spend more through remote and online sales channels. Another McKinsey study noted that 35% of buyers are willing to spend $500,000 or more (up from 27% in February 2021). Marketers committed to delivering on CX need to meet customer needs throughout the buying process. Before, during (with the option to purchase online) and after the sale, too.
Delivering excellent CX in 2022 means you need to understand your “customer behavior, needs, wants, and expectations,” according to the Toolbox article, and adapt as those aspects change. It’s a process and a journey, but one that’s worth the effort to strengthen your customer relationships and build loyalty for years to come.
Outward Media’s proven data cleansing services and targeted, accurate B2B data can enable you to achieve better digital marketing ROI and, ultimately, convert more prospects into customers. Go here to find out about leveraging our SMB and medical market data on the LiveRamp Data Marketplace, where 95% of our email data matches the identity graph for use with display ad marketing.
At OMI, we believe good things happen when you share your knowledge. That's why we're proud to educate marketers at every level - in every size and type of organization - about the basics of email marketing and the contact data that powers it.