The explosion of new marketing technology over the past decade has not only led to organisations improving their customer experience, but has also led to an expectation from customers to have a good experience. With B2C leading the way, in most cases, customers expect that same experience across all buying journeys. In this piece, Sylvia Jensen (pictured below), senior director EMEA marketing, Oracle Marketing Cloud, explains how B2B marketers can be successful in driving customer experience by tapping into their existing marketing ecosystem.
Business customer expectations have been elevated; customer experience has become focused on everything that goes into the process of buying a product or service. Whether that customer returns or refers you to others depends on their experience.
According to the findings of a 2016 survey by market research group B2B International, 54% of B2B marketers in the UK believe customer experience will be the most valuable form of market research over the next two years.
It’s great to believe in, but it’s another thing to actually achieve a memorable customer experience. According to the same B2B International survey, 19% of marketers believe they are actively involved in shaping the customer experience.
So, how can B2B marketers be successful in driving customer experience?
View the customer experience from back to front
It is a common misconception that customer experience is about forward facing personnel and processes, but the backend has a huge part to play. Think of it like a theatre performance – if you put everything into the actors, but nothing into the scenery, costumes, lighting and music, there’s not much for the audience to engage with and no real experience. Therefore, you need to assess what you can be doing behind the scenes to enhance the effect you deliver through your website and other marketing channels (developers, designers, and content writers), your visit to their company (sales staff, technologists, and marketers), or your marketing collateral (brochures, catalogues, and pricing sheets).
Leverage marketing technology
There is a plethora of solutions out there, but it is becoming clear that many organisations focus too much on investing in new technology and not enough time fine-tuning what they already have. With 3,874 martech vendors operating across 43 categories and providing over 20 marketing solutions, it’s no surprise that a typical marketing department will be juggling upwards of 17 different silos. This has led to somewhat of a tech overload. Tapping into the existing ecosystem, and leveraging the cloud-based marketing stack, gives marketers a chance to work on the human dynamic and engagement process with each company. The key is to find the technology solution that is best-suited to enable customer experience initiatives and can deliver the targeting and segmentation required for success.
Maintain offline channels
Traditional marketing capabilities still matter because not every consumer and business is solely shopping in the digital world. Even if they do shop online, there will be situations where you will also meet them in person, or where they will come across your brand in their daily lives. Here is where training and a focus on social engagement techniques can make a significant difference in how a customer perceives their experience with you.
Address business pain points
Imagine how your business customers will feel when they discover you know exactly what hurts and how you can alleviate that pain for them. If you can craft your marketing messages, and follow up with delivering on those promises, you create a memorable experience where they see you as offering care, convenience, and the necessary prescription for what ails them. The next pain point that comes along, you can count on them making an appointment with you.
Putting these ideas to work will take you from believing in the customer experience to proving that it enhances your bottom line and brand reputation. As marketers begin to tap into their existing marketing ecosystem and utilise these, not only will they see efficiency benefits, but also an improved and consistent customer experience.