Customer retention plays an important role in B2B Marketing because they represent a unique pool of business engagements.
And because it is five times more expensive to acquire new customers as compared to retain the existing ones, loyalty marketing is crucial to the success of your business.
Customer loyalty is a phrase that is used when a customer proactively responds to a business by continuously purchasing from them.
That is why your B2B company needs to adopt a loyalty program. 43% of customers spend more money when they’re loyal to a business. If you have loyalty programs being implemented for your business, you will foster stronger engagement and relationships with your customers.
Table of Contents
The Impact of Loyalty Marketing in B2B
Focusing on the needs of your existing B2B customer and making sure that they are satisfied allows you to build a stronger long-term relationship.
Furthermore, customer loyalty opens up new opportunities for your business.
It transforms into referrals, which in turn results in the acquisition of new customers, greater brand awareness, and new cross-selling or upselling opportunities.
The quality of your products and services is still the greatest factor for your customers’ satisfaction.
However, loyalty programs add a greater value to your business. It gives your customers something to look forward to in every transaction.
Additionally, loyalty programs enhance customer retention and provide a better buying experience.
The Differences Between B2B and B2C Loyalty Marketing
B2B which stands for business to business is defined as the process of selling your products or services to other businesses. On the other hand, B2C stands for business to consumer and is defined as selling directly to the consumers.
Both B2B and B2C loyalty marketing share the same goal of retaining customers. However, there are some key differences.
Let’s take a look at some of these.
B2B Loyalty Marketing Requires a Personalized Approach
B2B companies have a smaller customer base as compared to B2C companies. Because of this, your strategies for keeping them engaged should be more personalized.
Buyers in B2B industries are highly rational and are focused on elevating their businesses. The decision in making a purchase is often made by a committee. Your loyalty program must be tailored to fit each of their needs.
You should focus on showing the benefits and value proposition of your business when launching a loyalty program for B2B customers. You should aim to solve the pain points and needs of each decision-maker to develop loyalty.
On the other hand, since the B2C market has a larger customer base, its loyalty programs are more generalized. B2C customers also make purchasing decisions based on their emotions.
B2B Loyalty Marketing Requires Greater Communication
One of the challenges in loyalty marketing is communication. Even more so for the decision-makers in the B2B industry because of their diverse and busy schedule.
You should consider communication styles that are fast and seamless using different channels that fit their lifestyle.
Although it may take longer for you to communicate with your customers in the B2B market, the results are greater because it will yield more profit for your business.
The Opportunities in B2B Loyalty Marketing
Taking care of your existing customers is a great way to ensure that you gain their trust and loyalty. It also shows that you appreciate their business.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of implementing effective loyalty marketing in your business.
Research has shown that acquiring new customers is more expensive than retaining the existing ones. In fact, it is five times more expensive.
B2B loyalty marketing will help your company save and make more money by retaining your existing customers.
This is a great reason why you should focus on investing in building customer loyalty.
Better Customer Insights
Loyalty marketing helps you see who your customers are. It can help you find out more about their needs.
Using these insights, you can build a personalized approach that appeals to your customers.
You may do this by creating forms and making them a part of your loyalty marketing strategy.
Loyalty marketing makes it possible for you to optimize lead generation.
You can do this by making referral forms wherein customers must exchange their details before getting the incentive.
This will help you get more quality leads and increase the likelihood of conversions.
The Challenges in B2B Loyalty Marketing
B2B loyalty marketing requires a different approach as opposed to B2C marketing. Your strategy needs to be more in-depth and personalized.
It’s essential for you to identify the problems so you can refine your marketing techniques.
Here are some of the challenges you may face.
All details, including the minor ones, must be documented. You should do this to avoid inconsistency and confusion.
Your documentation should include details that cover the terms and conditions and important information that is relevant to your business.
Consistency is necessary and you can achieve this by regularly updating the details of your loyalty marketing programs.
A great customer experience plays a big factor in ensuring the loyalty of your customers.
Research done by Blue Corona shows that 80% of the buying decisions of B2B customers are directly influenced by customer experience.
However, business owners have limited control over this.
So, what can you do? You can add feedback forms to ensure that your customers are satisfied with the experience they have transacting with you.
Additionally, you can also improve your strategies so that you can give your customers a consistent and informative experience.
Loyalty marketing lets you gain insightful data from your customers.
The challenge lies in differentiating the data and knowing which you should track. You should analyze and integrate the data collected into your strategies to make your loyalty marketing more effective.
The Most Effective B2B Loyalty Marketing Strategies
If you want to create effective and meaningful B2B loyalty marketing strategies, you must first identify your customers’ needs. You should also know how to use this data so you can enhance your relationship with your clients.
Additionally, analyzing their buying habits helps you to make a program that is tailored to them.
Tiered incentives motivate your customers to gain more points for more valuable rewards.
It ignites engagement with your customers by encouraging them to sign up for a loyalty program, and receive premium offers as they repeatedly purchase from your business.
Take a look at what the company TRW did. TRW is a global supplier of parts to the automobile industry.
They started a B2B loyalty program called “Automotive Diamonds” wherein members can redeem rewards from points they earned through their purchases.
TRW noticed a great improvement in customer data and insights through this program.
It is a good idea to give rewards to your clients for referring new customers to your business. It’s the easiest and most popular way to implement loyalty marketing in your business.
Give more bonuses as your customers refer new clients. Also, reward newly referred customers so that new and existing clients find value in participating in your referral program.
American Express used this strategy and created a program called “American Express Partner Plus”.
They give rewards to organizations if they refer their contacts successfully to AE’s Global Corporate Payments program. This formed a deeper relationship between the company and its clients.
This approach is more often used by B2C companies, but it’s also a great strategy for building loyalty from your B2B customers.
Every consumer is attracted to a good deal, and it’s important to implement immediate transaction-based discounts to create a feeling of importance and loyalty.
By offering your customers an exclusive discount that can be used in current or future transactions, you are encouraging them to participate in a loyalty program membership.
Forming a partnership with your clients by running co-marketing campaigns is a great way to establish their loyalty to your business.
It’s also an effective strategy to acquire more customers while increasing your reputation.
A good example of a company that used this strategy is Mailchimp.
They encouraged marketing professionals to team up with a company. They then managed their client’s business through Mailchimp, and in exchange, they received exclusive perks.
Designing a strategy that is focused on establishing loyalty from your B2B customers has a lot of rewarding outcomes. For one, retaining existing customers offers a greater return on investment than acquiring new clients.
Furthermore, loyalty marketing increases the customer’s lifetime value and gives your business a competitive advantage.