Nurturing customer relationships isn’t just for Business to Customer (B2C) companies where each customer is an individual. In Business to Business (B2B) industries, keeping your customers engaged and invested in your partnership with them is just as important – perhaps even more! Using automation to nurture B2B customers could be the key to you success.
Unlike in B2C industries – where you might have hundreds or thousands of potential fish swimming in your pond (i.e target market) – in a B2B relationship, each one of your customers has the potential to represent a large percentage of your total annual business. How you nurture them should hence be one of your biggest marketing considerations.
B2B customer nurturing isn’t quite the same as working direct with individual consumers. For instance, one of the most effective strategies to emerge in recent years has been personalisation. A study by data company Accenture found that 41% of US B2B customers switched companies last year over a lack of personalisation. But a successful personalisation campaign can be tricky for small businesses to achieve, due in large part to limited resources. Personalisation takes time and requires a human touch. Both of these things can be scarce in a small company. One way that small businesses can achieve a successful level of personalisation is by using automation.
We believe that every business should be using marketing automation (in some way) as a way of keeping their customers engaged and feeling nurtured. It is the ideal way to show your customers that your company cares about them and their pain points on a systemic level. To read more blogs from us about the power of automation click here and here. This blog is specific to nurturing B2B customers relationships however, so we’ve put together five examples of how you can start use automated marketing to nurture your B2B customer relationships right away!
Everyone loves to buy things when they’re on sale and that’s especially true of your B2B buyers! Bulk specials and seasonal sales are a much anticipated part of the business lifecycle. But a generalised sale will only benefit a percentage of your customers. If you want everyone to jump on your seasonal inventory sale the key is to use targeted automation.
Spotlighting for your customers products from their regular order is one way. Promoting the upcoming upgrade of a product that might help them do their jobs easier is another. Your customers will be excited to get (what feels like) a personalised discount. They’ll also appreciate that you went that step further for them.
Newsletters are a great way to keep B2B customers engaged, as they can share industry-relevant news as well as include product info. What automation marketing offers is a way to target various versions of your newsletter to individual customers. While all your clients may receive the same general news and newsletter layout, the product spotlight sections can be targeted. By ensuring the product spotlights are relevant, you increase the chance that your newsletter products will be purchased in the next round of orders.
Is a B2B customer subscription coming to an end? Will they need to submit a new order soon? Use automated marketing to welcome them back and make the re-order process easy! Instead of the traditional ‘reminder’ email, send a friendly invitation to re-order using predictive data based on their order history.
You might also include a link to the re-order form already filled out with their past order. You might send a newsletter spotlighting any cost reductions or bulk discounts available for the re-order. Make renewing your B2B partnership easy and friendly using personalised content instead of a generic reminder email.
In B2B, marketing is often a matter of training more than entertaining. If you sell a product to retailers (for example), training videos on how to sell and use the product can be really helpful to your customers.
Empower your B2B customers by sharing targeted training content based on their past orders. Provide a new training video every week that relates directly to each client’s product use or selling goals. Perhaps even set up a customer-only portal where they can access all this information on demand!
You can also advertise options available for convenience, based on the needs of each B2B customer. Logistics options (for example) tend to be chosen based on the distance and distribution needs of the customer. Use automation to provide order-responsive logistics. If you have new options available that might be ideal for some customers, send them targeted emails to let them know.
There are dozens of ways to make use of automation marketing to nurture customer in the B2B space. Keeping your business customers engaged and feeling loved involves targeted content and promotions that make each client feel taken care of. Data-driven automation makes it easy to personally tailor your marketing to each of your clients needs and interests. Marketing automation also reduces the demand on your sales teams, freeing them up for other tasks! This way, nurturing your B2B customers can really become a breeze.
Here at Oracle Tree, our team specialises in developing client targeted marketing automation strategies that help small businesses grow. Contact us today to discuss your automation marketing plan and how we can enhance your B2B customer engagement!
What could you do if your business simply… worked?