Imagine meeting someone that you like. It feels like you are on the same page, and you are keen to see that person again. However, this person is not a great communicator. They only get in touch sporadically. Sometimes you don’t hear from them for long periods of time and when you do, their responses don’t align with your questions.
How does it make you feel?
Like the other person doesn’t care and has limited interest in you. As a result, you are probably likely to lose interest too and move on, until you meet someone who makes you feel that they get you.
For B2B organisations, ‘getting you’ means having a deep understanding of the customer and their buying journey. B2B organisations that build a relationship with their customers at every step of the journey and match their challenges to relevant solutions, create trust and long-term loyalty, instead of relying on hope and purely transactional interactions.
The changing digital landscape has accelerated a major transformation in customer expectations. To drive marketing performance and business growth, organisations need to match those expectations and deliver a positive, personalised customer journey from start to finish.
Map the customer’s journey
A customer journey map is a visual story of your customer’s interactions with your brand and the various touchpoints that lead them on the journey. To be memorable, this journey needs to be personal to the individual. Customer journey mapping helps organisations to achieve exactly that – to create personalised experiences across all touchpoints, for every individual across all channels.
Customers are multidimensional and to keep up with their expectations, knowing them is key. Each interaction that customers have with a brand influences their perception of and behaviour toward that brand. Understanding the customer journey is important but there is an important problem - complexity. The customer’s journey is no longer straightforward, and with every brand competing for their attention, understanding where and how customers interact creates a competitive advantage for customer-centric B2B organisations and a positive buying experience for their customers.
Create data-based personalised experiences
Personalised experience requires a walk in your customers' shoes. Whilst it’s easy to make assumptions about your customer's values and preferences, data and insights are critical to creating a full view of the journey. However, gathering data is one part, and making sense of it and applying it is another. Designing frameworks that deliver personalised engagements leveraging data and learnings across all interactions with your customers will ensure relevancy and added value at every step of the journey.
It is important to remember that the customer journey is not linear. A full, holistic view can only be created by connecting the dots, yet according to a 2022 Gartner study, only 14 percent of marketers believe that they have a 360-degree view of their customers. Successful customer engagement is built on lifecycle engagement frameworks, testing strategies that enable performance improvements, programs that progress individuals through relationship stages from interest to advocacy, and a detailed understanding of how different channels work together throughout the complex multitouch, multichannel journey.
Look at the entire customer journey, not just individual touchpoints
The increasing volume of potential customer interaction points across new channels and devices requires a joined-up approach to the entire journey, instead of simply focusing on each touchpoint in isolation.
Journeys can be long and stretch across multiple channels and touchpoints, and without the awareness of the context of end-to-end customer experiences, organisations are risking negative consequences such as lost sales and missed opportunities. On the other hand, organisations that fully understand and design customer-centric experiences from start to finish along the journey can improve sales and retention, enhance customer satisfaction, improve marketing ROI and reduce the overall cost of sales.
At WoolfHodson, we are marketers who understand technology and technologists who understand marketing. We are obsessive problem solvers united by a shared passion for delivering lasting change and value that sticks. If you would like to find out more about how we can enhance your marketing performance and improve business operations, why not contact the team today at firstname.lastname@example.org.