B2B marketers have a lot to learn from their B2C counterparts. The digital world is getting smaller and B2B customers have high expectations from B2B organizations. According to a study by Salesforce.com, 75% of customers expect a consistent experience wherever they engage: social networks, in-person, online or by phone. This is regardless of their B2B or B2C customer status. To state things simply – B2B customers expect a B2C experience.
This need for an omnichannel experience was studied by Target Marketing in their report, “Omnichannel Marketing: The Key to Unlocking a Powerful Customer Experience”. The study outlined 7 main capabilities to achieve a successful omnichannel experience for your B2B or B2C customers:
- Offer a consistent customer experience across all channels
- Interact with customers on many channels, online and offline
- Recognize individual customers on any channel they visit
- Access data from your core customer records in any channel they visit
- Reference actions taken in the past on any channel in live interactions happening in the present on any channel
- Enable purchasing wherever the customer wants to purchase
- Enable customer service wherever the customer wants to interact.
Sounds great, right? Of course, the issue is not the capabilities, but developing these capabilities for your organization. Note that a capability isn’t in the hands of a single person, but happens at the company level. These capabilities need to be in your company DNA to work. Marketing may lead the charge, but other functions are involved. Last Thursday, our very own CEO, Jeff Pedowitz participated in the webinar “7 Key Capabilities for Great Customer Experiences” with Infutor and Target Market magazine to discuss how organizations can successfully gain these capabilities. Co-presenters Gib Olander, SVP of Product Strategy and Infuser and thorn McGee, Editor-in-Chief for Target marketing provided additional context and a great conversation around omnichannel capabilities. Here are a few key takeaways from this webinar:
- A strong foundation of people, process, data and technology is needed to create omnichannel capabilities. From a personnel perspective, marketers need to think about how your team is organized. Traditionally, marketers organize by channel, which inherently creates barriers across channels. Organizing around customer centricity, not products, will help facilitate easier implementation of omnichannel experiences.
- From a process perspective, we again see a need to be more customer centric. Organizations need to operationalize processes around the customer journey.
- Data and technology are at the heart of creating an omnichannel experience for your customers. Thanks to Google, Amazon and others – the strategic use of data to create a seamless customer experiences isn’t a plus, is an expectation.
- Customer recognition and scale is dependent on establishing a source of truth. Understand how you customers connect across devices and keep data fresh to be accurate.
- Channel interaction is not just about enabling the purchase, but also enabling customer service or any other customer touchpoint. Without understanding your customer and how they want to interact with you, you may send the wrong campaign to the wrong customer at the wrong time.
- Scaling the omnichannel experience starts with mapping the customer life cycle. Many marketers focus strategy and spend on acquisition of leads. By analyzing your data, you can strategically map where and how you should be focusing on the customer dependent on their journey from new lead to an advocate for your organization.
- Once you have a mapped customer journey, you can then begin to strategically map technology to maximize the customer experience. It’s no secret that marketers have literally thousands of marketing technologies to choose from, prioritize based on how you want to engage with your customers.
- Personas based on accurate data is absolutely key to a successful omnichannel experience. Data doesn’t stay fresh for long, so marketers need to be aware of how you can keep data accurate and up to date to keep up with your customers.
The webinar also reviewed real world examples of how companies are achieving omnichannel success. To access the full recording, you can visit this page to register for the on-demand webinar and download the research report.