The Future Of B2B Loyalty Programmes
Over the years, the format of business to business loyalty programmes has changed – and will almost certainly continue to do so. It all started in the late 1700s. Stores gave resellers copper tokens that could later be redeemed on future purchases. Fast forward to today and we have personalised notifications, smart cards, mobile apps, customisable programmes and personal rewards.
And there’s one thing that has made all these improvements possible - technology! But it takes people to create the innovation to use technology in the first place right?
Let’s take a look at how to maximise the blend to create a future that shines brighter….
B2B loyalty isn’t a one stop shop like B2C loyalty marketing.
It’s fair to say B2B buyers are under analysed. When you look at B2C marketing activity, the focus is to understand that individual interacting with you. And whilst there are many of those individuals, you only really have one core set of behaviours to analyse which belong to that individual.
In B2B, buyers could be spread over a number of job functions, sites and generally across the organisation, each with their own stake in the overall decision making. What may be a value driver for one team, may not quite be the same for another. No one person may have significant control of the buying decision and gaining access to all the right individuals may be complex.
Artificial intelligence is becoming even more intelligent!
It’s such a buzzy term, right?! But it’s not a new concept, it’s just continuing to evolve! Artificial intelligence is all about the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines and computer systems. According to a Teradata study, 80% of enterprises report that they’re already investing in AI related technologies.
From providing a seamless experience to better personalisation, artificial intelligence opens up a lot of new possibilities.
Predict the behaviours
o By looking at past buying patterns in order to predict their future actions. Businesses can identify what new rewards customers may be interested in… even before they know it themselves!
o Consumers are more likely to make a purchase if you give them something that they will actually like or are looking for. The key is to actually understand their preferences. AI removes the need to do this manually. (Think Netflix recommendations based on what you have watched, or more of the best tunes for you, for your Spotify playlist!)
Customers want things there and then!
In the 21st century, long-winded and painful processes are simply a no-go! B2B loyalty programmes need to have the same digital-first mindset as B2C programmes to get that wheel of customer engagement working fluidly. Look at Apple as an example! All the information it keeps about your interaction with one device transfers over and informs the experience you have with another device.
In the B2B loyalty programme landscape, customers want truly effortless experiences which are all connected. Trying to do this manually is simply too old school! API integration, data picked up by FTSP processes and SSO are already some obvious software enhancements that make regular appearances! Notably connecting and binding one customer touchpoint to another is a difficult task and one that requires investment in a holistic technology strategy. Now white label B2B loyalty software exists to enable core programming technology to integrate with CRM systems enabling a seamless yet timely sync of purchase and reward. Such software solutions are a benefit is especially attractive to SMEs, many of which lack their own native digital solutions and strategy.
Fluid Branding are a great example of a business who use API connectivity to improve processes. When a customer order is processed in the CRM, it sends a notification to the customer loyalty programme system with the users’ email address and points value for the order. If the email exists in the system, the points are allocated to the user. If the email address doesn’t exist in the customer loyalty programme, the system creates an account, allocates points and automatically sends an email to the user to let them know.
Using customer data to grow your offering
By collecting and understanding your B2B customer data, you get the opportunity to truly tailor loyalty offers to your customers’ needs or preferences, whilst reviewing their purchasing habits, and interests. That’s pretty powerful information! In a world of ever increasing social values, you can use rewards such as energy-efficient equipment or contributions to charities or carbon offsetting ideas to help customers support their desired causes. For example, our clients can offer their users the chance to spend their points on planting a tree that will help reduce carbon footprint.
Deb Skincare and Hygiene are a great example of how using data from your customer loyalty can help grow your business. One of the biggest successes of their customer loyalty programme was the crucial data and insights about end-user behaviour. Prior to the loyalty programme, this information did not exist. The data set unveiled new industries in which the product was popular within thereby opening up new market opportunities and ideas for future product innovation.
As customers habits change, as the world continues to take new turns, creating sticky customers within the B2B landscape is becoming an ever present challenge to meet. Let us help you stay up to date with all the latest trends and enhancements! We’re here to support your B2B customer loyalty strategy, so why not book a chat with us to get started?