Research now suggests that marketers are placing a greater priority on acquiring new customers, rather than retaining existing ones, despite the cost associated with doing so.
The “B-to-B Loyalty Report” from Merkle shows that most B2B marketers (75 percent) are focused on acquiring new customers. This is greater than the 72 percent who claim that they prefer to hone in on retaining existing customers. According to the report, acquiring new customers can cost organizations up to five times more than retaining existing buyers.
To keep existing customers around, many B2B marketers are creating loyalty programs. Approximately 48 percent believe that spend-based pricing is what loyalty program members value most. The same percentage claim that incremental preferred services are valued most, while 46 percent think that relevant rewards are most desirable.
Once B2B buyers join a loyalty program, most (57 percent) claim that dedicated support is of the utmost importance. This was followed by financial incentives (54 percent) and industry knowledge (45 percent).
“Over time, resources that deliver long-term value become more important, especially if they are built on customer-centric services and guided by B-to-B seller expertise,” wrote the authors of the report.
Marketing to Satisfy Heightened Customer Expectations
To keep buyers coming back for more, research suggests that delivering an enhanced customer experience may be key, and B2B marketers are focused on delivering.
“The Complexities of B2B Sales Require Thinking Beyond Today’s CPQ” study produced by Forrester Consulting and FPX discovered that 68 percent of B2B professionals believe providing a high-quality customer experience is “very important” to their sales strategy. Nearly 70 percent think that customers today have higher expectations on the experience they have during the buying process.
“B2B firms recognize the significance of increased buyer expectations. And they understand that delivering a consistent and high-quality customer experience for both customers and users (such as sales reps and partner channels) is essential to sales strategies today,” wrote the authors of the study.