As a B2B marketer, you have learned how the circumstances of 2020 have increased the complexity of your direct marketing strategy and thus its effectiveness.
Connecting with your professional audience at home rather than in the offices has encouraged marketers to review their strategy and the tactics available.
By using a data-first approach to customer loyalty and developing a compelling multichannel experience, you can optimize your B2B direct marketing program to increase conversions and loyalty in today’s marketplace.
1. Activate your first party data
Most marketers would agree that data is the world’s most valuable resource. However, the impending demise of third-party cookies and the growing desire for a more personalized shopping experience has led many marketers to scrutinize the customer insights and behavioral metrics available in their own third-party data sources.
A robust Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program will not only give you a competitive advantage, it will also allow you to develop more targeted and personalized strategies that will resonate with your audience and protect your investment.
Start the process by conducting a comprehensive data audit to determine which variables are most relevant to your business and sales strategy – and which may be missing. Then prioritize filling out these fields in your contact records.
The COVID-19 era of remote working has led potential customers to open the door and receive B2B direct marketing communications in their home offices. When creating full profiles, provide personal contact information, such as: B. Home address and personal email address.
Using data attachment and identity diagram technologies, you can combine all of your online and offline data sources (e.g., social media accounts, ecommerce platforms, apps, and direct mail history) to find buyers across multiple devices and locations .
2. Treat the hold as a new acquisition
Even when budgets are tight, you are expected to meet your sales goal. If you shift your strategy from customer acquisition to customer retention, you can see higher returns on your marketing spend.
However, maintaining loyalty in the particular circumstances of 2020 proved to be more difficult than in the past. According to research by Accenture, a whopping 80% of B2B buyers switched providers in the past year. The more buyers shop, the more likely they are to switch providers. The same study found that 21% of shoppers said they were dissatisfied with a lack of personalized prices and offers.
How do you keep your best and most frequent customers happy?
Personalization makes generic marketing a meaningful connection and plays a vital role in creating satisfying relationships. More than half of people say they feel connected to a brand when they feel that the brand understands them and what they want.
Segment your CRM data to ensure that your messages are personalized and relevant for each of your customer groups by addressing their individual needs and weaknesses, and then maintain them for further conversion in a relevant channel.
According to the USPS study, 6 in 10 consumers say that direct mail is more personal and trustworthy than other marketing channels. Additionally, more than 40% of marketers rely on the subconscious influence of mail to drive customer loyalty and repeat purchases.
Advanced technology and data improvements have further optimized the versatility and effectiveness of print media in a digital world. Variable Print Data (VPD) allows you to apply your updated CRM data to artisanal mailers by swapping elements of your direct mail piece (like text, colors, or images) from one piece to the next without interrupting the printing process. That makes every piece relevant to every single buyer on your mailing list and, of course, increases its impact.
Exclusive offers, personalized invitations and feedback requests can be triggered by a variety of events, such as: E.g. through a phase of the buyer journey, website activity or rest periods for reactive buying interest and engagement.
3. Create a multi-channel experience
B2B buyers are consumers too, so it is realistic to assume that their professional buying preferences may match those of their personal buying preferences.
A third of the respondents in a study by the CMO Council said that direct mail will be part of their ideal communication mix. More than 80% of marketers agree that including email in their multichannel mix has a positive impact on response rates and ROI, according to industry research.
Including packets of mail in your B2B direct marketing strategy, especially at a time when 33% of employees are at home, improves the overall customer experience and supports different online and offline buyer preferences.
Content bingeing has become a social norm, so it’s not surprising that a B2B buyer will perform an average of 13 content bingeing actions before making a purchase, as recent studies have shown. Determine how you can incorporate the natural storytelling advantage of direct mail into your sales process to extend potential interactions.
Use various educational elements such as product specifications and comparisons, reviews and success stories to encourage your potential customers to dive into your piece. Integrate interactive digital elements (QR codes or PURLs) into the package to connect potential customers with online video content, request product samples or start the RFP process.
Use online intent signals to trigger retargeting mailings and enable a seamless customer journey as research buyers connect between channels and platforms with your business and naturally bring them closer to your desired action.
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The 2020 effect will also influence your B2B direct marketing strategy in 2021 and likely in the years to come. Maximize and activate your first party data for a holistic view of your audience and your competitive advantage. Then use these insights to create a relevant and personalized retention program and address buyer preferences with an intentional multi-channel approach that simplifies doing business with you, both online and offline.
Most importantly, stay agile by closely monitoring campaign performance and testing across multiple channels to improve results.
More resources on B2B direct marketing
A direct effect: direct mail + digital = better marketing results [Infographic]
Back to the basics of direct marketing
How Direct Mail Can Get Over The Pandemic Marketing Clutter (And How To Get Those Valuable Home Addresses)