• Ric Navarro

Why B2B and B2C marketing is closer than you think

At the heart of all B2C and B2B transactions are the same psychological purchasing triggers.

A 2017 AON Global Risk Management Survey reveals that global brands are more concerned about damage to their brand and reputation than any other risk.1

The same trend is reflected by customers. Consulting firm Accenture polled more than 25,000 consumers about their loyalty to the brands from which the buy. The findings captured in its report, Seeing Beyond the Loyalty Illusion, provide compelling insights.

Sixty-one per cent of respondents had switched some or all of their business from one brand to another in the last year, and 77% of all consumers admitted they now retract

their loyalty more quickly than they did three years ago.

In other words, if they aren’t happy, they leave. The fluid nature of today’s customer-brand relationship has created a new set of determining criteria.

“Analysis shows businesses that excel in customer experience grow revenue 4% – 8% above their market.”

According to research by the Reputation Institute2, consumers now regard corporate governance and citizenship as more critical to a brand’s reputation than innovation, leadership or performance. The study also revealed that reputation drives business results, with only 23% of consumers saying they would buy products from companies with an ‘average’ reputation. However, this jumps to 38% for brands with a strong reputation, and a staggering 77% of consumers saying they would buy from a brand if they considered their reputation as ‘excellent’.

Brands including the vacuum maker, Dyson; toy company, Lego; and technology companies, Sony and Intel were held up as examples of brands with excellent reputations.

Analysis by consultants, Bain & Company3, shows that businesses that excel in customer experience grow revenue 4% – 8% above their market.

That’s because a superior experience helps to earn stronger loyalty among customers, turning them into promoters: they buy more, stay longer and recommend the brand to their friends. As a result, promoters have a lifetime value that can reach six to 14 times that of detractors, depending on the industry.

“But this is all about consumer goods and B2C brands: consulting engineering is very different,” I hear you proclaim.

Consider this: ultimately, we’re in the business of dealing with humans: individuals who make purchasing decisions. The same woman who walks into an Audi showroom this weekend to upgrade her car, will next week be one of the key decision makers (the ‘economic buyer’ on the client side) on the new commercial redevelopment of $100M office tower in Sydney.

And she’ll be applying many of the same psychological purchasing triggers in both transactions: brand reputation; quality of product; meeting needs; decreased hassles; safety (or risk reduction); service (during and post transaction); and of course, price.

Listening to customers must be the heartbeat of every brand.

Notice how price is last. If you deliver on the customers’ top five triggers, cost typically falls as a top-line consideration.

Listening to customers must be the heartbeat of every brand. Doing this consistently, and thoroughly, provides brands with a distinct competitive advantage. You don’t require the resources of a Fortune 500 brand to capture and measure insights that ultimately drive your customer obsession.

You just need to be able and ready to listen by using tools that help you understand and adapt accordingly.

I’d love to hear how you're working towards a truly customer-obsessed culture.

1. www.aon.com/germany/publikationen/risk-solutions/grms2017/2017-global-riskmanagement-


2. www.warc.com, March 2017

3. The Five Disciplines of Customer Experience Leaders, Frederice Debruyne and

Andreas Dullweber, Bain & Company, 2015

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