If you’re involved in setting your business marketing budget, you know that acquiring customers is expensive. It’s so expensive that it has been dubbed a ‘startup killer’.
While our techniques are constantly evolving and improving, the investment can be considerable.
Triggering repeat purchases is a great way to lift ROI, and it’s the reason why businesses spend so much on nurturing relationships. The potential gains from repeat custom are worth the investment, particularly in the B2B market where decision-makers may take many months to choose a supplier.
Measuring client loyalty
First of all, you need to figure out the lifetime value of your client. There are three KPIs to look at when assessing customer loyalty:
1. The number of times they have placed an order
2. The frequency of their order
3. The value of the relationship, overall
Businesses prefer to strike up long-term relationships with suppliers, so we often find that B2B relationships are highly engaged. But if their purchase value is low, there may be additional opportunities to upsell and increase your margin with that client. Whether you approach them directly with a proposal, or improve your website to make your services clearer, there are many things you can do to drive extra income.
If a decision-maker returns to place a second order, but then drops off your radar, there could be an opportunity to bring that customer back into the fold by improving the value of the product or service.
And if the decision-maker is purchasing occasionally, but infrequently, you could perhaps tweak your offering to increase that frequency over time. For example, many businesses now work to a subscription payment model that encourages lock-in over the longer term.
Knowing your client
In the world of retail, companies set up loyalty cards and reward repeat purchases with incentives. In business, this kind of scheme is less common. However, there are cases where loyalty programmes can work in a B2B market. If the business is owner-operated, the owner is likely to be more sensitive to loyalty offerings, and a long-term relationship with a small business can become more lucrative as that business grows.
It’s important to know what you want to achieve, whether it’s B2B referrals, additional business, or a longer tie-in for the customer. Even if you don’t make more money from a loyalty programme, you can learn more about the customer and figure out why other customers may or may not be buying from you.
This might result in new website landing pages, new content marketing strategies, different payment options or an increased product range.
Of course, if you run a micro business, you might already have a good idea of who your best customers are – and what they spend. If that’s the case, simply pick up the phone and ask them if there’s anything else you can do to assist them.
Using your assets effectively
Across the board, having the right data about your clients is imperative when it comes to effective loyalty programs, and B2B markets are no different in that respect. Designing the right solution means thinking like a decision-maker, and using data to understand what makes them tick.
Maintaining data quality is an important part of the process, and you’ll need to allocate a certain amount of your budget to marketing and developing your brand. But as you get better at nurturing your existing clients, you should find that marketing becomes more effective, and results in more rapid growth for the business while leveraging the assets you already have.