Loyalty programs in B2B – how to make them work

In Featured on App, Loyalty & CRM by Sammii

arvato, loyalty, CRM, B2B,

arvato Bertelsmann are presenting at this years Loyalty World Conference and also on the seminar floor at the Loyalty World Expo.  You can register for free. Mark Edenharder, Managing Director, arvato Bertelsmannwill be presenting on the seminar floor on "How to identify and motivate your sales drivers with B2B CRM programs".  Pick which seminars you would like to attend and register your free place here:  Register for Seminar

No question, there are many examples of successful loyalty programs within the B2C sector. But what if you are a car spare parts manufacturer and your actual end-customer isn't particularly interested in your product? The ones that should be rewarded here are the mechanics, better the garages, ordering and using your brake-hoses and shock absorbers.

No doubt, there are many similarities between B2B and B2C loyalty programs, but when looking at the above mentioned example it is obvious that the target group needs specific communication and an individual product assortment. But what are the differences between B2B and B2C loyalty programs in particular and what are the crucial success factors to achieve the ultimate goal: a long-lasting business relationship?

Besides targeting a rather differentiated target group, the actual end customer is, due to intermediate trade, mostly scarcely to not known at all. This means an in-deep analysis and clear segmentation of the target group in order to find out, who the customers really are, what their needs and preferences are and what they are interested in. It has to be considered that a B2B loyalty program commonly counts a lower number of participants which on the contrary also means a higher revenue per head. According to this truism, that the value of a B2B customer is many times higher than that of a B2C customer, a higher cost per lead for winning or retaining the customer should be accepted. Investment should also be done in terms of communicating the program to the target group. Communication should take place by using both above the line and below the line techniques. Taking out an ad in an industry journal; being present at an important trade show or promoting the program via newsletter or mobile marketing are just some of the possible ways to create awareness. Nonetheless personal relations and customer service are keys to a loyal business relationship. So, commitment to the program from the sales representatives and excellence in supporting the customer regarding the program are crucial. Coming to the hard facts, no loyalty program will ever be successful when offering the wrong products. In the B2B sector, an assortment should include many different categories, from the evergreens, like a TV, to target-group-related products, like a professional car tool box for the aforesaid target group of mechanics. Last but not least, making a loyalty program work also strongly depends on the integration into existing systems, like a CRM software, and of course on the possibility of an international roll out of the program.

Do you want to know more? Take advantage of Mark Edenharder's presentation "How to identify and motivate your sales drivers with B2B CRM programs" at the Loyalty World 2012 (5th November 13:00 a.m.) in London.  Pick which seminars you would like to attend and register your free place here: Register for Seminar