5 Things You Need to Know About Your B2B Customers for Direct Marketing Success

There’s practically no limit to the number of things you’d like to know about your customers, from their email address to exactly how much of their annual budget they have to spend with you. But when it comes to what we need to know about them to inspire relevant direct response offers, spark creative ideas and deploy measurable and profitable campaigns, some data points rise to the top.

The Value of B2B Customer Data
Marketers who love data are lucky: thanks to modern technology and the digitization of, well, almost everything, information can be collected, stored, analyzed, and used (often automatically) across every customer touch-point. And with the right tools, it’s easier than ever to create comprehensive—and truly meaningful—customer profiles that serve as the bases for highly personalized and actionable marketing campaigns.

But it’s not about the data—or the tools, for that matter. It’s what you do with the data. It’s about the customer experience you’re enabled to create with the wealth of data you’re managing.

Today’s consumers, increasingly in the B2B realm, expect companies to deliver personalized experiences that take into account more than their first name (i.e. “Here’s an offer for you, Mark”), but also their interests, needs, and preferences. This is a trend you can’t ignore: a Walker study reveals that customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator for B2B companies by 2020.

So let’s take a look at the data and information you need to fuel customer experience-enhancing and conversion-boosting direct response marketing campaigns.

1. Contact Information
We’d be remiss if we left this very obvious “need to know” off of this list. While some top-of-the-funnel direct response marketing techniques (such as programmatic display advertising) are designed to generate this data, many direct response campaigns—email and direct mail, for instance—rely on this information.

Either way, you’ll typically aim to start with a name, mailing address, and email address; if you’re able to get their company name, company size, industry, and other such qualifying bits…even better! Just make sure your lists are clean for optimal deliverability.

2. Demographics
A customer’s demographic information can be very helpful in painting a clearer picture of who they are, what makes them “tick,” and even how to attract their attention. Age, gender, location, job title, income, and other details are also critical to segmenting your contact lists and developing relevant, relatable offers and creative.

In today’s dynamic marketplace, paying attention to demographic nuances can make a big difference in campaign performance. Every industry is different, of course, but you’ll likely connect one way with a Millennial decision-maker in California and another way with a Boomer executive in New York. Don’t miss 1 Offer, 9 Ways: Segment Your Audience for More Conversions.

3. Purchase History
Transactional data—what a customer purchases, when, where, and how often—is especially informative to marketers when cross-selling or up-selling. This information allows you to really personalize your offers and time them thoughtfully, increasing the chances that the customer will recognize your brand and be “ready” for a relevant promotion.

4. Website Behavior
If you’re able to track how customers (anonymous or identifiable) navigate your website and apps you can glean insights into what’s motivating them to visit your content. Did they find you after a web search? Are they lingering in your informative blog section? Are they downloading middle-of-the-sales-funnel digital assets? Are they perusing your FAQs section?

Each customer’s actions provide clues you can use to target them with offers in real-time or after the fact. What’s more, aggregate data can help you spot trends or navigation snafus you can address by updating webpage elements including relevant offers. On that note, you might enjoy Is Your Website A Lead-Generation Powerhouse? Our 5-Point Checklist.

5. Communications Preferences
As a direct response marketer, you know how important it is to leverage multiple communication channels to reach and engage your audience. Asking B2B customers or new leads the simple question, “How would you like to hear from us?” and noting it in your Customer Management System can go a long way to save costs, minimize redundancy (although some redundancy is good and consistency is key!), and ensure your offers don’t go unnoticed. Plus, your sales team can use the information to cultivate a better relationship

Contact us to learn more about leveraging customer data to improve your B2B direct response marketing campaigns.