I’ve recently read about new trends in B2B Marketing: the use of behavioral analytics, psychographic segmentation and data overlays. (B2B Magazine, “Transformation via Sophistication” ) There’s no doubt that behavioral tracking and analysis shines a light on the pathways that lead from research to interest to engagement and on to conversion. The trick is understanding which activities most strongly correlate to the ultimate conversion process and how to move the prospective buyer from point A to point “C.” And when to disengage from prospects, i.e., Visitors, who endlessly participate in downloads, webinars and even frequent site click throughs without any intention of purchase. The cost to maintain interaction with “Visitor” isn’t insignificant.
Will certain behaviors indicate a higher propensity to convert? Can you Clone them? Absolutely, but a relevant segmentation model might be more predictive. In the B2C world, segmentation is often based on purchase recency, frequency and amount spent, RFM. The assumption is that customers who have purchased recently are in the “buying” mode and can be easily incented to make another purchase. Or that frequency is a measure of willingness to spend. This isn’t entirely relevant to B2B where purchases may simply be larger and purchased less frequently due to their shelf life. Or due to inherent budget cycles. What does apply however is the concept of “best” customers designated by the purchase volume, number of products purchased, number of lines purchased and frequency of purchase throughout the year.
Whether deciphering behavior or segmenting customers into deciles, quintiles or quartiles the process allows for 3 Immediate Benefits to occur:
- Cloning – by association with best customers transactional, on and off-line behavioral, and possibly by their psychographic profiles, certain prospects or customers can be demonstrated to be more potentially valuable than others.
- Marketing Resource Allocation – budgets and resources (people, process and technology) can be allocated appropriately to each segment/behavioral profile.
- Behavior Modification – by understanding best customer behaviors, marketing tactics and programs can be calibrated to move prospects, customers and other browsers towards the appropriate destinations – Visitor, Long and Short term Converters.
There is going to be much more to talk about as this B2C approach becomes wholly adopted by B2C Marketers. Leave a comment and tell me what you think!
Ann McCartan, DBMCatalyst