Customer Behavior Analysis: What It Means For B2B firms?

Author: Trishna Sharma | Categories: 1:1 Marketing, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Digital Strategy, Personalization & Targeting, Lead Generation

The definition of consumer behavior may greatly vary depending on the space you are in – B2B or B2C. Nonetheless, it is vital that as a digital marketer you understand the ‘psyche’ of your customers to best engage them in their preferred way, with the right content and context. It’s crucial for every business to understand how their customers make decisions – the factors that influence their buying cycle and the reasons why they manipulate their responses. Therefore, to be able to drive your business in your most preferred way, you need to understand your consumer’s behavior from close quarters. In this blog, I wish to highlight some customer behavior secrets (mainly from the software industry) to help you best analyze your consumers in the B2B space.

Understanding consumer behavior

Customer or consumer behavior is primarily understood as that activity, which studies customers – individuals or groups – to understand the thought processes that influence their buying decision. This study can include both emotional as well as behavioral responses.

The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself. - Peter F. Drucker

Understanding consumer behavior isn’t a simple task; it is usually a tricky and pricey affair. There are many things that need to be considered while evaluating the behavior of consumers; concluding can often be tricky. Digital marketers tasked with analyzing their consumers’ behavior need to consider the below:

  • That B2B consumers are also consumers after all
  • Every digital marketer understands (or, should do) the power of emotion. B2B consumers are also people who are affected by emotions – the better you can connect to them, the better will your lead generation campaigns turn out to be. Even though they (the people you are interacting with) may be representing their businesses, they would still find an emotional pitch hard to resist. Therefore, while you are analyzing their behavior, don’t miss to explore this bit. Rather than a ‘sale’-governed pitch, keep your projections as personal as you’d keep your interactions with direct consumers (as you would in a B2C instance).

  • That ‘less is more’ is always the policy that attracts
  • Personalization is ultimately the golden rule of the thumb that works. So, rather than overwhelming your customer with loads of content – offline and online – make it smart and sensible. Keep it low but consistent nonetheless. While analyzing consumer behavior, try approaching them with smart and handy content and notice the change in their attitude towards your brand. Repetitive and boring content is obsolete now; there’s just no space for it anymore.

  • That they seek partners that are agile
  • In the same breath as the above point, B2B customers seek agility in their partners. Agility is the quintessential aspect of every business – you’d need to be dynamic yourself to be able to position yourself as veterans for your B2B partners to look up to you. This behavior is not only predictable but universal too.

  • That they need solutions – practical, simple, and affordable
  • Another essential part of consumer behavior analysis in a B2B setup is understanding the challenge areas that prospects are facing. This review helps marketers to come up with unique suggestions that are practical, simple, and affordable. Everyone needs this, right? B2B consumers are no different. Learning the nuances of their industry (considering your target audience is varied) can help you devise solutions that will best answer their requirements. Remember that there is a certain category of consumers that is purely solutions-driven. For them, this can be one of the most important influences guiding their decision to join hands with you.

  • That price can be a significant factor influencing their decisions
  • Price is almost always a deciding factor for most customers. Therefore, while you are evaluating their purchase journey, it will be worthwhile to consider this aspect early on. Certain consumers, even in the B2B space, can be quite steadfast on their spending capacity; so, you would need to apply caution while approaching and doing business with such consumers.

Customer behavior and its effects on marketing

As is clear from the above, different customers may seek different values from partnering with you. Here’s a sneak peek into how your marketing strategies can be affected by their behavior. In fact, this can drive your personalization strategies in a big way – here’s how:

  • Past behavior can help you gauge the kind of products or solutions that your specific target audience is passionate (serious) about. This analysis can help you prepare yourself while approaching your prospects.

  • This can also help you recognize the curves where your prospects or customers disengaged themselves from your brand. This is particularly handy when you are trying to nurture old leads. Identifying the loose ends can help you strengthen those areas and come up with better solutions in the future. This can add value to your personalization campaigns as well.

  • Studying their behavior, particularly their purchase order can guide your marketing strategies, especially in the slippery areas. This way not only can you fortify your tactics but you can also manage your leads in a better way.

Customer behavior analysis is done, now what?

For digital marketers, there’s a lot to do, post an analysis, which is as important as the analysis itself. Use the analysis reports to segregate your data further and better equip your lead generation and nurturing campaigns. In a follow-up blog, we are highlighting the use of a prominent marketing automation tool while using the data, segregated by customer behavior analysis.