Understanding B2B data value to improve customer personalisation and experience

As consumers we are more aware of the value businesses place on our personal data. So, whether we’re acting as consumers or on behalf of a business, our willingness to share data with a trusted brand is done so with the expectation of a pretty special experience in return.

The importance of personalisation for businesses – from the relevance of messaging to the use of preferred channels – is to provide an engaging B2B customer experience that is key to increasing brand loyalty.

Regulatory awareness

The DMA’s Customer Engagement survey, ‘How to win trust and loyalty’, also highlighted the fact that individuals are increasingly aware of the value businesses place on gaining access to their data. No surprises there then.

It may, however, surprise you to learn how that consumer attitude is now affecting perceptions of B2B data value.

While GDPR imposes fewer constraints on B2B data management than on B2C, many individuals have failed to grasp the difference. As such, businesses may receive Subject Access Requests (SAR) in response to legitimate marketing material. It is important to put strategies in place to deal with these SARs, even though there is no direct GDPR compliance issue with the individual being contacted as part of their role and responsibility within a business.

However, individuals that fail to make the distinction between the use of B2C data and B2B data still expect a swift response, therefore this becomes another key aspect of managing customer and prospect engagement.

Consumerisation of business thinking

This new found, more aggressive attitude to B2B data privacy is just one example of the consumerisation of business decision making. With the rise of peer reviews and social media reinforcing consumer-style purchasing habits, B2B organisations need greater awareness of the potential B2C expectations of both prospects and customers.

Companies need to be more upfront about regulatory compliance activity. When individuals share information, be transparent about what their data is going to be used for –a privacy policy on the web site is an essential requirement, and ensure it is regularly reviewed.

Always respect an individual’s choice: if a request is made to stop receiving information, respect it. Ensure that contact is now on a suppression list. This also means ensuring processes for enforcing Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS) requests are in place.

Personalisation counts

Also remember that a prospect or customer will have shared contact information for a reason, for an interest in a specific product or service. Any information provided must therefore be relevant: don’t send information that has no relation to the issues and problems you have been discussing.

The introduction of the GDPR have provided individuals with more choice. While this level of choice has been adopted more within the B2C world than B2B, offering the chance to receive only specific information demonstrates a strong commitment to customer engagement.

The value of B2B data will only continue to increase. Personalisation, from the relevance of messaging to the use of preferred channels, is a fundamental component of B2B customer engagement and if you don’t get the basics right, then you run the risk of losing prospects before any real engagement has started.

Related Topics: Customer Engagement