Buyer purchasing behaviour converging between B2B and B2C

B2B buyers are as concerned about transparency, brand purpose and customer experience when making a purchase as consumers, research by Marketo has found.

According to the report Creating Epic Customer Experiences, 78% of business buyers feel the biggest purchasing driver is brand transparency, while over two-thirds (68%) factor brand purpose into the buying decision, and 49% expect a personalised customer experience.

The report calls for marketers to adopt a ‘business-to-everyone’ approach, engaging with target audiences based on individual requirements and behaviours, rather than "the traditional distinctions between B2B and B2C".

The report identified three areas where B2B and B2C customer buying behaviours converge, namely with the need for transparency, the importance of brand purpose, and effective customer experience management across the lifecycle.

Transparency and brand purpose

The research reveals 83% of B2B buyers want to ensure the company will protect their data, and 78% want a brand to be transparent about how they work. Just under three-quarters of B2B buyers (68%) say brand purpose is important during the buying decision process, while 67% strive to work with brands with strong environmental credentials, and 64% are more likely to consider organisations that demonstrate fair, ethical practises throughout the entire supply chain.

The need for personalisation

Similar to consumer brands, the research found personalisation is crucial to B2B customer acquisition and retention, with nearly half of B2B buyers (49%) stating that tailored offers and communications encourage them to stick with a provider. However 32% of B2B brands struggle to personalise offers to their customer’s needs.

Jamie Anderson, president EMEA, digital experience at Marketo, said: “The [purchasing] experience should be the same for all individuals, both B2B and B2C alike. Today’s B2B marketers need to embrace the idea of offering authentic customer experiences that give B2B buyers what they’ve come to expect in their personal lives. Ultimately, in the context of ‘business-to-everyone’, the fine line between epic and epic failure is unequivocally experience.”

The study polled 1215 B2B marketers and B2C buyers across Europe.

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