A business-to-business (B2B) company does not serve customers itself, but it does work for a company that has a customer base. Despite being one step removed, the client’s customers are the basis of every decision it makes. Forming an understanding of what those customers need helps the B2B company best serve its client and introduce new insights.
A business can sometimes be seen a certain way even when its customer behavior indicates something completely different. For example, when people moved to digital format photography in the 1990s, Polaroid still saw itself as an instant photography company. As a result, it kept selling film instead of aligning itself to what its customers were actually doing. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2001, bringing a decades-old institution to a sad end.
The job of a SEO Consultant Phoenix company is to understand what customers purchase from its client and direct competitors. This is accomplished through observing the following:
• The history of the company. This is when it was founded, the niche that it filled and how it has adapted since that point.
• The trends of the company and its industry. The company should be keeping up with the current pattern of customer purchasing trends and have a forward-looking plan going into the future.
• The core products being offered. This is about what customers are buying the most often, the company’s priorities on products and sales ratios keeping up with purchasing behaviors.
• The sales cycles. There should be a predictable connection between the client’s seasonal sales and its industry. Certain services and products may be driven by recurring events.
• The bottom line. The client should be continuing to innovate to keep up with competitors and ensure customer satisfaction.
Other ways to know what a client company is doing is by reading articles and blogs, setting up Google alerts, reviewing annual sales reports and requesting analytics.
Another example of a company not keeping up with the times is Blockbuster Video. The video rental business did well when it switched from videotapes to DVDs, but when customers moved to ordering movies from their homes and eventually to streaming, the company failed because it saw the new methods as non-competitive. Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in 2010. The job of a B2B company is to keep its client from turning into another Blockbuster by understanding how its customers purchase its products. The following information should be thoroughly researched:
• The sales process
• The behavior of buyers
• The amount the client is spending to get new customers
Insights about these factors are gained through looking at the website and finding broken links, malfunctioning shopping carts and other issues. Google analytics provides click-through rates, bounce rates and how much value the client is gaining through leads.
Another important job for the B2B is ensuring the client company understands what motivates customers to buy products and services from them and why a new group of customers might be attracted to their brand. The focus should be on the following:
• Persona. This is demographics and what customers are doing when they are not purchasing from the client.
• Habits. Hangouts, social networking, television, movies and books are often connected to purchasing decisions. The key is to find out how all of these factors drive sales for the client.
• Mood. This is determining whether customers are happy or unhappy with client products and why.
Surveys and social network monitoring provide both information and engagement. Use of CRM programs allow mining of customer data for deeper and more meaningful insights into behavior.
A client’s customers ultimately drive the direction and choices that the client makes, which is why a customer review by a B2B is so important. The company’s job is to help a client serve its customers in the most optimal way for lasting prosperity.