A strong B2B2C strategy helps manufacturers and suppliers stand out, open new markets and strengthen revenue streams.
But, in an era of increased competition and industry disruption, effectively reaching channel partners and end customers is harder than ever—especially for B2B2C brands. Complexities in the B2B2C environment can hamper brands’ ability to deliver a best-in-class brand promise to their end customers. (Think: Supply chain issues, wholesaler instability, customer experiences, brand compliance, etc.)
Implementing a B2B2C loyalty program, also known as a B2B2C incentive program, creates a positive connection with audiences across many touchpoints. It solves common problems and builds brand affinity. A B2B2C loyalty program targets businesses (B2B) to serve their customers (B2C), leveraging a variety of ongoing incentives as motivation to keep the relationship going strong.
Satisfying Multiple Audiences
A thoughtful push/pull strategy enables your B2B2C loyalty program to achieve complex goals. Multiple audiences within your channel—each with unique desires and responsibilities—require attention and care.
For example, channel partners (dealers, wholesalers, distributors, resellers) must properly represent your brand as customer-facing representatives. It takes more than individual sales reps. Dealer leadership and other business contributors factor in, too.
- Push approaches might include incentives for sales, training/certification, adopting specific brand standards, customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Pull approaches commonly include customer incentives for purchases, repeat purchases, referrals and loyalty.
The key is ensuring push and pull strategies align with and complement each other. Strengthening the relationship between a brand and its channel partners and end customers requires an effectively designed B2B2C loyalty program to:
- Drive sales
- Connect brands with end-customers through their channel
- Generate valuable customer insights at multiple levels
- Create a consistent experience
Many brands struggle to piece together a B2B2C loyalty program with manual processes that overwhelm internal teams and create siloed channel and marketing teams with varying objectives. Our experience partnering with brands across numerous industries gives us insights into what it takes to implement and maintain a successful B2B2C incentive solution.
Steps to Launch or Elevate a High-Performing B2B2C Loyalty Program
1. Define success.
Goal setting can start with objectives such as:
- Improve customer retention
- Grow customer acquisition
- Build brand loyalty with partners
- Create brand consistency
- Collect sell-through data
Having clear goals in place, and KPIs to track progress, helps reduce the complexity by narrowing the program’s focus.
2. Analyze your audience types.
Pinpoint the businesses and end consumers you want to engage in the loyalty program. Your approach might prioritize field sales teams, distributors, dealers, independent wholesalers, and technicians along with end customers. Regardless of audience, your program should aim to solve end users’ pain points and provide clear value. To learn audience insights:
- Conduct research to understand what motivates your channel partners
- Map how product moves through the channel and identify each audience touchpoint
Related: Learn how to collect and use channel partner data to inform incentive program design.
3. Align incentives/earning types to roles.
Use audience insights and journey mapping to create a structure that will persuade partners and end customers to participate. A mix of monetary and non-monetary incentives helps target multiple motivations.
|B2B Audiences (dealers, wholesalers, distributors, resellers, contractors)||B2C Audiences (end users, businesses, consumers)|
- Rebates COOP/MDF
- Incentive Travel
- Marketing Support
- Exclusive Access to New Products or Services
- Consumer Rebates
Developing different tiers or levels of awards, such as volume discounts or exclusive perks for higher-performing partners, and attractive offers for end consumers, helps form desired habits and build long-term loyalty.
All the better if you help channel deliver incentives to customers directly.
4. Design a seamless portal experience.
A streamlined process makes it easy for B2B2C participants to join the program, track their progress and redeem awards. As you prioritize a user-friendly platform experience, consider roles like administrative assistants who submit claims on behalf of others, as well as include the ability for the channel to submit rebates on behalf of customers.
Related: Don’t settle for standard SaaS portals. See how our claims processing platform can reduce manual validation by 50-80%.
5. Create a communication plan.
Excellent B2B2C loyalty program benefits and a slick portal aren’t as successful if partners and end-consumers don’t know why or how to access awards. Capture their attention by clearly communicating your program’s value proposition. Giving the program its own identity tied to your brand makes it recognizable. These strategies take it to the next level:
- Celebrate the launch. Especially at launch, approach communicating the program as you would a marketing campaign. Mail launch kits with swag and QR codes to the site.
- Customize the experience. Give users different dashboard views and offer custom promotions based on audience or role type.
- Keep it current. Your channel partners should always know how they can earn and what opportunities are available to their customers.
- Arm participants with tools to succeed. A step-by-step program training/user guide can also reduce the amount of hands-on customer support needed.
6. Implement exceptional support.
Service standards for a B2B2C incentive program should be high priority. But strong communication and design planning should preempt calls to customer service. Build trust with channel partners via onboarding, account management and participant care.
7. Assess data to inform program and product evolution.
Unlocking valuable customer data is one of the strongest benefits of a B2B2C loyalty program. Discoveries can illustrate buying habits, which help inform product development. Understanding participant preferences can help improve your program and deepen participant engagement. We help clients dig into the data and determine which strategy shifts will advance company goals. Regular meetings with a strategic partner keep B2B2C programs fresh and high functioning.