CINCINNATI, OH – The Loyalty Marketer’s Association (www.loyalty360.org) and SAS (www.sas.com) has published a white paper entitled Customer Loyalty Techniques For Business to Business Marketing Programs.

The report focuses on customer loyalty programs used by business to business (B2B) companies and how they use brand loyalty and repeat sales from existing customers to drive revenue. The survey was conducted in September to October, 2010 on over 250 B2B company executives.

One goal of the survey was to find out the percentage of businesses that actually take advantage of existing customers and are actively using customer loyalty marketing programs designed to tap into this resource.

Another purpose of the survey was to gain some insight into the B2B companies themselves and find out how many companies have formal customer loyalty or marketing retention programs in place.

The survey was also conducted to determine the internal structure established within the companies as to exactly how customer retention programs were implemented and the amount of money budgeted for them.

The survey findings reveal many opportunities for mailing list managers to be able to take advantage of in their direct mail campaigns. One of the most widely used form of direct mail is on new product offerings to existing customers.

Key Findings

  • B2B companies know that existing customers account for most of their new sales.
  • Only about half of the respondents have a dedicated department for customer retention and loyalty.
  • It is apparent that B2B companies that do have dedicated customer retention and loyalty departments realize how important these program are and make it a focal point of the organization’s business and marketing strategy.
  • As B2B companies gain a more clear understanding of the proven value of customer loyalty initiatives, they are beginning to take a closer, more strategic look at having their own customer retention department and the effect it can have on the organization’s bottom line.
  • B2B organizations who do have customer loyalty departments take advantage of the many opportunities to listen to their customers and respond to their needs and wants accordingly.
  • B2B companies with customer loyalty departments make sure that their voice-of-the-customer programs are aligned with the customer lifecycle and they put metrics in place to track their customer retention efforts and measure their success.
  • Many B2B companies that do not currently have a customer retention and loyalty program plan to establish one in the future.

New Sales From Existing Customers

The survey makes it clear that businesses understand the value of existing customers and that customer retention and loyalty are important strategic issues:

  • About 72 percent of respondents report that a minimum of 20 percent of new sales come from existing customers.
  • About 45 percent of respondents (44.6%) report that a minimum of 60% of new sales come from existing customers.

Customer Loyalty Team

Customer loyalty teams are made up of customer service representatives and personnel from marketing support, technical resources, sales and market research.

Senior Management Involvement

Things have changed in the way customer loyalty programs are managed. In the past, these marketing efforts were managed by sales and account management personnel, but recently, this has changed and now senior management is closely involved with these programs. Nowadays customer loyalty or marketing retention programs are directed and monitored by the “C-Suite”: the chief marketing officer (CMO), the chief information officer (CIO), the chief operating officer (COO), the chief financial officer (CFO), etc. Nearly 94 percent of companies report involvement by senior management.

Retention Marketing Budget

Although about one third of respondents (just under 29 percent) were unaware of their company’s budget for retention marketing programs, about 38 percent were aware that their annual budget was no more than $100,000. Even in today’s economy with a recession still upon us and with reduced marketing budgets, repeat customers are among a company’s most valuable resources and are worth the marketing investment.

The white paper is available as a free download from the loyalty360.org website.

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