B2B marketing has never been more complicated, confusing, and overwhelming—because in the B2B marketing and sales world, there is always something new, and there is always something following it. With the market changing so fast, businesses need to constantly adapt or risk being left behind.
Whenever you chase the next new thing to add to your marketing strategy, your plans get more complicated as you need to spread budgets, resources, and time. Hence, if you search for a better way to maximize your marketing and sales efforts, you need to re-evaluate the fundamentals.
The buyers’ behavior has changed a lot since 1898 when the marketing funnel concepts we use today were invented. Besides being linear, the marketing funnel heavily relies on the ability to raise awareness—if you don’t have enough prospects or buyers, you must create a bigger funnel and more awareness. With that being said, you need more than awareness to ensure more buying and guarantee your customers’ loyalty.
We certainly need a new model to envision the new customer journey based on analyzing how people buy today. The buying behavior now consists of a series of interlocking loops with no starting or ending points, as prospects can bounce from one stage to another anytime they want. The loyalty loop is the new model that responds to the market challenge of mapping the current customer journey along the way.
The Loyalty Loop: Mapping the Customer Journey
It’s important to know what kind of impression you leave at every interaction with potential customers because it’s not about selling a product or a service anymore, but about selling an experience.
You must craft your own loyalty loops—use the customers, prospects, and leads you’ve got to get more of the leads you want. It’s the simplest way to build your brand and maximize your return on investment (ROI) for the marketing energy and effort you put in. It has the highest rate of return.
The loyalty loop is basically a series of encounters that impact your possible buyer. But to understand the process, let’s review its steps:
- Moment of Inspiration—the first step of any consumer journey. It’s an instant in time that sends you on a journey you never expected. It could be any experience your possible buyer has, which subconsciously and unintentionally brings them to the next two steps.
- Trigger Question—the question that pops up into your mind every time you have a moment of inspiration.
- Prime Brand—the first brand that you can think of when a trigger question occurs.
- Active Evaluation—the phase of adding and subtracting brands until the next step of the journey.
- Moment of Commitment—the instant we trade money, data, or time for products, services, information, or support a cause.
90% of consumers know what brand they want to work with before you ever heard of them, which means that they had already completed most of their Active Evaluation before you ever got their phone number or email address. Once you understand that information is just as valuable as money, you can create an experience that feels that way and take the pressure off.
Loyalty Loops Drivers
Loyalty loops are not a singular experience—any moment of inspiration can trigger a new question in your customers’ minds. Being prepared to answer these questions makes you the prime brand they go to for answers, and it leads them back to you for a moment of commitment. Then, the process can start again, with a new moment of inspiration.
To start building better customer relationships faster, you’ll have to understand what loyalty loop drivers are:
- Raise anticipation for every next step of the buyer journey by creating a curiosity gap that gets your prospects more excited about the next step in their journey.
- Maximize the honeymoon phase: when the customer is at the peak of their enthusiasm—that’s when you want to ask for the review, referral, the upsell or the cross-sell.
- Re-inspire—many service agreements entail no connection with the customers, which turns to churns. You must re-inspire your customers constantly to take a new loop around your customer journey and offer them a better experience.
- Answer the trigger question—anytime there’s a trigger question in the mind of a prospect or a customer, you need to answer it with as little friction as possible.
- Remove friction from every step in your loyalty loop experience (e.g., webinar registration, feedback forms, renewals, meeting invitations, and proposals). This is one of the fastest and most satisfying ways to move someone from the moment of inspiration to the moment of commitment.
- Scale camaraderie—build out that mutual trust and respect between your prospects and customers and the people behind your brand, and you’ll build a much more loyal client base.
A good starting point for your strategy is to ask your customers and prospects what inspired them to take the first action, revealing what they need or expect from your interaction. And make sure you offer your customers and prospects a great experience that is clearly communicated, ownable, referable, lasts longer, and is worth more.
A loyalty loop turns doubters into believers by creating interactions that build up a relationship based on trust—and trust drives revenue. You can work smarter and remove the busy work by automating your next interactions to make better decisions and maximize opportunities.
If you want to learn more about how raising anticipation can increase your customers’ satisfaction with given examples of winning over new clients, get yourself access to this webinar.
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