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The Evolution of Channel Engagement and B-to-B Loyalty

Written by: Mark Pearson
(View Author Bio)

It’s time to start thinking differently about channel engagement and B-to-B loyalty. And it’s time to stop thinking differently about B-to-B versus B-to-C marketing.



At BI WORLDWIDE Canada, we use the principles of behavioural economics to create the best engagement strategies on the planet. We work with expert academics who advise us on the latest research on human behaviour, engagement and decision-making. We use non-cash rewards and recognition to engage and motivate employees and sales teams.

The B2B2C Ecosystem
Channel engagement operates within increasingly complex and continually evolving economic ecosystems. These ecosystems differ by industry, vertical, product or service, brand and even customer segment. Understanding the unique characteristics and cross-channel dynamics of your ecosystem is a critical first step in thinking differently.

The Loyalty/Incentive Continuum
At the foundational level, effective channel engagement requires an assessment of the role that businesses play within the ecosystem. At one end of the continuum, businesses behave like customers or buyers. The restaurant industry is a great example. Here, a B-to-B loyalty or lifecycle marketing program is the most effective solution. At the other end of the continuum, businesses behave like sales people or re-sellers. Auto dealers fall into this category. Here, an incentive program is the best solution. Not surprisingly, most businesses exhibit characteristics of both buyers and sellers. In these cases, a hybrid approach is the best solution.

The Blurring Line Between “B” And “C”
Regardless of position on the loyalty/incentive continuum, effective program design requires an acknowledgment that the line between B-to-B and B-to-C marketing is blurring. More and more, businesses are increasingly behaving like consumers. This is
great news because it means that the marketing concepts at the core of successful consumer loyalty programs can be leveraged in the design of channel loyalty programs. It also means the behavioural econom ic theories that dri ve consumer behaviours can also drive busines s behaviours. Let’s explore some of the key theories and concepts behind the evolution of channel loyalty.

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Mark Pearson

Vice President Loyalty
Customer Engagement Group

Mark is responsible for multi-channel marketing strategy and solution design. He applies expertise in customer lifecycle, loyalty and interactive marketing to develop programs that leverage behavioural economics and gamification to drive engagement and targeted behaviors. Most programs are deployed online via responsive design, often incorporating social media extension and sales channel integration. Mark has more than 25 years of experience, a BA in English from Gustavus and an MBA in Marketing from St. Thomas.

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