How can B2B organisations engage consumers through the use of digital technology?

In the past, business-to-business (B2B) organizations have focused most of their customer-facing digital initiatives on online purchase transactions. Recently, they have forayed into digital support for pre-purchase decisions and post-purchase services. These digital initiatives have been designed to influence the demands and purchasing journeys of decision makers at the organizations’ business customers. These initiatives have enabled B2B organizations to extend reach, and build stronger and deeper business customer relationships, among other benefits.

A number of B2B organizations are going even further now, using digital technology to reach out to end consumers. By understanding consumers’ preferences and behaviour, a B2B organization can realize important benefits such as more revenues through increased sales volume by stimulating primary demand for the end product, price premiums driven by preference insights and higher customer switching costs. The organization can also achieve cost efficiencies in internal operations, including inventory management, production planning and logistics, by better understanding end-consumer markets.

To guide business leaders in engaging consumers through the use of digital technology, the Consumer Engagement Framework was developed by Professor Steve Muylle and Doctor Willem Standaert from Vlerick Business School, and Professor Amit Basu from the Edwin L. Cox School of Business, Southern Methodist University (SMU), Dallas, Texas, as part of the Accenture Belux – Vlerick Digital 20/20 Chair.

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