Selling to Both Businesses and Consumers
When lifetime value is considered, the acquisition picture changes dramatically. Once they become customers, businesses tend to be more loyal and spend much more. Businesses often make a small order to test a product or service, and then return with a much larger order. As a rule of thumb, businesses generally spend about 10 times as much as consumers after their first purchase.
It is important to consider repeat sales to businesses when investing in prospecting efforts. It can take less time to earn back the higher cost of prospecting to businesses than it does to earn back the lower cost of prospecting to consumers.
Differences in Data Capture
When a business-to-consumer database is set up, there is at minimum a place for the name and two address lines. However, there may be no place to put company name or title. When there is a company field, the customer service rep may type other information like "OK to leave on porch" or "Enjoy the gift" in that field if there's no other place to include a note.
"A place for everthing and everything in its place," the saying goes, and it applies to databases as well as orderly households. If a company sells to both businesses and consumers, capturing business data well enough to reach buyers properly is crucial. It is hard to clean up information that was improperly entered, and even harder to get information that was not entered at all. For example, fax numbers and e-mail are crucial in business-to-business marketing and must be gathered from the client.
For companies with many business clients, it will be necessary to make a distinction in companies and the contacts at those companies. With most databases geared toward consumers, this is not possible. A database that allows for designations of buyers, influencers and users at a single client company is a very different design than a database of consumers that are viewed as a single household.