Designing for a B2B customer requires a more intimate understanding of how your audience interacts with your brand. It means taking the key insights from your target audience, rinsing it with the data you’ve gathered from them and tailoring the messaging and visuals to these insights and behaviors. It means being customer-centric, as opposed to product-centric.
To be customer-centric, your customers need to be at the center of everything you do. They are an integral part of the B2B website design process from start to finish. At the very beginning they inform and inspire the design, and throughout the entire process they validate, which allows you to continually optimize the design.
Understanding how your audience likes to engage with your brand and how they consume information is a critical component required in the earliest stages of design. Does your audience primarily use mobile devices to consume information? If they do, why? Answers to these important questions will garner key behavioral insights that drive which communication vehicles you might use to deliver a marketing message.
Using mobile as an example, specific insights might drive a brand experience that has a very simple visual presentation but highly functional mobile experience for a particular target audience. However, simply informing the design with audience insights and data is not enough to ensure the design is effective and successful. Recruiting a sample group of your target audience to validate and help perfect the mobile design will better result in success and appropriately align to the customer-centric approach.
Be sure to also gather qualitative and quantitative data from your audience about the designs to help understand why a design is effective or ineffective. The quantitative data can tell you what is wrong with the design (e.g. it’s not converting leads), whereas the qualitative data can help you understand why. The two combined will inform how to improve and optimize the design.
Taking this customer-centric approach is the key to design success. Following these key steps in the earliest design phases will result in more informed and impactful designs:
1. Identify and understand your customer needs, goals and behaviors
2. Design to help your audiences accomplish their tasks
3. Let your audience validate your solutions