Identifying opportunities in the purchase journey of small and medium-sized enterprises

The user-centered approach made it possible to communicate the quality of life for small and medium-sized companies.

Client:

Leader in corporate benefit programs

Challenge:

Understand small and medium business customer behavior to improve service and communication strategy

Outcome:

Deliver SMEs consumer profiles and their purchase journey

Share:

The user-centered approach made it possible to communicate the quality of life for small and medium-sized companies.

Identifying opportunities in the purchase journey of small and medium-sized enterprises - Cases Studies - MJV Innovation
The working relationship has been transformed and, as a consequence, institutions need to rethink their position in the market and the way they communicate their business. Quality of life is the main pillar for the leading organization in corporate benefit programs. But how do you connect your products to the interests of entrepreneurs and small business owners? In the case of Communication, the biggest challenge is to build an impactful discourse that attracts entrepreneurs who still cannot invest in the quality of life of their employees or measure the return of this investment. What arguments should you use to approach SMEs more assertively? We decided to use the Design Thinking methodology to identify the personas and map the journey of this public. By understanding the issues faced by decision makers, and their understanding of the quality of life, it would be possible to align the discourse.

Understanding the behavior of the SME client

The demand sought a B2B solution: segment the communication to the various types of customers and thus increase the volume of sales to small and medium-sized businesses. For this, it was necessary to know the profile of the SME customers in depth and to map all the points of contact of the purchase journey. At this stage we can:
  • Identify the profiles of companies seeking benefits;
  • Find out the reasons why these companies were more or less adherent to the quality of life argument;
  • Understand the difference in the employer’s understanding of the importance of quality of life;
  • Determine which channels each of the different customer profiles came from.
During the immersion stage, we talked to the company’s employees to understand its culture and positioning and how the demand for services was. Then, the customers were heard. We created an interview protocol to find latent needs and to map behavioral patterns in a qualitative way. We interviewed companies that had between 9 and 500 employees, from four regions of the country. From the interviews, we were able to better understand the main issues faced by the stakeholders.

Analysis: behavior and shopping journey

After the Immersion stage, we sought to consolidate the personas and purchase journeys to outline the best strategies for acquisition and retention. After transforming data into information we noticed that the interviews indicated that the main communication gap occurred at the time of pre-hiring, during the client’s consideration stage. We noticed that the different profiles had remarkable characteristics in the level of understanding and interest in the quality of life. Companies were then segmented per persona with varying levels of engagement to the cause. The categories of engagement ranged from lean companies, which are limited to fulfilling labor obligations, to those that include quality of life in their purpose and seek the best relationship with clients and employees.

An extra element: e-commerce

Halfway through the project, a new challenge came up: the insertion of the self-service base during the analysis. This base corresponded to a portion of customers who acquired benefit plans via the e-commerce channel without any kind of contact with a consultant. It was now necessary to validate if these clients fit the personas already created. The answer was yes, e-commerce customers did not want constant support during the buying process.

Vision and practice: the axes of quality of life

With the customer profile in hand, it was time to start the Ideation phase. At this stage, co-creation workshops were conducted to generate empathy between employees and clients. Several areas of the company were represented, such as Marketing, Operations, Commercial, Retention and Technology. The professionals were divided into groups and each received one persona to work with. In this context, collaborative activities instructed the team regarding the purchase journey of each one of them. At the end of the workshop, it was possible to analyze the employees’ perceptions and compile in a chart with guidelines for the use of personas tool, with the objective of increasing sales in the SME segment, from two axes: short and long-term actions. The first provides for the promotion of quality of life. The second guides the discussions over the role of institutions in managing the quality of corporate life. The matrix aligned vision and practice, arranging personas at different times of the purchase journey according to their perception of quality of life, indicating in which moment they would be impacted in a more positive way by the communication of the benefits company.

Design Thinking: confidence in the methodology

From the pre-project stage, the client demonstrated confidence in the Design Thinking process due to the positive results obtained in other MJV projects, which were also based on this methodology. The objectives were:
  • Map the purchase journey of each of the personas developed;
  • Sensitize employees to the needs of current SME customers;
  • Create a bank of ideas that will serve as guidelines for the next steps.
The project reinforced the company’s innovation pillar and will help expand the quality-of-life culture across the industry. The analysis results provided the insights necessary for the company to be able to develop its communication and marketing positioning in a segmented manner to attract new customers.
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