What B2B Can Borrow From B2C Marketing
Traditionally, B2B marketing has taken a different approach to customer acquisition, growth and engagement than B2C marketing. However, the boundaries have become more and more blurred while tactics and strategies have relevance in both markets. Keeping that in mind, why not adopt a few proven B2C methods this year and measure their success in your marketing mix?
Treat service areas like products.
Many B2B companies sell professional services rather than tangible goods, but that doesn’t mean packaging, taglines, and messaging that focuses on features and benefits no longer apply. In fact, when you treat your service lines like product lines you may improve your overall messaging and brand, further clarifying your position in the marketplace.
While B2C brands have widely adopted mobile strategies and tactics, B2B lags way behind. This is a massive missed opportunity with so much of today’s business happening on smartphones and tablets. Further B2B apps are often stale and boring in comparison with their consumer counterparts. Consider how gamification could step up your mobile engagement or the value of in-app advertising to reach your ideal customer. Reward your mobile users and incentivize your mobile advertising partners to grow your numbers.
Simplify your “sale”/conversion process.
B2C marketing 101 requires a simple, straightforward and user-friendly buying process that doesn’t skimp on creativity. As B2B marketers, we could take a lesson. Simplify messaging, flows, and calls to action. Think about your end customers’ purchase process — access to your customer journey and click path data will help immensely.
Does a free demo, trial period or free first month make sense? This is another quick and easy way to expose your customers to your brand and services.
Or better yet, find the emotional tie. Even us business folk have hearts — and funny bones. B2B doesn’t have to all about the bottom line. Find and speak to the pain points your audience experiences or find a meme that sums up a widely accepted characteristic of the industry. If you can relate to your market, you can reach them.
Target, segment, personalize.
First up, know who you’re targeting — and keep in mind that in B2B the person “shopping” may not be the one “buying” so it is incredibly important to know which persona you’re trying to reach with a specific message or campaign. Target them differently but specifically — and that means a whole lot more than mail merging or personalized tokens. Build a marketing automation plan that engages and nurtures these groups separately, much like B2C marketers do with different demographics. Remember that these audiences will likely want and need to be reached at different times and via different channels. Utilize realtime data not jut company information and don’t underestimate the power of retargeting.
Measure your B2C marketing – and move.
This is the opposite of “set it and forget it.” Even though we often have longer sales cycles, B2B marketers would do well to push A/B testing, sophisticated tracking and reporting to optimize campaigns. Fresh creative is a must, sure, but taking a page from B2C marketing suggests we should also consider seasonality, economics and growth projections, as well as cross-device strategies. B2B should be as data-driven as possible, leveraging insights into each stage of the funnel. Lastly, diversify — it’s an omnichannel world.
Have you had success using a B2C strategy as part of your B2B marketing? Did we miss something you’d recommend? Hit the comments.
Back to Resources