Crafting Marketing Strategy for B2B vs B2C Businesses
Marketing to B2B and B2C businesses may require using the same tools — traditional advertising mediums, digital ads, social media marketing — the strategies utilised should however take on a different approach, simply because your potential client inhabits disparate buying mentality. In order to make a successful sale or execute a great marketing campaign with impressive ROI, you will have to get back to the roots of understanding your customer first.
Understanding Your Buyer’s Motivation
Logical vs Emotional
A business client and a consumer have different objectives when it comes to buying. A business consumer buys using logic — you need to provide concrete examples of how buying your products and services can benefit their bottom line. Compared to an individual consumer, their decision to buy a product stems from a variety of reasons — an emotional response, a real need, or buying something in the hope that it can boost their individual status(e.g luxury products). With this in mind, you need to tailor your sales tactic and marketing strategy accordingly.
If you are marketing to a business client, you can expect a longer process compared to an individual client. B2B purchasing decisions typically satisfy a long term goal and requires much more considerations and approval. In contrast, an individual buyer does not need to consult with another before making the decision to purchase. In fact, they buy on the concept of ‘scarcity’, fearing that they may miss out on a good deal if they do not act immediately. Because of this nuance, relationship-building features a key role for B2B marketers as their clients require more follow-up actions and closer attention.
Returns on Investment(ROI)
According to Webmarketing123’s latest annual State of Digital Marketing report, proving ROI is the top challenge for B2B marketers this year, topping the usual challenge of lead-generation while the B2C marketers’ top concerns were with converting leads. In fact, you might be surprised to know that 1 in 3 B2B companies does not measure the ROI on their marketing activity! So if you are looking to gain the trust of your business consumers, you may want to hone your skills to become a ROI-focused marketer, showing them the concrete effectiveness of marketing campaigns through closing percentages, cost-per-acquisition and cost-per lead.
Choosing The Right Marketing Channel
There are myriad of ways to market your products, but your clients consume advertising in different ways. A procurement officer from a Fortune 500 tech company is not going to buy a whole department’s software based on the web banner he saw on a product review website. He will already have in mind the exact requirements he need from the software, and will react more positively to a long-form content piece comparing the benefits and downsides of similar softwares in the market. This is the reason why choosing the right marketing channel for your target client is half the battle won.
Being one of the latest methods of advertising and constantly evolving on individual channels, no one can ignore social media as part of their marketing mix. While many FMCG companies have already dived deep into the waters of social media, the B2B world has been slower to react. But that’s changing; just take a look at General Electric and Maersk as one of those who are taking social seriously to amplify brand equity, generate leads and boost their recruitment effort. We know that building a community and pushing short form/viral content might be your go-to strategy for B2C marketing on Facebook, you might achieve better response and credibility for B2B clients by sharing industry statistics on LInkedin and Slideshare.
A B2B customer is driven more by the value you offer while a B2C customer is triggered to actions by emotional stimulations. Armed with this knowledge, shape the form of your content to be instantly relatable to each of these profiles. Factual reporting with hard statistics through a well-targeted email campaign might just be the right content strategy to help you convert that business prospect, while your individual consumer is more likely to buy with a 10% discount coupon shared on your Facebook Page.
When discussing marketing strategy, many marketers forget the fact that the company’s website is one of the most effective marketing tool you can have. Not only does your website represent a brand, it interacts with your prospects right at the door and facilitates conversion. After all, it is ultimately the website’s responsibility to convert traffic into leads or sales. Again, the UI of the website has to match its target audience. While a consumer-oriented service such as Uber might sell an overall experience on its homepage through the use of ‘inspiring’ content. A B2B website will focus more on the clear benefits of the product with bullet points, a strong iconography and a call to action such as a demo or whitepaper.
There is no doubt about the number of common grounds between B2B and B2C marketing, but these key distinctions will help marketers understand what’s needed to be done to succeed with their client profiles. At the end of the day, it is worthwhile to note that no matter your targets are B2B or B2C, all marketing is essentially a P2P — person to person business.