The differences between B2B marketing and B2C marketing run deep. These differences range from price point to length of sales cycle, to key buying motivators, and beyond. Today we’re putting our differences aside because we believe there’s a lot B2B marketers can learn from their B2C counterparts.
Ready to learn more? Keep reading!
1. Put the customer before the product.
Unfamiliar with the term “customer-centricity”? It means putting the customer at the center of every business decision, including product development and marketing. In other words, customer-centric organizations assess their customers’ needs and interests and shape their products and campaigns to best satisfy them.
B2B companies tend to prefer a product-centric approach – they create their products and then market them to their audience. But, statistics show that a customer-centric approach is a better alternative. Consider these statistics: Only 23% of B2B marketers say they have a customer-centric structure (source). Yet, customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that don’t prioritize the customer (source).
If you have yet to implement a customer-centric business model at your B2B organization, here are some steps you can take to get started:
Add more buyer personas:
We’ve talked a lot about buyer personas. You’re likely already using buyer personas to inform and improve your marketing efforts. But, having only a few personas isn’t going to cut it if you want a complete view of your audience. Create more personas and focus on more personal data points like pain points, content preferences, and objections. The more personas you have, the more personalized your customer experience will be.
Create a customer advocacy program:
Incentivize your customers to speak highly about your company by creating a rewards and perks program. Leverage social media and review sites to interact with customer advocates and aim to build a “community” rather than a traditional buyer-seller relationship.
Let customers drive product development:
Customers should have input regarding product changes and offerings. Speak with your customers about their favorite and least favorite features, and what they want to see that you have yet to offer.
2. Embrace the power of influencers.
Online personalities and experts have a huge influence on the modern buyer’s purchase decisions—even in the B2B world. The official term for this is influencer marketing and it refers to a strategy in which brands enlist the help of influencers to promote their products or achieve other vital business goals. It’s a common practice among B2C marketers, but only 15% of B2B brands have an established influencer marketing program (source).
If you’re still not convinced of the power of influencers, check out these statistics:
- Influencer marketing content delivers 11X higher ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing (source).
- Twitter users’ purchase intent doubles when exposed to promotional content from an influencer (source).
- On average, businesses generate $6.50 for every $1 invested in influencer marketing (source).
In the B2C world, influencer marketing is fairly straightforward and generates more immediate results. For example, a lifestyle vlogger promoting a hair product at the start of their new video. But for B2B buyers, choosing a product can be a more complicated and high-risk endeavor—based more on logic than emotion. So, if they see that an influencer or expert using and vouching for your product, it’ll go a long way in convincing them that you’re a worthy seller.
A successful influencer marketing strategy requires a lot of research and preparation – but the results speak for themselves. So, to learn more about influencer marketing, check out the following blog post:
3. Leverage the power of brand storytelling.
B2C brands often rely on the art of storytelling to engage and influence their audience. Most B2B companies shy away from brand storytelling for two reasons– it’s a little more difficult to pull off and also, many marketers don’t see the value of emotion in the B2B world.
But, statistics show otherwise – 50% of B2B buyers say they’re more likely to make a purchase if they connect emotionally to a brand (source). Need some inspiration? Here are some examples of B2B brands that have used storytelling to captivate their audiences:
The well-known sales technology company has a robust Success Stories page, with in-depth feature pieces about clients who have used their products to transform their business.
GE deals with highly-scientific projects that can be difficult for the average person to wrap their head around. They’ve used their Instagram account as a tremendous tool for visual storytelling, showcasing their work with captivating photos and videos.
Many of you are likely familiar with Google Adwords. In a recent video, Google profiles a local business that grew from a small restaurant to a national mail order business with the help of Adwords. This short, heartfelt video shows that their product is more than just a useful tool and can change peoples’ lives—all by telling a quick story.
We’ve covered the basics of brand storytelling in the following article: Your Guide to B2B Brand Storytelling. Check it out!
4. Use social media to interact with your audience.
Social media is on the list of modern marketing skills you should master. Do us a favor: Scroll through your company’s Twitter feed. What do you see? If you’re like most B2B brands, you likely see a feed of pre-scheduled content, product promotion, and links back to your website. If you check out the feeds of the top B2C brands, you’ll likely see something missing– direct interaction with followers.
B2C brands don’t just use social media as a method to share their content. They use it as a bridge between them and their audience– they answer questions, respond to criticism, and join in on conversations. B2B companies are far more interested in generating leads. But, bolstering your social media interaction can make a big impact. Consider these statistics:
- 94% of B2B buyers conduct research online before they make a purchase (source).
- 55% of buyers use social media to search for information about a company and its products (source).
When customers research your company, social media often serves as their first impression of your brand. Because of this, it’s important to use your social media accounts to showcase happy, successful customers, demonstrate your commitment to customer service, and, generally speaking, maintain a polished, professional online presence.
Looking for more advice about B2B social media? Check out these blog posts:
- How to Use Social Media for B2B Lead Generation
- 4 Ways to Refresh Your Stale B2B Social Media Presence
- How to Increase Social Media Engagement
B2C marketers might seem like they operate in an entirely different world than B2B marketers. But as you can see, they have a lot of useful practices B2B marketers can tweak and adopt as their own. At the end of the day, great marketing is all about the experience you provide for your audience – so the goals of B2B and B2C marketers aren’t as different as they appear.
For information about market intelligence data and how ZoomInfo can improve your B2B marketing campaigns, contact our sales team today. Our B2B database is just what you need to reach more of your best buyers.