February 28, 2021
While the core aim of both B2C and B2B marketing is the same – that of fostering strong human connections between customers and brands – their respective approaches towards it tend to vastly different. Compared to B2C, B2B marketing involves a far smaller lead pool, the stakes are often much higher, and the client-brand relationships are much more personal and long-term with a significantly larger amount of money involved.
To be successful in B2B marketing requires one to think and do things differently in comparison to B2C marketing. Here are the important Dos and Don’ts of effective B2B marketing.
In B2C, where the potential audience size is much higher, and individual leads are quicker to pull into the conversion funnel, it can actually be a wise strategy to have a presence on many different social media platforms. However, in the case of B2B, this is not recommended.
B2B marketing is much more personal and committal, with the relationship between brand and client resembling that more of a partnership. Thus, it makes sense to be more selective in which social media platform you would place your brand presence.
It wouldn’t look nice to approach your boss on their personal Facebook ID with a matter relating to the office. But it would be completely fine to do so on LinkedIn because the ‘atmosphere’ of the latter is much more professional rather than casual like Facebook. So why assume differently when it comes to business clients? Picking the right social media channel is key to setting the tone of the engagement and by extension, the chances of a successful conversion.
In B2B, not only do you have to work with a much smaller lead pool, but they also have to be treated more personally. A small local business establishment would obviously have needs and requirements different from that of a multinational corporation. Aside from that, the language you use, the visuals and design you incorporate as well as the perspective you employ to convey value all play a factor in making or breaking the impression of your business to your would-be client.
Sure, such an understanding is also helpful in B2C marketing, but in B2B, it is a core essential. Where each new customer acquisition or loss has a significant impact on the business’s bottom line, it is worth it to invest the time needed to ensure that each new engagement brings some sort of value to the prospect or client.
Aligning your objectives with key insights generated from your marketing campaigns is key to effective B2B marketing. Quantify and analyze lead activity through the entire stage of the customer life-cycle, check for any areas of underperformance, and what can be done to improve it.
For instance, if your marketing efforts are not bringing in enough returns, don’t simply double down on your B2B lead generation scores, rather check at which stages of the conversion funnel are they dropping the most and assess what can be done to better improve the conversion rates.
It is estimated that acquiring a new customer costs a business 5 times more than retaining an existing one. In B2B, the issue is further compounded by there being much fewer customers as well as much stiffer competition.
Customer retention should be a core focus in B2B marketing. And this entails far more than just engaging in drip campaigns or timely engaging with them when they come with a query. It means possessing hyper-awareness about what their exact needs are and a proper framework in place to proactively provide them with value at every step of their journey with you.
Content marketing is what allows you, would-be customers, to become more knowledgeable about your business, its products, and its services. It also helps boost branding and fostering trust. However, a lot of businesses, while incorporating content as a core tenet of their marketing strategies, tend to neglect an important aspect of it, which is central to its effectiveness – quality.
No matter how good you are at marketing your content, if it isn’t good, it won’t help bring any conversions. This is especially the case in the B2B sector, where the clients themselves tend to be quite knowledgeable in the topics they are interested in and are looking to establish relationships with those that truly are industry experts.
In B2B, decisions on the customer side are not made on an impulse. They have to be highly calculated and rational because a wrongly made one could cost the company its profits or even its survival in the market. Thus, don’t ever make the mistake of rushing with a recently established relationship with a client.
Apart from looking unprofessional, it will also give the client the wrong impression that you are hiding something about your business. Rather, they would choose to engage with someone that they deem to be more transparent.
An enduring relationship requires trust, and this is something that takes time to establish. Don’t rush it but work towards it with a long-term horizon.
Apples and oranges – both of them are fruits, but their key characteristics make them distinctively separate. The same is true when it comes to B2C and B2B marketing. Acknowledging the differences between the two and adapting your strategies accordingly is key to effective B2B marketing.