Business to business marketing, or B2B, has long used different marketing techniques to appeal to businesses to entice them to purchase their products or services compared to the techniques that are used with business to consumer marketing, or B2C. However, business to business marketing is changing, and many of the strategies and techniques that are used in business to consumer marketing are starting to be expected by businesses. Here are a few of the ways in which B2B marketing is becoming more like B2C marketing.
Personalized Sales Experiences Are Important
One of the ways in which B2B marketing is becoming more like B2C marketing is that personalized sales experiences are becoming key. B2C marketing has used personalized sales experiences for quite some time. Consumers would receive emails that had their name on it, they would be shown products that may interest them based on their last interaction with your website, and you would offer additional purchase suggestions based on their purchase history.
B2B marketing has traditionally been fairly standard, with the same email being sent to multiple companies or the same products being recommended. Personalizing your marketing efforts to a business is slightly more work than personalizing it for an individual, but the results seem to speak for themselves. Personalizing helps appeal to the people within a company that have buying power and lets them see that your business is in tune with theirs and what their business needs are. This can increase sales.
Timely Response and Customer Service Are Key
Another way in which B2B marketing is becoming more like B2C marketing is in the timeliness of responses and overall customer service. When consumers are looking online, and they ask a question via email or social media, they expect to receive a response quickly. Many companies cater to this, and they do work to increase response times. But traditionally, when it came to businesses, the response time was much slower. Some businesses would have to wait 24 to 48 hours to receive a response back from a company they were looking to do business with.
The same people who place orders for a business are the same people who shop online and deal with businesses for their own personal needs outside of business hours. They have become accustomed to receiving responses quickly and getting top-notch customer service. These people now expect that businesses who are marketing to their business will also respond in a timely manner and provide excellent customer service. As such, timely responses and customer service are key when it comes to both B2B and B2C marketing.
B2B Marketing is Starting to Appeal to Emotions
When a B2C marketing campaign is being put together, the marketing team tries to create an emotional connection with the consumer and appeal to their emotional side. As a consumer, you are more likely to remember the name of a business and/or the product that they sell if they make an emotional connection with you. However, when it came to B2B marketing, emotional connections were often put aside, and marketers would attempt to appeal to their business or practical side.
Once again, the same people who make decisions when it comes to business purchases, are also consumers outside of work. They are human beings with emotions. The same techniques that work on them outside of work, can also work on them when it comes to work. Creating an emotional connection with a potential buyer helps them to remember your business and want to do business with your business. Instead of cold and plain business advertising, B2B marketing is shifting, and you are seeing more emotional advertising being utilized.
Social Media and Reviews Influence Companies
The final way in which B2B marketing and B2C marketing are starting to converge and become more similar is when it comes to social media and online reviews. B2C marketing has used social media platforms as a way to reach their target consumer, interact with that consumer, and market to that consumer. The feedback and reviews that can be left help other consumers decide if they want to purchase from this company or not. Unfortunately, B2B marketing has not used social media or reviews in an effective or efficient manner.
When businesses are looking to do business with a company, they do turn to social media and review sites to find a company and learn about the company. If your business is not using these sites properly, other businesses may not be able to find you, learn about you, or decide if they want to do business with you. B2B marketing is a little late in bringing social media into its fold, but now is the perfect time to ensure you are utilizing social media to its fullest, and helping your business to grow.
The landscape of B2B marketing is changing, and it is becoming more like B2C marketing in many ways. If your business markets to other businesses, now may be the perfect time to take a look at your marketing strategy and see what changes you can implement to make your marketing efforts have a higher return.