There’s plenty B2B marketers can learn from their often more dynamic and exciting B2C counterparts, despite the differing needs and expectations of the target markets. In fact, B2B companies can apply many of the techniques that are part and parcel of the B2C marketing approach to great effect in increasing sales and conversions in their own space. And so in this article we look at some of the lessons B2B companies can learn from their B2C counterparts.
- Be more emotional
Traditionally, B2B marketers have shied away from using emotion in their marketing messages in the belief that business customers are more pragmatic and interested in detail rather than a purely emotional response. That may well be true to some extent, but it fails to take account of the fact that we’re all human. Even your business customer, far from being a faceless business, is in fact made up of people. And even business decisions start from the heart. And so whether you are in the B2B or B2C space, there’s room for some emotion in your brand as its emotion that drives connections and makes you stand out from the rest.
- Showcase your personality
Every business has its own unique culture and personality. And when it comes to B2B marketing, the most successful brands are those that bring their personality into play. You see, having a personality actually helps to humanise your brand. And just as B2C consumers prefer to deal with real people in real situations, so your B2B customers want to interact and connect with a brand that has a personality rather than a bland, corporate image.
- Be prepared to take risks
B2B marketing doesn’t have to be dull and boring. Take a leaf out of the example of B2C marketers and take a risk. Inject some humour into your marketing for example. Throw out the rule book for once and see what happens. In truth, playing it safe and being bland all the time isn’t going to make you memorable. And in the highly competitive B2B marketplace, being memorable is an important attribute just as it is in the B2C space. So get those creative juices going and see where it takes you.
- Keep it personal
B2C marketers latched on to this idea ages ago and it’s starting to gain traction in the B2B space too. Personalising the customer experience is just as important for your business customers as it is for individual customers. They also want to feel as though they are special and valued. Make sure you examine all your customer touchpoints – from email marketing and social media through to webinars, in-store events and CRM – and try to personalise the customer journey. And simply adding in a first name, won’t cut it! A concerted and co-ordinated approach is what’s needed.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to marketing to B2B customers. In fact, most B2B marketers fall back on tried and tested methods. However, the example of B2C companies has much to offer the B2B space, so give some of these ideas a try and discover the potential for yourself.