This is a writing sample from Scripted writer Hilary Ferrand
B2B and B2C marketing have many distinct differences, but there are B2C tactics that could benefit B2B companies. Traditionally, when compared to businesses that market directly to consumers, B2B marketing has been boring and bland. Profits typically depend on long-term relationships built through diligent, personal connections. With the advent of super-saving sites like Amazon Supply, these types of relationships have started to change. How can you compete in a world where your tried-and-true methods no longer have the same impact? Look to B2C marketing methods to reinvigorate your audience and keep your business in the black.
Share Information Early On
Today, 70 percent of decisions regarding B2B purchases are made before a salesperson enters the picture. It's important for marketing materials to adequately share the benefits that your products or services offer. Make sure your website is updated on a regular basis and that your marketing team and sales staff are both on the same page so that the biggest benefits to buyers are being touted online. In addition to an active website, it's important to invest in three other highly effective forms of marketing common to B2C relationships:
- Email marketing
- Social media activity
Blogs have a tremendous impact on lead generation in both B2B and B2C environments, with companies garnering 88 percent and 67 percent more leads, respectively, when they have a blog than when they do not. Email marketing is also tremendously effective, with over half of all B2B companies saying it is their most effective means for landing sales. In terms of social networking, businesses need to carefully monitor their industries to see where their efforts will do the most good. Facebook has taken the lion's share of consumer influence, but where LinkedIn was once the king of B2B, Twitter and Google+ are quickly gaining in popularity.
Offer Convenient Shopping Options
Ideally, decision makers will be able to visit your website, learn about your product and follow through on a sale without having to speak to anyone else about that process. B2C sales increase along with automation. In the past, B2B entities have shied away from a similar setup because of the methods salespeople sometimes rely on to push through the biggest deals. In an automated sales process, it wouldn't be possible to do the same kind of negotiating, but there is plenty of room for providing enticing options. You can offer different pricing based on order quantity, for instance. You can deliver special discounts by email or social media. B2B websites such as AppSumo and HubSpot will often have flash deals for their services or give out offers for other products. Look at your most active clients and offer them discounts or extra services for free. As an alternative, B2B companies may be able to offer free trials or product demos as a way to engage their customers and keep them tuned in until they are ready to buy. Marketing automation and nurturing campaigns are very successful in maintaining relationships with potential clients. The business world is changing quickly, and you'll have to change to stay competitive. Take a page from the B2C marketer's handbook, and stay connected with clients throughout the life cycle of a sale. Don't lose money - or interest - because a competitor has managed to stay in touch without running your clients off. Do it yourself by adopting a few consumer-friendly sales tactics.
Latest 2014 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks
93% of B2B marketers use content marketing
42% of B2B marketers say that they are effective at content marketing
87% use social media as a content marketing tactic
76% us blogs as a content marketing tactic
Read more stats and trends here.