If you have decided to begin B2B marketing, you’re making a wise and essential choice for your business. Just like B2C marketing, an effective strategy for B2B involves keeping up with changing times and leveraging as many tools as you can to produce a winning strategy.
It used to be fairly easy to conduct a B2B marketing campaign. Make some well-placed telephone calls or emails to a few upper-level managers, and you were in business. Today, purchasing decisions are made by a wide range of people at each company, utilizing reams of online research.
Image via Flickr by ijclark
The B2B audience has also gotten younger and more efficient at using media. Social media marketing and customer engagement aren’t just for B2C campaigns anymore.
If you’re going to construct a B2B marketing strategy, it would behoove you to look closely at some of the tools used by top B2C marketers. Leveraging B2C tools in B2B campaigns can pay huge dividends if done correctly.
It’s OK to Take Risks
The old school method of B2B is outdated and outmoded. Trying to utilize old methods for B2B is constraining and will not appeal to today’s clientele.
Modern marketing is vibrant and adventurous. Even something as simple as customer engagement with an online poll or contest is a nice way of drawing attention to your services. Your B2B marketing doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming.
One of the most recent avenues for B2B is affiliate marketing. Businesses can sometimes be off the mark here by merely accepting anyone as an affiliate and then hoping a few will draw in significant amounts of business. This is a scattered approach and can often prove ineffective.
Instead, take the time to invest in a particular group of affiliates. Curate your own network using your own criteria. You want to first engage clients with your brand and build up that customer relationship. Then, after a solid foundation has been laid, introduce them to your affiliate program and share the knowledge of your products and services.
Choosing ambassadors for your brand shouldn’t be taken lightly. Any affiliate network involves some risk, but by being picky about who is chosen to be a part of it, your brand will reap more benefits in the long term.
Let Your Company Personality Shine
You have worked hard to develop a workplace culture, the very personality that defines your corporate environment. Perhaps philanthropy is one of your core values, or you want to engage in activities that promote a sense of teamwork and camaraderie.
One of the best B2C tools that you can use in B2B marketing is to appeal to the emotional side of your customers. Your workplace culture is something that can be shown throughout your marketing campaign. Websites, blogs, and social media accounts are excellent avenues for showing the compassionate or philanthropic side of your company. When your target audience sees the human qualities your company can display, it creates a deeper connection to your brand. Starbucks isn’t just known for coffee; they’re also well known for philanthropic ventures. Google is known for technology, but their workplace culture and how they take care of employees are often front and center in their marketing. These are effective tools you shouldn’t ignore.
Bottom line: Don’t be afraid to let your company’s human qualities shine through in your marketing campaigns. Your workplace culture and personality are effective B2C tools in B2B marketing you should take advantage of.
Be More Transparent and Simple
When identifying and developing B2C tools for B2B marketing, remember that B2C marketing is all about transparency. When customers go on B2C sites, one of the first things they look for after the product is the price. Studies have shown that if the pricing structure is not readily available, customers will look elsewhere. They want upfront information so they can make an informed decision without any kind of sales pitch.
Your B2B site may be more complicated, but you can still be transparent. Be honest about your pricing and don’t try to hide behind the complexity of your services. Put that information out there, and your B2B customers will notice and appreciate it. You can admit that it’s complex, but at least provide a basic, foundational sense of your pricing and what they can expect from you. Let them know they can get much more precise financial information by discussing their specific needs with one of your employees.
In addition to transparency, another hallmark of B2C marketing is simplicity. To appeal to the typical consumer, a site needs to be simple and user-friendly. If consumers have trouble deciphering how to complete a transaction, they’ll almost certainly look elsewhere. Then, the business will not only lose money but also leave a bad impression on that individual.
Translating simplicity over to B2B marketing may take some effort, especially given the scale of B2B transactions. However, you can still take steps to increase simplicity. Having paperwork online and available for e-signature is one idea. Organizing first contacts via chat or video conference is another.
Do anything you can to make your buying process easy and straightforward; your B2B customers will appreciate these efforts and be more likely to choose to work with you in the future.
IronPlane Can Help Leverage B2C Tools in B2B
At IronPlane, our experts have experience in maximizing the marketing tools found in the Magento eCommerce platform for both B2C and B2B marketing. In today’s business climate, where B2C tools are increasingly being used in B2B campaigns, you need a company that is well versed in both. Whether you’re starting fresh or redesigning your online presence, we can help you achieve your goals. Contact us today, and let us show you the full range of B2C and B2B options available for your company.