Are you using the same internet marketing strategies for B2B and B2C clients? It’s a common mistake, but it isn’t a harmless one. When you fail to differentiate between B2B and B2C marketing, you do serious harm to your overall marketing strategy. That’s because there is a huge difference between B2B Internet marketing, also known as business-to-business digital marketing, and B2C Internet marketing. Therefore, when working to convert B2B sales leads, an entirely different approach is needed. To craft a successful B2B marketing strategy apart from your B2C one, here is what you need to know.
Succeeding with B2B Internet Marketing: Take a Logic-Oriented Approach
When it comes to B2B vs. B2C marketing, it is crucial to note that while you can appeal to a consumers emotional side; this isn’t usually the case with business clients. Businesses work hard to streamline the buying process in order to save both time and money, meaning that a business client’s purchasing decision will be much more firmly rooted in logic. An emotional marketing ploy might play into a consumer’s desires or fears and spur him or her to make a purchase, but that probably isn’t going to work so well with business clients. Therefore, you will want to keep the following in mind:
- Produce high-quality, informative marketing materials. B2B clients are most responsive when a marketing message focuses on educating buyers and offering expertise. When catering to B2B clients, it is key to have high-quality, informative marketing materials on hand for every part of the sales cycle.
- Develop complex selling propositions. To most effectively appeal to B2B clients, it is critical to present value-based differentiated solutions that help the buyer make rational buying decisions. Put simply, fluff isn’t going to get you anywhere. In addition, you want to present these selling propositions in a way that is clear, coherent, and compelling.
- Don’t expect immediate results. A consumer might make a purchasing decision on an impulse, but B2B buying is all about making rational, calculated, value-driven purchasing choices — not impulses. Subsequently, the B2B sales cycle is much longer, often lasting several months or more. When it comes to B2B marketing, you can’t expect immediate results. Be prepared to devote more time and resources to lead nurturing and client acquisition.
Overall, when it comes to business-to-business digital marketing, you need to focus on the tangible results and concrete benefits that a particular product or service will provide to a business. The focus of the marketing message needs to be centered on how the particular product or service will save the business time, money, and resources. At the end of the day, the most successful B2B marketing strategies are those that cater to rational buyers who are taking a logical, value-driven approach to making purchasing decisions.
The Power of Relationships: The Secret to Converting B2B Sales Leads
One of the major differences between B2B and B2C marketing is that the parameters are much narrower in B2B marketing strategies. As any B2B marketing agency will tell you, personal selling is the key to success, which means relationships are crucial. Keep in mind that the most successful B2B marketing strategies rely fairly heavily on personal interaction.
Specifically, in regards to the B2B lead nurturing process, it should be noted that the sales cycle is much longer, as mentioned above. There are more stakeholders, the client’s list of requirements is often longer and more specific, and the decision-making process tends to be longer. Dedicating time and energy in cultivating a relationship of trust works regardless of whether selling to consumers or businesses, but the message is a crucial difference to each. When it comes to effective B2B lead nurturing, strong intrapersonal relationships are key. That means you need to play the long game. Invest in gathering sales data and intelligence and in conducting deep research on B2B leads and their competitive space. The more information you have to work with, the stronger the relationships you will be able to develop.
The Bottom Line? Understanding B2B vs. B2C Differences Is the Key to Success
The trick to crafting a successful B2B marketing strategy is understanding how B2B marketing is different from B2C marketing and then leveraging those differences. For B2B clients, you will need to take a more logic-oriented approach to marketing; dedicate more time, resources, and money to client acquisition; and spend more time developing meaningful relationships with potential clients.