Would you talk to a parent in the same way that you would a friend? Would you use the same language or go into the same detail? It is highly unlikely as ordinarily we adapt and tailor our language and tone depending on who we are speaking to.
This example is an exact parallel demonstrating the differences a business faces when creating and implementing their B2B and B2C messages and campaigns.
While there is some overlap of strategies to engage B2C and B2B audiences, there are also notable differences. You are talking to other brands and businesses through B2B marketing as opposed to talking to the everyday consumer through your B2C activity.
Is one more important than the other?
Marketing departments and Creative agencies tend to think of customers (and B2C) first and rightly so, they are at the heart of everything they do. However, very often as a result, B2B marketing gets overlooked, despite it being just as important to a business’s bottom line.
The B2B Audience
Your B2B audience are professionals looking for your expertise, so they are more of a niche market and often rationally, rather than emotionally driven. They are looking for a direct response to a specific problem. As a result, your messages need to be more insightful in order to make an impact and promote your credibility.
Afterall, you are aiming to develop lasting relationships and create lead generation as opposed to quick sales at the end of the process, so your message needs to make an impact (and imprint). You are not just trying to grab the attention of this audience; you are trying to retain their attention too.
Have some fun
Compared to marketing to consumers, B2B is often seen as being a bit dry and agencies tend to spend more time doing the ‘fun’ stuff that is usually associated with B2C. Ultimately, customers are customers and you are still marketing to people. It’s good to remember that businesses don’t make buying decisions, individuals do.
Just because B2B marketing has a reputation for being less exciting, don’t let this put you off. See it as a challenge and show the human side to your business; show that you have personality and soul and do what you do best – you can still be creative!
Great design and content for B2B marketing is vital as you need to educate your audience whilst also trying to set yourself apart from the competition, but content doesn’t have to be purely words. Platforms such as LinkedIn have become synonymous with business but there are others out there. Instagram, for example, could really show the personality of your business and gives you a visual opportunity to show more insight into your culture. And what about sharing customer feedback? Using a platform such as Trustpilot enables businesses to share genuine feedback and is therefore as valid a part of your B2B strategy as it is for ecommerce.
Trust improves your bottom line
Businesses are more likely to work with someone they trust so they are likely to research your brand. It is therefore essential that all stages of your experience are reputable. This includes your brand visibility, strong and creative content, your customer and customer service experience and advocacy.
A trusted and reputable experience will boost your bottom line, proving that B2B marketing should be enhanced, not overlooked, and given as much weight and thought as B2C.
Written by Gayle Carpenter – Creative Director at Sparkloop design and communications agency creating brand, print, digital and video projects for business and brands. Est. 2008.