Mixing things up – how to sprinkle a bit of B2C into the B2B marketing pool
Now is as good a time as any for B2B marketers to loosen that top button and see what they could learn from their not-so-distant B2C relatives. Let’s take a look at how to spice things up in the marketing department to create a whole new breed of innovation.
B2B marketers have traditionally focused on using rational arguments to persuade customers to buy their products but with it becoming increasingly harder to grab the attention of potential buyers, marketers need to think smarter. While logic leads to conclusions and emotions lead to actions, audiences are now accustomed to being approached in a personal, emotive way meaning not taking this angle could have the potential to make your brand seem distant, disconnected or bland. So, clever marketers understand the need to tug on the heart strings/funny bone/[insert emotive body part here]. We’re not saying turn your whole marketing strategy on its head, but rather think about how to inject more personality into your messaging. Remember, it’s not just the product or service you’re representing; it’s the personality and values of your business too. So yes, the number one goal may be to educate in a professional way but while you’re at it, think about how you could also show your audiences that you’re fun, charismatic and original too.
Get creative with the tools you’ve got as well as one’s you haven’t used before. B2C marketers use the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat to paint a picture and get conversations started. B2B marketers can consider employing social media too but it means thinking outside the square. What else could you talk about/show that is relevant and will get audiences paying attention? Don’t be afraid to have a bit of fun with your content. Whether it’s mixing things up with a new tone of voice, creating some fun visual elements, or even making a video (which many B2B researches watch during the entire path to purchase), there’s plenty of options to consider . Everyone appreciates a good laugh so this could be your chance to jump on social media and show a less formal side to your business while aiming to make your audiences smile.
B2C knows that mobile means money which is where B2B needs to lift its game. It’s not just B2C audiences that will have their attention grabbed by a well-placed banner ad, video, or sponsored content – B2B audiences are real people too so don’t be afraid to get down and digital. Research from Panvista Mobile shows that “59% of B2B purchase decision makers and influencers use smartphones to gather information about B2B products and services, and 65% of executives are comfortable making a purchase from a mobile device.” Ensure your content is optimised for mobile so you never miss out. Google did a study in 2014 with Millward Brown Digital which discovered nearly half of all B2B researchers are millennials (digital natives), and 49% of B2B researchers who use their mobile devices for product research do so while at work. They’re comparing prices, reading about products, comparing feature sets, and contacting retailers.
In the end, everyone is a consumer in one way or another so keep reaching out to them. Stick to what you know works while also aiming to surprise and connect differently with your audiences. Tap into habits and thought patterns when working out what makes your audiences tick on a personal level. Deliver something that will make them sit up and think ‘that’s different… I like it’.