The age old debate in marketing has long been how do you switch up your strategies when you’re a B2B company or a B2C one.
If you’re dealing with businesses as your main customers, surely that’s so incredibly different than when you’re selling directly to a consumer, right?
Well, frankly, that’s kind of wrong.
Cause the thing is, whether you’re a B2B brand or a B2C one, your customers all have one thing in common – they’re human.
Human Focused Marketing
One thing that I think we’ve forgotten for a long time is that no matter who our customer is, there’s still a human on the other side of that ad consuming it. While yes, depending on the size of your service/product that you’re selling the methods might change a bit, that doesn’t mean that if you’re dealing with B2B that suddenly you’re going to switch from the basic best practices.
After all, your business-owning customers are still going to care about how you’re solving their problems. They’re still going to want you to make their lives easier. They still want a service or product that will help them in some ways. Yes, for a business customer that can mean that you’re helping them to increase profits, improve productivity, and streamline processes, but there’s still a person on the other end of all your marketing choosing whether to work with you or not.
In fact, many of the touchpoints that a customer will have with your business before they buy will be driven by other humans. That can include reviews, social media conversations, word of mouth recommendations, and more.
And frankly, we’ve gotten so deep into the cool gadgets that we can use to market to people – chat bots, texts, emails, funnels, data tracking – that we’ve forgotten that those buying from us are just people. (And you wonder why data privacy and tracking opt-outs are sweeping the world right now.)
The Real Difference in B2B and B2C
Want to know the real main differences in B2B and B2C? It all has to do with price and who the decision makers are.
With B2C, you’re talking directly to the person who’s going to buy your product or service. You often have a lower price point, so the decision-making process can be a lot shorter. Asking someone to spend $50 vs $2000 is a whole different ballgame, after all.
With B2B, you’re possibly talking to one of two or three people that have to weigh in on a purchase. That’s not always the case, especially if you work with solopreneurs and small business owners as your target audience, but it’s still likely they’re not making the decision on their own. Add on that your price points for working with your product and service for a B2B is often larger (like in the thousands vs a small sales), you’re simply going to need more touch points. You’re going to need to build more trust and showcase your other customers’ successes more. Frankly, with B2B it’s almost more about their humanity because you’re asking them to invest more in you and your business. The needs for trusting that process, trusting that purchase are just so much higher.
How to be Human Focused
You know what’s kind of crazy about this whole thing? The best way to be human-focused in your marketing isn’t about what and how you post, the stories you tell about your brand, or even how you deliver your marketing content. Not really.
It’s all about your customer care.
Yes, your customer care.
Remember how I said earlier that much of the evaluation stage includes going through reviews, social media conversations, and word of mouth recommendations? That’s all a part of your marketing that’s driven not by you as the brand but by your customers. After all, it’s their stories and their successes that are really going to drive sales for your business. If someone your potential client trusts talks about how your company has helped them, that new potential client is far more likely to want to buy from you.
In fact, this is why influencer marketing has grown exponentially over the last few years. We don’t care about the brands, but we do care about what people we already trust have to say about the brands.
Customer Care Builds Brand Loyalty
95% say customer care is important for brand loyalty. That means the level of support they get when working with you will shape whether they stay and how much they tell other people about you. Whether they post about your business and create user-generated-content for you to continue your brand story on.
Keeping existing customers happy brings word-of-mouth referrals and those happy customers stay with your business. They then tell their own friends and those friends tell their friends and so on and so forth.
And yes, this matters even with B2B companies as well as with B2C.
Not totally convinced?
Did you know that 68% of buyers will pay more for a product/service if the customer service experience is a positive one? And customers of companies that engage over social media will spend 20-40% more with that brand because they feel connected to them?
When someone feels connected to our businesses – because we’ve helped them and made their interactions with them feel like we understand that they’re human, too – they’re going to feel comfortable to not only spend money with us but also tell their friends.
Customers Care Most About Themselves
One thing to never forget – Customers care most about themselves and their problems. As long as you remember that the sole purpose of your business is to help people solve a problem, you’ll connect with your customer better than you’ve ever imagined.
Whether you already have a marketing strategy or you’re going back to the drawing board, you should first ask yourself these two questions:
- What does your product or service fix?
- What pain points are you resolving?
Then you want to focus your marketing on addressing these issues. Think less about the technology that you’re using to deliver the message. Focus first on the message and the unwavering human truths embedded in your services and products. Then, look at technology as a way to communicate with your ideal audience where they already are. Technology is just a vehicle to deliver your message in the way your customers want to receive it. Your first focus is less on the “tools” and instead on the “whys.”
Getting clear on the “whys” will help you connect to your target audience, improve your customer service, and get other people seeing your content.
Always start with “why” and remember it’s not about you – it’s about them.