Verrah Blog

B2B + B2C = BFF

August 21, 2017

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Demystifying the end-user market

It's no wonder that many of our clients are facing the challenge presented by the online revolution with some concern. In the past, their only target market had been distributors, but more and more B2B companies are reporting that their sales are increasingly direct-to-consumer.  

Traditionally, marketing to both businesses and end-users has meant distinct silos of effort, fracturing marketing efforts and essentially making twice as much work and cost.  The good news is that advanced technology minimizes the schism between your efforts to reach two customer groups because both B2B and B2C markets currently use the internet as their primary mode of self-education about products and services.  With cost-effective software that collects and parses realtime data, leverages the successes in one category to assist the other, and gives you a view into the "whole picture," you are better positioned than ever to take the B2C opportunity and run with it. 
 
Successfully addressing the B2C opportunity can be vital to reducing your company's dependency on key commercial accounts, so it's well worth exploring. 
 
The increasing crossover between B2B and B2C buyers has been noticed by many marketers, and it's time to rethink the traditional divisions.  
 
Maybe something like 'long sales cycle'/'short sales cycle' is more meaningful. Some B2B brands sell off the web page (anti-virus software, say) and some B2C brands have sales cycles that last for months (cars, mortgages). So maybe it's so hard to nail the differences between B2B and B2C is because they have a fair amount of overlap.”- Doug Kessler on a Content Marketing Institute blog post
 
(An example might be) a company selling medical devices. This single company may sell to both organizations (such as hospitals and clinics) and to individual consumers, who will use the devices at home. How then, should this company develop a strategy that appeals to both B2B and B2C buyers, given (their) differences?  - Eric Sui on a Hubspot blog post
Developing accurate buyer personas is the building block of your content strategy. What are your target's goals, concerns, priorities?  What activities do they regularly undertake?  A clear picture of who you are selling to, whether they are a B2B buyer or a B2C end-user, is the essential driver of your content development and planning. 
 
All that said, there are some very real differences in how to approach B2C consumers:
 
GOALS
 
B2B content marketing is about establishing your company's thought leadership in your space.  Your goal is to make the purchasing decision-maker so familiar with your brand that there is no need for them to do online research contrasting your qualifications with your competitors'.  You're working to have them skip over the comparison shopping step. B2C content creation should be designed to help consumers feel safe, secure and informed  by embracing the comparison shopping step. B2C efforts should be centered around solidifying end-consumer confidence in your product by giving them, for example, multiple ways to witness how effective your product is via customer testimonials and videos.  
 
MESSAGE
 
B2B content creation is most effective when focussing on themes of value, service and trustworthiness.  B2C content is oriented around an emotional connection with the product or service, as well as (sometimes) price.  The emotional satisfaction of purchasing your product is irrelevant to a B2B customer.  And although a B2C will respond to value, service and trustworthiness, how the two customer types experience that is entirely different, so even that messaging will be different depending on the target audience. 
 
METHOD
 
B2B marketing has limited channels in which to promote content.  It's more important to carefully target messaging in the right digital platform than it is with B2C.  Where a potential B2C customer might float from one digital space to the next, B2B customers are generally only responsive when the content is on a highly relevent channel, generally industry-specific.  
 
FORM
 
What form does the content take?  Video, white paper, blog post?  Generally speaking, B2C campaigns can successfully include tools like user-generated content shares. B2B lead-generating campaigns tend to be more successful with case studies and white papers.  
 


 

Topics: B2B, B2C, Tips

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