Effective marketing can take time to get right. Between budget restraints, creative demands, and distribution, marketers have a lot to consider when devising a compelling strategy. One of the most significant determinants of success, however, is your audience.
B2B (business-to-business) marketing targets the needs, interests, and challenges of professional buyers who make purchases on behalf of their organization. These individuals are driven by corporate objectives, relationship, invested stakeholders, corporate values and professional advancement. B2B customers are far more logical and have a responsibility to review and understand the ROI, financial implications of their business decisions.
B2B customers make purchases with the goal of developing long-term solutions, meaning lengthier sales cycles, contracts, and relationships with companies. While B2C customers generally make their own speedy choices, B2B customers must confer with stakeholders and higher-ranking members of their chain of command before purchasing a product or service.
Key messaging for B2B customers must communicate your value proposition, your company’s or product’s why? Connecting to your customer’s pain points and offering solutions that address their business objectives will go a long way. If your company or product is new you may need to educate your audience while still communicating your value proposition.
If you can help B2B customers think critically and develop their skillset during the sales process, you can be sure that they’ll make a purchase decision they won’t regret later. The content types that are most popular among B2B customers include:
- White papers
- Case studies
- Industry reports
- ROI calculators
- Testimonials/Social proof
B2C (business-to-consumer) marketing targets the needs, interests and challenges of individual consumers. These customers are highly invested in their own values, seek good deals and convenience, and are spurred by emotion. While B2C customers appreciate education, they don’t always need it to make a purchase decision. These customers want to align themselves with brands that reflect their values, taste or personal image they want to portray. B2C customers can be loyal with long-term relationships if the brand can connect to these key motivators. Sales cycles tend to be very short and decisions made in the span of minutes and weeks instead of months and years.
Unlike B2B where companies can develop one-on-one relationships with each of their customers, B2C brands must rely on storytelling and content to make connections as personal as possible. Because of this, key messaging must be connected to your brand’s why? Consider how your product or service make their life easier, simpler, more engaging or fulfils one of their personal needs.
Because B2C customers aren’t required to answer to someone else before making a purchase, an uplifting brand story can be all the persuasion they need. The content types that perform best among B2C customers include:
- Short-form videos
- Product demos
What Brings Audiences Together
While B2B and B2C marketing practices differ in many ways, you’re still marketing to people at the end of the day. Regardless of B2B or B2C, people want to be seen and heard. They want to feel part of a community and work with companies, brands and people that support their values and vision.
Fully understanding your target segment’s specific needs and priorities and creating relevant content that attracts, engages, and delights them is key to converting leads into happy customers.