Blog Post

Demand Generation

How Your B2B Marketing Strategy Should Differ From B2C

B2B (Business-To-Business) and B2C (Business-To-Consumer) are two terms that often come up in the growth marketing world. You’re likely already familiar with these terms. 

However, knowing the difference between B2B and B2C and knowing how marketing strategies are different for each is another matter.

Marketing to B2B audiences and marketing to B2C audiences require different approaches, and that’s what this article will delve into. You’ll learn how to build a marketing strategy that makes sense, whether your focus is on B2B or B2C.

Customer Relationships

The first difference in strategies is noticed in how customer relationships are approached. Digital marketing, in general, has a big focus on building relationships with customers, and the way this is approached varies between B2B and B2C strategies. 

While B2C marketing likes to zoom in on personal relationships, B2B marketing is less intimate and has what could be called a "transactional" focus. Building long-term relationships take the spotlight for B2B marketing strategies, and the attention is more sales-oriented in B2C marketing. 

Keep in mind that both require customer services and good lead generation to be fast and effective. A "Speed to Lead" approach is essential.

Branding

B2B marketing takes a very different stance on branding than B2C marketing does. B2B focuses on positioning, whereas B2C is more concerned with messaging.

For B2B, good positioning is what makes you stand out among the competition and attract your audience.  Positioning is about more than branding; it’s about perception. It encompasses various elements — from content marketing to branding and social responsibility.

On the other hand, B2C marketing is concerned with what your target audience thinks about you. What does your company stand for? What does it support? People who feel they can relate to your brand are more likely to buy from you. 

Ad Copy

Marketing strategies also diverge for B2B and B2C when it comes to ad copy. B2B companies need to take a professional approach, while B2C companies have the freedom to be more playful and emotional.

Successful B2B marketing ad copy should stick to terms that their audience is familiar with and avoid being frivolous. B2C ad copy should speak the same language as its target audience.

Audience Targeting

The way B2B companies approach audience targeting is also different from how B2C companies do it. To build effective B2B marketing campaigns, it’s important to find a niche and make that the focal point of all marketing efforts.

B2C marketing is more funnel-focused, and this funnel will consist of awareness, interest, desire, and action. A PLG (product-led growth) funnel can also be quite useful. 

Traditional marketing can come in handy but requires a good understanding of existing customers and proven ways to generate leads. 

Using marketing automation software (like HubSpot) can make audience targeting more effective and less frustrating, especially when trying to stay focused on results rather than the small things that can distract your marketing team. 

Sales Cycle Length 

The sales cycle length for B2B marketing is, in most cases, longer than it is for B2C marketing. This is because the decision and approval process requires multiple signatures, so potential customers might need more encouragement to take the final step and make a purchase.

More lead nurturing is required for B2B companies to get the sales they want, and user experience is an important factor here. If customers don’t get the attention they need, they’re more likely to move away and support other businesses. Customer service is a prime part of the B2B sales funnel. 

The B2C sales cycle often requires less input from salespeople, though this varies widely across industries and audiences. 

Emotional Investment

Generally, B2B marketing is far less emotional than B2C marketing because the customers are more calculating. They are driven by evidence of performance and numbers. B2B marketing, therefore, tends to be more information-focused.

B2C marketing calls for more creativity, entertainment, and emotional investment. Customers are more focused on achieving happiness or satisfaction and make more impulsive decisions.

Paid media campaigns can be useful tools for building emotional investment in both B2B and B2C marketing.

Marketing Channels

B2B companies and B2C companies have different marketing channels to choose from when it comes to their marketing efforts. For B2B marketing to work, the challenges of the audience must be addressed, as well as their needs and relevant interests. For this, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is crucial.

Other channels that are fruitful for B2B include PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising, referral marketing, content marketing, email marketing, and social media channels.

B2C companies can use outdoor advertising, influencer marketing, traditional advertising, and digital marketing strategies. Search engines and social media also play a big role, with platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook being some of the most popular and effective for B2C marketing.

B2B, B2C, and Matter Made

Planning a B2C or B2B marketing strategy isn’t easy and shouldn’t be taken lightly. 

A well-defined strategy that has the right approach to branding, customer relationships, and audience targeting can take your company to new heights. 

Why not combine efforts with Matter Made? We have a team of expert marketing professionals who can help you build B2C or B2B marketing strategies that will see you rise above your competition. 

Interested? Let’s talk!

Driving growth is critical to business success. In B2B SaaS — and any industry — if you're not growing, you're losing ground. But what if you don’t know where to start?

Running an expensive ad campaign and hoping for the best is a common best attempt at demand gen. But you've been burned by the short-lived results and low ROI of this method before.

Alternatively, demand generation is a high ROI, long-term growth-driving vehicle you need to know about. Here's how to use demand gen to drive growth.

What Is Demand Generation?

Demand Generation is a data-driven marketing strategy that creates demand for your SaaS solutions. To accomplish this, you must determine the why, where, and how of the target audience's relationship to your B2B SaaS.

Why do they want it? Analytics — mixed with some common sense — tells you the goals and pain points.

Where do they look for it? It tells you the channels they frequent and sources they trust.

How do they need to get it? Demand gen focuses not only on how you initially deliver your SaaS. It cares about "how they receive it". Do they love it and tell others?

Focus on the full funnel

Demand generation seeks to align your marketing, sales, and customer support. In doing so, you create a seamless customer experience that delights customers — top to bottom, start-to-finish, a full funnel experience.

But demand gen doesn't see a funnel that ends at the bottom. It sees a cycle where the bottom of the funnel feeds the top. To accomplish this you'll focus on four demand engines.

Use all four demand engines

What's an engine do? It powers something. To get the most out of demand gen, you need to get all four engines humming in unison. This drives growth.

Creating demand

This engine focuses on generating awareness about the problem your SaaS solves for businesses.

Capturing demand

This one involves engaging people who've shown interest. Start conversations and engage them in the solutions in a meaningful way.

It's critical to note that small actions lead to bigger actions. Leverage this interest to strengthen this bond. Get them to take action like following you or signing up for an email list.

After all, 79% of B2B marketers say email is their most effective distribution channel. It's important to capture demand here when possible.

Accelerating demand

What's it mean to accelerate? You want to not only fill the funnel with high-quality leads but speed the funnel up.

How? Invest in deepening and widening this connection.

Deepen the connection by providing helpful content that serves their needs and goals. Simultaneously, they're learning about your offerings and developing greater intent to buy.

Use data to know when an individual is ready to buy. Deploy automatic lead routing technology to Speed the Lead to sales and close the deal.

At the same time, widen a connection. Encourage interested people to engage with you on multiple channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Email, etc.). They may not even be a paying customer yet! But this both passively and directly engages other decision-makers in their company (and others).

This also widens the bond because now they're talking offline too! As a result, more people are becoming aware of the problems and entering Top of Funnel.

Growing demand

What do you do after you've made the sale to delight new customers? You should offer robust customer support (people and self-service) along with data-driven, automated onboarding procedures, and advocacy programs.

Marketing creates relevant content to support these efforts, thus aligning marketing and customer support.

Create content for the full funnel...for each demand engine

Each engine needs its own special type of fuel to work. Content is that fuel! But the type of content is different for each stage.

  • Creating demand
  • Educational problem-centered content, blog posts, infographics, long-form guides, videos.
  • Capturing demand
  • Content focused on solutions, eBooks, case studies, white papers, webinars, social media posts.
  • Accelerating demand
  • Sales enablement content, managing objections content, success stories, demos, free trials.
  • Growing demand
  • Onboarding emails, videos, and other guides, troubleshooting guides, self-service content, ChatBot content. Simultaneously, you're facilitating and promoting User-Generated Content (UGC), Loyalty and Advocacy programs.

Identify and Grow Key Accounts

This demand-gen customer success strategy focuses on strengthening the bond you have with high-value accounts. Your goal is to maximize customer lifetime value.

On the surface, this sounds like an account retention strategy. After all, you've heard that increasing retention by just 5% can double your revenue. Of course, retention matters.

But customer lifetime value is more than how much one business account spends in their lifetime. Keeping that company engaged in the solutions fuels all four demand generation engines.

This engagement translates to ROI. This happens in several ways, all of which you can amplify through this strategy

First, simply having a long-standing well-known and/or active customer demonstrates stability, authority, and relevance. Key accounts often have many employees who engage with you on social media.

Let them do the talking. What they say about your products will mean more than anything you ever say about it.

To employ this strategy, actively build a platform that encourages these key accounts to create user-generated content. Then, promote on social media and at various stages. At the same time, leverage their feedback to make your product, pricing strategy, features, and content better.

They'll feel heard—a very basic human need. When businesses fill this need, they strengthen the connection and turn key accounts into brand advocates. These voices drown out the competition as the advocates further drive growth.

Ready to Grow?

Real Growth drives itself — but you have to get the engines started and fueled up. As you focus on full funnel demand gen, you fuel the four engines that turn customers into advocates.

These advocates propel others faster through the funnel. They amplify results you get from your efforts, saving you time and money. Then just keep those engines running, and you have long-term, sustainable growth.

To learn more about demand generation, check out our guide to demand generation. Here, you'll learn more about how to generate the demand that drives growth.

 

Ready to drive efficient demand?

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