Marketers are all consumers. Sometimes we consume for our personal needs and wants, and sometimes, for our organization. As a B2C marketer, I’ve also played the role of the customer in the B2B marketing process. I’ve researched a product or service that would help my company – including consuming all of that delicious B2B content, like webinars, ebooks and live events – and eventually purchased an enterprise-level product.
Here are 5 similarities I’ve noticed between B2B and B2C marketing.
- It’s all about relationships
Yep, it’s good to be friendly no matter who your buyer is. And sure, there may appear to be more conversations, content consumption and meetings leading up to the purchase of an enterprise-level product. But think about subscription-based consumer services, like internet access or cell phone service. When you’re considering a long-term commitment to any service provider or complex product, you’re going to want to form a relationship with the seller. Good lifecycle marketing in the “learn” stage of LBGUPS is the key to building that relationship.
- A personal touch is always best
There’s a reason personalization is so big in both B2C and B2B: 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand that recognizes them by name. Think about the overlap between these same consumers and business buyers, influencers and decision makers. It figures that buyers on the business side would respond well to personalized B2B marketing, too.
- Process matters
The best way to create a repeatable path to success is with a process. The process a B2B marketer follows may be longer and different from the one a B2C marketer follows, but the fact remains: process matters. Moving from ideation to strategy to tactics is always part of a successful marketing planning process.
- Be good to your buyer post-sale
I guess this could fall under “relationships”, but even if it does, I think it’s worth mentioning twice. Customer service and support are the key to retention and reducing churn. Give them the support they need after the sale with timely product or service tips as well as on-demand and self-serve troubleshooting. Love your customer, and they’ll love you back.
- There’s value in being a jack of all trades
Knowing at least a little bit about a lot of different things can help any marketer. Can you write? Awesome. Got an eye for design? Perfect. Do you understand how to code? Trifecta. Sure, it’s great to have a deep knowledge in a handful of areas, but a jack of all trades brings value to any organization. They can work with colleagues cross-functionally, write proposals, lead projects and manage opportunities and constraints.
Can you think of some other key similarities between yourself and your B or C counterparts? Throw them in the comments!
Well, where to begin.
It’s been 5 years since my last blog post on this site. In that time, I’ve:
- Changed companies once, leaving VIA Rail and joining Xplornet Communications
- Changed my job a number of times, though I’ve kept the same title
- Got engaged
- Got married
- Bought a house
- Lost my father
- Had my first kid – a beautiful daughter, named Annie
It’s been quite a ride, and throughout those 5 years, I’ve thought about returning to my personal blog. Life has a way of foiling our best laid plans. While I was expanding my skills and immersing myself in my work and my personal life, I stopped making time to share what I’d been learning, and I really do regret that. That said, spending more time with my family these last few years is something I’ll never regret, and expanding my digital marketing skills beyond social media marketing has been so rewarding – I have new love for growth marketing, data analytics, content marketing, SEO, SEM, coding, and more.
I’ve met some wonderful people thanks to the connections I used to make through my blog, on Twitter and speaking publicly. I miss these connections, and hope I can get reacquainted with old friends and colleagues while meeting new, super smart people. I’ll try to share more regularly here, on Twitter, on Medium, and elsewhere, and will gladly jump back into the conversations my industry colleagues have been carrying on in my absence. Please be gentle 🙂
You can’t change the last 5 years, but you can always work on the next 5.
I’m not sure how I missed this inforgraphic on Community Manager Appreciation Day last month (mark your calendars!), but I found it today and couldn’t help but nod my head in agreement as I read each role and responsibility. A community manager has a lot of parts to play internally and externally, and this graphic does a great job of summarizing some of the big ones.