In marketing, no two businesses’ strategies are ever the same.

But a clear dividing line is often drawn between B2B campaigns and B2C ones.

The view is often that marketing to businesses is different to consumers and they are therefore seen as separate disciplines.

In some companies which have both B2B and B2C customers, teams may even be split according to who they are marketing to.

But are the two areas really so different? Here we take a look at what B2B campaigns can learn from the B2C space.

Businesses don’t make decisions, humans do

 

Depending on what your business is trying to sell, your marketing may include language that is complex and technical.

And if, for example, you’re trying to sell a niche piece of technology to an IT manager who will understand that language, it’s not necessarily a problem to talk to potential customers this way.

However, it is worth bearing in mind that the IT manager you are targeting may not have the final decision on whether or not to go with your product.

It could be another manager who may not understand your jargon, so if you want to close the deal, why not help your IT contact make the case to their stakeholders?

A true expert can explain complicated concepts in an easy to understand way, so don’t be afraid to use simple terms (that you would use in a conversation, not to a robot) that land your key selling points.

Everyone is a consumer

 

Every business person is also a consumer. They order takeaways, buy clothes, visit attractions, have a favourite brand of chocolate and a particular choice of laundry liquid.

Whatever their preferences, they receive marketing messages in dozens of different ways every single day either to keep them buying or get them to switch or try a new product.

Some messages will work, some won’t, but whatever the outcome, we are all used to developing relationships with brands and having opinions on adverts we like and ones we don’t.

Whether we are aware of this or not, our expectations around marketing may become quite sophisticated as consumers, which has an impact on how we view B2B contact in our workplaces.

Does your B2B campaign inspire the behaviour a B2C one might more explicitly go after? Will it create loyalty, trust, desire, and, ultimately, sales? If not, it’s time to start to start thinking of your business customers as consumers.

Campaigns do not exist in a vacuum

 

Perhaps another reason why B2B has become a speciality in its own right is the sheer volume of marketing businesses receive.

Whether it’s telephone calls, emails, direct mail, digital ads, or even door-to-door selling, businesses of all types and sizes are constantly being targeted to buy this or subscribe to that.

And while consumers can choose to avoid some ads, it can be difficult for businesses to do the same – it would be unrealistic for a company to keep its telephone number or email address private, for example.

That’s why the sort of research typical of B2C campaigns can be just as valuable for B2B.

A fizzy drink firm, for example, would almost certainly take a look at what its competitors were doing in terms of marketing before launching their own new consumer campaign and B2B should be no different.

Taking the time to understand what messages your business targets are already receiving can help you craft an idea that will cut through the noise and get to where you want to be.

If you’d like some help with generating ideas that reach your business audiences in different ways, get in touch for a free marketing review here.