I’ve spent the last decade or so working in both B2B and B2C spaces. I’ve researched, worked with, and owned the strategies to lead in respective markets through this time. I’ve read, and reread, articles focused on markets at home and abroad. And through this journey, I have concluded that a hybrid approach to B2B marketing is an optimal strategy.
Traditionally, B2B marketing is more about building personal, one on one relationships, via tradeshows, events, and so on whereas B2C focuses on creating an emotional appeal to end consumers, using traditional and social media advertising.
In today’s digital world, the lines have blurred. A connection in the virtual world is often not so different from one built face-to-face. Technology has changed the way we connect, converse, and make decisions. With these advancements, we are allowed to get extremely specific with targeting when running online advertisements. Outreach, in other words, has never been easier. This is especially true for B2B marketers who focus on the right quality rather than quantity and build long relationships.
Social media has not only provided the option for advertising, but for B2B marketers, in particular, it goes even deeper. Various groups for shared interests are everywhere on Facebook and LinkedIn. Follow and engage and you’ll find your customers, no matter which part of the world they are in. Not utilizing it to its full potential will be an injustice to your marketing efforts.
In any marketing space, online or otherwise, content is key! Know your customer and their needs. And know your product. Use the tools of your website and social presence to best present to and for the customer. This combined with the right SEO strategy will truly get the right information to your customer at the right time.
An aggressive SEO strategy aids in helping B2B businesses increase their online visibility, leading to increased website traffic, improved search engine rankings, and most importantly, generating leads. Another good SEO tactic is blogs and public relations, which provide much-needed added knowledge of not only your product but the business you are working in as well.
In the B2B marketing space in particular, once your potential customer has researched the information they need online, they will come to look for you.
Intel’s CMO, Karen Walker, explained this in an interview with Marketing Week:
“In the consumer world, if they have to talk to a human that means something’s gone wrong. But in the business world, it means: ‘I’ve done all the research, I’ve done all the analysis, I’ve got A, B, and C I need to choose from… I’m well informed and educated, but I need to sit down and have a really deep conversation with a human who’s an expert”
In building relationships that feel real and tangible for the customer, it’s as important for them to know you as it is for you to know them. So engage with them in ways that aim to foster relationships. Represent your brand to bring it to life. This will require you to lean into your knowledge as the best possible brand ambassador. It will mean remaining visible as well as relevant to the times, and across platforms.
Building trust and personalizing communication are vital to marketing success. B2B companies can effectively drive leads and conversions to ultimately achieve a higher return on investment, by continually measuring and refining their strategies and using a targeted approach with a mix of the marketing tools available to them.