When you think B2B marketing, you probably think corporate.
So corporate that all of your marketing material needs to be sophisticated, formal, and professional, and every conversation you have, both online and off, should be treated like a formal, suit-and-tie business meeting.
On the flipside, when you think B2C marketing, you probably think casual.
So casual that if you try to be overly sophisticated, formal, and professional you’re doomed from the jump. If you even think about sharing a message that isn’t fun and playing of a trending hashtag, you probably get a little uncomfortable.
Well, the reality is this…
B2B and B2C marketing aren’t as far apart as you think.
Of course there are a handful of differences that separate the execution of a B2B campaign versus a B2C campaign. The decision making process is typically longer in B2B, there is usually only one person involved in the purchasing process in B2C, and the relationship is between you and the customer is often slightly different.
Still, there’s one constant that remains in both B2B and B2C.
Whether you’re in B2B marketing or B2C marketing, the end goal is typically getting a person or group of people to make the decision to do what you want them to do, or buy what you’re selling.
The only real differentiator comes when you consider what it is you’re actually selling. The channels you use and the messages you deliver don’t need to change as drastically as you think.
CMOs Like Fantasy Football Too
The easiest way to explain it is through a simple comparison.
Let’s take a look at two people…
Person A is the CMO at a Fortune 500 company. She’s focused on increasing conversion rates, optimizing advertising spend, increasing ARR by whatever lofty percentage came up the year before, and a handful of other business-focused tasks, projects, and goals.
Person B is an avid lover of yoga and fantasy football. She hasn’t missed a yoga class in weeks, consistently finishes in the top 3 in her office fantasy league, spends more time than she’ll likely admit scrolling through Pinterest, and loves nothing more than curling up with a good book.
These two different people aren’t actually two different people at all.
That big-time, corporate CMO you’ve been trying to reach also loves fantasy sports, yoga, and scrolling through Pinterest looking for vegan recipes. Crazy right?
What does this mean from a marketing point of view?
B2B marketing doesn’t only exist on LinkedIn between the hours of 9am and 5pm. It doesn’t matter if that CMO is in suit-and-tie mode during the week, or lounging in a hoodie on the weekend. The bottom line is this…
They’re still people.
And because of this, you need to market to them in a human way.
P2P Is The New Normal
Whether you’re on the B2B side or the B2C side, at the end of the day it all comes down to people. For that reason, you should always be thinking from a P2P perspective. Person to person marketing is going to be at the root of everything you do.
Maybe you are targeting that CMO of a Fortune 500 company.
Maybe you’re targeting Joe Working Man from the next town over.
Maybe it’s a university student obsessed with fashion influencers.
Maybe you’re just targeting an office manager named Michael from a local paper company.
Four very different people, yet still four people.
At the root of any marketing campaigns you run, one of your goals is going to be educating your audience on what you’re offering and why they should want it. No matter what role they fill, what social status they hold, or what they like to do on their Saturdays, they’re still going to have certain questions that need to be answered. If you can answer these questions, you’re going to set yourself up for success, whether you’re in B2B, B2C, ABC, or 123.
- What can I do that someone else can’t?
- Why would someone want what I’m offering?
- What are their biggest pain points?
- Do they know these pain points exist?
- If not, how can I expose the pain points and create that need for what I offer?
From there, start leveraging those answers to build meaningful connections.
Keep in mind, people connect with people. Even if you’re business is looking to close a deal with another business, the conversations are still going to take place between real people. If you can build that meaningful connection initially, you’re going to be in a much better spot.
How do you build these connections?
Content Is KEY 🔑
Think about it…
Your customers have questions they want answered. How can you answer those questions in an efficient, yet effective way? The answer is quite simple…
“Okay Josh, great idea… But what content should I be creating? Blog posts? Videos? A podcast? Give more more!”
To be honest, I can’t tell you which form of content is going to work best for you and your business.
Your audience is unique. You need to build an in-depth understanding of what content they want and what they look for. This is where the real work begins.
If you have a thinking cap, put it on now. If you don’t, I can hook you up with one right here.
(Warning: It’s not a cap, but it can double as a bandana if you get creative.)
Research, Ask, Research, Ask, Etc.
If you want your content to perform, you need to be willing to put in the work first.
Sure you can pick a topic, write a blog post, tweet it, then sit back. That’s a great strategy if all you’re looking for is a reason to pat yourself on the back and say you did content marketing.
Let’s be real though, if you want to see results, you need to understand what your audience wants, and then understand how to get it to them. This isn’t a B2B concept. It’s not a B2C concept. It’s a P2P requirement.
Maybe your audience prefers video to blog content. Maybe they’re not actually searching for the keywords you think they are. These are insights you need to have if you want your content to successful reach your audience and convey the message you’re trying to share.
If you’re not willing to put in this initial work, your marketing strategy will constantly be bleeding money with no end in sight.
Conduct some serious keyword research using tools like Moz, BuzzSumo or Ahrefs. Find out what content your competitors are creating and see what’s resonated the best with your target audience. Actually ask your audience what they want through surveys.
This initial work will save you hours of wasted time creating content that your audience doesn’t actually want to consume.
Now Over To You
Remember, at the root of all marketing efforts is the people.
While these CMOs, CFOs, CEOs, and other executives you’re targeting may be interested in increasing their revenue or decreasing costs, they’re also interested in winning that fantasy football championship and finding the perfect gluten free pasta recipe for their kids birthday.
Rather than only ever focusing on business, take a step back and remember they’re just as human as you. Once you can understand and embrace that, start leveraging the power of content to drive results for you and your business.
If you’re ready to dive into the content side and start driving real results for your business, check out this free content creation and distribution machine today.
Can’t promise you’ll go viral tomorrow, but I can say you’ll be in a MUCH better spot with your content management.
What else do you think carries over between B2B marketing and B2C marketing? Drop a comment or hit me up on Twitter and let me know what you think!
[Last Updated Dec 20, 2019]