One example is purchase motivation. In B2C businesses, the buyer is typically the end user in B2C, but that is not the case in B2B setups. This leads to vastly different sales cycles and marketing messaging.
B2C requires the traditional approach of convincing the user on the benefits of owning the product. It usually involves mass messaging and a single step to minimize e-commerce drop-off.
Meanwhile, the purchasing process in B2B is much longer, requiring several consultative discussions and sometimes bespoke work that lasts many months. The B2B approach is also more complex due to having multiple consideration parties (end users, influencers, and decision makers).
But while B2C and B2C marketing may look vastly different, both involve the same basic concepts: Customer Satisfaction and Cognitive Fluency.
As covered in an earlier discussion, a Branding vehicle is any channel across Paid, Owned and Earned Media that brings your brand into contact with the user.
In the B2B model, maintaining communication and building trust is equally important. Your brand representative needs to be client-centric by consistently demonstrating business understanding and urgency.
While brand loyalty and customer retention are ultimate goals, it’s possible that customer value will grow over time as maintaining current customer satisfaction would lead to repeat sales and possibly subsequent transactions of higher monetary value. More revenue can even be generated from integrating new products.
To illustrate my point, let’s look at Coca-Cola. The company has been ranked the number one brand for the 13th consecutive year by Interbrand (http://www.interbrand.com/en/best-global-brands/2012/Best-Global-Brands-2012.aspx).
That’s Coca-Cola at number one, 13 out of 13 times.
I’m sure everyone knows of someone who drinks Coca-Cola (affectionately called Coke) more than any other drink.
Part of the reason is because it is stocked at the office and home refrigerators. People order the drink during lunch.
If the Coke can is damaged, you assume the grocer dropped it while shelving; if Coke tastes different at the restaurant, you assume the restaurant went wrong with the ice or glass. That’s the power of brand loyalty.
Interestingly, six out of the top 10 brands of the Best Global Brands 2012 report are in technology:
● Apple (2)
● IBM (3)
● Google (4)
● Microsoft (5)
● Intel (8)
● Samsung (9)
That’s proof that successful brands are not limited to other sectors of Coca-Cola (1), GE (6), McDonald’s (7) and Toyota (10).
In B2B marketing, it’s easy to forget that simplicity is still important to win customers. While the cloud computing solution that you’re selling may be complex, you should still be able to explain your brand’s offering clearly and concisely (try within 30 seconds or over email).
Ensure your business proposals are focused and easy to understand. Do not expect your client to do additional research to figure out your product.
The notion of simplicity relates to the concept of Cognitive Fluency, which is the feeling of ease or difficulty when deciding on something.
People feel more at ease when your product or website has a good UX Design and if the product label takes into consideration design elements like figure-ground contrast, wording, font style and size. Even the pronunciation of your brand or product name matters.
With so much work going into making things simple, is it any surprise that it’s actually tougher to convey a message using less words, less space, and less time?
This post is by Valerie Tan, Head of Digital Marketing (Global) at Dropmyemail. Before Dropmyemail, Valerie was a sales strategist and then the managing editor of Yahoo! South East Asia. She also had stints in client servicing at dgm and sales at Tribal Fusion.
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