We all know B2B marketing usually gets the short end of the stick.
Marketing strategy approaches are often lumped in with B2C strategies, only with some slight differences. It’s a logical decision, not an emotional one. You’re selling to businesses, not consumers. You have long sales cycles, not impulse buys. Right?
While these “slight” differences are plain and simple, there’s so many more reasons that set apart B2B from B2C. It really is a completely different marketing beast.
Reasons why B2B marketing is different from B2C marketing
Complex Product Offerings
This can pose problems in how you introduce your company and communicate your value to customers. Tech and SaaS products are not easy things to explain. They’re algorithms and blockchain and APIs, OH MY! In the B2C world, if you’re selling shampoo and it prevents dandruff, the value is easy to understand. If you have an automation platform the meets specific needs, explaining the value (and sometimes heavy price tag) is not so simple.
Features vs. Benefits
It’s easy to “get lost” in the technical details, and lose sight of what benefits (vs features) your prospects really care about. When you try to justify the value of your complex products, don’t get caught up in a list of product features. Tie it back to which pain-points you’re alleviating. Focus on the benefits of your product or service.
A LOT of Decision Makers
Reminder, this is not like buying a bottle of shampoo. Often the buying process involves multiple stakeholders and decision makers in an organization, like purchasing, IT and management. It’s not just one buyer, but a collection of contradicting minds with differing priorities. As a B2B marketer, your job is to sell to all of them and ensure you speak to everyone in the group.
Risk Factors for Customers
Committing to a sophisticated software product or platform is scary and opens up a lot of unknowns. It can change the very fundamentals of how a business operates, whether you are automating a task or integrating a new platform for housing data. Think about the business impact of your solution, and make sure you address that.
What do you do with this information?
You simply can’t model your B2B marketing plan off of a B2C marketing strategy. You must think outside the big box (store). Think like you customer and all associated decision makers.
It’s easy to get lost in the B2B side and lose sight that it’s still really B2H (humans). It's easy to get overly formal and technical with B2B tech sales, but you have to remember that all of your decision makers are people, at the end of the day.