The blurring lines between B2B and B2C buying behaviors prompt B2B marketers to revisit their approach to marketing. As the two audiences grow more alike, B2B marketers are paying more attention to B2C practices.
Historically, B2B marketers are thought to have different priorities than B2C marketers. A recent study proves otherwise. Their marketing priorities are converging in line with buyer behavior. Increasing revenue, enhancing the use of data and analytics, and improving personalization capabilities rank at the top for both.
As a result, marketing techniques of giant consumer brands are now illuminating for B2B marketers. Here are four lessons to take from their experience.
Personalize your offer
Consumer brands are obsessed with data collection, causing a growing sensitivity around data privacy on one side. On the other, interestingly, more than half of modern shoppers are willing to share personal data in exchange for a personalized shopping experience.
Having foreseen this trend, Amazon benefits from the power of historical data and offers personalized recommendations, product search, discounts, etc. The retail behemoth now accounts for half of US e-commerce sales.
Furthermore, the company also uses copious data in its B2B services. Location, buying habits, previously used discounts, and other data of numerous shoppers are leveraged to be used in Amazon Personalize, a service designed to optimize marketing efforts and boost sales.
Although on a smaller scale, B2B companies also collect buyer data to be utilized for personalization. In fact, in a CMO Survey, 57% of B2B product companies and 62% of B2B service companies stated that they are using AI technologies for content personalization.
Historical data such as seasonal buying behavior, previously worked promotion type, feedback, etc., merged with AI technology can help you offer a personalized experience. Maintain it and you’ll build customer loyalty without giving out increasingly larger discounts.
If the amount of data is not sufficient, directly ask customers what they are interested in.
Make use of predictive segmentation
Modern B2C marketing relies heavily on predictive segmentation. Think of your Spotify experience. The AI technology behind the media service offers you content you’re likely to be interested in. It predicts your taste in music based on your personal data.
Historically, B2B segmentation has been limited to industry, size and geographic location. In recent years, increased buyer expectations around personalization and the broadened AI integration into marketing techniques urge B2B marketers to focus on advanced segmentation. One B2B branch, software services are inherently open for improvements and by extension, changing pricing schemes. While the first one is desired by the majority of buyers, the latter usually stirs negative feelings.
Predictive segmentation enables businesses to segment their audience based on their reactions to potential changes in the product as well as a new pricing scheme.
Take advantage of predictive segmentation before new product launches, features, pricing. In other words, everything you’re planning to introduce. It’ll prevent you from alienating price-sensitive customers with a price increase, or the basic-plan enthusiasts with your new premium feature.
Build an emotional relationship
All companies have a social media presence, but unlike B2C brands, B2B marketers refrain from going beyond the scope of professionalism.
There is a common belief that functional appeals are more effective in B2B marketing. However, research reveals that emotional attachment is important for B2B businesses too.
Scholars recommend integrating emotionally appealing elements into B2B tweets. A sustainable advantage over competitors can only be established by a combination of emotional and functional appeals.
Optimize price management
With the transfer to online, prices became transparent. Transparency led to a substantial increase in the frequency of price changes.
Adapting to the changing landscape, retailers started monitoring competitor prices, testing different price points, planning long-term objectives based on historical data, and more importantly, automated all these processes with the help of pricing tools.
Digitalization revolutionized consumer brand marketing strategies and they, in turn, changed the nature of B2B pricing. Top-performing companies in a Bain & Company survey excelled at three main areas:
- tailored pricing at individual and product levels,
- harmony of sales staff and pricing strategy incentives,
- investment in the development of capabilities, training, and tools.
In other words, a successful pricing strategy requires a combination of customization, interdepartmental cooperation, training, and technology.
Tailored pricing assists in targeting a larger audience and reduces churns.
Cooperation between sales staff, pricing leaders and marketers help companies effectively implement pricing decisions.
Pricing software collects and stores competitor and buyer data to be used in quick and effective pricing decisions and to be analyzed for long-term planning.
Back then, marketers perceived B2B and B2C in a fundamentally different way. Now the lines are blurred. B2B purchasing decisions are deeply impacted by buyers’ B2C experiences. Thus, B2B marketers have important lessons to learn from B2C brands. Unite your marketing efforts under a consumer-centric approach and start benefiting from the power of data.
Author Bio: Basak Saricayir is the content marketer at Prisync which helps E-commerce companies increase sales by tracking prices automatically from any marketplace around the world.