In this article we will explore 3 key elements of B2B and B2C marketing for tech brands, looking at the similarities and differences between the two. Putting rest to ancient grudge!
Summer in London means Shakespeare in the park performances – and we’re feeling poetic. So, let’s begin this article with a not-quite-quotation: B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer), two verticals both alike in dignity, in content marketing where we lay our scene.
Separated by the different skillsets and experience needed to effectively appeal to each audience, B2B and B2C are not quite sworn enemies. But perhaps there is an opportunity for reconciliation between the two verticals, to find common ground and co-exist in unison, both able to learn from each other.
Building audience relationships
One thing that is key across both verticals is that with any content created, a relationship needs to be established with the reader. This is achieved by researching the market, analysing customer data and understanding exactly who your target audience is. Content can then be tailored to specifically appeal to those demographics or buyer profiles. This deep understanding of your audience is crucial to establishing rapport and encouraging the reader to continue through to the end of the piece of content, remaining engaged throughout.
In B2C tech marketing, companies need to appeal directly to the reader as an individual. That reader often has direct ownership over decision making. Either on their own or in partnership with others they decide whether or not they wish to follow the call to action. This is where B2B differs. When making a decision on behalf of a business, there are other moving parts to consider and whole decision-making units in place to influence and convert. In B2B it is perfectly plausible that a decision maker, budget holder and target end-user of a product are three entirely separate parties and the challenge is to reach and appeal to those readers effectively.
Devising a strategic plan
Back to the Bard: ‘Without a curated strategy, thou art wedded to calamity’. Whether B2B or B2C, content created without a clear plan or strategy, is neither beneficial to the reader nor the brand – and can even damage a brand over the long term. It is important to consider strategic objectives both at a campaign and ongoing level, which can then be applied during ideation exercises and tactics deployment alike.
In tech B2C, strategies are centred around a one-on-one connection with the reader. Consumers often make decisions based on criteria such as brand identity, image, quality of the product/service offered and price. In a B2B situation however, decisions are often taken consultatively with multiple parties engaged in the decision. While emotional connections and thought leadership are very important, decisions are often quite rational and fact-driven. Decision makers consider factors such as how the product/service affects their bottom-line, whether it can increase productivity and how it will benefit employees. Lead times are much longer due to these considerations, with extensive nurturing involved which often requires support from additional content. B2B content marketing requires a more holistic view to content strategy, thinking not only of the content in hand, but what is needed before and after the piece to propel the reader on a complete journey.
Shakespeare said ‘don’t waste your love on somebody who doesn’t value it’, and the same goes for your marketing efforts. Unless you can provide content that ultimately will benefit the reader, with the value measured by a metric or score, perhaps the content objectives needs re-evaluating.
Whether B2B or B2C, proving ROI and the value of your marketing efforts is absolutely key. The parameters for success of any content should be considered when setting objectives at the very beginning of the process, clearly defining goals to work towards and achieve. However, the metrics used will differ between the two verticals.
B2C will look at stats such as:
- Website traffic
- Social engagement
- Customer satisfaction rates
- Customer conversion rates
Whereas B2B might consider:
- Total number of new site visitors to gauge brand awareness
- Marketing qualified leads (MQLs)
- Sales qualified leads (SQLs)
- Customer acquisition costs (CAC)
- Cost per lead created (CPL)
Regardless of sector, measurement needs to be included throughout the entire content creation journey, with learnings and takeaways from each piece of content published applied to future content creation.
So there you have it, just like the Capulets and Montagues, B2B and B2C content marketers can all co-exist in peace without a tragedy in sight.
‘For this alliance may so happy prove, to turn your content marketing rancour to pure love.’
Our apologies to all Shakespeare fans everywhere 😉
We would also recommend checking out our article from last week, where we shared our list of the top resources for tech B2B content marketers. The article can be bookmarked and accessed HERE.
(Picture: YouTube / LEGO)