Before you know it, the only difference between B2B and B2C will be the target audience. Trends are emerging that are forcing B2B brands to adopt more of the processes tactics – from sales to marketing – to adapt to an evolving market that seeks transparency, simplicity, and inclusivity. Below, we’ll look at how B2B brands can adopt some proven B2C processes that work.
The Customer Experience Index
Did you know that, according to research by McKinsey & Co, B2B brands tend to score 50% or below on the consumers experience index? That’s compared to the 65 to 85% average for B2C brands. That correlates with data from Gartner that found 77% of buyers felt their last buying experience was too complex. How do you fix that? There’s not one single resolution – it often requires an organization to rethink its approach to everything from customer acquisition to the checkout experience.
One proven B2C tactic that enhances the consumer is loyalty experience – it’s simple psychology. Reward people for spending, and they’ll want to spend more. Brands like Starbucks, Walmart, and McDonald’s do a form of reward program that boosts sales. If you click here, you’ll see a B2B customer loyalty program that goes one step further than your average B2C rewards would.
The rewards are more personalized and targeted to encourage long-term loyalty and referrals. The statistic shows you’re 65-75% more likely to sell to a loyal customer, and 75% of consumers will favor you if you have a personalized rewards program – so it pays to set one up.
Think Social Media
4.55 billion people have a social media account, and the average user has 6.6 social media platforms. There’s an untapped potential here to reach a new audience if you haven’t already. You can take the B2C social media marketing trend and make it B2B by thinking about the channels where you’re most likely to see buyer engagement – like LinkedIn. 96% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content and for customer acquisition. Plus, growing a network on LinkedIn is as simple as clicking a button, but there is the option for paid tools on the platform that 83% of marketers pay to use.
Still, the other social media platforms are just as effective for B2B marketers – especially Instagram and even TikTok. A leading marketing trend in 2022 for B2C brands is TikTok and utilizing hashtags and challenges to connect with customers.
The Human Element Of B2B
Research by the Harvard Business School brought to life the realization that the human element attributed to the B2C world is just as essential for the B2B industry. Three decades of research by the Harvard Business School identified 40 ‘elements of value’ that B2B buyers consider when making a purchase.
The study also found that, rather than thinking about the price or profit, buyers think about whether a product can enhance the buyer’s reputation or reduce purchase anxiety. By that, they mean there’s a lot of pressure on them to purchase the right product, and they want you to reduce that. How do you do that? Connect. Typically a B2B buyer will connect with a seller for only 17% of the buying journey. Either utilize this period or extend it by offering regular points of contact, holding virtual meetings for support, and aligning yourself with the goals and needs of your buyers.
There will always be a distinct difference between B2B and B2C sales. More people, more money, and more risk. But how you manage those people, money, and risk is becoming more B2C-like than ever. 80% of buyers admit they want their next buying experience to feel more like a B2C sale, and the tips above can accommodate that.