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Published on Thursday 2nd of May 2019
Further to my recent interview with The Globe and Mail, I was overwhelmed with questions about the major differences between B2B (Business-to-Business) marketing and B2C (Business-to-Consumers) marketing. It seems that there are a lot of myths and assumptions out there and I felt that a quick comparison between the two would make things clearer. Let’s first define them.
The process in which an organization is targeting other organizations as potential clients. For example, SAP, a B2B software corporation that offers enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations, mostly known for its ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system.
An organization which provides an offering aimed directly toward the consumer market. For example, Spotify, a B2C audio streaming service. Spotify subscribers have access to large music libraries without the need for the subscribers to own a single track.
B2B vs. B2C Comparison Table
The following table compares the B2B sales process to that of the B2C and also explains the crucial considerations that a company should take into account when they go the B2B route:
|Sales process||Complex decision-making||Straightforward decision-making||Invest in strategy|
|Players||Multiple personas (various stakeholders)||Individuals (for personal consumption)||Personalize according to stakeholder|
|Process length||Longer||Faster||Plan the journey and automate|
|Dominant decision criteria||Rational (value/ ROI, productivity, efficiency, edge, advantage)||Emotional (status, security, comfort, and quality)||Develop highly detailed and customized content to emphasize value and ROI|
|Marketing focus||Lead generation||Branding development||Increase customer engagement|
|Scale||Finely segmented markets||Large markets||Focus on the best-match market|
|Marketing role||Building a dialogue (awareness, market education & trust)||Broadcast||Branding is not enough|
|Language||Industry jargon||Simple language||Choose your terminology|
|Sales team||Larger||Smaller||Build relationships|
|Tactics (examples only)||SEO, business blogs, webinars, email marketing, social (LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube, SlideShare, Google Business), automation tools, analysts relation, case studies, whitepapers, press releases, telemarketing||Social (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube, SnapChat, Twitter,) TV & radio ads, outdoor advertising (billboards), mobile marketing, telemarketing, conferences||Tailor the tactics to your end goal|
Employing the Best Client Experience Strategies
If you require further B2B vs. B2C marketing clarifications or if you would like to see how it applies to your organization, please do not hesitate to contact us for a consultation session.
Published on Wednesday 25th of May 2016
Develop a strong, successful marketing strategy by combining lead generation and nurturing
Acquiring new B2B customers is an exciting but challenging process. As you know, demand creation does not happen overnight. Businesses must pinpoint - and analyze - their target market. They must develop an effective marketing strategy. Then, they need to engage with prospects and convert as many as possible into sales. To increase your conversion rate, you must first understand the roles of both B2B lead generation and lead nurturing.
Lead Generation and Lead Nurturing Defined
Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting prospects who show initial interest. Meanwhile, lead nurturing consists of building relationships with potential clients. They might not be ready to buy your solution, but they could be in the future. This is sometimes called drip marketing.
Lead nurturing serves to increase a prospect’s knowledge and shape his or her perception of a specific solution. Simply put, lead nurturing serves to build trust between your company and the prospect. That way, prospects are more likely to choose your solution when comes time to decide.
Lead Generation Versus Lead Nurturing
We’ve set up a table outlining the difference between these B2B marketing strategies. Lead generation serves to help your sales team find new prospects. This type of generic campaign will help you identify initial interest in your product/service.
Meanwhile, lead nurturing has a different goal: to turn prospects into clients. With this type of marketing tactic, you’re in it for the long haul. You will build a relationship with your prospects throughout the buying cycle. You’ll be creating customized campaigns tailored to their needs.
To find new prospects
To convert a prospect into a client
Until you identify initial interest
Throughout the buying cycle
Source: Direct Objective Consulting
In short, B2B lead generation and lead nurturing are two sides of the same coin. These aspects of B2B marketing complement each other. When performed well, together, they will help you generate more conversions.
Do you need help setting up lead generation or lead nurturing campaigns? Would you like to find out about these B2B marketing strategies? Contact us today!
Published on Tuesday 27th of November 2012
We all know the value of a business blog, but do we take advantage? In a recent study about the State of Inbound Marketing, marketing software company HubSpot reported 57% of businesses using company blogs have acquired a customer from a blog-generated lead; an increase of 11 percent since 2010. Also, corporate blogs were ranked by 55% of the respondents as the lowest inbound marketing tactic to result in “below average cost per lead” (see figure below).If this September is anything like the last one, a lot of organizations are going to be ramping up their B2B marketing efforts. Last year, when the end of summer came around, the search volume for business-to-business marketing in the United States started to increase, reaching its apex near the end of September. In Canada, we observed similar results, as you can see in the charts.
When it comes to marketing, there’s no question business blogging is effective. It drives clients to corporate Websites and companies gain new customers from blog-generated leads. These days, blogs along with other social media tactics, can play a crucial role in your company’s online presence.
Despite this, company blogs are only effective when they’re updated regularly. Content is authentic and business blogs provide real value to readers making the consistent updating of your company blog as important as ever.
HubSpot’s study reveals most company blogs publish at least monthly, if not weekly. Unfortunately, most businesses lack the time and resources for regular business blogging. This is where Direct Objective can help. By meeting with the Direct Objective staff once a month to define blog goals, companies can reap the benefits of blogging, yet free themselves from the task of actual writing it.
Together we can explore blog ideas, ensure blog posts respect company guidelines, customize the blog to be SEO-friendly and most importantly, attract new prospects.
Does your company blog need updating? Consult with us to see how we can help.
B2B Marketing B2B Marketing Strategies Pull Makreting Strategies New Marketing Strategies Content Writing Services
Published on Wednesday 31st of October 2012
Every year on Halloween, people of all ages turn off the lights, cuddle up on the couch and watch their favorite horror movie. While Halloween only happens once a year for everyone else, I am faced with horror stories all year long. On a weekly basis, I meet with companies that are living their very own nightmares as a result of their own marketing inexperience. While I am the first to agree that business-to-business marketing is no easy task, I am also the first to admit there are always ways to try and avoid problems. So for this Halloween, we here at Direct Objective have a little treat in store for you, so turn off the lights, cuddle up on your office chair and get ready for our very own Business-to-Business horror stories... candy not included.
Chapter 1 - Marketing Without Measuring
Companies spending large amounts of money on marketing should live by one word: measuring. If marketing initiatives are put in place without the ability to measure key performance indicators, then why bother? Make sure that the right plan is in place in order to fully reap the benefits of your marketing initiatives and not fall victim to the Marketing Grim Reaper.
Chapter 2 - Branding is NOT Forever Young
The branding of your company is not something where you should cut corners. While a substantial investment into your online content, signage and logo is definitely recommended, remember that over time, as the industry around you changes, so should your branding. Allocate an annual budget for revamping your website, marketing material and even your logo if necessary to avoid being viewed as the Mummy of your industry.
Chapter 3 - Marketing Tactics are not Automated
So your company wants to invest more in various marketing tactics, while this is a step in the right direction do not think that merely setting it up is enough. Integrate and Automate your tactics to ensure that your social media, email campaigns, SEO, PR and other campaigns are aligned accordingly, not doing so would be the equivalent of getting lost in a haunted house. Avoid it and plan ahead!
Chapter 4 - To go International or not to go International
Every year, innovative products are developed, successfully tested in local markets and 7 years later there is still no attempt to break into the international arena. In today’s business market, the world has become a global village, easily accessible to all who want to. Cut down your time-to-market by daring to enter the international market, you’ll find that it’s a lot less trick and lot more treat.
Chapter 5 - International Expansion Needs International Experience
Breaking into the international market is great, what is better is having someone that you trust with the knowledge on how to capitalize in that market. Above all else, make sure your company is ready for a new market, that you are attracting new leads in that market and then let your senior salesperson takeover. Remember, if the sales are not there... R.I.P.
So there you have it, your very own guide to avoiding B2B Marketing Nightmare mistakes, now turn on the lights and get back to work!
Published on Wednesday 28th of September 2011
Recently, a friend of mine returned from her summer vacation in Provence (France), and having become enchanted with the place, she recommended I read Peter Mayle’s “Encore Provence”. The book, written by a British author who made his home in Provence, is most intriguing when he describes the cultural differences of the region. Through his anecdotes we come to appreciate that the differences are real, and that though they are experience immediately, they can only be understood with time and after many personal encounters.
When I started reading, I was guilty much as you probably are of assuming that the only prominent cultural differences would come from an Anglophone living in a Francophone environment, but this was not the case. Peter Mayle elaborates on the beauty of Provence by contrasting its people’s ways with the Parisian way, with the British way, and with the American way. He even touches on the differences between Marseille and Avignon, both in Provence—and how the ways of doing business in one does not apply to the other.
Thus, when you consider entering a new market, or you are about to launch a new product to a target market you are unfamiliar with, it is instrumental you verify that:
- Your have identified the prospective market that would most benefit from your solution
- You target market can afford your solution
- You understand how your target market operates and how your prospects expect to do business with you
- Your solution features are highlighted in a way that fits like a lock and key, so you can open the door to your prospects
All the above is a result of:
- A well-thought marketing strategy
- Fine custom of your branding to the market that you are after
- Creative marketing campaigns that attract the attention of your specific target market
- Constant evaluation of your marketing results to ensure that you really address your prospects’ needs
If you are looking to turn more of your prospects into paying clients, please do not hesitate to contact us. We offer suggestions and solutions to make sure you have the right market approach with your products or services.
Published on Wednesday 17th of August 2011
If this September is anything like the last one, a lot of organizations are going to be ramping up their B2B marketing efforts. Last year, when the end of summer came around, the search volume for business-to-business marketing in the United States started to increase, reaching its apex near the end of September. In Canada, we observed similar results, as you can see in the charts.
The summer months, in comparison, are much more relaxed. Many people take their vacations and put off major B2B marketing projects until the fall. This means the competition is lower at that time. But when this September comes around, what are you going to do to stay ahead?
The Slowdown and Marketing Strategy
The economy has experienced another slowdown this summer. Is it time to halt your B2B marketing? Make no mistake, this time it will be most challenging for the companies that target federal clients. Private businesses have mostly recovered since the last economic crisis. A good indication of this is a recently released report by Gartner: Quarterly IT Spending Forecast July 2011 that claims that dispite of the economic climate worldwide, IT spending forecast has been revised up from 5.6% to 7.1% quarter over quarter. That means no cutting back on B2B marketing and instead adopting an aggressive marketing strategy to get ahead.
A report published a few years ago by BMO Financial Group investigated how Canadian businesses were affected by the global economic recession. It indicated that the most successful and least impacted organizations all had few things in common: they were always seeking to expand into new markets and unknown markets; they were refocusing their customer bases and getting rid of non-core business; and they were not afraid to forego the familiar and embrace the risks that can ultimately lead to further success.
Therefore, use these times to go on the offensive. Ramp up your B2B marketing, introduce new products, and spend a lot of effort making sure they’re in your customers’ minds. By taking a weaker economy head on, not only can you plow through the tough times, but you are ideally poised for rapid growth the moment there is an upswing.
This coming September, your competitors might be considering all of the above. Don’t fall behind, call Direct Objective to grow your customer base and expand into less familiar B2B marketing tactics or strategies.
Published on Monday 14th of February 2011
As we discussed in Direct Objective’s December blog about the Major Shifts of Business-to-Business (B2B) “New Marketing Evolution,” traditional marketing sales processes are becoming less effective. Many companies’ marketing strategies are based on the concept of a controlled sales environment, where actions are driven by a “number game.” Simply put: the more outgoing calls you can make = the more your message is pushed onto potential clients = more clients. In a new world where the Internet is so dominant, this equation is not necessarily true anymore.
The easiest way to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to marketing is to shift your fundamental focus; namely, from Push Marketing to Pull Marketing. Why spend enormous resources chasing down clients with constantly changing needs and ways of absorbing information, when you could entice customers to come to you? Not only does it reduce the cost of finding new clients, it also ensures the quality of clients you attract will be exponentially higher, since they’ve already recognized your company as a potential solution provider.
Your next step is to identify the right tools that can help you effectively make the transition from push to Pull Marketing. Some recent examples from our clients include:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - One of our clients has been an industry leader for the past 15 years, but potential clients had difficulty finding them on search engines way down on Page 16. They are now located close to the top on the first page, and their Web visitor inquiries, along with their web-generated leads have grown significantly
- Company Blogs & Social Media – In an age where we prefer to rely on friend reviews and not necessarily on slippery salespeople, an open relationship with clients through a blog or social media outlet can build trust. We assisted one of our clients with writing their blog, spreading positive information by social word of mouth, and engaging clients with their solution and as a result, saw their registration levels increase dramatically
- Whitepapers – One company we worked with had an extremely intricate and innovative solution, but it was very difficult for them to explain it to their target market. We wrote a special whitepaper and distributed it to influential industry figures, and their company is now attracting the right clients who have an understanding of how the solution can work for them.
There are a number of other new techniques that can simplify the Pull Marketing strategy process, but it’s most effective to create a marketing strategy which successfully integrates several. Every Pull Marketing strategy should have a unique approach, but it is now clear that Pull Marketing is no longer just advisable; it’s a necessity in a rapidly changing marketing world. Talk to Direct Objective today to discuss your options for Pull Marketing strategies to get ahead of the marketing curve.
Published on Monday 6th of December 2010
A very interesting 2010 is wrapping up, and the marketing industry is facing some major changes moving forward. 2010 was nowhere near as financially tough for many as 2009, but the recovery, while starting to show signs of hope, is still hampering firms. In response to the economic downtown, as well as new, emerging technologies, companies have undergone a major shift from the old marketing regime in a process we’ve coined New Marketing Evolution.
We’ve identified 5 major consequences of New Marketing Evolution to consider as we head into 2011.
1. The definition of marketing, transformed: During the last 2 years, the marketing industry has undergone a significant shift. The mindset of the potential clients has changed and if you or your company continue employing the old methods, you may quickly fall behind the curve. The key changes:
Old Marketing Regime
New Marketing Evolution
5-year marketing plan
Real-time, here and now: Marketing strategies, technologies, and techniques are evolving every day, so companies are now sticking to a 6-12 month outlook.
Customized to the prospect: If you’re pitching a one-size-fits-all package to a potential client, odds are that they’ve seen it before, they can do it themselves, or they can find a better options by searching Google. A customizable, personal option is the way to make leads stick around.
Spend big bucks
WOM (Word-of-mouth): Why spend thousands on an ad campaign that you’re not even sure can reach the right people? B2B marketing strategy based around word-of-mouth saves money and can drive real, relevant leads.
Controlled sales environment
Welcome to the Wild West: Whatever your business, there are likely twenty others just like you, hungry for your business. Just like the Old West, you need to constantly stay on your toes and constantly adapt.
Push marketing (Tell me what I need to do)
Pull Marketing: Businesses are bombarded with marketing every moment of their lives. This isn’t the death of the cold call, but the new marketing strategy is: don’t interrupt me, I’ll call you when I've done my research.
Use of traditional offline media
Use online and offline media: Integration is a key for the success of marketing campaign. Combining the power of online marketing with some of the proven traditional media may yield the 1+1=11 effect. Just make the proper planning.
Automated process: There’s an app for that. Just like about everything else, marketing automation software has become extremely prevalent and it allows you to do more with less.
No ability to measure
What is the ROI?: Calculating return-on-investment has become more sophisticated and easier, paradoxically at the same time. Invest in the marketing activities that would make an impact on your sales.
2. The competitive landscape is more spirited than ever, for three reasons: (A) the economic situation leads to less buying power, thus decreasing the number of potential consumers or clients, (B) a smaller world approach brings a lot of new competitors from international markets that were not present in our market before, and (C) the high pace of changes and the consolidation of technologies creates inherently new competitors, both direct and indirect. For example, the introduction of Apple's iPad imposed competition not only on eBook readers, but also on laptop, notebook, wireless phone, and portable entertainment devices. And in the first quarter of 2011, iPad will have its own breed of competitors; already, just two weeks ago, HP released the Slate.
3. Internal pressure to use fewer resources and deliver faster: Marketing budgets usually shrink or almost disappear in slow economies, but the need for good leads to fill your pipeline is still there. You just need to work harder with the limited resources you have in hand. Look again at the table above and notice how new B2B marketing strategies are designed for efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
4. The new marketer must master technology and create original content: While a lot of marketing is performed online nowadays, there are a hefty amount of tools that can be used to research, measure, and automate the marketing process. You need to learn them quickly, master them, and on top of that produce creative content. Here is the shift in the approach:
Old Marketing Regime
New Marketing Evolution Approach
Authentic and valuable content
Monologues and speeches tone
Share, interact and collaborate
Integrated strategy across channels
No data, no worries
Prospect data should be analyzed and drive improvements
If you’re not producing creative, original content through a company blog, or a Twitter account, or a sales presentation, or any other part of your marketing campaign, then why should a client listen?
5. Delivery = ROI: After you’ve spent time developing and implementing a well-targeted, carefully-researched, meticulously-refined marketing solution, you’ve only just begun. It is not enough to just spend time on delivering marketing activity; you must listen to your target audience, collect and analyze marketing results, deduct what the return on investment is and how it can be improved for future marketing activity.
Marketing Evolution may have created a more competitive and constantly changing environment, but it has opened the door for customization, unique interpretation, inspiring interaction, and creativity. New technologies and techniques allow new B2B marketing strategies to build closer relationships with clients than ever before. How your company evolves with New Marketing Evolution is up to you.
Published on Monday 9th of August 2010
Most businesses tend to slow down in the summer months. While everyone is on vacation, now is a key opportunity to generate or reassess your marketing action plan. Create an advantage by examining whether your existing marketing action plan will deliver the requested sales you need in the fall. Will you reach your goals?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you re-assess your marketing action plan:
- Are you targeting the right market? Are there new niche markets you could, or should, be addressing?
- Have events in the past year impacted your business model? What new trends or changes in the marketplace may impact the effectiveness of your current marketing action plan?
- Has your website effectively generated leads? Are prospects able to find you on search engines? If you have invested in search engine optimization, have you targeted the right keywords that drive a high level of relevant traffic?
- Do you have any new avenues for bringing in clients? Have your past marketing lead generation activities been successful? Measuring the results of your marketing campaigns is crucial, and an important benchmark for assessing the effectiveness of your marketing action plan.
- Have you invested in social media marketing? Do you know what strategy you should employ and what tools to use?
These are just a few of the questions you should be asking yourself as you begin to re-examine your marketing action plan. Remember: your marketing plan is the foundation of all of your campaigns, so it pays to use the summer to prepare for the fall—especially if you want to get ahead of the competition.
In September, people come back to work refreshed and ready to roll. With better strategic marketing planning, you’ll ensure your business comes out stronger than ever! If you want advice, consult with us to make sure you have the most effective marketing action plan for your business.