Why B2B Digital Marketing Should Learn From B2C?

By Gretchen Clarke- Feb 24, 2023 136

There is a popular saying in the industry, "To B needs to be marketed again with To C in mind." We wonder if you have such doubts, since B-side and C-side face different users, and the marketing methods adopted are also different. , Why Learn From B-End Digital Marketing to C-End? The author has answered it by analysis, let's see.


B2B and B2C represent two very different business models and we are one of the marketers who has changed from B2C to B2B from what we have observed.


Switching from B2B to B2C is extremely rare. There seems to be a natural barrier between companies with two different business models. Everyone is accustomed to sticking to one side, and it’s hard to get into each other’s circles.


We have the same understanding, and many marketers seem to want to know what we're going to discuss:


     What are the features of B2B marketing?

     Can B2-B Marketing Learn From B2C?

     How important is digitization for B2-B business?


What are the features of B2B marketing? B2B is business to business, which means your marketing target is the dealer or end customer. This is determined by the business characteristics of different companies. A large company, it consists of several business units.


Some business department direct customers are dealers. The Dealer Channel Network manages customer satisfaction, sales, order services, and after-sales service. Dealers play an important role in the whole price chain, while some strategic business segments are terminal-based. Main customer, pre-sales communication, in-sale, and after-sales are all directly followed by the company’s internal team.


The current popular DTC (Direct to Customer) marketing model focuses more on the pre-existing business of the dealer model to minimize value transmission links between enterprise and end customers and to improve efficiency and sales results. As the main model, the business maintains existing relationships with major customers, and further value transfer is done through sales.


Because business models are different, investing in marketing resources, work focus, and work methods are also completely different.



While they all mention demand creation, the former focuses on mining new customers and long-tail customers, while the latter focuses on maintaining loyalty to existing large customers and maintaining new demand on old customers. Regarding the above questions, we would like to make three points:


1.    Specify the B2B business model and adopt a different marketing strategy


The difference is a very basic marketing principle. We take the aviation industry as an example. Our customers in China are COMAC, the major domestic airline.


Customer relationships are then maintained by sales, and the main function of the marketing department is to support market elements, maintain market activity, and establish company leadership in this area. Because of different goals and different strategies, measurement results also need to be differentiated. In contrast, lead collection and conversion measurements, it is not about quantity. But it's all about customer loyalty, customer relationships, and the number of transactions.


This will directly determine the budget of the market and the allocation of marketing resources. If the features of the business model are not fully understood, this will result in a waste of budget and effort.


If the business segment is largely based on the dealer model, the partner's position must first be defined. Dealers should adopt integrated functions of inventory, sales, services, etc., or focus on only one part and adopt an innovative direct-to-terminal DTC marketing strategy.


That is, the marketing department of the enterprise will be more responsible for the mining demanded by the end customers, while the dealers will be more responsible for completing the follow-up sales orders and product services. The different locations of the partners will determine the channel network strategy and profitability.


2.    At the marketing strategy level, although business models are very different, B2B companies can and certainly learn from B2C marketing methods and strategies.


The first step is to define the relationship between the business model and the marketing strategy, the overall marketing goal, which is about the marketing strategy level, and the next step is to go further at the strategic level.


How do you develop an effective strategy?

Under the B2B model, it takes a long time to start product research, start R&D, enter the market, collect user feedback and then update and repeat the product. At the same time, the customer group is complex, and there are many decision-makers involved in different levels and functions of the enterprise.


Thus, when a product enters the market, from initial promotion to sales revenue collection, the cycle of profitable transactions is also long. In some industries, such as the production equipment in the cold chain industry, the software transaction cycle starts from contacting customers and completing the contract. It takes a long time to negotiate an order. For two years. From product cycles to transaction cycles, there are essential differences between B2B and B2C businesses.


At the same time, from the marketing level, the digital marketing development of B2C enterprises is much more mature than that of B2B enterprises.


The question that many are asking is how important is digitization for B2B business?


Some B2B enterprises have installed a large number of digital systems, but the systems are different from each other, and data islands are common. Systems data connectivity has become a headache for the marketing department and the IT department of many B2B enterprises, involving world headquarters and the Chinese market. Practical problems such as personnel, staff in different departments, single communication and jet lag have made implementation difficult.


In B2C enterprises, the breakdown of data silos and the integration of digital infrastructure began several years ago. From this point, B2B must learn from B2C, and the future will be a “customer-centric” digital age.


The primary condition of marketing is a broad understanding of customers, and if customer data is completely segregated across different systems and cannot be used as an “asset” by enterprises, it is undoubtedly unfortunate that, even in the future, enterprises will slow down. To be used by the enterprise. Potential hidden dangers of market elimination.


B2C companies are also better at marketing operationalization.


Traditionally, companies produce products and customers purchase products and there is a purely transactional relationship between the two. But, in the digital age, more and more B2C companies are embracing the concept of “user co-creation”.


In the product development and pre-market testing phase, users are involved. Users participate not only in product development but also in product promotion. At this point, their identity is "KOC" (main response customer).


For B2B enterprises, how to allow users to participate more, build stronger partnerships, increase customer stickiness and influence more potential customers.


B2B learns from B2C's advanced marketing concept, so innovation happens and innovation is the driving force of marketing.


3.    B2B enterprise marketing should focus on “building thought leadership based on knowledge value systems”.


On top of that, the source of profit for a B2B business is the product, solution, or service that it sells and receives from customers.


So why would customers buy from you and not from other competitors? What is the main motivation that drives the customer's decision?


We think it is trust, so why do customers trust you instead of others?


The reasons may be the company's market position, word of mouth, recommendations from colleagues, effective maintenance of the sales relationship, etc.


At its core, it can set you apart from your competitors and make users willing to pay extra for your brand at the same price terms, such as brand premium, even if you encounter cheaper and similar competing products, they will not hesitate to choose you. Yes, it must be because you have built that thought leadership in the industry over the years.


Where does thought leadership come from?

Thought leadership comes from the company’s visionary insights into the industry, unique understanding, output of key technologies, and appreciation of industry resources.


The above elements reflect the value of knowledge and the core values ​​of the enterprise. To consumers, what is meant by the enterprise is not just products and solutions, but more importantly, the knowledge quality system that supports their acquisition.


If content marketing in B2B Enterprise can do only one thing, it is to create the content of the enterprise knowledge pricing system and do a good job of top-level design.


At the same time, when exporting a knowledge value system, it is necessary to cultivate their own influential and influential people in the industry to better export this value system. Enterprise and big coffee, big coffee and industry, and enterprise and industry have created a solid iron triangle relationship.


Creating digital systems and thought leadership for B2B enterprises is by no means fast, and behind them is the advancement of knowledge, the renewal of ideas, and the transformation of companies, but B2B enterprises can and must learn from B2C if they want to. Do a good job at digital marketing.


At the same time, it conducts strategic customization according to its own business model, makes reasonable judgments on the importance and urgency of marketing problems, and invests assets rationally, which tests the internal strengths of marketers.