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Don’t neglect customer experience in B2B marketing

By Expert commentator 13 Apr, 2016
Essential
B2B website design

Your B2B customer deserves a B2C experience like these

Comparing B2B and B2C marketing used to be an Apples-to-Oranges situation, but they’re becoming increasingly comparable.

b2b_and_b2cTrue, you don’t issue RFPs (Requests for Proposal) when you buy a Blu-ray player, and yes, a CRM decision requires a lot of research. But if you take some of the benefits that are common in B2C and implement them into your B2B space, you can create a customer experience that improves relationships and increases profits.

Three B2C Experiences to offer your business customers

Here are three things B2C experiences offer that your B2B customers might be missing out on:

  • 1. Products or service reviews

B2B service reviews often consist of heavily starched long-form case studies and videos, which can’t hold an audience’s attention for long. Reducing the length of this information and implementing a real-time reviews feature like Salesforce’s app exchange can increase engagement.

salesforce

  • 2. The Notion of Abandonment

B2C marketers often use remarketing 'in a big way'. By remarketing in AdWords Display Network or other ad networks  to buyers who have completed a category browse or cart build, but not a purchase, B2C marketers capitalize on a well-informed buyer who simply needs an extra nudge.

B2B can also capitalize on this. If someone has been to your pricing page, immediately follow up with an offer on a relevant media site or with a remarketing promo on your own site. Create ads that allow buyers to pick up where they left off in a previous buying experience, and when someone views a resource, offer another relevant piece of content.

  • 3. Visible Pricing

Many businesses still don’t publish basic information like solution pricing and a visible customer experience. Frankly, most buyers don’t just expect this — they demand it! Housing pricing on your site lets buyers know exactly how you engage.

Tacking the giant - CRM

While these B2C benefits can (and should) be carried over to B2B, how you use CRM data makes the biggest difference in the customer experience. The key to improving this is equipping sales with the content, information, and processes needed to open doors with prospects.

Sales, however, is often the biggest fall-off point in CRM data because the team doesn’t see the value in properly denoting information within CRM to benefit sales. Rather, it’s seen as a chore that tracks progress or monitors actions.

What’s more, marketers are constantly cranking tons of content without realizing that it essentially dies on the resource page of websites. Marketers need to create the type of content that the buyer and the sales representative need and implement this useful content into the sales cycle.

"Quality over quantity starts with enabling the sales team".

One step further

Once you understand the benefits of the B2C space and smooth out the processes in your company, fill in the holes to give your business customers the high-quality experience that individuals have come to expect.

Improving your CRM strategy in your B2B strategy

Here are four ways to incorporate aspects of B2C marketing into B2B strategy to improve CRM:

  • 1. Let your buyers refer friends. If you’re providing value, chances are customers will want to share it. The best way to capitalize on trust is to give customers a way to impress friends by passing along great info while also benefiting themselves.
  • 2. Embrace real personas. A buyer persona isn’t a job title; it’s a window into the buyer’s mind. Create intelligent personas based on who the buyer is, how he builds trust, and what stimulates him.
  • 3. Maximize technology. Make your content and messaging easily digestible on a mobile platform. A ton of research takes place over tablets and phones, so make your content look great. Take Amazon, for example. The e-commerce giant is known for the ease with which buyers can make online purchases, and buyers flock.
  • 4. Make it fun. Take a look at how Jason Miller at LinkedIn is marketing with fun content. B2B doesn’t have to be boring. After all, business is where we spend the majority of our time, so let’s lighten up a bit.

Although B2B will never be identical to B2C, the two are more similar now than ever, and they can be married to create a better customer experience. The trick is to implement the best aspects of both B2B and B2C into your strategy so you can put your best foot forward with your customers and reap the benefits.

Image copyright: iQoncept/ Shutterstock.com

 

By Expert commentator

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