Bringing a B2C Mentality to a B2B World
People often think that building a brand looks vastly different when it comes to B2B and B2C companies. The restaurants, the clothing companies, the beauty lines – they’re all speaking directly to their customers, and so it makes sense that their marketing efforts are more flashy and engaging. In comparison, B2B companies have to stick to the stiff, boring stuff because – that’s just the way it’s always been done, right?
Truth is, there are many misconceptions about what B2B marketing looks like. Or more accurately, what people think it has to look like. These misconceptions and outdated ideas about what B2B marketing is and isn’t could be holding you back from potential opportunities to connect with your audience on an emotional level.
Let’s talk about some of these misconceptions together, shall we?
1: B2B marketing is faceless
You might be thinking, “My business is trying to reach more businesses, so we aren’t concerned with what Billy Joe thinks about our brand.” This is a fair point, except that Billy Joe might be the owner of the business you’re trying to connect with. You might also think that there are no consumers in B2B marketing, and therefore no faces. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
This often boils down to a misunderstanding of who your target audience truly is. For example, let’s say you are the proud owner of a tech security company and want businesses to use your company’s services. You might think your target audience is that other business, which would lead you to think that B2B marketing is faceless, because businesses don’t have faces, right? This is where you would be wrong. Your target audience is actually Billy Joe, the small business owner who recently faced a data security issue at his company. Billy Joe is a real person with a real problem, and your business can offer him a real solution. Businesses don’t connect with businesses. People connect with people.
Businesses = groups of people. Okay, on to the next point.
2: There’s no place for my business on social media
A restaurant can probably post a picture of a juicy steak on any social media platform and attract new business. While it’s not that simple for companies in the B2B world, that doesn’t mean you can’t get social. It just means you need to create content that adds value to people’s lives and choose platforms that make sense for your company.
Once you figure out who you’re talking to, you need to develop what you’re going to say. For businesses, it’s tempting to rattle off your services over and over again, hoping that your audience will somehow find the connection between your services and their own problems. But there’s a piece missing here – the benefits that those services offer, and the value that those services will add to people’s lives.
Instead of rattling off all the services you offer, you need to hone in on what benefits those services bring to the business (aka group of people) you’re speaking to. Let’s say your tech security company offers free 30 minute consultations to new clients. That’s a great service that you might want to make a social media post about. But what benefits does that free 30 minute consultation provide to Billy Joe – the small business owner dealing with a recent data security crisis? It allows him to save money. It means he will get answers to his questions. It means he will learn how to protect his technology and his business from future data security issues. It means he will get solutions to his problems. This is what you should post about on social media. Once you’re creating valuable content, there’s no shortage of social media platforms to choose where to put your message. Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and sometimes even TikTok, all present opportunities to create touchpoints with your target audience. Don’t miss out on them just because you can’t post a picture of a steak and be done.
Social media = valuable touchpoints for B2B companies. Moving on.
3: Strategy is king in the B2B palace
A good playbook is definitely an essential piece of the brand building plan. You need research, data, insight, and carefully crafted tactics to reach your audience. But do you know what makes all of that come to life? Creativity.
Strategy that lacks creativity is uninspiring, unmotivating, and emotionless. No emotions means no connections. And no connections often means no business
Just because your business does serious work for serious clients doesn’t mean that your strategies have to be void of creativity. In a marketplace that is oversaturated with information, much of which is repetitive, finding ways to be more creative will be the difference between your content connecting and your content falling flat. Find a way to add an element of humor, appeal to people’s innermost desires, or use more engaging visual elements to breathe new life into your strategies. Doing so will be the difference between blending in or standing out, and will help you attract new business – like Billy Joe. If you’re not being creative, then you’re not forming emotional connections – and building emotional connections is how we build strong brands.
We’re not saying you need to rewrite the playbook, just that your playbook could use a facelift.
Creativity = emotional connections, and emotional connections = new business.
Let’s recap all of these misconceptions and end with some actionable pieces of advice. 1: Businesses are made of people, so talk to people. 2: Use social media to form touchpoints with your audience. 3: Don’t shy away from creativity. By bringing a B2C mentality to a B2B world, you can change the conversation and develop emotional connections with your audience, leading them to take action. Because it doesn’t have to be faceless, antisocial, or uncreative.
When you’re ready to change the conversation and elevate your brand, give us a call.
RUSSO is a strategic branding agency that uses consumer insight to change the conversation; forming emotional connections with the target audience. To learn more about Razor Branding visit brandrusso.com, or CLICK HERE to schedule a meeting with one of our Business Development Managers.