Not much. Your marketing should be dictated by the preferences of your target customer segment anyway, and there is often less difference between marketing to small businesses and marketing to consumers than there is between marketing to small businesses and marketing to large businesses.
Is marketing less important for B2B?
One presumed difference between B2B and B2C is that B2B is driven more by sales and references, and B2C by advertising and marketing. But that difference is due more to the value of the product and the length of the sales cycle than to any inherent differences in marketing practice. For high-value products (like a large IT consulting contract), you have to hand-hold the customer through the process and (gently) nudging them towards the sale. Because a big amount of revenue hinges on every deal, there is a lot more resources spent on having each deal come through than it would if you were selling a SaaS product or an iPad app (even if they’re also business products).
But the differing value of products matters in B2C as well: if you’re selling apartments, reputation and word-of-mouth are critical: and you’d expect to have to nurture the customer and nudge her towards the sale.
As a business-owner, you have a hundred things clamoring for your attention. But you also need to be on social media, to listen and talk to your customers and to influencers in your industry. Focusing on one or two channels will probably be more useful to you than creating profiles on many that you can’t keep up with.
The biggest factor that determines what social media you should focus on depends, of course, on where your customers are. But here are some other factors that might help you make the decision.
If you’re a B2C business, you probably can’t afford to ignore Facebook. Facebook has a huge user base, and it’s where everyone hangs out — teenagers, office workers, stay-at-home parents, freelancers, grandparents. So you should seriously consider having an active Facebook page if:
We recently met up with Sahil Khan, whose online lifestyle magazine, the Tossed Salad, has a dedicated following. Sahil is also very active on Twitter, and he has been successful in helping restaurants use social media effectively. But hold on — you can listen to the details in his own words in the video below.
And if you’d rather read than watch, the transcript is below. My questions and comments are in bold.
For e-commerce businesses, getting the website right is even more important than for other businesses because the website is more than a marketing tool — it’s part of the offering. Here are 18 things not all e-commerce websites get right.
1. Give me a reason to register even if I don’t want to buy right now.
Discount coupon for first purchase? First delivery free if I register by x date? Give me some reason to fill up that registration form when I come to you the first time. Else there is a high chance that if I don’t like anything in the first visit, I will never come back. If I don’t register, you wouldn’t even know I came by!
Diwali is next week. Did you send out special offers or greetings to your customers and prospects?
While everyone is talking about social media, email marketing remains an excellent way of nurturing your prospects and customers. In this post, I look at some common mistakes marketers make in email campaigns, through a few Diwali-themed marketing emails I received.
Wasting the Subject Line
Here is a screenshot of some Diwali offers in my inbox.
But think about most B2B purchases. If we’re looking at buying a new rack of servers, or supply chain management software, where’s the fun in that? The only real emotion at play here is the risk of screwing up and being fired. Emotions in B2B purchases are heavily biased towards risk mitigation.
At first glance, this struck me as insightful, but later, I felt it was somewhat short-sighted. If you are an IT manager, wouldn’t buying the right servers make a difference to your job? I’d say you would be interested in the outcome beyond risk mitigation if you think that new rack of servers is going to make your work easier. If I, for instance, am looking at email marketing solutions for my company, I know what results I want from it, and how I expect it to make my work easier. I’m not a purchasing manager, I’m a marketing manager. And I’d go about this (arguably) as diligently as I would if I were buying an AC for my home. Risk mitigation is a factor in either case: I don’t want to buy a faulty AC and waste all that money (and the time I spent shopping for the AC and getting it installed). I don’t want to buy a subscription to an email marketing system that doesn’t work well and then have to explain my decision to my bosses.