Both B2C and B2B marketing need branding and simplicity
March 15, 2013 by Guest Contributor
By Valerie Tan, head of digital marketing (global) at Dropmyemail
It’s undeniable that marketing in B2C and B2B companies have fundamental differences.
One example is purchase motivation. In B2C businesses, the buyer is typically the end user, but that is not the case in B2B setups. This leads to vastly different sales cycles and marketing messaging.
B2C requires the traditional approach of convincing the user on the benefits of owning the product. It usually involves mass messaging and a single step to minimize e-commerce drop-off.
Meanwhile, the purchasing process in B2B is much longer, requiring several consultative discussions and sometimes bespoke work that lasts many months. The B2B approach is also more complex due to having multiple consideration parties (end users, influencers, and decision makers).
But while B2C and B2C marketing may look vastly different, both involve the same basic concepts: Branding and Simplicity.
A branding vehicle is any channel across Paid, Owned and Earned Media that brings your brand into contact with the user.
In the B2B model, maintaining communication and building trust is equally important. Your brand representative needs to be client-centric. The focus on the clients’ business requires in-depth understanding of their needs and servicing them in a prompt, timely manner.
While brand loyalty and customer retention are ultimate goals, customer value could grow over time as maintaining current customer satisfaction would lead to repeat sales and possibly subsequent transactions of higher monetary value. More revenue can be generated from integrating new products.
To illustrate my point, let’s look at Apple. Of all the users of computer operating systems around the world, over 90 percent are on PC while only around 8 percent are on a Mac. Even in the smartphone world, Android phones outnumber iOS phones two-to-one. Yet although Apple products are not the most widely used, the brand has been consistently ranked in the top 3 by Interbrand.
I’m sure everyone knows of someone who is an ardent Mac fan (affectionately called MacEvangelist) who would NEVER EVER go back to a PC and will argue fervently with anyone who isn’t a Mac convert. The same people will stay loyal to Apple iPhones even after the Maps gaffe or even when the new iPhone/iPad becomes old after a mere 6 months.
Apple has created a cult following in its philosophy of innovation, design and quality — Mac, iMac, iPod, iPhone, iTunes, iPad, just to name a few. Since the ‘80s, Apple has successfully challenged the status quo in computers, followed by the ‘90s in mp3 players, ‘00s in mobile phones, ‘10s in digital music, tablets and beyond. Under the guidance of icon Steve Jobs, Apple has always churned out revolutionary products that changed the world.
At the same time, despite the overwhelming domination of the PC and Android, Microsoft is only ranked 5th and Apple arch-enemy Samsung is in 9th. It would seem that, once you go Mac, you don’t go back. You are drawn to the dark side of its sleekness and slight air of superiority over other seemingly inferior products. That’s the power of brand loyalty.
In B2B marketing, it’s easy to forget that simplicity is still important to win customers. While the cloud computing solution that you’re selling may be complex, you should still be able to explain your brand’s offering clearly and concisely (try within 30 seconds).
Ensure your business proposals are focused and easy to understand. Do not expect your client to do additional research to figure out your product.
The notion of simplicity relates to the concept of Cognitive Fluency, which is the feeling of ease or difficulty when deciding on something.
People feel more at ease when your product or website has a good UX Design and if the product label takes into consideration design elements like figure-ground contrast, wording, font style and size. Even the pronunciation of your brand or product name matters.
With so much work going into making things simple, is it any surprise that it’s actually tougher to convey a message using less words, less space, and less time?
About the author
Valerie Tan is the Head of Digital Marketing (Global) at Dropmyemail. Before Dropmyemail, Valerie was a sales strategist and then the managing editor (search marketing) of Yahoo! South East Asia. She also had stints in client servicing at a digital agency and sales at Tribal Fusion.
Want more insights into marketing your company? Check out the HelpLearn. Asia seminar, which is happening throughout Asia from May to November this year. SGE is a media partner for HelpLearn.Asia.
Find out more about SGE’s research arm: SGE Insights, providing customized in-depth research reports to help you navigate the business of technology in Asia.
About The Author
Guest Contributor -
Guest contributors are individuals who contribute insightful, informative pieces to SGEntrepreneurs.com. If you are interested in guest contributing, submit your article (plaintext, include hyperlinks in parentheses) using our Contact form.Read other posts by Guest Contributor