Evolution is a part of every industry, including yours. No exceptions. Remember Blockbuster? The CEO at the time was showcasing billions in yearly revenue from the nationwide chain of video stores when it all came crashing down.
The truly sad part of that story is Blockbuster had the golden opportunity of purchasing Netflix for $50 million back in 2000. While this is no small chunk of change, it pales in comparison to Netflix’s valuation now. Fast-forward 22 years, and Netflix is a household staple with an entire generation who has never experienced combing the aisles of a video store praying that the last copy of the newest movie release wasn’t already rented for the night.
The point is that the CEO thought he was the exception to the rule of evolution (don’t be him). Learn to roll with the changing tides of industry norms and adapt. This holds true for your marketing as well. Business-to-business (B2B) selling is a common tactic in sales and marketing, but has its time passed? Let's take a deep dive into what SEO says and if it’s potentially hurting your bottom line.
What Is B2B Marketing?
B2B is the acronym that represents “business-to-business.” It’s the marketing technique that promotes and sells products or services to other businesses. Think of QuickBooks, for example. It is a business that sells accounting services and tax software to other businesses.
This style of marketing is said to have begun in the 1800s but has endured several facelifts over the centuries. Today, its channels are focused on digital advertising with social media, email, and websites. So, where is it heading in the future?
The Future of B2B Marketing
B2B style marketing has evolved for generations. It’s no more of an optional tactic than breathing air is a suggestion. It has to happen to draw in the customer and close the deal. However, there are some influential changes we see coming down the pipeline. Let’s look at them individually.
B2C Won’t Eliminate B2B (But It Will Have an Influence)
B2C, as you can guess, is the sibling acronym to B2B. It stands for “business-to-consumer,” which is the marketing technique that promotes products and services directly to consumers. For example, QuickBooks is a B2B company, while TurboTax is a B2C company. TurboTax is a business that markets tax and accounting services to individuals instead of other businesses.
Our SEO expert commented, “People are starting to search more for "B2C" and are looking for alternatives to B2B. They're thinking of B2B as the old in-person marketing or cold calling.”
B2C is powerful because it adds personalization to content marketing — it humanizes problems. In order to adapt, B2B marketing will need to be more personalized. We live in an age where big data has gifted us with information from multiple channels where buyers share experiences and values. Marketing needs to evoke emotions to encourage the potential customer to buy into brand stories, opening doors for trust and lifelong clientele.
B2B Will Need Better Communication (Talk to Them, Not at Them)
Marketing is a form of storytelling. Consumers want the insight, but you have to offer it up with finesse. There's a fine line between being long-winded and being vague. The sweet spot in between is where you’ll be the most effective.
Don’t underestimate the basics of integrating third-grade English devices into your marketing copy to get the message across. Tactics to remember include:
- Figurative language
Clear, concise, and organized copy will beat embellished explanations and generalizations every time.
B2B Has to Make The Digital Jump (If You Haven’t Already)
Customer expectations have made a seismic shift, and the bar has been raised for what they will tolerate when considering who to give their business to. People are no longer satisfied with long wait times and cryptic buying processes where you need an engineering degree to get through checkout. Brands will need to acclimate to digital transformation by acquiring enhancement tools that offer:
- User-friendly assistance
- Intuitive product/service suggestions
- Omnichannel access
- Convenience (above all)
To Answer Your Question, No, B2B Is Not Dead
B2B marketing is still being used to rake in the views, impressions, and purchases, but it’s undergoing a facelift. Much like your iPhone, the body stays the same, but the software needs to be updated to accommodate ever-evolving consumer needs. This means:
- A high demand for digital
- Better communication
- Infused personalization
If you’re struggling to make heads or tails of your B2B marketing strategy, it might be time to call in the professionals and get their expert opinion. First Page can offer guidance and assistance in transforming your B2B marketing strategy to adapt to your needs in an effective and sustainable way.