Coronavirus has completely shaken up both the B2B and B2C markets. Thousands of supply lines have dried up as restaurants, bars, hotels & entertainment venues have closed their doors. With little hope or assurances from the government, the hospitality industry is set to remain dormant for the foreseeable future. In a bid to counter the fall in demand, many B2B brands have been looking for new & innovative ways to keep their trade going. Many have decided to completely overhaul their B2B operations and turn to the B2C market.
In a recent survey, 53% of marketers agreed that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused ‘radical’ or ‘significant’ changes to their customer journey. In the face of blocked off B2B routes, some businesses have made the decision to completely rethink their customer base by entering to the B2C market. If there is anything that your B2B company can offer to the regular shopper, it is certainly worth a moment of contemplation. Wholesale food & drink suppliers are recovering well by switching their customer base from restaurants to consumers in the form of home-delivered food & drink boxes - something that is in hot demand. One wholesale retailer, JJ Foodservice, saw a 400 percent increase in demand from regular consumers last month.
If switching from the B2B to B2C market may seem like a promising option for your company, you must consider how your marketing strategy will also need to adjust. Whilst your B2B marketing strategy might be successful, it cannot be simply copied and pasted when marketing direct to consumers (D2C).
But don’t worry…we have put together a list of 5 ways you can switch your marketing strategy from B2B to B2C!
1. Change Your Tone of Voice.
When making the jump from B2B to B2C, you must adjust the tone of voice of your marketing accordingly. As your customer base changes, so should your online persona and tone of voice. Trying to sell to consumers in a B2B manner will not get your brand very far!
B2B marketing is usually information driven; it requires insightful and well-researched content. Usually, that content is rational, clear-cut and constructed with specific terminology. B2B marketers sell with economic & logistical arguments in a very professional format. Logical factors such as cost effectiveness, risk assessments and operational feasibility tend to guide B2B marketing & sales.
If we understand B2B marketing to be based on rational thinking, then B2C marketing is based on emotional thinking. Successful B2C marketing campaigns are emotion driven. The campaigns should be playful, humorous, and highly engaging. B2C marketers want to connect with their customers on a more personal and emotional level. In the same way, customers prefer brands that demonstrate personal value through emotional appeals. Whilst remaining professional, B2C marketing should play on current trends and make their content tailored to their audience. This could mean adopting a humorous tone of voice, using emoji’s, and spending a lot more time engaging with your audience through playful conversation. The idea is to make your content shareable and your brand personable. Such a tone of voice is generally absent in the B2B marketing world.
2. Make Your Brand Mission Clear.
Consumers buy into brand vision. A recent survey found that 64% of consumers say they trust a brand more if they share values with it. These values could be anything from sustainability to community funding.
Did you know, it only takes 10 seconds for consumers to form an impression of your brand? Make sure that this first impression is all about your brand values and vision. Whatever your brand vision may be, it must be clear for all consumers to see and understand. Post about your brand vision often and make it a central part of your marketing strategy. Do you source your food from small businesses or sustainable sources? Shout about it! By doing this, you can connect with like-minded customers who also share the values and visions that you espouse. Shared visions create emotional connections with your customers, encouraging a highly engaged & loyalty community of customers.
Whilst B2B brands may also share brand visions, they tend to play a bigger role in the purchasing decisions of consumers in the B2C market – so bear this in mind!
3. Make Your Website Idiot-Proof.
Whilst this may sound glaringly obvious, making your website idiot-proof is essential when switching from B2B to B2C marketing.
There is no point launching a successful B2C marketing campaign if your customers are met with a B2B-based website to make their purchase. Many B2B websites are technical, bulk buying platforms that only businesses would know how to successfully navigate. B2C customers require different functions and visuals from your website. They demand high-quality images, inspiration on how to use the product that you are selling and reassurance from customer testimonials. Never underestimate the impact that an attractive, well-polished website can have on converting browsing consumers into sales. Recent surveys have found that 38% of users will stop using a website if the layout is unattractive or difficult to use. Since it only takes 0.05 seconds for users to form an opinion about your website, you better make the homepage look good and B2C ready!
4. Focus on The Long-Term User Journey.
When making the change from B2B to B2C marketing, you need to think about the user journey. Unlike B2B customers, B2C customers are people buying for themselves, not for their company. These customers are likely to require more touch points before making a sale. So, make sure that you are posting often. Brands that are consistently presented to consumers are 4 times more likely to experience brand visibility. Utilise stories to engage with your audience through more interactive content and reply to any incoming messages or comments as soon as you can. Make your page active and flowing with great content to keep potential customers interested.
5. Focus on Creating Inspirational, Viral Content.
B2B marketing naturally presents itself as very salesy. When selling D2C, your business needs to create content that goes beyond sales and self-promotion. Brands should always follow the 80/20 rule of social media; whereby only 20% of your content should be reserved for self-promotion and business talk. On the flip side, 80% of your content should be engaging, informative and entertaining. Consumers will soon grow tired of your brand if you just talk about yourself on repeat!
Get your audience involved by sharing user-generated content (which naturally performs very well) and customer stories. This can go a long way in inspiring your audience and making them feel valued. By providing more engaging content (this could be behind the scenes stories, meet the team posts or resharing news), you can create a more personable relationship with your followers. At the same time, this strategy will offer your followers a reason to stay connected to your brand. This is fundamental in a competitive B2C market where customers often require more emotional incentives to make a purchase.
If your business has or plans to switch from the B2B to B2C market anytime soon, think about implementing these needed changes to your marketing strategy. Combined, these measures can really kick-start your B2C marketing! Follow us on Instagram for more information and B2C Marketing Tips!