I know that many people specialize in either B2B or B2C marketing, but I have done both in my career, with more emphasis on B2B. I am glad that I have B2C in my background, however, because it has helped me to notice a few really important things that B2C marketers focus on that B2B marketers are a bit slower on the uptake for:
- Customer experience matters. While most B2C marketers seem to know that their digital marketing is an experience, many B2B companies are happy with brochure-ware and barely functional eCommerce systems.
- Site search matters. Maybe this is a subset of the first bullet, but it is one that I especially notice is ignored all the time. Usually the IT team, rather than the marketers, run the search engine, and the search engine, er, runs. That’s it. Put in a word and it spits out results–and I do mean spits. Usually no effort has gone into whether searchers find what they are looking for.
- Customer service matters. I have worked with clients that do not even provide a phone number on their website because “that would get customers to call us.” Yes, it would. That’s how you keep them happy. If you really think that support is not important to your business, then don’t hide the phone number–just fire the support team. That will save you a lot more money. If instead, you understand that happy customers buy again, then maybe you should make customer service and support easy rather than painful. Come to think of it, many B2C companies haven’t learned this lesson, either.
The big reason for B2B companies to become as easy to work with as B2C companies is that every customer they work with is also a consumer. Their expectations are shaped by dealing with Amazon, not your competitors. It isn’t enough to be better than your clunky competitors–that is like being the smartest kid in the dumb class. Instead, understand that you are being judged every day by people accustomed to better. Gear up or they will eventually show you the door.