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Perhaps you’re making a shift to a new market, or you have some experience in working with customers but targeting business owners and decision-makers is a new experience. What do you need to know? First of all: that B2B customers and clients are a whole different beast and that you should change your strategies when targeting them accordingly. Here are a few of the ways that’s true.
They tend to be more technically savvy
Consumers tend to buy products to meet everyday daily needs and thus don’t need to be super informed about the products they’re buying. However, B2B customers tend to do a little more research on the solutions they try to implement. As such, they tend to come with more technical questions about your products and services that you should be ready to answer.
You reach them in different ways
Most of the skills and platforms used in consumer marketing are still relevant. Search engine optimisation, content marketing, and social media marketing are still your friend. However, that comes with some caveats, such as what kinds of content better appeal and on which social media platforms. For instance, B2B customers are a lot more likely to use LinkedIn for their professional endeavours. Similarly, you can look to new spaces, such as expos and conventions, that they are more likely to attend, as a way to begin the sales process.
They require a full sales process
Many businesses can find success with consumers by having a straight pipeline from marketing to their online store. That can be true of B2B customers, as well, but more often, they’re going to need a little convincing. This is partly to do with the fact that B2B products tend to be more expensive and that they are more likely to have the technical knowledge, but B2B sales recruiting to foster a full sales team, as well as effective customer relationship management are both key. B2B customer relationships tend to be longer in term and thus require a little more nurturing.
Different types of content reach them better
As well as how you reach them, you should take the time to make sure you’re trying to reach your B2B customers with the right kind of content. Consumer-driven marketing tends to be more about appealing to the emotion that comes with solving a problem or offering a benefit. With B2B customers, however, in-depth promotion and infographics showing specific benefits, such as time and money saved as a result of relying on your products and services.
They like to stay in touch
An extension of the previous point, you should make sure that it’s easy to communicate with your business even after you have closed the sale. B2B customers tend to get in touch more often than the average consumer.
Of course, while the above points tend to typically be true, B2B clients and customers are not a monolith. You still need to take care in responding to their needs based on the particular markets you’re targeting, what competition you’re facing, and what you’re offering.