October 6, 2015
Five B2C Strategies for B2B Companies
For many business leaders, the challenge of how to grow their business is a nagging thought throughout each day. We often look to our competition or adjacent markets for inspiration and opportunity, but find many of these opportunities are small with low impact. (After all, these are the people we’ve always watched, so likely, the low hanging fruit has already been picked.)
Since we all know the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, let’s challenge the status quo and consider five timeless ways a business-to-business (B2B) organization can grow market share and gain new advocates utilizing the successes of growing business-to-consumer (B2C) organizations.
- Call To Action with WIIFM: Employ a compelling Call to Action (CTA) in all of your outward facing materials and dialogs, including meetings and sales calls. Using a specific CTA not only provides a clear path for what your audience should do next, it also provides closure to an engagement. The most impactful CTA however, is one that uses WIIFM. WIIFM stands for “What’s In It For Me,” and the principal speaks to gaining buy-in of others by speaking their language and appealing to their needs and interests. When you can artfully master the blend of what you need (CTA) with what your customer needs (WIIFM), your message will not only resonate more clearly, but your effectiveness will be evident by the sales numbers. One of my favorite explicit and simple examples comes from the Dollar Shave Club: “Shave Time. Shave Money”. With a staggering 94% of men using some form of shaving products (Simmons National Consumer Study), the value to the consumer is clear.
- Make it Personal: Whether it’s B2C or B2B – everyone is still a consumer. Companies, regardless of their industry or market, need to balance B2B tactics (such as using data and expertise) with B2C strategies such as making it personal and driving emotion. Find out what your customer’s “pain” is, and as David Arvin, The Visibility Coach, would say: “To what question are you the answer to?” If you can answer those two questions, you are effectively engaging with that customer on a personal level. Learn more on making it personal from the brand engagement experts at Amazon.
- Build Brand Loyalty: Use engagement tools such as social media, web, blogs and event marketing to reach your audience in a different way. In doing this, you can take advantage of user-generated content online and build advocates who can help keep the dialog alive. Looking for a good role model? See Starbucks, who currently has over 16 million Facebook fans!
- Consider Customer Segmentation: Specifically, with millennials quickly growing to make-up 50% of our near-future workforce, it will be essential for organizations to adapt. Whether it’s addressing the changing sales cycle, or how and where we reach our target audience; generational gaps of influencers will affect our business. Not sure with where to start? Start by understanding how similar you may be to this emerging audience. Take the “How Millennial Are You” quiz to see (regardless of age) how much you may have already adapted your personal style. Now the challenge: have you adapted your business?
- Understand Your Value Proposition and Areas of Differentiation: Jaynie Smith, best-selling author of Creating Competitive Advantage, will tell you that a well written ‘value prop’ must contain three elements: authenticity, validity, and first and foremost, it must be customer centric. One of the most simple and best known value props that follow these three rules is delivered by Wal-Mart in their statement, “Everyday low prices.”
By employing these five B2C strategies in your B2B organization, you will instantaneously affect sales, grow engagement and without even intending to, gain brand advocates. Good luck!