by Christophe Primault
Published on 7 July 2010
An in depth perspective on Marketing strategies
B2B and B2C companies often assume that their markets are vastly different and that they must find completely different ways to reach their customers; however, the marketing vendor Silverpop recently published a comparative analysis suggesting that the two models are becoming more similar, mostly thanks to Sales 2.0 technology.Silverpop admits that there are aspects of each business model that are unique to that model, such as a longer sales cycle and multiple buyers. But many of the techniques for using technology to reach B2B prospects, such as email-lead nurturing, were actually pioneered in the B2C segment. Silverpop identifies the six B2C tactics that have found their way into B2B sales and marketing efforts: - Communicating one-on-one. B2C marketers spend as much - or more - time analyzing how a potential customer interacts with the Website as they spend looking at any identifying data that the customer entered. B2B marketers are now following suit, with 38 percent of B2B marketers segmenting their follow-on email campaigns based on specific browsing behavior. - Subverting spam filters. B2C marketers have become very sophisticated at avoiding spam filters. Similarly, B2B marketers are learning how to contend with thousands of corporate domains, antispam firewalls, and email blacklists. - Marketing through multiple channels. B2C companies are heavily using social communities, smart phones, and a host of other avenues to reach the customer base. B2B companies are now implementing software tools that allow them a variety of channels in one platform, spreading their message wide while keeping it focused. - Using surveys to clarify buying behavior. B2C companies have long used Web surveys to check the pulse of the customer base. The challenge for B2B companies that attempt this method is building sophisticated surveys that incorporate exciting branching and advanced logic options that move respondents through different paths based on their answers to previous questions. Respondents can answer fewer questions to get the same amount of information, resulting in higher levels of survey completions. - Examining multiple points of contact. B2C and B2B firms alike are digging into contact behavior beyond email interactions in order to improve their understanding of prospects and adjust their future sales and marketing efforts. For example, many firms are hooking Web analytics into their marketing programs in order to monitor what prospects do on a site after they've clicked to it from a link in an email message. - Extensive testing and measurement. B2C firms tend to study customer behavior in great detail, searching for seemingly insignificant differences and simple changes that might have a big impact on conversion rates. While B2B firms lag behind B2C firms in this kind of measurement, an increasing number are implementing marketing-automation technology that measures online customer behavior.